May 21, 2013

COLLEGE BASEBALL: USM's Dexter no ordinary freshman

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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HONORED: University of Southern Maine shortstop Sam Dexter, a Messalonskee graduate, was named the All-New England Region Baseball Rookie of the Year.

Portland Press Herald photo by Gabe Souza

Dexter said he has made a few adjustments, more in his hitting approach, to be ready for Division III.

"At the end of the day, it's still baseball," he said.

Asked about his text to the coach about the cutoff play, 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 most. Dexter has four home runs and two triples. He has been successful on 13 of 15 steals.

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 over anxious 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 game 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."

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