TJ Liponis was a four-year starter for the Scarborough High baseball team, hitting .408 with 14 runs, 14 RBI and 13 steals last year as a senior to earn Varsity Maine All-State honors. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

TJ Liponis called the two games against Ithaca College last week in the super regionals of the NCAA Division III baseball tournament “definitely the two biggest games of my life.” They also may have been the games in which the Scarborough native really hit his stride in his first season of college ball.

TJ Liponis

A freshman shortstop for Endicott College, Liponis went 3 for 8 in the two wins over Ithaca, driving in a run to help the Gulls advance to the Division III national championships for the first time. Endicott, based in Beverly, Massachusetts, is one of eight teams in the double-elimination championship tournament.

“Yeah, there’s always pressure,” Liponis said, “but there’s always support from your teammates to help with that pressure.”

Ranked No. 4 in the latest national poll, Endicott (45-7) will begin play against No. 12 Baldwin Wallace (36-10) of Berea, Ohio, at 2:15 p.m. Friday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The game is a rematch of the 2022 super regionals, in which Baldwin Wallace eliminated Endicott.

A Varsity Maine All-State selection as a senior at Scarborough last year, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Liponis jumped right into Endicott’s lineup this season, starting 51 of the Gulls’ 52 games. Typically batting ninth in Endicott’s lineup, Liponis has a .243 average with a .336 on-base percentage to go with three home runs, 35 RBI and 37 runs. Selected Commonwealth Coast Conference Rookie of the Week four times during the regular season, Liponis was named third-team all-conference.

When he joined the team last fall, Liponis expected to be a role player in his first season, filling in at various positions with an occasional start as he got used to college baseball. As the fall practice season ended, Coach Bryan Haley told Liponis he could see a lot of playing time when the season began in March.


“That’s what we hoped when we recruited him,” Haley said. “(Liponis) is an outstanding defender and has a great baseball IQ. He had a lot of quality at-bats in big moments this season. He put in the hard work in the weight room.”

The two wins over Ithaca in the super regional are good examples of Liponis’ development, Haley said.

“He hit some balls hard. He got a key (sacrifice) bunt down. TJ had a very productive series,” he said.

Defensively, Liponis has been steady, with just six errors in 187 chances.

“He gets to a lot of balls and makes the plays,” Haley said. “He has room to grow physically. He needs to continue to be a well-rounded player and continue to work on his approach at the plate.”

The one game Liponis missed was against Salem State on April 11, after being hit by a pitch on the spine in the previous game against Curry. Getting used to the longer college season was the biggest adjustment Liponis had to make.


“In high school, the season is 16 games. The jump to 40 (the number of games Endicott played in the regular season) is a big toll,” Liponis said. “You have to take care of your body. On the days I had on my own, I just stretched and relaxed and rested.”

Eventually, Liponis would like to work in data analysis for a professional baseball team. In that regard, he’s already make contacts. Joe Cronin, himself a former Scarborough shortstop who played his college ball at Boston College, works in data analysis with the Boston Red Sox.

“I actually worked out with (Cronin) over the winter break. We went to the batting cages,” Liponis said. “It’s nice to have those connections.”

When Endicott’s run at the NCAA tournament is over, Liponis will head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and join the Little River Lagoon of the Beach Collegiate Baseball League, a summer league similar to the New England Collegiate Baseball League, which includes the Sanford Mainers.

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