Moscow native and former Upper Kennebec Valley High of Bingham standout Cody Laweryson is one of five Black Bears who earned a berth on the All-America East baseball team.
Junior Laweryson, who has allowed two earned runs or less in 11 of his last 12 starts, was one of three UMaine players on the first team along with junior right fielder Hernen Sardinas and senior designated hitter Danny Casals.
Sophomore Joe Bramanti was selected to the second team and catcher Ryan Turenne was chosen to the All-Rookie Team by the league’s coaches.
Two others, senior second baseman Caleb Kerbs and sophomore pitcher Peter Kemble, were named to the All-Academic team.
Stony Brook junior shortstop Nicke Grande was the Player of the Year, Binghamton junior right-hander Ben Anderson was the Pitcher of the Year, Binghamton left-handed pitcher Thomas Babalis was the Rookie of the Year and Jon Mueller of Albany was the league’s Coach of the Year.
Casals earned first-team honors for the second consecutive year. Sardinas was a second-team pick last year.
Laweryson compiled a 5-4 record with a league-low 2.60 earned run average in 13 starts. He struck out 67 and walked 20 in 65 2/3 innings.
“He has been phenomenal all year long,” said UMaine coach Nick Derba. “He is an ace. He has been, arguably, the best pitcher in the conference. He is a big-time competitor.”
Opponents hit just .238 against him and he surrendered only three home runs.
Sardinas has belted a league-high 11 homers and he also leads the Black Bears in hits (57), runs batted in (32), total bases (107), slugging percentage (.566), at-bats (.189) and on-base percentage plus slugging average (OPS) at .925. He is second on the team in hitting at .302 and has 15 multiple-hit games. He has 13 doubles.
“He is the best hitter in the conference, in my opinion,” Derba said. “There aren’t many guys who can lose the ball (homer) every time they swing the bat.”
Casals, despite being slowed by a sore shoulder that has forced him to be the DH instead of the third baseman, is hitting .280 with seven homers, 32 RBIs and 12 doubles. He is also 11-for-11 in stolen bases.
“He has been a middle-of-the-lineup guy for us for four years. He is a very intelligent hitter and is mature beyond his years,” Derba said.
Bramanti, who played in just six games as a freshman, has played in all 47 games. The first baseman leads the team in hitting (.304) and in on-base percentage (.412). He has 13 doubles and has scored 33 runs and is second in RBIs (31) with three homers.
He has also made just four errors in 374 chances.
“He has really surprised us in that he won the job right away. We thought he could help us out but he has done a lot more than that,” Derba said. “As he continues to get stronger, he will be a very difficult out. His power numbers will jump the next few years.”
Turenne became the starting catcher when Cody Pasic was moved to third to take the place of the ailing Casals, who became the DH. He has responded by hitting a solid .253 with two homers and 13 RBIs.
“He is going to be a force to be reckoned with through the rest of his career,” Derba said. “And he has gotten so much better behind the plate.”