ORONO, Maine -- University of Maine baseball coach Steve Trimper announced today that his program has received National Letters of Intent from Sam Balzano (Portland, Maine/Deering), Garrett Bernardo (Glenmont, N.Y./LaSalle Institute), Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario/Southwood Secondary), Dane Gordon (Barrie, Ontario/Barrie Central Collegiate), Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook) and Luke Morrill (Rockland, Maine/Rockland). The class is expected to have an immediate impact on the Maine team.
"Sam plays for former Maine baseball player and assistant coach Mike Coutts at Deering High School," said Maine head coach Steve Trimper. "With his speed, he has the potential to be a great lead-off hitter and a centerfielder that can really run down balls."
He chose the University of Maine over the University of Rhode Island.
Balzano had an outstanding junior season at Deering High last spring. He batted .396 with 23 runs scored. He stole 16 of 17 bases and compiled a record of 3-1 on the mound for the Rams.
"Garrett is the son of former Black Bear All-American Rick Bernardo," said Trimper. "Garrett is an athletic player that will have the ability to play multiple positions throughout the infield for us."
As a junior at LaSalle Institute, Bernardo hit .333 with 22 runs scored and 17 RBI. He had seven doubles, one triple and one home run. He stole nine bases and finished with a .909 fielding percentage. His team went 17-4 and 17-1 in the Big 10 Conference. The team finished as Big 10 Champions in 2010. He earned a spot on the Troy Record All-Star Team.
"Brian will help us out tremendously both at the plate and in the outfield," said Trimper. "He has the tools to be an impact player throughout his career as a Black Bear. He played for former Black Bear assistant coach Greg Hamilton, who also coached Jeff Gibbs, Matt Jebb, Kyle Benoit and Alex Calbick on the National Team."
He chose the University of Maine over Oakland, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.
Doran was the fifth-ranked Pro Prospect for 2011 Canada Baseball. He played for the 2010 Canada Cup Team Ontario and earned a spot on the 35-man roster for the Canadian National Team.
"Dane is a pitcher with a very high ceiling," said Trimper. "He is expected to be a key component to the 2012 pitching staff."
Gordon plays for Barrie Central Collegiate Institute. He is the 18th ranked Pro Prospect by the Canadian Baseball Network.
"Scott is two-way guy for us where he will be able to help out as a left-handed pitcher and a hitter," said Trimper. "He reminds me a lot of current Black Bear Joey Martin as a hitter and first baseman.
Heath chose the University of Maine over Wake Forest, UNC Greensboro and Elon.
Heath finished 6-0 last season in 40 innings pitched. He also compiled a .477 batting average. He was named most valuable player in the Telegram League this past season.
"Luke committed to us two years ago at our summer camp, and I feel strongly that he has a tremendously high ceiling," said Trimper. "He is a big, physical kid who will only get better with experience.
Morrill plays his high school baseball for Rockland High School. He is a 6-foot-4 inch left-handed hitting shortstop. In addition, he played American Legion ball for Amato's last summer. A great athlete, Morrill also plays soccer and basketball for the Rockland Tigers.
The eligibility of all student-athlete is contingent upon admission to the University of Maine and compliance with all NCAA rules, including registration with the NCAA Clearinghouse.