Blue Crabs make an­nounce­ments

Garcia named gold glove win­ner, Cliburn re­turns as man­ager and team’s 2019 sched­ule un­veiled

The Enterprise - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @tblack­somds1 Base­ball play­ers wanted Vol­ley­ball play­ers, coaches wanted Hit­ting camp of­fered

While the 2018 sea­son may not have gone ac­cord­ing to plan for the South­ern Mary­land Blue Crabs, which fin­ished well be­low .500, one of its gen­uine bright spots, short­stop Ed­win Garcia, was re­cently named the At­lantic League’s de­fen­sive player of the year.

In his sec­ond sea­son with the Blue Crabs, Garcia was named to his sec­ond con­sec­u­tive spot on the Red, White and Blue All-De­fen­sive Team. Not only lauded for his de­fen­sive skills through­out the At­lantic League, Garcia ac­tu­ally backed it up sta­tis­ti­cally by fin­ish­ing with the high­est field­ing per­cent­age among short­stops and recorded the third most as­sists at the po­si­tion.

“Ed­win has been a great player and an even bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the team in his two sea­sons with the or­ga­ni­za­tion,” Blue Crabs gen­eral man­ager Court­ney Knichel said. “We are happy for Ed­win that his play is be­ing rec­og­nized across the league by earn­ing this pres­ti­gious award.”

While Garcia could not be reached for com­ment, team­mate Devon Ro­driguez had high praise for the Blue Crabs short­stop.

“Ev­ery day when you watch him prac­tice and watch him play you’re con­vinced that you are watch­ing a ma­jor league short­stop,” Ro­driguez said. “He just does ev­ery­thing so well and so flu­idly and he’s al­ways work­ing to im­prove. He truly de­serves to get a chance to play in a ma­jor league or­ga­ni­za­tion at some point. His range and his work ethic are both re­ally out­stand­ing and he re­ally de­served the [Gold Glove] award.”

Late last week, the team un­veiled its 2019 sched­ule, which be­gins on April 25 on the road in Texas against the Sugar Land Skeeters and then back at home on May 3 against the Lan­caster Barn­storm­ers. Also on the slate is the new­est ad­di­tion to the At­lantic League, the High Point (N.C.) Rock­ers who will join the Lib­erty Di­vi­sion and make their first ap­pear­ance in South­ern Mary­land May 27-30.

“The sched­ule re­lease is al­ways a big day across the league as it gen­er­ates the first ex­cite­ment for the up­com­ing sea­son,” Knichel said. “We have many new ideas for this year, and now with the sched­ule out we can get to work on our plans on and off the field for 2019.”

In ad­di­tion to fac­ing a new team in the league, the Blue Crabs will have a new face in the dugout, sort of.

Stan Cliburn, who guided the squad to the Free­dom Di­vi­sion ti­tle in 2015 and a berth in the At­lantic League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries where the Blue Crabs lost in four games to the Som­er­set Pa­tri­ots. Cliburn also earned his 1,500th win as a man­ager that sea­son.

“I loved my first sea­son in South­ern Mary­land [in 2015], so com­ing back to this team and this league feels a lot like com­ing home,” Cliburn said in a team news re­lease last Fri­day an­nounc­ing his re­turn. “The way this team en­gages with the com­mu­nity is some­thing I re­ally en­joyed, so I’m very ex­cited to get back to a place that I’ve come to know very well.”

Cluburn spent 14 sea­sons play­ing pro­fes­sional base­ball, ad­vanc­ing to the ma­jor league level in 1980 with the Cal­i­for­nia An­gels and spend­ing the next seven sea­sons with the An­gels and the At­lanta Braves be­fore get­ting his first manag­ing role with the Water­town Pi­rates of the New York-Penn­syl­va­nia League in 1988.

Cliburn would spend the next 16 years as a man­ager with var­i­ous mi­nor league clubs, in­clud­ing stints at Sin­gle-A, Dou­ble-A and Triple-A and fin­ished with a record of 1,321-1,292. He re­turned to the in­de­pen­dent leagues in 2011 and then even­tu­ally be­came the man­ager for the Blue Crabs.

“I have a lot of spe­cial mem­o­ries in my ca­reer and earn­ing my 1,500th win [in 2015] was a trib­ute to ev­ery­thing that I had been in­volved with from pre­vi­ous play­ers and man­age­ment to ev­ery­one I worked with that year,” Cliburn said. “We played great all sea­son long in 2015, and that play­off se­ries with Lan­caster was one of the hard­est that I have ever been a part of. We pulled off a big win to get the Free­dom Di­vi­sion Cham­pi­onship and earn a chance to play for the ti­tle.”

Rawl­ings A’s Prospects will hold base­ball try­outs for the sum­mer 2019 sea­son.

Try­outs will oc­cur at 10 a.m. Nov. 3, 11 and 16 for 11-U and 12-U teams, at noon Nov. 3, 11 and 16 for 13-U and 14-U teams and at 10 a.m. Nov. 4, 10 and 17 for 2019 to 2022 grad­u­ates.

To regis­ter for a try­out, go to www. rawl­ingsprospectsmd.net/try­outs. For more in­for­ma­tion, email info@mat­base­ball.com.

South­ern Mary­land Vol­ley­ball Club will hold try­outs for its teams com­pet­ing in the up­com­ing USA Vol­ley­ball Ch­e­sa­peake Re­gion 2018-19 sea­son.

Try­outs for all age groups, 12-U to 18-U, will be held on Nov. 11 at Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf.

For ex­act times and more in­for­ma­tion, go to somd­vbc.com or email di­rec­tor@somd­vbc.com.

Also, SOMD­VBC is seek­ing coaches for the var­i­ous age groups. If in­ter­ested in coach­ing or as­sist­ing, email di­rec­tor@somd­vbc.com.

Mid-At­lantic Tour­na­ment Base­ball will hold a Thanks­giv­ing Hit­ting Camp for chil­dren 8 to 17 on Nov. 23 and 24.

The cost is $150 per player. Group and team dis­counts are avail­able. For more in­for­ma­tion and to regis­ter, go to mat­base­ball.com.

Youth bas­ket­ball play­ers wanted

St. Mary’s County Re­cre­ation and Parks will hold youth bas­ket­ball reg­is­tra­tion through Nov. 25 or un­til filled.

The di­vi­sions are 3rd-4th grade coed, 5th-6th grade girls, 5th-6th grade boys, 7th-8th grade girls, 7th-8th grade boys and 9th-10th grade coed. They are di­vided by area of the county with the north be­ing Me­chan­icsville to Char­lotte Hall, cen­tral be­ing Leonard­town and south be­ing Lex­ing­ton Park.

The cost is $80 per per­son. Reg­is­tra­tion can be done on­line or walk into the main of­fice in Leonard­town in the Patuxent build­ing. To regis­ter on­line, go to www.stmarysmd.com/recre­ate. For more in­for­ma­tion, call Kenny Sothoron at 301-475-4200, ext. 1830.

Learn to Play Hockey reg­is­tra­tion is open

South­ern Mary­land Sabres Hockey Club has teamed up with the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals to bring the Learn to Play Hockey pro­gram back to the Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf, start­ing at 9:35 a.m. Dec. 1.

This pro­gram pro­vides head-to-toe hockey gear for new play­ers, along with eight weeks of on-ice in­struc­tion by USA Hockey cer­ti­fied coaches and Cap­i­tals Alumni for $170.

The gear in­cludes skates, stick, bag, hel­met and all safety pads, with a Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals logo jer­sey.

This ini­tia­tive is an amaz­ing and af­ford­able way to in­tro­duce chil­dren to the game of hockey in a fun, safe en­vi­ron­ment. For more in­for­ma­tion and to regis­ter, go to https://learn­to­play.nhl. com/cap­i­tals.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the pro­gram on the South­ern Mary­land Sabres, go to www.somdsabres.org/pro­gram/sabres-in­struc­tional/39

There will also be a Try Hockey for Free day at the Cap­i­tal Club­house at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 11 to in­tro­duce your child to the ice.

For ques­tions about hockey and the Learn to Play pro­gram, con­tact Megan Whalon, Lit­tle Sabres Co­or­di­na­tor, at Lit­tlesabres@somdsabres.org.

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