RINDGE, N.H. — Ryan Leach of Franklin Pierce University enjoyed a unique thrill Friday when he pitched a no-hitter.
The sophomore right-hander from Farmingdale was named the Northeast 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week after he stymied Adelphi University in the Ravens’ 11-0 victory at Pappas Field in Rindge, N.H.
Leach, who played his high school ball at Hall-Dale High in Farmingdale, faced only two batters over the minimum in fashioning the gem. He struck out 12, walked two and hit a batter.
Leach has a 5-1 record this season and has won his last five decisions. He boasts a 2.25 earned run average and has held opposing hitters to a .197 batting average, including .140 in conference play.
He has struck out 42 and walked 10 in 44 innings of work. Leach is averaging 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
NLI signing period begins
Wednesday marked the first day of the National Letter of Intent regular signing period for basketball.
That means University of Maine head coaches Ted Woodward and Richard Barron will be anxiously awaiting news on how many of their recruits will become Black Bears starting in August.
Players can sign the contract, which guarantees them a scholarship for one year and locks them into attending UMaine, through the end of the regular period for basketball, which ends May 16.
Both Black Bear teams are in need of reinforcements. The UMaine men have four scholarships available after Dimitry Akanda-Coronel was the only player to sign during the early NLI period last November.
That means, barring any departures other than the five outgoing seniors, Woodward should have had at least four scholarships to offer for the incoming class of players.
The UMaine women also have space to bring several players on board to join the program. The Black Bears bid farewell to three seniors, while four others have also departed.
UMaine signed three players in November, including Liz Wood of Bealeton, Va., Lauren Bodine of Louisville, Ky., and Brittany Wells of Indianapolis. Now, after an extensive recruiting trip through Europe, Barron hopes to bring in at least two or three more players.
The Bears are expected to be down to four healthy returning players, so the newcomers are likely to play significant roles next season.
Developments during the next five weeks will help provide a glimpse of how both UMaine teams will bounce back during 2012-13.
UMaine football on the field
The UMaine football team is well into its spring practice schedule after beginning workouts on April 5.
Coach Jack Cosgrove and the Black Bears are trying to build off the momentum generated during their 9-4 season that included an NCAA postseason victory at Appalachian State and a berth in the Football Championship Subdivision national quarterfinals.
UMaine, ranked No. 8 in the final FCS national polls, have some significant challenges ahead as they go through spring practices.
Cosgrove first must pull together a coaching staff that has been significantly revamped. UMaine’s newcomers include defensive coordinator Paul Ferraro, offensive line coach Jeff Ambrosie and wide receivers coach and offensive special teams coordinator Kyle Archer.
The Bears also must establish a quarterback after seniors Warren Smith and Chris Treister of Cape Elizabeth completed their eligibility last fall. Returnees include Marcus Wasilewski, who will be a junior in the fall, along with classmate John Ebeling and walk-on redshirt sophomore Ryan Stroud of Dover-Foxcroft.
UMaine will participate in 15 on-field practices this spring, culminating with the annual Jeff Cole Memorial Scrimmage scheduled for 10 a.m. April 28.