March 24, 2013

Rigors of the road, rather than the cold, early test for UMaine

Because of America East's rules changes, the UMaine baseball team is likely to play a lot of away games early.

By Glenn Jordan
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Fransoso, a four-year starter at shortstop, said he feels 100 percent healthy for the first time since his freshman year, thanks to a second surgery last summer on his right hip. He hit .327 as a junior with 19 stolen bases, 26 RBI and a team-high 59 runs scored.

"No doubt in my mind he'll be signing a (professional) contact at the end of the year," Trimper said. "He's our No. 3 hitter and the best shortstop in the conference. When Michael goes, the whole team goes."

Instead of the regular-season champion hosting the conference tournament, the top four teams will gather Memorial Day weekend at Edward A. LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass., home of the Class A rookie-league Spinners. The winner of the double-elimination tourney advances to one of 16 NCAA regionals, whose winners advance to one of eight super regionals for the right to compete in Omaha, Neb., at the College World Series.

Last year, Stony Brook stunned heavily-favored Louisiana State in a best-of-three super regional to become the first America East winner to reach Omaha. Under a format more friendly for teams from the Northeast, Maine advanced to the College World Series seven times between 1964 and 1986.

"Now, wherever we go, we hear 'Man, your conference is pretty good,' " Trimper said. "A lot of people think you're tucked into the Northeast corner and maybe you get lucky every now and then. But our goal is to get to the end, and have a good regional weekend, and before you know it you're sitting in the super regional if you pitch well."

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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