Monmouth Academy’s Ryan Burnam pitches during a game last season. Burnham and Monmouth teammate Matthew Fortin plan to play baseball at Central Maine Community College. Jessica Clavet photo

Ryan Burnham and Matt Fortin have been playing baseball together in Monmouth since Little League, often with Fortin doing the catching when Burnham takes the mound.

Monmouth catcher Matt Fortin attempts to tag out Dirigo’s Cole Brown during the Mustangs’ win over the Cougars in May 2018. Wil Kramlich/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

This was supposed to be their last year playing pitch-and-catch together while donning the Monmouth Academy maroon, and Burnham was set to take the role as the Mustangs’ No. 1 pitcher, according to head coach Eric Palleschi.

He never got the chance to show what he could have done in that spot, with his trusty backstop Fortin helping him beat hitters, thanks to the spring sports season’s cancellation caused by the coronavirus. 

“I was looking forward to playing a big role on the mound and in the field to show everybody what my true skill set was,” Burnham said. 

“Ryan and I have been playing together for years, and I’ve caught for him since sixth grade,” Fortin said. “He and I work well together. I know how to set him up and his consistency makes him great to catch for.

“Burnham and I have played together for so long that we both pretty much know what the other is going to do before we do it.” 

The Mustangs, including fellow seniors Thomas Neal and Brock Bates, were crushed to not get a spring season. Fortin said it was a long spring without baseball. 

Thankfully — and hopefully — for he and Burnham, they will be attending Central Maine Community College together in the fall, when their collegiate baseball careers are set to begin. 

“I really hope we can play this fall at CM,” Fortin said.

“I’m excited to have him playing at CMCC with me,” he added. “We’re playing some summer ball together right now, and it feels good to be back on the field with him.” 

“Going to CMCC was something I’ve been thinking about since I was in my early years of high school,” Burnham said. “Not getting to play my senior season of high school made it a much easier choice to go to CMCC over any other school.”

— Wil Kramlich

BASEBALL

Brock Bates

Brock Bates
“Brock is a two-year starter. He is an outfielder and a pitcher. Brock only started with us last year as a junior, but he was a valued member of our team. Brock is a gifted athlete that has huge potential. On the mound, Brock is our number three. He has learned to keep his composure and not let the little things bother him. In the field, Brock can cover a lot of ground and has one of the stronger throwing arms in our conference. Brock is a valuable member of our baseball family.”

Ryan Burnham

Ryan Burnham
“Last year was a great year for Ryan. He was used on the mound and also as a DH. Ryan is our number one pitcher this year and one of the best hitters in our conference. He has demonstrated a lot of growth and maturity over the past year, both as a player and also as a student. Ryan has worked hard in the offseason to be in shape and ready for the season. A great young man and a role model for our younger players.”

Matthew Fortin

Matthew Fortin
“Matt is a three-year starter behind the plate for us. The growth Matt has made in the past two years is really incredible. Matt has worked countless hours in the gym lifting, hitting, throwing and catching. His work ethic has made him one of the top catchers, in not only our conference but in the state. His dedication to baseball showed last year, and I was really looking forward to seeing Matt on the field this year. Behind the plate, he has turned into another ‘coach’ on the field. His presence on the field will be missed.”

Thomas Neal

Thomas Neal
“Thomas is a three-year starter for us in center field. He is an all-conference outfielder that can run down anything hit in the air. Thomas was fourth on our team last year in batting average. He is tremendously competitive and no one will outwork Thomas. Thomas’ involvement with our youth has been incredible. From umpiring to helping with youth clinics, there are many young players that look to emulate Thomas. Truly a remarkable young man.”

 

TRACK AND FIELD

Libby Clement

Libby Clement
One of the best hurdlers in the state any class. State-champion 300 hurdler last spring, completed in the New England track championship. Tremendous athlete and competitor. Scored in the state meet in high jump, 100-meter hurdles, 300-meter hurdlers, anchor on the 4×400 (relay) team that also scored. Great, great work ethic. Three-sport all-star.”

Amber Currie

Amber Currie
“Amber is a talented distance runner who competed in the mile, 2-mile and 4×800 relay. Her versatility over the distances gave the team depth in events that increased the team’s strength.”

Logan Farr

Logan Farr
“Logan was an accomplished javelin thrower who improved his skills in each of his previous years. He was poised for a breakout season this year, and I was anxiously waiting to see what he could accomplish.”

Audrey Fletcher

Audrey Fletcher
“Great team leader, was on the record-setting 4×800 (relay) team (that) shattered the school record at the state meet, earning runner up status for state of Maine. Worked hard everyday. Three-sport all-star.”

Kaitlin Hunt

Kaitlin Hunt
“Kaitlin was a talented, multi-distance, aggressive runner (who) competed in the 400, 800, 1,600, 3,200, 1600-meter relay and 2,400-meter relay. Her desire to run against any competition made her a force to be reckoned with at any meet she was entered.”

Anna Lewis

Annalyse Lewis
“Competed at the state meet in four events: 100 hurdlers, 300 hurdles, 800-meter relay and 4×400 relay. Great team leader and role model. Worked hard all the time and never stopped encouraging others.”

Gabe Martin

Gabriel Martin
“Gabe was another three-sport standout. He was just beginning to master being a great great javelin thrower. Blessed with sprinters speed but also had endurance as a distance runner. Gabe could do any event in track. He was one of the best long jumpers and jav throwers in the state last year. He competed in 200-meter sprint and one mile run.”

Alexis Trott

Alexis Trott
“Alexis was a talented sprinter in the 100, 200 and 1600-meter relay. Alexis was always ready to compete, and fed off the competition.”

Edmund Zuis

Edmund Zuis
“Ed was a talented middle-distance runner competing in multiple events. This season we were looking for him to master the 300 hurdles and having a great senior year.”

Quotes provided by Monmouth Academy baseball coach Eric Plleschi and track and field coaches Tom Menendez and Norman Thombs, with help from athletic director Wade Morrill. Photos compiled by Monmouth Academy yearbook advisor Liz Ross.

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