Freshman Keegan Cyr makes contact with the ball during a game on the Husson baseball team this season. Cyr was named the North Atlantic Conference tournament MVP. Credit: Eric Ogden / Husson Athletics

Freshman Keegan Cyr didn’t have the regular season he was hoping to have as the starting second baseman for the Husson University baseball team.

The former Bangor High School standout took a .186 batting average into the North Atlantic Conference Tournament that began on Sunday at the Winkin Sports Complex in Bangor.

Five games later, he was chosen the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after he hit .400 with a double, triple and five RBIs to help lead the Eagles to their fourth straight NAC title. He also scored four runs and had hits in four of the five games.

It was an exceptional tournament performance from Cyr, who defied his regular season performance and excelled from the bottom of the batting order.

“He earned it,” said Husson coach Chris Morris. “Ever since I’ve known him, you look at his athletic career and when the lights are the brightest, Keegan always shows up.”

Cyr has a history of playing in big games, having been a member of Bangor’s football, basketball and baseball teams.

“I like to think that’s what I’m best at. I like to call myself a gamer,” Cyr said. “I feel like I’m at my best in big spots.”

He spent a lot of time working on his hitting in the week leading up to the tournament.

“Throughout our practices, I was making adjustments every day. I was getting better and better and it finally clicked for me,” said the 19-year-old Cyr. “I made some tweaks to my stance and where my hands were.”

Just as important was his mental approach.

“I changed my mentality. It reached the point of the season where I wasn’t a freshman any more. I had to step up. I was in the lineup for a reason,” Cyr said.

Morris said having Cyr producing in the ninth spot in the order and graduate student Kobe Rogerson delivering in the lead-off spot was important.

“Keegan took over in a spot that we needed him to in the nine hole. We really flipped it over between him and Kobe Rogerson in the nine-one holes. They really did some damage the entire tournament,” Morris said.

Rogerson hit .368 in the tournament with three doubles, two RBIs and five runs scored.

Morris said Cyr has also been valuable defensively. He was a shortstop in high school but has made the transition to second base. Rogerson is the starting shortstop and was an all-tournament selection as well.

The Eagles turned over six double plays in the tournament. The second baseman is crucial to completing those plays.

“It wasn’t that big of an adjustment. I played second a little bit my freshman year at Bangor,” Cyr said. “We have the best shortstop in New England,so I knew I would be sliding over [to second]. And [Rogerson] has helped me greatly, too. We work real well together.”

Cyr said he remembers watching Rogerson play for Brewer High and being very impressed.

“He was so smooth,” Cyr recalled.

Cyr was honored to be named the MVP but quickly mentioned that several of his teammates could have just as easily won it.

Besides Rogerson and Cyr, the other two Eagles who were chosen to the all-tourney team were junior first baseman Jackson Curtis from Ellsworth (.318-2 homers-8 RBIs) and junior closer Ryan Robb (2-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 7 strikeouts, 6 hits allowed, 0 walks, 6 ⅓ innings) from Connecticut.

Junior left fielder Akira Warren from Hallowell (.409, 4 RBIs) and sophomore third baseman Tanner Evans from Greenbush (.348, 6 runs, 2 doubles, 4 RBIs) each hit safely in all five games and graduate student center fielder Ethan Stoddard from Old Town (.400, 5 runs, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs) also had an outstanding tournament.

Husson hit .299 as a team and averaged seven runs a game.

Morris said his pitchers did an outstanding job getting outs when they needed them the most. They posted a 4.09 ERA.

And he said he considers Ryan Robb the best pitcher in the league.

“He had the ball in every pressure situation the entire year. He comes right at you. He doesn’t walk anybody. He has been in every big spot since his freshman year. It’s nothing new to him. We trust him,” Morris said.

Morris said his team benefitted from playing in a lot of close games and having players who were used to playing in high-pressure playoff games in high school.

Husson is 7-0 in games decided by two runs or less this season.

The Eagles trailed Thomas College of Waterville 6-3 going into the bottom of the seventh inning in their first game before coming back for an 8-6 win. They were down 4-3 after seven in an elimination game against Thomas before rallying for a 5-4 victory and they were down 1-0 after six innings in the championship game against SUNY Cobleskill before more late-inning heroics earned them a 4-1 triumph.

Morris said having so many players who played in regional championship and state championship games means any “big moment isn’t too big for them.”

Husson has earned an NCAA Division III Tournament berth and will find out on Monday which regional it will be participating in.