Two players at the heart of their teams’ rise to the top of the American Legion baseball standings this summer have been named the Zone 1 player and pitcher of the year.
Eric White, a third baseman from Brewer, was selected as the player of the year by the zone’s coaches, while Joe Stanevicz of Bangor was chosen pitcher of the year.
Dan Kane, who returned this summer as head coach of the Acadians of Blue Hill and led the Hancock County team to a third-place finish in the Zone 1 standings, was named coach of the year.
White, a recent Brewer High School graduate who was a finalist for the state’s Mr. Baseball award during the high school season, backed that up this summer by batting .512 with seven home runs, 30 RBIs and 22 runs scored while leading the Brewer Legion team to a 12-4 record and the No. 2 seed for the Zone 1 tournament that begins Thursday at Husson University in Bangor.
White earned first-team All Zone 1 honors for the third straight year, having made the team as an outfielder in 2008 and a utility player last summer.
“Eric is obviously a great baseball player, but the other thing is that he’s a great individual and has a great head on his shoulders,” said Brewer Legion coach Chris Morris of White, who will join the University of Maine baseball program this fall.
“It just makes it easier for a coach when he’s out there on the field and recognizes different things, not just hitting and but defensively, too. I don’t think people realize how good he is defensively, he takes away a lot of base hits from people. He plays a great third base.”
Stanevicz, who just completed his junior season at Bangor High School, anchored the Bangor Legion pitching staff this summer as the Comrades won the Zone 1 regular-season title with a 14-2 record. The lefthander went 5-1 with one save, striking out 34 batters and allowing just 18 hits in 30¤ innings while compiling a 0.92 earned run average.
“He’s had a tremendous year,” said Bangor Legion coach Dave Morris. “He’s worked really hard. He worked all winter long and then had a great high school season and it’s just continued this summer.
“He’s really made a step forward from last year to this year, but I also think there’s a great up-side for him. There’s a lot of improvement he can still make.”
Stanevicz was one of eight Bangor players to earn either first- or second-team All-Zone 1 honors.
Yet there was balance among the selections, particularly on the first team as Bangor, Brewer and Lincoln each was represented by four players while the Acadians, Hampden-Newport and Motor City of Orono had two players each.
Joining Stanevicz on the first team from Bangor were pitcher Nate Lewis (3-0, 3.38 ERA), catcher Dylan Morris (.486, 18 RBIs) and third baseman Devin Lyshon (.442, 11 RBI).
Representing Brewer were White, pitcher Kyle McLain (4-1, 2.24 ERA), second baseman Brandon Gendreau (.347, 10 RBIs) and outfielder Chase Daniels (.490, 18 RBI, 13 stolen bases), who along with White were the only repeat first-team choices from a year ago.
Lincoln’s first-team contingent was first baseman Ivan Voisine (.321, 14 RBI), third baseman Ryan Beers (.308, 17 RBIs) and outfielders Andy Kay (.554, eight home runs, 28 RBIs) and Lance Bernier (.383, 16 RBIs, 16 SBs).
Rounding out the first team were shortstop Nolan Turner (.454, 18 RBIs, 13 SB) and designated hitter Cody Miller (.442, 23 RBIs) of Hampden-Newport, pitcher Chris Hammond (2-0, 3.31 ERA) and utility player Casey Estes (.510, 14 SB) of Motor City, and pitcher Peter Dickinson (3-1, 30 strikeouts in 28 innings) and outfielder Devin Young (.500, six home runs, 17 RBIs) of the Acadians.