WATERVILLE, Maine — Trevor DeLaite has brought much to the pitcher’s mound for Bangor High School throughout the last four years — particularly a blend of high-level pitches that trimmed the edges of home plate with remarkable consistency.
Yet his coaches say the secret to that accuracy stems from a trait more subtle, a competitiveness and attention to detail that enabled DeLaite to think out the game more thoroughly than virtually every batter he faced.
That formula propelled the Rams’ pitching ace to some mind-boggling achievements for coach Jeff Fahey’s club throughout his career, and on Friday, DeLaite was named recipient of the 25th annual Dr. John W. Winkin “Mr. Baseball” Award symbolic of the state’s top high school senior player.
But most important to the University of Maine-bound left-hander was that such an individual accolade represented his contribution to Bangor winning its third consecutive Class A state championship this spring.
“I’ve played with great players who have made me better, I’ve played with great defenses that have given me confidence to go at hitters, and not many pitchers can say that,” said DeLaite. “I can attack hitters, and people will make plays that not many people can make, so it’s definitely a privilege to play with such good teams and get an opportunity to play in these bigger spotlights.”
DeLaite’s honor was announced Friday between the two Maine North-South Senior All-Star Games held at Coombs Field on the campus of Colby College.
“Trevor works awfully hard,” said Bangor High pitching coach Dave Morris. “He’s someone who takes and refines his mechanics to the point where he really pays attention to the smaller details.
“He wants to be a great athlete and a great pitcher, and his personality and character are outstanding. He’s one of the best players I’ve had an opportunity to coach,” he said.
Other Mr. Baseball finalists were Nick Guerrette of Hermon, Nick Mazurek of Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston, Thomas Spencer of Penobscot Valley of Howland, Cody Laweryson of Valley of Bingham, Connor Aube of Falmouth, Ben Lambert of Thornton Academy of Saco, Roderick Maynard of Sacopee Valley of South Hiram and Ryan Sinclair of Hall-Dale of Farmingdale.
DeLaite became just the second Bangor player to win the Winkin award, named after the legendary coach who led the University of Maine baseball team to six College World Series appearances and totaled 1,043 career victories as a head coach at UMaine, Colby and Husson University.
Matt Kinney, the former major league pitcher and now head baseball coach at Hermon High School, was named the state’s Mr. Baseball from Bangor in 1995.
DeLaite, also the 2016 Gatorade Maine Player of the Year and Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North player of the year, was 9-1 on the mound this spring with 100 strikeouts and just three earned runs allowed in 68 innings.
He went 3-0 during the postseason and concluded his season with 19⅔ consecutive scoreless innings.
He retired the last 17 batters he faced during Bangor’s 6-2 victory over Hampden Academy in the Class A North quarterfinals, then avenged his only loss of the spring — a 1-0 decision despite pitching a two-hitter — with an 8-0 shutout of Edward Little of Auburn in the regional final.
DeLaite capped off his season by striking out 10 and walking three as Bangor defeated Falmouth 5-0 in last Saturday’s state championship game.
DeLaite picked off two Falmouth baserunners in that contest, plays Fahey said were pivotal in helping Bangor maintain its momentum.
“That’s one of his biggest areas of improvement,” said Fahey. “He really made his pickoff move into a weapon, he probably had nine or 10 this year.”
DeLaite struck out 26 batters and walked six while yielding nine hits in 21 postseason innings, and he also had a stretch of 39⅔ consecutive scoreless innings during the regular season.
“I just wanted to come out and have a good season and give my team a chance to win another state championship, so it was special to play well enough to help my team win,” said DeLaite.
“Fortunately I’ve had great teammates that have helped me get this far and great coaches and a great family and friends that definitely helped me get to this point,” he said.
DeLaite, who played first base and in the outfield when not pitching, also was an offensive catalyst from the No. 2 spot in the Bangor batting order. He batted .352 with a team-high 25 hits and 16 RBIs.
“He very rarely strikes out, he puts the ball in play, and he shoots the ball where it’s pitched,” said Fahey of his two-year captain. “In this day and age, when pitchers are trying to hit the outside half of the plate, he’s able to go that way.
“He’s one of the top four or five hitters I saw all year long, and he wasn’t just a singles hitter, he could hit it hard into the gap,” he added.
DeLaite finished his high school career with a 24-2 record over four varsity seasons, working 172⅔ innings with 255 strikeouts, 41 walks and 17 earned runs allowed.
He also compiled a 21-1 record while helping Bangor Coffee News win back-to-back American Legion state championships in 2014 and 2015, is playing this summer for the Seacoast Mavericks, a Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based member of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.
DeLaite debuted with Mavericks on Thursday night, pitching the final 1⅓ innings to earn the save in a 5-4 win over the Wachusett (Massachusetts) Dirt Dawgs.
DeLaite also was a finalist last winter for the Travis Roy Award, symbolic of the state’s top Class A senior hockey player.