Is the pendulum about to swing and shift the power to a new 1-2 punch in Anne Arundel baseball?
If pitching truly is the name of the game in high school baseball, it looks as if Severna Park and Chesapeake have the edge over perennial powers Arundel and Old Mill.
The first indication of a reversal of powers in Class 4A came last spring when Chesapeake won the 4A state championship. The Cougars did lose twice to Old Mill, which won the county regular-season title, but Old Mill was eliminated by Arundel in the playoffs.
Arundel ran out of pitching and was dismissed by the Cougars in the region final. Chesapeake became only the third county team other than Arundel (record seven state titles) or Old Mill (two) to win a state AA or 4A (larger schools) championship since the tournament began in 1975.
Annapolis won in 1988 and Northeast in '75 (Northeast won two others, but in smaller-school divisions).
Since Arundel won its first state and region title under Bernie Walter in 1976, either Arundel (11) or Old Mill (seven) has won the region and advanced to the state final four every year except for five out of the last 22.
The question is, are Chesapeake and Severna Park ready to displace the Wildcats and Patriots with people calling them the top dogs?
Third-ranked Severna Park, a team that has never won a region title, boasts ace right-hander Pat Boucher, Nick Stook, a hard-throwing right-hander who missed last year because of personal problems, the left-hander Ryan McKewin, Dave Bremer and sophomore Kevin Wells.
It's the deepest pitching staff coach Jim Pitt has had in 25 years at Severna Park.
Four-ranked Chesapeake returns All-County right-hander Ray Wagner, Dave Dolch and junior Adam Moore -- three quality pitchers. Wagner's only problem is forgetting his spikes which cost him a chance to pitch in front of 13 pro scouts Monday at No. 2 Calvert Hall.
The scouts came to watch Wagner go against the Hall's Justin Nash and left disappointed when the Cougars' ace didn't take the mound. Moore (four innings) and Dolch (two) limited Calvert Hall to four hits but lost, 2-0.
After watching Old Mill come from behind to edge Arundel, 5-4, Monday, it's obvious that neither has the All-Metro quality (Mike Ziegler and Danny Miller for Old Mill, and Kurt Light for Arundel) pitching they've had in the past.
In the ring
Navy's boxing team had seven champions and a runner-up in last weekend's Eastern Collegiate Boxing Association South Regional held at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.
All eight qualify for the nationals, April 3-5 at the University of Kentucky, putting the Mids in position to defend their national title won at the Academy in Annapolis last year.
"We're in pretty good shape," said Navy coach Jim McNally. "The Air Force, our nemesis, qualified nine and Reno [Nevada] qualified seven, but we're hoping to repeat."
The victorious Mids at the regional were Jason Lavarias (125), Tyrone Biggs (132), Darryl Horton (139), Mike Francis (156), Nic Wisecarver (175), Cy Mellet (195) and Jarrod Donaldson (heavyweight). Art Terry (185) dropped a tough split-decision in his final, but also qualifies.
Lavarias was last year's 119-pound national champion, but has moved up in class.
Mellet is gunning for his third straight national title, all in different weight divisions -- won at 175 and 185 the past two years.
Wisecarver was the '97 national runner-up at 147, but has jumped three weight classes to 175.
Donaldson will defend his national heavyweight title.
The pros jump back into the ring at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie tomorrow night with North American Boxing Federation junior welterweight world champion Reggie "Showtime" Green headlining the eight-bout card. For ticket information, call 410-766-7474.
Returning All-County midfielder Pete Ludlam controlled 12 of 14 faceoffs in 11th-ranked Annapolis' 14-8 victory over Centennial (1-1) in boys lacrosse Monday. As a team, coach Dan Hart's Panthers (2-0) controlled 16 of 19 faceoffs.
Meade's boys lacrosse team won its first game in two years last week, by 7-3 over Southwestern (Balto.) in the season opener. The Mustangs haven't had a winning season since 1986 when they were 7-5 under Tom Singleton.
Singleton was a standout under Hart, Meade's first coach who was 55-45 in eight seasons. Hart led the Mustangs to a school-record 12-4 mark and the State AA final in 1980, losing to Dulaney, 9-6.
One of Hart's assistants back then was Clay White, who has gone on to coach Broadneck to five state titles, including the last two in Class 4A.
Veteran umpire Greg Harthaussen was sporting the Anne Arundel baseball umpires' new uniform -- blue jacket and brown pants at Arundel Monday. The Anne Arundel umpires will be wearing both gray and brown pants this season.
Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 410-647- 2499.
Pub Date: 3/25/98