Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A first-team all-Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B selection, Gardiner's Dennis Meehan will test his abilities against some of the top high school baseball players in the country next week when he takes part in a showcase tournament near Omaha, Nebraska.
ON THe MOVE: Gardiner Area High School shortstop Dennis Meehan will play in a showcase tournament beginning today in Omaha, Neb.
Staff photo by Andy Molloy
"I'll just do my best and show everyone what a kid from Maine can do," Meehan, a shortstop and pitcher, said.
The tournament is run by the Baseball Factory, a company that educates baseball players and their families on the college recruiting process. Eight teams of players from around the country will be in the tournament, with games in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Papillion, Neb.
According to rosters available on the Baseball Factory website, Meehan will play for the Bruins, with ballplayers from Florida, California, Alabama, Washington, Texas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Mississippi and New York.
Meehan earned his spot with a tryout at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H. Players had their 60-yard dash timed, pitches clocked on a radar gun and went through fielding and hitting drills.
"They talked about a lot of little things," said Meehan, who quarterbacked the Gardiner football team and was a member of the Eastern Class B championship basketball team.
This season, Meehan hit .400 for the Tigers with an on-base percentage of .571. His 13 runs batted in, 11 walks and 13 runs all led the team. Eight of Meehan's 18 hits went for extra bases, and Gardiner coach Chris McLaughlin praised Meehan's ability to adapt to the situation at the plate.
"You could trust him at the plate," McLaughlin said. "He'd shorten up and he'd take a lot off his swing with two strikes because he knew we needed him to get on base."
Defensively, Meehan has good instincts and routinely was in the right spot to make a play, McLaughlin said.
"I never had to adjust him," McLaughlin said.
Today, Meehan will attend his first practice and a welcome dinner. Games and practices will run Saturday through Wednesday. On Sunday, Meehan and the other players will attend a game at the College World Series in Omaha.
Meehan expects to play shortstop throughout the tournament, although he could get a chance to throw, too.
"They have me at shortstop, but they're giving me help with my pitching mechanics, too," Meehan said.
More than anything else he's learned through this process, Meehan said he's learned the chance to play college baseball is real.
"I might be able to play college baseball, and that's been a dream of mine," Meehan said.
Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242