May 24, 2018
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UMaine’s Bazdanes shines for Sanford

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

A.J. Bazdanes had a somewhat inconsistent junior season with the University of Maine baseball team in 2011.

He appears to have ironed a few things out this summer.

The righthanded pitcher from Nashua, N.H., has been outstanding for Sanford during the early portion of the New England Collegiate Baseball League schedule. Bazdanes worked 7 1/3 strong innings Friday night in the Mainers’ 4-2 victory over Old Orchard Beach at Goodall Park in Sanford.

Bazdanes took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, before Binghamton University’s Bill Bereszniewicz stroked a one-out single. Bazdanes (2-0) wound up allowing only four hits and two runs with one strikeout and two walks.

Bazdanes was throwing to catcher Matt Verrier of Norway, who will be a sophomore at UMaine in the fall.

He has made four appearances, including three starts, for Sanford manager Aaron Izaryk, who formerly was Bazdanes’ pitching coach at UMaine. Bazdanes has posted a nifty 1.13 earned run average, giving up 10 hits with 10 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 innings.

Sanford leads the Eastern Division of the NECBL with an 11-9 record.

In Friday’s game, Bazdanes squared off against two other Black Bear teammates in Raging Tide shortstop Michael Fransoso and designated hitter Fran Whitten. Each player went 0-for-3 and failed to get the ball out of the infield.

Fransoso is batting .289 with a homer, 10 runs batted in and five stolen bases, which makes him by far the most productive UMaine batter in the NECBL. Whitten is batting .183.

Bilodeau ‘dealing,’ negotiating

Down on Cape Cod, where the competition is even stiffer, another Black Bear is pitching well in his own backyard.

Righthander Keith Bilodeau has been outstanding while filling a spot in the starting rotation of the Chatham Anglers.

Bilodeau, drafted in the 24th round last month by the San Francisco Giants, is enjoying the scenery only a 45-minute drive from his home in Bourne.

Pitching against some of the top collegiate talent in the nation, Bilodeau is 0-1 with a 1.78 ERA in four starts thus far for the Anglers. He is coming off a solid effort in Chatham’s 6-5 loss Saturday night at Wareham.

Bilodeau went six innings against the Gatemen, giving up six hits and three runs, only one of which was earned. He struck out six and walked two.

In four outings, all starts, he has surrendered only 24 hits in 25 1/3 innings while notching 27 strikeouts and only eight walks.

UMaine head baseball coach Steve Trimper said Bilodeau continues to negotiate with the Giants on a contract and still may very well sign prior to the Aug. 15 deadline. Bilodeau could return for his senior season at UMaine after leading the Bears to the America East title and an NCAA regional berth last spring.

Bilodeau pitched 15 1/3 shutout innings to open the Cape League season before giving up four in a July 2 loss to Harwich.

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