Husson University senior slugger Nick Arthers wanted his senior year to be meaningful.
The catcher from Belfast, who transferred to Husson following his freshman year at the University of Maine, didn’t want to duplicate his sophomore and junior years when he hit .203 and .213, respectively.
So far, so good.
Following a 10-for-12 weekend with 13 RBIs against Lyndon State, Arthers is hitting .414 and leading the Eagles most offensive categories.
In addition to batting average, he also leads in hits (36), homers (5), runs batted in (34), total bases (66), slugging percentage (.759) and on-base percentage (.505). He is second in runs scored (26) and triples (2) and he has struck out just 12 times in 87 at-bats.
“I have really focused more. I want to end my career with a good season,” said Arthers. “Last year was difficult for me. I told myself I wasn’t going to do that again, I wasn’t going to put myself through all that. I’m really going to try to lead this team and really produce.”
He has made some adjustments at the plate and it has been paying dividends.
“I’ve tried to keep my weight back a lot more. Last year, I was striding a little bit too much,” said Arthers. “Catching has really helped me see the ball out of the pitcher’s hand.”
“He sees the ball extremely well, his weight distribution is great and his hands are fast as hell,” said Lyndon State coach Ryan Farley.
“He’s a lot bigger and stronger this year and it is paying off for him,” said Saint Joseph’s College coach Will Sanborn. “We told our guys we needed to be careful [pitching to him] but we weren’t careful enough. He hit one over the fence against us.”
Arthers belted a three-run homer in an 8-4 loss to Saint Joseph’s on April 1.
“I think he was trying to do a little too much last year,” said Husson senior infielder-outfielder Billy Shannon. “This year, he’s just trying to put the ball in play and hit it hard and he has been doing a good job of that.”
“He has been unbelievable,” said Husson sophomore shortstop Ethan Guerette. “He has been hitting the ball deep and getting hits when we need them.”
Arthers hadn’t caught since he was 13 but saw some limited duty behind the plate last season before becoming the full-time catcher this year.
“I didn’t know I had it in me,” said Arthers. “The position is starting to grow on me. It’s a little tough because this is my last year. But it has really helped me. I’m real happy with the way I’m playing right now.”
Arthers has thrown out seven out of 28 base-stealers.
Arthers, who is a captain, credits his teammates for his success and in helping him lead the team.
“It’s not just me out here, it’s all these other guys. [Right fielder] Jeff [Miller] is having a great year, too,” said Arthers. “And all the freshmen [are contributing]. Having these guys on the team makes it a lot easier for me to play my game.”
“Nick is a tremendous leader on and off the field,” said Miller. “He has been seeing the ball well and has really given us a big spark we need right now.
”He has been our most consistent offensive player all year long,” said Miller.