Prince George’s 2002 All-County Baseball Team: Capece, Castro answered the final call -- Gazette.Net







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Player of the Year

Matt CapeceDeMatha, Sr.

ShortstopThe Stags returned atop the WCAC mountain for the first time since 1998, and Capece was the undeniable force behind it. He batted .436, scored 32 runs and drove in 22 runs, earning league player of the year honors. DeMatha head coach Charlie Sullivan said Capece is one of the best to come out the Hyattsville program.

‘‘He jump-starts our offense,” said Sullivan, who completed his 18th season this spring. ‘‘He solidified the shortstop position for four years. You felt comfortable when the ball was hit to him.”

Capece committed only three errors during the season, and struck out just four times. He also had 48 assists and 23 putouts. DeMatha went 25-5 this spring, closing the spring with 17 consecutive victories.

Capece comes from a baseball family. His father, Dick, played at Catholic University in the late 1960s, and brother Andrew was standout in the early 1990s at Roosevelt and has guided his alma mater to five state 4A semifinal appearances in six seasons as head coach. Matt will attend Bucknell University on a baseball scholarship.

Coach of the Year

Dale CastroHigh Point

After two frustrating postseasons, the third time was the charm for Castro and High Point. The Beltsville school reached the state 4A championship game for the first time since 1990, which was the last year a county public school played for a state title. The Eagles lost to Thomas Johnson of Frederick County, completing a 20-3 campaign.

High Point had one of the county’s most talented teams heading into the season but Castro was able to assemble them as a cohesive unit, each player willing to accept whatever role presented. The Eagles handed county 4A league co-champ Bowie its only two losses of the spring, including a 6-1 decision for the South region championship after losses in the region finale in 2000 and 2001. The Eagles beat Parkville of Baltimore County in the state semifinals at Prince George’s Stadium to advance to the finals.

It was the final season of coaching for Castro, who was head football coach at the school for 12 seasons. The former All-America kicker from the University of Maryland is taking an administrative position at High Point. In three seasons as head baseball coach, Castro was 58-10.

First Team

Dennis Anderson

McNamara, Sr.Designated Hitter

A four-year starter, Anderson batted .338 with a team-leading 20 runs batted in for the Mustangs, who finished 13-15 after winning their first 10 games. He played in every inning this season, contributing 32 assists as a catcher and committing only two errors. Anderson was also a second-team All-WCAC selection.

Matt AndersonPallotti, Jr.

OutfielderAnderson played a huge role in Pallotti (15-7) having its best campaign in more than a decade. He was the big bat in the Panthers’ lineup, leading the team with a .416 average and 28 RBI. The Laurel school lost in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference double-elimination tournament after a second-place finish in Division I. Anderson earned first team All-Conference honors.

Tom BallengerDeMatha, Sr.

PitcherBound to the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Ballenger helped the Stags to an impressive 25-5 mark this season. The righthander posted an 8-1 mark while allowing just 1.74 earned runs a game, and joined senior Mike King and sophomore Robbie Campbell to form one of the best rotations in the area. Ballenger had 77 strikeouts while walking 22 in 52 innings of work.

Robbie Campbell

DeMatha, Soph.Pitcher

Campbell’s emergence on the mound this spring was a key factor in the Hyattsville school’s charge to the WCAC title this season. His four-hit, nine strikeout shutout of Gonzaga (D.C.) in the championship game at Catholic University capped a 6-1 campaign for Campbell, who tossed four shutouts. In 46 innings, he had 60 strikeouts and a 2.30 earned-run average.

Mike ClarkRiverdale Baptist, Jr.

PitcherClark was among several talented underclassmen that helped keep Riverdale Baptist among the elite teams on the mid-Atlantic region this spring. The righthander went 10-2 with a 0.81 ERA and 95 strikeouts, 15 in a two-hit shutout in the semifinals of the MD/DC/VA Private School Tournament. The Crusaders went on to claim the tourney title as Clark earned most valuable player honors.

Joel GonzalezHigh Point, Sr.

CatcherThe lone holdover from last year’s All-County squad, Gonzalez was again among the best. He batted .500 with seven home runs and team-leading 45 RBI.

His triple in the first inning helped stake High Point to an early lead in the state 4A title game against Thomas Johnson, and he drove in the first run in its semifinal win over Parkville.

Paul KellnerBowie, Jr.

First baseKellner was a huge reason the Bulldogs tied for the county 4A league championship this spring. He led Bowie in home runs (three) and RBI (28) while his 30 hits were second. Kellner, a transfer from St. John’s, was also one of the top pitchers in the county public ranks, compiling a 7-1 mark with a 1.62 ERA.

Chris MathesonHigh Point, Sr.

PitcherMatheson helped carry the Eagles to the state 4A title game. He was the pitcher of record in all five of High Point’s postseason competitions, going 4-1 including a complete-game triumph over Bowie in the South region finals. Matheson finished 10-3 with a 3.03 ERA and batted .461 with a team-leading 42 runs scored.

Chris Quesenberry

Bowie, Jr.Second base

Quesenberry was the catalyst for the county 4A league co-champs this season. He had a team-high 38 hits, scored 32 runs, stole 25 bases and posted a .528 batting average for the 20-2 Bulldogs. Quesenberry’s brother, John, was an All-County first team selection last spring.

Ryan ReeseRoosevelt, Jr.

Third baseThough Roosevelt failed to reach the state 4A semifinals this season after five consecutive trips, Reese had a breakthrough campaign. He led the Raiders with a .548 batting average and 35 RBI and was lethal against the county’s best, High Point and Bowie, hitting a robust .563. On the mound, Reese went 5-1 with a 1.69 ERA as Roosevelt (17-5) shared the county 4A league title.

Mitch SaumRiverdale Baptist, Jr.

UtilityThe Crusaders’ reign in the MD/DC/VA Private Schools Tournament would have ended if not for Saum. He drove in the go-ahead run and picked up the save in a 4-3 decision over Notre Dame Prep (Va.) in the title match at Prince George’s Stadium. Saum batted .366 with 40 RBI and scored 42 runs.

Ray SimmonsBowie, Sr.

PitcherSimmons was arguably the ace of the Bulldogs’ pitching staff this season. He was 8-1 with 47 strikeouts and a 1.83 ERA for Bowie, which lost to High Point in the 4A South region title game. Simmons, headed to York College, batted .400 with two homers and 24 RBI.

Micah TerrillRiverdale Baptist, Jr.

OutfielderTerrill didn’t wilt under the expectations of playing for his father. He led the Crusaders with 52 hits and was second with a .379 batting average. Terrill swiped 30 of 31 bases as the Crusaders won a fifth consecutive MD/DC/VA Private Schools Tournament championship.

Travis WisemanHigh Point, Sr.

OutfielderA part of the veteran nucleus that spearheaded the Eagles to the state 4A finals, Wiseman led the South region champs in batting (.515), homers (nine) and runs batted in (41). He was the No. 2 pitcher behind Matheson, with a 4-0 mark and a 0.77 ERA.