Indomitable Scott Christopher, the former Maryland captain from Falls Church, has picked up with the Class AA Charlotte Orioles where he left off with the Class A Miami Baby O's. Christopher capped a .285 batting season in the Florida League by swatting a homer and two singles in the playoff to wrap up 5-1 win over Lakeland in September. Came April, opening day in Charlotte, outfielder Christopher thrilled a packed house of 6,000 by smacking a double, then a two-run homer to beat Chattanooga, 3-2.

Speaker at the Terrapin winter baseball banquet, Christopher hasn't been known for power but for speed and savvy - 38 steals in 39 tries last year - and only a switch-hitting experiment ordered by the parent Orioles kept the determination kid from batting well up in the .300 bracket.

Determined? The never-drafted Christopher, signed by the Orioles a couple years back for his speed and spunk, was as of June 4 spanking Double-A pitching at a .345 rate right-handed - and struggling at .187 left-handed, but promising, "I'm gonna be as good from that side of the plate as the right." Big time, here he comes? "We do consider him a prospect," a Baltimore Oriole organization man replies . . .