May 21, 2013

USM's Dexter: A young star yearns to learn

Sam Dexter is just a freshman, but the talented shortstop has a thirst for baseball knowledge.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Sam Dexter hadn’t won a championship until he led Messalonskee High to the state title in 2012. A year later, he’s got a second title, the NCAA Division III New England crown.

Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

D-III BASEBALL

WHAT: Eight-team, double-elimination tournament to determine the national champion

WHEN: Friday-Tuesday

WHERE: Appleton, Wis.

USM'S OPENER: 11 a.m. Friday, vs. Millsaps College (from Jackson, Miss.)

Dexter said he has made a few adjustments, most in his hitting approach. But "at the end of the day, it's still baseball," he said.

As for his text to the coach, Dexter said: "I'm thinking about baseball a lot. I have certain plays running through my mind and I want to be doing the right thing when the ball is hit to a certain spot. Coach Flaherty and his staff have a lot of baseball knowledge and I want to use it to my advantage. I've learned a lot in 49 games."

Dexter has played in all but one game. He missed the first Western New England game in the tournament when the flu bug hit the team.

Dexter is batting .356 in the leadoff position. His 22 doubles lead the team. His 73 hits is third. Dexter also has four home runs, two triples and has been successful on 13 of 15 steal attempts.

After hitting third at Messalonskee and in Legion ball, Dexter said he has learned to like batting leadoff.

"I've learned my role. I still get a little overanxious at the plate. I usually don't take too many pitches," he said.

Dexter is the son of Tom Dexter, the long-time Colby College baseball and football assistant coach. Dexter and his younger brother Jake, a sophomore at Messalonskee spent many hours on the Waterville campus tossing baseballs and footballs around and learning the games from the ground up.

"I think it was like my sons (Ryan and Regan) here at USM," said Flaherty.

Dexter was the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year in football, hockey and baseball his senior year. He was the Maine Sunday Telegram's Athlete of the Year in 2012.

"Being an all-around athlete has given Sam a lot of competitive spirit," said Flaherty.

"It carries over to the way he plays in the clutch. I feel it gives him an edge."

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

 

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