Husson enjoys strong start on trip to Florida

Posted March 18, 2009, at 11:04 p.m.

The Husson University baseball team built some momentum on its spring trip to Florida, returning with a 9-4 record and some impressive statistics.

“It was a very good trip. Guys stepped up in key spots,” said Jason Harvey, who has been elevated from interim coach to head coach. “We wanted to have a winning record and we wanted to see where we were. Most of the time, if we come back with a winning record, we’ve gone on to have a pretty successful season.”

The Eagles hit .298 and averaged 6.92 runs per game. They stole 29 bases in 31 attempts.

“We had very good balance,” said Harvey. “We had guys getting on base and we had some speed out there. We stole bases when we needed to. And everyone, one through nine, had a moment during the trip when he stepped it up and executed what we needed from him.”

Bucksport’s Chris Maguire, a sophomore, paced the attack by hitting .380 with a team-high 14 runs batted in and eight doubles. He was a third baseman last year but has made the move to first.

“He came up with some huge clutch hits,” said Harvey.

Sophomore shortstop Ethan Guerette from Wales, an All-North Atlantic first-team choice last season, hit .340 with 10 RBIs and eight stolen bases in eight attempts.

Belfast senior catcher Nick Arthers hit .318 with a homer and seven RBIs and he also scored 11 runs.

Senior right fielder Jeff Miller, who played at Brewer High School, and freshman second baseman Cody Haverly-Johndro from Newport each hit .308. Miller homered and knocked in eight runs and went 4-for-5 in stolen bases. Haverly-Johndro had five RBIs.

Sophomore center fielder Tom Crews of Bangor hit .293 with a homer and 11 RBIs and went 6-for-7 in steals. DH-first baseman Dennis Graham (.273-0-6), freshman third baseman Jake Arthers (.257-0-3), Nick’s brother, and freshman left fielder Kyle Vanidestine from Bangor (.256-1-7, 11 runs, 5-for-5 in stolen bases) also had some clutch hits.

“The biggest thing with our hitters is they are more disciplined this year,” said Harvey. “They’ve been sitting on fastballs and hitting it. They’ve stayed away from off-speed pitches unless there’s two strikes on them.”

Sophomore lefty Ryan Arsenault from Portland was expected to head up the starting rotation and he lived up to expectations by going 1-0 with an 0.42 earned run average. He allowed just 10 hits in 21ª innings.

“He was lights out every time he pitched. He keeps us in every game and gives us a chance to win,” said Harvey.

Bangor sophomore Kyle Leeman (2-0, 3.18) also threw the ball impressively as did Hampden senior Chris Pease (1-1, 3.27) and junior Chris Morris (2-0, 4.24).

Graham has become the closer and was 1-0 with two saves in four scoreless appearances covering four innings.

“He threw the ball extremely well. He pounds the strike zone and that’s what we need,” said Harvey.

Opponents hit only .246 against the Eagles staff and had just 19 extra-base hits.

The one negative was the 34 errors.

“[Defense] is what we’ve been stressing since we’ve come back home. You can’t give teams extra outs. We’ve got to make plays,” said the 25-year-old Harvey, whose Eagles will play road doubleheaders at Johnson and Wales (R.I.) and Bridgewater State (Mass.) this weekend.

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