During my brief history at WNST, I’ve listened to my cohorts, Mark Suchy and Michael Popovec, brag about the storied reputations of Loyola and Calvert Hall, respectively. When we all sat together for Michael’s show, a couple weeks ago, it was another Loyola/Calvert Hall schmooze-fest.
Today, it ends. Let the truth be known …. Anne Arundel County is where it’s at. On Wednesday, I decided to confirm by beliefs and attended the Broadneck vs. Arundel baseball game. Sure, I had varied intentions for my visit. I certainly seized the opportunity to please my bosses by bringing the ‘NST name and reputation to the Annapolis area.
I enjoyed meeting local high school baseball enthusiasts; many have promised to read this blog …. if so, don’t forget to use that WNST Text Card !!!! At any rate, I was treated to a very good game. Regardless of some customary miscues expected at the high school level, this game was a real treat.
On this particular day, I witnessed Arundel’s Tyler Hibbs, the Baltimore Sun’s 2006 “All Metro Player Of The Year” (as a SOPHMORE …. Suchy), take the mound. This kid brings heat …. serious heat. Sporting a physical frame reminiscent of a Mike Mussina, I observed Hibbs pound the mitt with gas …. had to be near 90. I had an opportunity to speak with Hibbs’ father, who informed me that his son was hitting 90, on radar guns, last summer.
As I watched Hibbs warm-up before the game’s start, I immediately knew he was better than anyone I’ve ever seen at this level. That said, I was thoroughly impressed by the aggressive approach of Broadneck’s lineup. Leadoff hitter, Josh Tabor, had a good day – going 2-4, with a stolen base. Tabor worked Hibbs in every at-bat, and certainly looked like the formidable “spark plug” teams crave. The kid simply “hustles”.
The game remained close until the 7th inning, when Arundel tacked on some insurance runs to seal their 6-3 win. Still, I came away impressed at how good the talent is in high school baseball. I played ball at Northeast in the mid 1980’s and I don’t recall ever seeing anyone like Hibbs. Nor, do I remember being part of a lineup that would be as patient and determined as Broadneck.
In my post-game conversations with the coaches, I sensed the Broadneck staff (Jason Wohlfarth & Rick Tabor) have been frustrated with the team’s lack of offensive during the season. However, I thought the team fared decently against Tibbs, who mixed his pitches well and went the distance.
Arundel’s Bernie Walter came away pleased with the result. His team is now 11-4 and certainly in the hunt for another state title. Coach Walter is also impressed by the level of competition in Anne Arundel County, and he expects as many as six teams to qualify for the upcoming playoffs.
I’ll follow both of these teams over the next couple weeks ….. leading up to the postseason. I’ll be reporting back …. and, maybe, I’ll be able to drag Suchy or Popovec along.