Meyer has an interesting collection of pitchers. First there is Dennis Stephano, a graduate of Upper Darby, who did not want to play school ball. Instead, he has spent his last three summers playing legion ball. This season he has a 5-0 record, with 40 strikeouts and 18 walks and a 2.46 earned-run
Jason Nicholas, a senior at Upper Darby, had an ERA around 5.25 at the start of the season. Now it is down to 3.09; and Dave Whittaker, another graduate of Upper Darby, has a 3-0 record and has only allowed five runs in 22 innings and has a 1.59 ERA. Rounding out the quartet is Jim Brown, a senior at Monsignor Bonner, who has a 1.64 ERA.
A pleasant surprise at the plate has been Nicholas. He plays either center field or shortstop when he is not pitching and has a .441 batting average. Dennis McPartland, the second baseman and a graduate of Bonner, is batting .333 out of the No. 2 slot and is 7 for 7 in stolen bases. And Paul Cicimurri, the catcher and a graduate of Upper Darby, is hitting .348. Meyer sees this team making the Region 3 Tournament and possibly has a good shot at winning more than in the past. Main Line American Legion playoffs start July 19, which qualifies the top seven out of the league's nine teams.
The Babe Ruth District 1 Tournament for 14- and 15-year-olds begins today, and Mark Jordan, coach of the defending champion, Broomall-Newtown, is not about to take any chances.
Jordan stores away his professorlike looks this time every year for a goatee. He says it gives him good luck. "Hopefully, we won't need luck," Jordan said. "But it is better to be lucky than good."
Broomall-Newtown defeated Hill Top last season for the championship and advanced to the state tournament, placing third overall.
Back from that team are Chris Gicking, Kevin Hagan and Tom Burling, all sophomores at Marple Newtown High School. A major loss was Cardinal O'Hara star Drew Baylor. Moving up to the Senior Division, Baylor won three district games last season, including the championship game. Facing Jordan's team is a tough Upper Darby-Drexel Hill-Llanerch team, which advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series two years ago as 13-year-olds.
The double-elimination tournament begins tonight at various sites, starting times are 5:30. The remainder of the tourney moves to Dermond Field in Drexel Hill on Saturday.
BULLEN TO BALTIMORE
Jamie Bullen, an all-Del-Val League player for Sun Valley the last two seasons, has decided to attend the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, a Division I school that plays in the Big South Conference and finished last season with a 37-15 record.
The Retrievers play Delaware, Georgetown, West Chester, Navy and Rider. Players have been drafted by the major leagues out of Maryland-Baltimore, most recently junior pitcher Gerold Witasick, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bullen, a 5-foot, 11-inch, 200-pound third baseman/righthanded pitcher, is being projected to play either first base or third, and possibly pitch at Maryland-Baltimore County, which is giving Bullen a grant-and-aid package based on need.
"I haven't seen any of their games, and their conference and (the competition) seems like it's pretty good," Bullen said. "I like what it had to offer, academically and athletically. If I go into physical therapy, it has its own school I could branch off into."