Sports

Southern Aroostook baseball squad looks to build on last year’s success

DYER BROOK, Maine — A year ago, the Southern Aroostook baseball team was the Cinderella story of the season.

The Warriors, thanks to the addition of a couple of Houlton players when the Shires were unable to field a team, had an incredible year on the diamond and advanced all the way to the Northern Maine Championship.

But several key players from that squad graduated, and the Houlton athletes returned to their own school this spring, leaving the Warriors as a bit of an unknown coming into this season.

Todd Collier, a 1997 alum of SACS, returns for his sixth season as the coach of the Warriors. 

Last year, the Warriors finished with a  regular season 12-2 and eventually lost in the Northern Maine Championship to Machias 8-13. 

“We lost five starters from last year, but have a good nucleus of returning players and freshmen,” Collier said. “We should be a really good hitting team again this year, with a good pitching staff.”

Members of the Southern Aroostook baseball squad for 2022 are seniors Chris Caswell, Hunter Burpee, Ethan Webb and Devon Tarr; juniors Camden Porter, AJ. Lewis, and Robert Robinson; sophomores Brennan Burpee and Connor Walker; and freshmen Trafton Russell, Ethan Collier and Jacob Ellingwood.

Caswell will likely serve as the squad’s ace pitcher for the season. Caswell received the start for the Warriors in their season-opening game on April 25 at Hodgdon and showed good arm strength in delivering fastballs.

Porter will likely serve as the team’s starting catcher, handling the bulk of the backstop duties and calling pitches for the staff.

Hunter Burpee, fresh off scoring the 1,000th point of his basketball career and helping the Warriors win their first state championship in decades, will handle the hot corner at third base and also brings a strong bat to the lineup. 

“I feel our defense will improve throughout the season,” Collier said. “We are looking to make a deep playoff run again this year.”

HODGDON, Maine — April 25, 2022 — Firing a pitch to the plate is Southern Aroostook’s Chris Caswell during Monday’s season-opening game with Hodgdon. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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