Fight night in Candlestick Park -- it came to that, Manager Dave Bristol versus pitcher John (Count) Montefusco -- after the San Franciso Giants staved off the New York Mets in the Wednesday late, late show.

"I'll be out of here soon," Montefusco predicted yesterday, blackened eye in evidence because, the angry pitcher said, Bristol "sucker-punched me."

"I didn't throw the first punch," countered Bristol, scratched face and all.

By "out of here," Montefusco meant by trade. He had hoped to leave the Giants before the June 15 swapping deadline; nothing materialized, but now he believes he may get his wish yet -- "June 15th doesn't mean anything when something like this happens."

The ruckus erupted because Montefusco was out of there too soon to suit him in the midst of a Met ninth-inning rally. He'd seen the bullpen turn a 6-2 lead he left it on Sunday at New York into a 7-6 Met victory on a five-run ninth. Now he found himself removed with an 8-2 lead (two on, none out).

The Giants hung on, 8-5, but Montefusco couldn't wait to storm Bristol's office after the game.

And the manager, dealing with a man who also made life miserable for predecessor Joe Altobelli, "did what I had to do. I don't want anyone screaming at me, telling me this and that . . . a player dictating to a manager." Wham! And when players and coaches burst in, they found the pair wrestling on the floor, Montefesco gripping Bristol in a headlock.

"Bristol provoked it," said the Count."He kept pushing me -- at least 10 times -- before he suckerer-punched me."

Maryland's basketball team has begun its Japan trip not only without Olympic team member Buck Williams, But without Albert King -- though Coach Lefty Drisell said an assistant might bring him along later. But how about the Atlantic Coast athlete of the year? Just elected by the ACC Sports Writers Association, the envelopes please: runner-up, Albert King; winner, Julia Shea, N.C. State's national champion distance runner. First woman to win the award . . .

New NBA life for an old Terp: Len Elmore signed by the Milwaukee Bucks, who gave Kansas City a second-round 1981 draft choice for the free agent. . . .

Richie Moran, Maryland lacrosse star of yesteryear who has coached Cornell to three NCAA championships while posting a 137-23 record there since 1969, has been named assistant athletic director at the upstate New York school (while continuing his coaching duties). So much for reports Moran might be headed back to College Park as successor to resigned Bud Beardmore . . . And so much for J. Thomas Barranger, 32, as lacrosse coach at Harford Community College of Bel Air, Md. His 1980 team went 0-10, but with his resignation now, let it be noted he had a few distractions. Barranger is Harford County executive; besides the myriad duties of office, he's preparing to stand trial Sept. 17 on charges of extortion, perjury and election law violations -- all the while answering criticism that he spent too much time at lacrosse practice . . .

Dayle Tate, the Penn State quarterback out of Lee H.S. in Northern Virginia, has quit the game with a year of eligibility left. Tate suffered broken collarbones twice, broken jaw, hand injury, etc., etc., but battled his way into starting status for much of 1979. He plans to finish school, look for a job . . .