Looking back on No.14-ranked Broadneck's Class 4A East Region upset of No.2 Severna Park by 8-6 on Monday in Cape St. Claire, managerial minds were working overtime in the seventh inning.
Broadneck's coach, Mark Stover, made the "move" of the game rather hesitantly, while Severna Park's Jim McCandless went against the ancient baseball axiom of play for the win when on the road and the tie at home in the late innings.
With the Bruins (13-7) up by two in the top of the seventh, the Falcons put runners on first and second via a hit batsman and single off Ryan Bellerby.
McCandless had Mike Prim (24 RBIs) on deck as a pinch hitter for Joe Burke, but changed his mind and sent Geoff Hughes up for the sacrifice bunt. Hughes got it down and set up a possible 8-8 tie if one of the Falcons (19-4) could deliver a hit.
Sophomore Eric Buntz, who had three hits in Friday's 13-2 romp over Arundel and had singled his first time up against the Bruins, bounced one right back to Bellerby (8-2) for the second out. Up came Prim to hit for Matt Cipollone.
At first, Stover was going to let Bellerby pitch to the dangerous Prim, but when he went to a 2-0 count, the coach made a trip to the mound. With first base open, Stover ordered the intentional walk.
"I wanted to walk him from the get-go, " Stover said. "When we got to 2-0, he was too dangerous to pitch to. Bellerby tried to talk me out of it, but I said no, let's walk him."
Bellerby then struck out No.9 hitter Chris Odom on three pitches to end the game.
"You can second-guess anybody, and they pitched around Mike [Prim], " said McCandless, who finished his first season as a high school head coach, but is a veteran of coaching summer baseball.
Many of the players from Broadneck and Severna Park play for the McCandless-coached and very successful Severna Park American Legion team.
McCandless also has been successful in high school, winning the county title, although not going as far as expected in his rookie year.
"We've got a good nucleus of players coming back; a lot of sophomores and a pretty good junior class," said McCandless, immediately looking forward to 2001.
"We lose a lot of pitching [Josh Banks, 10-0, and Jason Carl, 6-1], but with what we will have up from JV, we should be very competitive down the road."
Three sophomores started: right-fielder Steve Weber (.338, 23 runs, 20 RBIs), shortstop Buntz (.367) and first baseman Tim Pollock (.441).
The future is bright for McCandless in his quest to end the Falcons' hex of being only one of three county schools to have never won a region title, the others being Meade and North County.
An important reminder for outstanding student-athletes: only two days are left until Friday's deadline for entering the race.
Ten boys and 10 girls will be named to the 18th All-Anne Arundel County Academic-Athletic Team, with one boy and one girl receiving $5,000 scholarships as the overall winners.
All 20 chosen will be honored with plaques at a banquet to be held June 12 at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie.
Archbishop Spalding athletic director Lee Dove is the recipient of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association State Award of Merit for Maryland. The award is based on leadership and long-term contributions to high school athletics.
Dove, the Cavaliers' AD for five years, oversees 22 sports programs with 35 teams and 54 coaches, and he is president of the MIAA.
Jen Tate, the Old Mill girls lacrosse coach for the past three seasons, has resigned to take an assistant's position in lacrosse and field hockey at Bridgewater College.
Former Severna Park All-Metro pitcher Amanda Donaldson, a freshman at Division III Western Maryland, has been named All-Centennial Conference after setting a school record for wins (14-1), striking out 84 in 77 innings and earning a 1.40 ERA.
For the second straight year, Arundel's James Mlynarski has been named the male Athlete of the Year in his class (junior) at Springfield (Mass.) College. Mlynarski successfully defended his national vaulting title with a score of 9.45 at the national gymnastics championships in Tempe, Ariz.
County resident and former major-league pitcher Mike Bielecki, who spent 14 seasons in the big leagues with the Pirates, Cubs and Braves, will be the guest speaker at Sunday's ninth Friends of Joe Cannon Baseball Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet at La Fontaine Bleu in Glen Burnie.
Each of the 16 varsity baseball teams in the county will have a representative, and $2,000 and $1,000 scholarships will go to the most outstanding player and runner-up.
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