Cougars are headed to the MIAA B Conference playoffs for the 17th time under Naunton’s leadership
In his 27th year leading Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s baseball program, head coach Mike Naunton won his 300th game, Tuesday, defeating Friends School, 3-1, in MIAA B Conference action.
During his tenure at Mount Carmel, Naunton has appeared in five league championship games, winning the MIAA B Conference in 2001 and 2011. Twenty-six of his players have gone on to play college baseball at JUCO and NCAA DI, DII and DIII schools.
Former player, Salisbury University standout, and current assistant Bobby Sanzone believes “Mr. Naunton was not only an exemplary coach but was an exemplary role model, “ said Bobby Sanzone, a former player under Naunton and a current assistant coach with the Cougars, who went on to star at Salisbury University. “He instills work ethic and passion towards not just the game but towards a future. I will forever be grateful for what Mr. Naunton has done for me.”
Cap Poklemba, head coach at Gerstell Academy shared, “Mike has been a colleague and a friend for over 10 years. He is the ultimate competitor on the field, but he has the great understanding that baseball is simply an avenue for us to teach and coach values for life.”
With Tuesday’s win, Mount Carmel improved to 13-7 this season and 11-6 in the B Conference where they are currently tied for fourth place with Poklemba’s Gerstel squad, both teams are just one game back of St. Vincent Pallotti and and Boy’s Latin (each 12-5), who are tied for second. Those four, as well as first place Glenelg Country (15-2) and sixth-place Annapolis Area Christian (9-8) have qualified for the double-elimination post-season tournament. Everyone still has one regular season league game remaining which will determine the final seeds.
As Mount Carmel pushes into the playoffs for the 17th time under Naunton, winning continues to be a family affair for Naunton. Win number 200 and the 2011 Championship came while his oldest son, Tyler, played for Mount Carmel. His youngest son, Connor, is currently a junior and able to celebrate win number 300 with his dad. The Cougars hope to add a third title to Naunton’s resume as they pursue another MIAA title crown.