A natural hitter, Andrew Hartung could always be counted on with the bat during his three years with the University of Maine baseball program.

Hartung, a first-team All-American in 1990, holds the Black Bears’ single-season record for batting average (.414) and is sixth in program history in home runs in a single campaign (15).

Those numbers are a big reason why the 1991 UMaine graduate is joining five former Black Bears in the school’s Sports Hall of Fame on Friday.

“It’s a great honor, it really is,” Hartung said. “It’s as good as an excuse as any. I really enjoyed the school, I enjoyed the people up there. I’m very excited to come up.”

In addition to his robust batting average and home run power as a junior, he knocked in 76 runs, which ranks second all-time in a single season in program history, and pounded out 87 hits, fourth in a single season at UMaine.

The native of Stoneham, Massachusetts, played in 40 games as a freshman and was a versatile player, playing the outfield and third base and serving time as a designated hitter.

He recalled the influence coaches John Winkin, Mike Coutts and Bob Whalen had on him, and in particular Winkin’s ability to get teams from warmer climates to play his Black Bears in Orono.

“John Winkin had the respect of the league, he really did,” Hartung said. “He got us all the best competition you could have.”

That included the University of Miami during Hartung’s freshman campaign, and he vividly remembers the Hurricanes having to endure 20-degree temperatures.

Hartung belted four home runs while batting .298 as a freshman, and hit five homers while hitting .290 the following season.

He capped his three-year career in Orono with 24 home runs and a .348 batting average.

The Black Bears would play in an NCAA Regional in Hartung’s junior campaign but the team never reached the College World Series.

“There was so many fond memories of those teams,” Hartung said.

Hartung went on to get drafted by the Chicago Cubs and batted .331 with 11 home runs and 70 RBIs in his first season in the New York-Penn League. Hartung’s 70 RBIs topped all New York-Penn league players in 1990.

After splitting time between the Low-A Midwest League and the High-A Carolina League in 1991, Hartung belted 23 homers and knocked in 94 runs while hitting .278 in the Carolina League in 1992, playing the same league as former Boston Red Sox slugger and 2004 World Series MVP Manny Ramirez.

Injuries would plague Hartung after the 1992 season. He got as high as Double-A ball before spending some time in independent leagues.

Hartung’s playing days ended after the 1995 season, and he is now a private hitting instructor in Massachusetts.

He admitted to playing through arm pain for most of his career.

“My injuries started in high school,” Hartung said. “I had pain in my arm from high school on, and I didn’t tell anybody. I thought everybody threw with excruciating pain in their arms.”

Follow Ryan McLaughlin on Twitter at rmclaughlin23

Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective...