1998 All-Metro baseball teams

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Coach of the Year

Bernie Walter, Arundel: Walter, a former shortstop at Brooklyn Park and the University of Maryland, has won more state titles (eight) and been to the state final more times than any coach since the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association baseball championships began in 1975. This season's record eighth state title by 12-1 over Patterson in the Class 4A final and a 22-4 record were hardly expected. Severna Park was clearly the favorite in 4A with its deep and experienced pitching staff and power. But Walter turned in one of his coaching gems and the Wildcats knocked off the Falcons the last two times they played, including in the 4A East region final by 12-7 in eight innings to advance to the final four for a state record 12th time. A master at making his players better as the season wears on so that they peak at playoff time, Walter turned a good team into a great team through preparation, intense practice under pressure and endless hours of batting practice. The Wildcats went out and batted .400 as a team and scored 67 runs in six playoff victories while Walter developed lefty Justin Bell (7-0) into a crafty hurler and honed the mechanics and confidence of unknown junior Andy Kostic (10-1). Anne Arundel County's all-time winningest coach at 427-117 (.785) in 25 seasons, Walter was named county coach of the year a record fourth time and is Metro Coach of the Year for the third time since 1980.

Player of the Year

Mark Teixeira, Mount St. Joe: Considered by most college and pro scouts to be the best hitter in the mid-Atlantic area, Teixeira, a 6-3, 225-pound switch-hitting third baseman, is the only repeater on this year's first team. He was drafted in the ninth round of yesterday's Major League Baseball draft by the Boston Red Sox but also has a full baseball scholarship to Georgia Tech. He recently completed a brilliant three-year varsity career. With 12 homers (tied state record by Severna Park's Keith Brunst, also this season), 36 RBIs and 47 runs scored (one short of state record) on a .548 (45-for-82) batting average, Teixeira established state career records for homers (29), RBIs (108), hits (128) and is second in runs scored (112). Teixeira this season also had seven doubles, a triple, 16 stolen bases and a state record 40 walks, 25 intentional. His slugging percentage was .911 with 90 total bases. "He's clearly the best hitter I've ever had," said veteran Gaels coach Dave Norton. "I like to compare Mark to David Tripp, but Mark has more power." Tripp was The Sun's 1987 Player of the Year who went on to pitch at Clemson and was later drafted and signed by the Oakland A's.

The first team

Matt Blethen, Havre de Grace, Senior, left-handed pitcher: Blethen, considered a pro prospect, was Harford County's top pitcher with a 7-1 record and also led the county champions in RBIs with 30. A stylish southpaw, Blethen led the county in strikeouts (77) and was second in innings pitched (53) and had a 3.15 ERA. With the bat, Blethen hit .500 (36-for-72 ) with a Harford County-leading 15 doubles, 22 runs scored and three homers.

Jason Bungori, Calvert Hall, Senior, right-handed pitcher: When Cardinal ace Justin Nash, a pro prospect, went down with an injury, Bungori stepped in and led the Hall to its tenth MIAA (formerly MSA) A Conference title and the ninth in the last 11 years under coach Joe Binder. "Jason did a terrific job for us after we didn't expect him to be around this spring," said Binder. Bungori, who had major knee surgery in January and was told he could all but forget his senior year, posted an 8-1 record with one save (15-1, seven saves in two seasons) with two of the wins coming in the playoffs. In 57 2/3 innings pitched, the 6-foot, 175-pound Bungori struck out 50, walked 27, gave up 48 hits and 15 earned runs for an ERA of 1.82. Bungori, who was Calvert Hall's quarterback in football, will attend Juniata College.

Pat Boucher, Severna Park, Senior, right-handed pitcher: Boucher was the ace of the No. 2-ranked Falcons (19-3) and swung a big bat as well. His pitching and slugging led the Falcons to the Anne Arundel County South Division title and the league's top overall record at 15-1. In 41 innings pitched, Boucher, a power pitcher, went 6-1 with 51 strikeouts, 25 walks, 34 hits and a 1.37 ERA. He was 11-2 over his last two seasons. When he didn't pitch, Boucher played left field and was more than adequate after playing the infield his first three years. Boucher hit a power-packed .387 with eight doubles, 15 runs scored, 25 RBIs and seven homers. He finished with 19 career homers, a state public school record.

Andy Kostic, Arundel, Junior, right-handed pitcher: ed pitcher: Emerging as a big game winner, Kostic, one of only four juniors named first team, led the metropolitan area in victories, going 10-1 for the 4A champions. The hard-throwing 6-3 right-hander, who has uncanny control of three pitches (fastball, curve and changeup), won the last three games of the state playoffs, including a three-hitter over No. 11 Patterson in the final. He won the last two games of the 4A East regional in two days, a start over North County and in relief over then No. 1-ranked Severna Park. Kostic only walked 14 batters in 62 1/3 innings of work, giving up 63 hits, striking out 52 and posting an ERA of 1.90. The athletic hurler also fielded his position like an infielder.

Chris Staub, Calvert Hall, Senior, catcher: After not playing as a junior, the 6-foot, 215-pound Staub put together a banner senior season for the MIAA A Conference champs. Staub hit a robust .519 (42-for-81) with nine doubles, a triple, five homers and a club-leading 31 RBIs. He was 4-for-4 in the 16-4 romp over No. 5 Mount St. Joe in the A conference championship game. His on-base percentage was .592. "Chris also had a great year throwing the ball," said coach Joe Binder. "He must have throw out 50 percent of the runners who attempted to steal." Staub is headed to Mt. St. Mary's.

Keith Brunst, Severna Park, Senior, DH/catcher: This pure power hitter, called "Bruno" by his teammates, was the first triple crown winner in Anne Arundel County history. The 6-foot, 225-pound Brunst led the county in hitting at .536, home runs with 12 and RBIs with 36. His 12 homers tied the state single season record and broke teammate Pat Boucher's county record of 11 set in '97. Brunst put up those power numbers despite playing with a hairline fracture in his right hand. Defensively, Brunst developed into one of the area's best catchers and veteran coach Jim Pitt said he "was our MVP."

Mike Wineke, Calvert Hall, Senior, first base: Wineke (6-3, 205) has followed in the footsteps of his dad, Larry Wineke, who was an All-Metro slugger at Cardinal Gibbons during the 70s. The left-handed Wineke hit .489 (46-for-94) with 13 doubles, a triple, five homers, 30 runs scored and 30 RBIs. His .591 on-base percentage was third on the team. In the field, Wineke was smooth around the bag and excellent at picks on throws in the dirt. Seriously considering Campbell University, Wineke also contributed as a pitcher with a 3-2 record on a 3.35 ERA.

Jeff Starcher, Glenelg, Junior, infielder-pitcher: Howard County's Player of the Year, Starcher led the Gladiators to the Class 1A state Championship and a 22-2 season. Starcher batted .464 (32-for-69)and was 8-1 on the mound including the 6-5 victory in the 1A final over Southern-Garrett in eight innings. Scattering nine hits and striking out 11, Starcher went all the way in the championship game as the Gladiators came from behind, something they made a habit of this season. Down 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Glenelg rallied with Starcher delivering the tying hit and won it in the eighth. Starcher finished the season with 67 strikeouts and 20 walks in 56 1/3 innings and had an ERA of 3.70. When not pitching, the Gladiators' shortstop knocked in 32 runs and had six homers and six doubles.

Hector Guadalupe, Arundel, Senior, shortstop: stop: Guadalupe, a switch-hitting shortstop from Puerto Rico who transferred from Riverdale Baptist to Arundel for his senior year, is Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year. He led the top-ranked Wildcats with his enthusiastic play and skills. "Hector showed the other guys how you can have fun playing baseball hard," said Arundel coach Bernie Walter. A smooth 6-foot, 170-pounder, Guadalupe hit .404 with a state-record 17 doubles and led the team in at-bats (99), homers (four) and stolen bases (20), hitting in the No. 2 hole. He tied for the team lead in runs (41), triples (three) and walks (17) and knocked in 26 runs. Possessing soft hands, a strong arm and excellent instincts, Guadalupe has a scholarship to Middle Georgia Community College if he doesn't sign with Milwaukee, which drafted him in the 16th round.

Tony Dokoupil, Severna Park, Junior, outfielder: fielder: Mostly a DH as a tenth-grader, Dokoupil worked hard at improving his defensive skills and developed into Anne Arundel County's top overall center fielder. An exciting leadoff hitter with so much pop in his bat that he can start a game with a homer or single, Dokoupil hit .500 (50 points higher than his sophomore season) with five homers and 20 RBIs. He led the No. 2 Falcons in doubles (eight) and runs scored (32).

Mike Floyd, Mount St. Joe, Senior, outfielder: fielder: Playing in the shadow of Mark Teixeira, this talented center fielder put together a banner season of his own. The University of Virginia-bound Floyd (6-3, 185) hit .455 (51-for-112), leading the Gaels in doubles (nine), triples (five) and RBIs (43). The speedy Floyd also had three homers and scored 37 runs while patrolling center field with the expertise of a college player.

Avon Mack, Calvert Hall, Senior, outfielder: er: An All-Metro wide receiver in football, the speedy 6-foot, 165-pound Mack gave the MIAA A Conference champions a pesky man at the top of their order. Mack batted .386 (32-for-83) and had an on-base percentage of .485 while leading the Cards in runs scored (31). Bound for Lehigh University, where he will play baseball and football, Mack also had six doubles, a triple, three homers, 21 RBIs and drew 13 walks. He anchored the Redbirds outfield in center.

Mike Taylor, Westminster, Junior, outfielder: fielder: Considered one of the top underclass pro prospects in the mid-Atlantic area, Taylor led Carroll County in hitting with a .500 batting average and was 4-2 pitching for the Owls. Taylor scored 24 runs, drove in 16 and had 13 extra base hits -- eight doubles, three triples and two homers. A center fielder like the other three All-Metro outfielders, Taylor is an accomplished defensive player with a strong arm. That arm which allows him to throw in the mid- to upper-80s has attracted pro scouts and could result in a future as a pitcher if not as an outfielder.

Final top 20

1. Arundel (22-4)

2. Severna Park (19-3)

3. Calvert Hall (25-5)

4. Glenelg (22-2)

5. Mount St. Joe (19-13)

6. South Carroll (13-7)

7. McDonogh (15-9)

8. C.M. Wright (16-6)

9. Chesapeake-AA (11-8)

10. Westminster (14-6)

11. Patterson (21-3)

12. Havre de Grace (19-6)

13. Centennial (16-8)

14. Atholton (18-7)

15. Lansdowne (15-6)

16. North County (12-8)

17. Old Mill (11-9)

18. River Hill (11-9)

19. Loch Raven (11-10)

20. Patapsco (13-4)

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1998 All-Metro baseball teams were selected by the staff after consulting with area coaches.

Pub Date: 6/03/98

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