Two Saturdays ago, Tyler Desjardins was the talk of the town.
The Brewer High School pitcher had just completed one of the more notable high school performances statewide this year — a two-hit shutout over previously undefeated Bangor to send the Witches to the Eastern Maine Class A final.
That Desjardins had seen only limited duty on the mound throughout the spring made the story even more impressive, as the righthander had stepped up to fill the void left by injured ace Pat McEwen.
Yet just a few days later, Desjardins was a player without a team — the result of confusion or a disagreement or something in between about his availability during the American Legion postseason.
After going through tryouts with the Brewer Falcons, Desjardins informed coach Chris Morris that he had a trip to Massachusetts planned for the end of July at the earliest.
It was no ordinary summer vacation, but a trip he and three classmates had won by building a parabolic microphone in an engineering-related honors class.
The group earned VIP tickets to a New England Patriots preseason game, the chance to meet players and the opportunity to use their prized creation at the game. They also will get a tour of a Raytheon engineering plant — something particularly appealing to Desjardins, who will begin studies in the University of Maine’s mechanical engineering program this fall.
The conflict with baseball apparently concerned exactly when that trip would take place. Desjardins originally said it wouldn’t take place until late July at the earliest, which concerned Morris because that coincided with American Legion postseason play, which begins with the Zone 1 tourney in mid-July, followed by the state tournament from July 24 to Aug. 1 and the Northeast Regional to be held Aug. 5-9.
Morris admits Desjardins would be an asset to his pitching staff, but he had issues with having a pitcher on the roster who might not be available during the most important part of the season, as well as the need to use the regular season to develop sufficient pitching depth to handle the rigors of postseason play.
Desjardins just wanted to play one last season of Legion ball — he’ll be eligible again in 2011 but hopes to be serving an internship next summer in pursuit of his career goals, perhaps at Raytheon.
Ultimately Desjardins was cut from the Falcons roster.
But as it turns out, this may have been much ado about nothing. The Patriot preseason football game involved isn’t until Aug. 12, which means it only would have presented a conflict had Brewer qualified for the American Legion national tournament.
Such are the complications of putting together a team in any sport, particularly all-star teams such as basically found in the American Legion ranks, where most programs draw from multiple schools — in the Falcons’ case Brewer and Bucksport high schools.
Perhaps the good news here is that both have moved on.
Brewer was unbeaten heading into Thursday’s game against the Penquis Navigators.
And while Desjardins is disappointed not to be playing with his high school mates this summer, he’s found another Legion home with Hampden-Newport, which allowed Desjardins to fill the final vacancy on its 18-player roster.
Perhaps this mini-controversy will be settled on the field. Brewer and Hampden-Newport are scheduled to play a doubleheader on July 10 — and then there’s always the zone tournament.