Sophomore third baseman Danny Casals, the team’s leading hitter a year ago, has been lost for the season and will have shoulder surgery in Florida within the next two weeks, according to University of Maine interim head baseball coach Nick Derba

Casals separated his left shoulder diving for a line drive in a 10-6 loss to Hartford on April 9 at Mahaney Diamond in Orono.

“That’s a huge loss,” Derba said. “He was supposed to play for Chatham in the Cape Cod League this summer, but he will have to sit out. He should be available next fall. He sustained some pretty good damage to his rotator cuff and shoulder. He had also separated that shoulder in high school.”

Miami native Casals hit .310 last season en route to earning a berth on the America East All-Rookie team. He led the team in several other categories including hits (62), total bases (91), on-base percentage (.404), triples (4) and stolen bases (12).

This season, he was batting .247 with a homer, six doubles, five RBIs and eight stolen bases.

“And he’s a great kid,” Derba added.

Freshman Cody Pasic, a converted catcher, will continue to play third base for the Black Bears. He is hitting .281 with two homers and four RBIs in 16 games.

“Cody has done a great job at third,” Derba said. “He is a good player. He’s getting a chance to play, and he has taken advantage of it. He hadn’t been a third baseman until two weeks ago. He’s a gamer. And he can swing the bat.”