Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Thomas College baseball coach Greg King knows the type of player he wants to recruit because he already has one in senior Cody Vigue.
SWINGING AWAY: Thomas College’s Cody Vigue batted .341 with 29 RBIs last season. The Skowhegan Area High School graduate also had 18 extra base hits, including three home runs, and stole 10 bases. He also made only one error in center field.
Coach: Greg King
Last season: 25-17, 19-5 North Atlantic Conference
Key players: CF Cody Vigue (Sr.), SS Jeff Richardson (Sr.), C John Charves (Sr.), P Jake Chamblee (Sr.), P Eric Soucy (Sr.), P James McLamb (Jr.), P Tim Locke (So.).
Outlook: The Terriers recorded a school record 25 wins last season, including 19 in the NAC, another record. They return three veterans in the field in Vigue, Richardson and Charves, but their strength should be their pitching staff, which returns four starters from a staff that posted an overall earned run average of 4.90.
Coach: Jake Cohen
Last season: 4-11, 3-6 NAC
Key players: MF Gunner Shelton (Jr.), F Sean Machin (Jr.), MF Matt Davis (So.), D Isaac Brown (Sr.), D Tyler Mitchell (Jr.), MF Joseph Caraglia (Jr.), MF William Prue (So.), G Jesse Markeski (Sr.)
Outlook: With the bulk of the lineup returning, including three of the top four scorers, the Terriers should improve under first-year coach Jake Cohen. Shelton is the leading returning point getter with 28 while Machin led the team in goals with 21 and Davis added 15. In addition to Brown and Mitchell returning on defense, senior goalie Markeski is also back.
Coach: Jeff Fowler
Last season: 5-7, 5-6 NAC
Key players: Eric Morin (So.), Gersham Renee (So.), Jonte Russell (So.).
Outlook: The Terriers return their top singles player in Morin, who went 7-4 last season and was named co-rookie of the year in the North Atlantic Conference. He also went 6-5 in doubles. Renee, who won four singles matches and three in doubles, is also back along with Russell.
Coach: Terry Parlin
Last season: 15-25-1, 9-6-1 NAC
Key players: P Kelsey Crowe (Sr.), C Samantha Moore (Sr.), IF Lauren Hachey (Jr.), P McKayla Gastia (So.), SS Alyssa Eugley (So.)
Outlook: The Terriers return a senior battery in Crowe and Moore. Last season Crowe fanned 94 batters in 95 innings and posted an ERA of 4.42. She also drove in 19 runs. Moore led the team in hits with 34 and runs with 23 while Hachey knocked in 17 runs, Gastia hit .328 and Eugley belted two home runs.
Coach: Lauren Bickford
Last season: 5-7, 2-4 NAC
Key players: MF Ceara DiBiase (Sr.), MF Jenn Day (So.), MF Jasmine Ryan (Sr.), MF Jillian Lambert (Jr.), MF Brittany Premo (So.).
Outlook: The Terriers return the bulk of last season’s lineup, including their top five scorers. DiBiase was the top point getter with 29 goals and 11 assists while Day led the team in goals with 30. Picked fifth in the preseason NAC poll, the Terriers are off to a 3-3 start.
"He's a good tough kid," King said. "He's the type of kid we love."
Vigue is not only hard-nosed, but talented. King calls him one of the best athletes to play at Thomas, something he showed at Skowhegan Area High School where he starred in football, basketball and baseball. The center fielder played a key role in the Terriers' school-record, 25-win season last spring and hopes to lead a young team back to another successful year.
Thomas opened the season with a pair of losses -- 6-2 and 7-6 -- to Johnson and Wales, but Vigue is optimistic as the team prepares for a 10-game trip to Florida next week.
"This year I feel we're more athletic," he said. "Coming out of those two games, I definitely have a lot more confidence."
Vigue comes from a baseball background. Four of his uncles -- Ron, Steve, Jim and Tim Mayo -- excelled at the sport and he's continued the family tradition. He transferred to Thomas after one semester his freshman year and worked his way into the lineup halfway through the season. He's been there ever since.
Last season Vigue batted .341 with 29 RBI, had 18 extra base hits, including three home runs, and stole 10 bases. He also made just one error while playing center field.
"I expect big things from him, but I don't want to put pressure on him," King said. "When he gets too serious, that's just not him."
Vigue had above average speed and arm strength when he arrived at Thomas and quickly eliminated some holes in his swing. He's a contact hitter who last season walked just twice. He's already drawn one walk in the first two games, and may change his approach slightly this season with a young lineup around him.
"I've always been a free swinger," he said. "I don't really have the patience. This year I've got to sit back a little more."
Vigue considers himself a gap hitter, but showed he had home run power by belting three homers in the postseason tournament last spring. He's added 25 pounds of muscle since arriving at Thomas and said a conditioning program instituted last year has helped him greatly.
"The game comes easier to you when you're in better shape," he said.
King loves the way Vigue glides to the ball in the outfield, saying he's fun to watch because he's so athletic and graceful. One position he hasn't played yet is pitcher, although he's listed as an outfielder/pitcher on the roster. He pitched in high school but injuries have precluded getting Vigue on the mound the past couple of seasons.
"It's not that we don't want him to pitch," King said. "He's just so valuable in the outfield. We would like to use him as a closer."
Attending Thomas not only afforded Vigue a chance to continue playing baseball, it also got him into the criminal justice program.
"Once I started it, I fell in love with it," said Vigue, whose dream is to become a federal officer.
He figures he'll start at a local police department and got some good on-the-job training as an intern with the Augusta Police Department last fall.
Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638