LOWELL, Mass. – Minutes after Tommy Lawrence threw the last of his 104 pitches in Maine’s opening 7-0 shutout of No. 4 Stony Brook in the first game of the America East baseball tournament, he approached Coach Steve Trimper in the clubhouse beneath the stands at LeLacheur Park.
“Coach, I’m good for Friday. I can start Friday if you need me.”
Trimper declined the offer, but Lawrence persisted.
“Coach, I did it in high school,” he said, “so I can do it again.”
“And there was not a smile on his face,” Trimper said. “So now I’m like, ‘Hmmm. Maybe. We’ll see.’“
Lawrence’s complete-game shutout had Trimper rethinking his decision to start Mike Connolly Thursday night against Binghamton, a 9-0 winner over Albany.
Connolly is a first-team all-America East selection as a catcher and a second-team selection as a pitcher. He went 5-3 with a league-leading 2.04 ERA holding opponents to a .202 batting average.
“We didn’t want to leave one of our all-conference pitchers on the bench in two games,” Trimper said.
Now that Maine is guaranteed at least three games, Trimper waited to find out Thursday night’s opponent before deciding on his starter, which could very well be A.J. Bazdanes.
THIRD BASEMAN Eric White of Brewer wound up fifth in the league with a .329 batting average, but Trimper said he should have been north of .400.
“I’ve never seen a kid hit the ball so hard in Florida for the first 15 games and end up hitting about .100,” Trimper said. “It was almost comical. It’s part of the game, but he hasn’t gotten hot lately, he’s been hot all year. He’s a big part of our lineup.”
In limited action, White batted .189 as a sophomore and .221 as a freshman. This season, he finished second in the conference in home runs (5), third in slugging (.474), fourth in total bases (82), and fifth in runs scored (35) and hits (57) and sixth in RBI (31) and on-base percentage (.399).
SENIOR CAPTAIN Michael Fransoso showed no ill effects from the pitch that struck him in the face last Tuesday at Boston College. The swelling has gone down and his blurred vision cleared up.
Fransoso led the league in runs (41) and RBI (45). He was second in slugging (.508) and on-base percentage (.435).
“The only problem I’ve got is that I’ve got to wear these sunglasses during the night game with the lights on,” he said. “My regular prescription glasses, with the clear lenses, haven’t come in yet. They’re still in California, waiting to ship out.”
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at firstname.lastname@example.org