BANGOR, Maine — Sam Huston is the picture of stability for the Husson University baseball team.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound sophomore anchors the Eagles’ defense as their starting catcher and leads the offense while hitting a team-leading .317 with three home runs, 12 doubles and 33 RBI.

It’s stability based on versatility. While Huston has played primarily at catcher in his two seasons at Husson, a high school and American Legion baseball career that included back-to-back state championships at each level and an appearance in the 2013 Senior League World Series has seen Huston contribute from every corner position on the field.

“I think the more places you can play the more experience you gain and the more baseball smart you become,” he said. “You get a better sense for the game when you play different positions.

“All my coaches have said I’m kind of like a Brock Holt, where a new day means a new position.”

Huston has helped Husson earn a berth in this weekend’s four-team North Atlantic Conference tournament at Castleton, Vermont. The Eagles won’t know their opening-game foe until after Wednesday’s regular-season game between New England College and Colby-Sawyer. Huston’s varied experiences on the field have helped make him a college baseball veteran slightly before his time.

“It just gives him an understanding of the whole scheme on the defensive side,” said 10th-year Husson head coach Jason Harvey. “And when you look at the catching position, how they handle the pitching staff is important and Sam’s that leader who knows when it’s appropriate to go out to talk with the pitcher and how to calm them down. He really does a great job of reading hitters and working with pitchers as far as pitch selection goes.

“When you look at a sophomore catcher Sam’s young himself but he’s mature beyond his years and his ability to work with the pitchers daily and keep them on track as far as focus goes has been key to their success.”

Until his sophomore year of high school, Huston was the catcher on numerous championship youth teams whose pitching staffs featured current University of Maine pitching ace Justin Courtney and University of Southern Maine sophomore Andrew Hillier.

“It was the position I played all the way up,” said Huston. “I was the catcher on my Little League teams because my dad was the coach and one, he was a catcher and two, no one else really wanted to do it.”

Huston was the junior varsity catcher as a freshman at Bangor, but early in his sophomore year then-Rams’ varsity coach Jeff Fahey asked if he could play left field — where he started for the rest of the spring.

From there, a strong-hitting jack-of-all-trades emerged, with Huston playing third base as a junior and a senior for Bangor teams that won Class A state titles in 2014 and 2015.

“I was behind some good catchers, too, so that really wasn’t a need and they were looking for more ways to get my bat in the lineup,” said Huston.

Huston finally got a chance to catch again after his senior year when he helped the Coffee News Comrades win the second of their back-to-back American Legion state championships. But that came after playing right field and second base the previous two summers.

Even after Huston joined the Husson baseball program and hit .307 as its starting catcher last spring, he returned to second base last summer to help his American Legion team reach a third straight state title game.

“You see guys who are held in one position and then they’re asked to play another position and they’re not real comfortable with it,” said Huston. “I’ve been able to play so many different positions that if coach Harvey came up to me and said this weekend we need you in left field I’d be fine with that.”

That’s because Harvey and Huston have agreed on similar moves already this season. Huston was named North Atlantic Conference player of the week for the second time this spring on April 17 after batting .421 with 10 RBI and eight runs scored in seven games while seeing action at first base, third base and catcher.

Huston (21-18 overall, 13-11 in NAC play) may be asked to move out from behind home plate again temporarily at the outset of the NAC tournament with regular third baseman Ryan Rebar set to accept his degree in nursing on Saturday before joining his teammates in Vermont.

“He opens up a lot of opportunities for us to move him around and find the right fits for everybody,” said Harvey. “Sammy’s the type of kid who wants to play anywhere, so wherever you tell him to play, he’s going to play.”

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Ernie Clark

Ernie Clark is a veteran sportswriter who has worked with the Bangor Daily News for more than a decade. A four-time Maine Sportswriter of the Year as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters...