Former Hampden Academy teammates Pat Moran and Ian Lee decided last year to transfer from the University of Maine to Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.
They have fit in nicely and helped the Monks baseball team to a 16-11 record this spring entering Wednesday’s games.
Winterport’s Moran is a pitcher-designated hitter and Hampden’s Lee has caught and played third base.
Moran is hitting .392 with 20 hits in 51 at-bats. He has hit two homers and driven in 13 runs. As a pitcher, he is 1-4 but has a respectable 3.95 earned run average.
Lee is hitting .329 with four doubles, a triple, a homer and 20 RBIs. He was named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week last week, hitting .417 with five RBIs.
“They have been great additions to our team,” said Saint Joseph’s second baseman and tri-captain Brian Schools.
Schools said Moran provides them with a quality starting pitcher while Lee is a valuable “versatile player.” He said both have been productive hitters.
Saint Joseph’s coach Will Sanborn said Moran “has really started to swing the bat like we thought he could. He’s been a tough-luck pitcher. He’s drawn a lot of our tougher opponents. It’s great to have somebody like Pat who can fill a dual role.”
Sanborn said Lee has “swung the bat well for us” while also giving them a solid defensive performer both at third and behind the plate.
“It has been a good change for me,” said Moran. “I like the whole attitude of the team. Everything is a lot more positive. It has been a lot better place for me.”
Moran appeared in 13 games at Maine over one-plus seasons and was 1-3 with one save. He quit the team on March 20, 2007, after some teammates committed an undisclosed violation of team rules on a trip to Arizona State.
Moran wasn’t involved but his two roommates for the trip were implicated. Moran said Maine coach Steve Trimper wanted to suspend him for a game because he didn’t ask his roommates to leave the room if they were going to break the rules. Two players were dismissed from the team.
Lee said there were some things that occurred at Maine that were “out of my control” so that led him to join Moran in seeking another school.
“And things have worked out at Saint Joseph’s so far,” said Lee.
Lee was a redshirt at Maine last season and he said it took him a while to get comfortable at the plate because he hadn’t swung a bat in a game situation in a year.
“I started off a little slow but it’s starting to come around now,” said Lee.
Moran echoed a similar sentiment.
“I hadn’t swung a bat in two years,” pointed out Moran, who was strictly a pitcher at Maine.
Moran has made five starts and has thrown 27 1/3 innings with 25 strikeouts and just five walks. He has allowed 28 hits and 12 earned runs. Opponents are hitting .272 against him.
“I’m happy with the way I’ve pitched. I’d like to have had a few more wins but I’ve pitched pretty well,” said Moran, who has three years of eligibility.
Lee said Sanborn, the coaching staff and the players have made them feel right at home and that has made the transition easier. Lee has four years of eligibility.
In addition to Moran and Lee, there are four other players with eastern Maine ties on the roster.
Junior center fielder Wade Oliver of Owls Head and Rockland High School is hitting .365 with 28 runs scored, seven doubles, four triples, two homers and 19 runs batted in.
Somesville’s Andrew Pooler, who pitched for Mount Desert Island, is 2-1 with an 8.18 ERA. The junior has made nine appearances, all in relief.
Former Gardiner High School pitcher-infielder Mike Burdin is 2-1 in six appearances with a 6.94 ERA and he is hitting .348 in limited service (8-for-23).
Rockland freshman pitcher Matt Mullen has made one appearance with two innings of work. He has no record.