You can call him Zac, or Zach, or Zack.
Zack Lachance has seen all three spellings of his name during his athletic career at Cony High School and he’s not that picky about it.
“It doesn’t really make any difference to me,” he said. “I guess Z-a-c-k is all right.”
Any way you spell his first name, Lachance had a banner season for the Rams this spring. He went 5-2 on the mound and allowed only three earned runs, and in his lone playoff appearance he spun a one-hitter against Skowhegan. He also batted leadoff, scored 20 runs and hit .387.
For his efforts, Lachance has been selected Kennebec Journal Baseball Player of the Year. Also considered were Erskine’s John Suga and Maranacook’s Cam Brochu.
Lachance has pitched for the varsity team since his freshman year and has shown improvement each season.
“I felt a lot more confident coming off last year,” he said. “We had a lot of returners and a good defense.”
Lachance also felt more comfortable throwing his cutter, which became his go-to pitch as the season progressed. He learned it from his older brother Jake, who helped coach the team this year.
“I tried it out and it worked,” Lachance said. “Once I got it down, it was my out-pitch.”
Lachance isn’t overpowering. Cony coach Don Plourde estimates his fastball tops out at about 80 mph. He finished with 31 strikeouts and 18 walks in 42 innings, but allowed just 18 hits.
“Even when he didn’t have his best stuff, he was still very difficult to hit,” Plourde said. “He just didn’t give guys a chance to dig in and he kept them guessing.”
The playoff game aside, Lachance’s best outing was a no-decision against Oxford Hills.
“In the sixth-inning he had only thrown 41 pitches,” Plourde said. “He was facing a pretty good squad.”
Lachance is a good all-around athlete, who Plourde said could play anywhere on the field. During a recent American Legion game he even caught. This season, when he didn’t pitch he played second base and showed improvement there, too, as he was part of eight double plays. Plourde noted that Lachance was a much better hitter when he wasn’t on the mound.
“I didn’t really notice but it’s probably true,” Lachance said.
Lachance rarely shows any emotion when he pitches and is generally fairly low-key. But as a team captain, Plourde said he was a good leader and not afraid to express himself, especially in practice.
“I made sure people were working hard and doing the right thing,” Lachance said. “I feel like in games I lead more by example.”
Lachance also played varsity basketball for three years and was a place-kicker and receiver for the football team. Basketball at one time was his favorite sport but it’s gradually switched to baseball.
“It’s a team and an individual sport at the same time,” he said. “Baseball’s a great sport.”
Lachance plans to attend Syracuse University next fall and may even try out for the baseball team which competes at the club level and primarily plays a Division III schedule.
Gary Hawkins — 621-5638