New Hampshire Hardball

Hicks among Maine signees

ORONO, Maine – University of Maine head coach Nick Derba has officially announced this year’s recruiting class, as the Black Bears will add six newcomers to the fold in the fall of 2022.

Derba on the incoming Black Bears: “The 2022 class is one of the strongest classes that I have been fortunate enough to bring to Orono. The group will bring a balance between offense and defense that will continue our success within the America East. Our coaching staff is very excited that this group will represent the Black Bears starting in 2022.

Tyler Hicks | P | 6’1 | 175lbs | Jefferson, NH | White Mountains Regional High
Tyler Hicks comes to the University of Maine from Jefferson, N.H. Tyler hit .519 with 5 homeruns. He led White Mountains Regional High to a State Championship while averaging 2.19 strikeouts per inning. Hicks received First-Team All-State, Second-Team All-State, and Caledonian Record Player of The Year honors. Tyler is a three-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, and golf). Tyler is the son of Ben and Erica Hicks.

Coach Derba on Hicks, “Tyler is an all-around excellent athlete. He can play the infield and pitch. He poises to help us on the mound but might be a true two-way candidate.”

TJ Gormley | INF | 6’0 | 195lbs | North Kingstown, RI | North Kingstown HS
TJ Gormley is coming to the University of Maine from North Kingstown, R.I. Gormley led North Kingstown High School to the Rhode Island State Championship in 2021. He recorded the final out on the mound. TJ received the 2021 First Team All-State, 2021 Gold Glove Short-Stop, and was a finalist for the 2021 Player of the Year award in baseball. A three-sport athlete, the Rhode Island native competes for his school’s basketball and football team while being named captain for both his baseball and football team. TJ is the son of Kevin and Jennifer Gormley.

“TJ’s win at all costs mentality is ever present in his baseball abilities, especially offensively. His at-bats are consistent and very professional”, Derba said. “It is rare you see him throw an AB away. His left-handed stick is a good fit for our style of play.”

Christian Almagno | INF | 6’2 | 200lbs | North Providence, RI | North Providence HS
Christian Almagno comes to the University of Maine from North Providence, RI. He attends North Providence High School and plays both quarterback for the football team and infield for the baseball team. Almagno was named to the First Team All Division, All Division Gold Glove, and posted a .475 batting average in baseball. Christian also competes for the basketball team at North Providence High School. Almagno has been named captain for the baseball, football, and basketball teams the past two years.

“Christian was a late add, a guy we happened to see when we went to check in on Laviguer late last summer.” The Maine skipper continued, “he brings a lot of athleticism and some thunder in the bat. I am looking forward to seeing him progress as an all-around baseball player over his career.

Blaine Cockburn | LHP | 6’1 | 175lbs | Durham, Maine | Freeport High
Blaine Cockburn comes to the University of Maine from Durham, Maine. He attends Freeport High School where he is a four-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, soccer, and cross country). Blaine had six starts (including a regional final win against Greely), posted a 5-1 record with one save. The tall lefty recorded a 0.85 ERA, allowing just 10 hits and 17 walks against 70 strikeouts over 10 games. He also hit .300 with six doubles, 13 runs, and was named to the Maine All State Team.

“The great Stump Merrill called me on Blaine, so we obviously had to go see him.” Derba went on to say, “Blaine is a fierce competitor with a lot of room to grow. He has a very high ceiling but his ability to pitch is what makes him special.”

Gianni Gambardella | RHP | 6’1 | 160lbs | West Haven, CT | West Haven High
Gianni Gambardella comes to the University of Maine Baseball from West Haven High School in Connecticut, home of Black Bear great, Tommy Lawrence.  Gianni was named First Team All-State his junior year of high school. Gianni posted a 1.13 era with 63 strikeouts. Gambardella also did damage offensively, hitting .386 avg with 14 RBIs.

Derba: “Gianni is coming from the same line of competitiveness as former Black Bear great Tommy Lawrence. Their styles aren’t the same, but their bulldog mentality is. Gianni has a chance to be a front-line arm early in his career as long as he continues to develop.”

Luc Lavigueur | RHP | 6’2 | 165lbs | Newport, RI | Rogers High
Luc Lavigueur is coming to the University of Maine from Newport, RI. Luc is a two-sport athlete, competing in baseball and football. This past season Luc pitched 35.1 innings while tallying 53 strikeouts, 9 hits, 1 earned-run, 7 walks, and a 0.45 whip. Lavigueur received the D2-b Cy Young Award Winner for his accomplishments.

“Luc brings a very polished and professional demeanor to the staff,” said Derba. “He pitches like a vet. He features very good fastball command with good off-speed. He is a competitor and wants the ball in every spot.”


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