Martin, Bilodeau head UMaine all-conference selections

Posted May 24, 2011, at 3:19 p.m.
Last modified May 25, 2011, at 12:54 a.m.

Joey Martin of Portland and Keith Bilodeau of Bourne, Mass., headline a list of nine University of Maine baseball players who on Tuesday were recognized by the America East Conference.

Martin, a senior outfielder, and Bilodeau, a junior righthanded pitcher, were selected for the all-conference first team.

The Black Bears had six second-team choices, including pitchers Jeff Gibbs and Shaun Coughlin, first baseman Justin Leisenheimer, shortstop Michael Fransoso, second baseman Troy Black and third baseman Alex Calbick.

Redshirt freshman Fran Whitten, Black and Calbick were chosen for the All-Rookie team.

Stony Brook claimed a clean sweep of the major awards. William Carmona was named the player of the year, NIck Tropeano was selected as the pitcher of the year, Brandon McNitt was the rookie of the year and Matt Senk claimed coach of the year honors.

Martin, UMaine’s only senior starter, claimed his first all-conference award. Playing mostly right field, Martin batted .326 with four home runs and 41 RBIs. He also stole 16 bases in 20 tries.

Martin ranked first on the team in hits (61), RBIs and total bases (87) and was second with 25 walks. He committed only two errors in 198 chances.

“He was that leader on the field and got some huge hit for us this year,” Maine coach Steve Trimper said. “That really led our offense and got us jumpstarted in conference play.”

Trimper praised Martin for his professionalism and said he knows how to approach the game.

Bilodeau moved up to the first team after earning a second-team spot in 2010. He registered a 9-2 record with a 2.97 earned run average.

Bilodeau pitched four complete games and wound up allowing only 68 hits while striking out a team-leading 71 batters in 75 2/3 innings. Opponents batted .246 against him. He was 7-0 with a 1.76 ERA in America East games.

“He worked tremendously hard to get himself physically in great shape, and also mentally,” Trimper said. “He led us as a No. 1 starter and it’s so much fun having a kid that you knew you had a great chance to win every time he went out there.”

Gibbs was accorded second-team recognition for the second year in a row. The righty had a 6-5 record and a 3.90 ERA, holding opponents to a .229 batting average. He was 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA in league play.

Fransoso, an all-rookie pick in 2010, successfully made the move from second base to shortstop after coming back from January hip surgery. The sophomore batted .307 with four homers and 28 RBIs and also stole 17 bases in 19 tries. He stroked a team-high 14 doubles and helped turn most of UMaine’s 52 double plays.

Leisenheimer, a redshirt junior, had his best season as a Black Bear. He posted a .333 batting average while belting a team-high seven home runs. He knocked in 21 runs and was hit by a pitch a team-leading 11 times while fielding at .989.

Black burst onto the scene as an impactful presence at bat and in the field. The freshman led UMaine with a .400 batting average and finished with 16 RBIs in 30 games, including 22 starts. Black fielded at .989 and was the other half of the Bears’ double-play tandem.

Calbick stepped in as the starter at third base during his freshman season. He hit .285 with four homers and 25 RBIs. He also scored 27 runs.

Coughlin, a righthanded pitcher, was another of UMaine’s productive freshmen. He had a 3-1 record with a 2.68 ERA and struck out 30. Opponents batted .228 against him.

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