Holmes in running for Winkin Award
Recent Dirigo graduate Ben Holmes is among eight of the state’s top high school senior baseball players who have been named finalists for the 21st annual Dr. John W. Winkin Award. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
DIXFIELD -- Recent Dirigo graduate Ben Holmes, who has had a memorable high school career, is among eight of the state’s top high school senior baseball players who have been named finalists for the 21st annual Dr. John W. Winkin Award, symbolic of the state’s Mr. Baseball.
The award will be presented by the Maine Baseball Coaches Association just before the start of the Maine East-West Senior All-Star Game to be played June 22 at Mahaney Diamond on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono.
Holmes was a standout for a Dirigo program that won its second Western Maine Class C championship game in three years against Telstar. He has established a school record with more than 20 career victories on the mound, breaking the previous mark set by former Cougar Ryan Lafleur. Holmes threw a no-hitter against Wiscasset, a one-hitter against Telstar late in the regular season and a two hitter in the western semifinals as the top-ranked Cougars defeated No. 4 Hall-Dale of Farmingdale.
With that complete-game effort against Hall-Dale, he had not allowed an earned run in his last 29 innings of work.
"Ben has been outstanding," said Dirigo coach Ryan Palmer. "It doesn't matter what the situation is, whether the game he's pitching is real close (competitive) or a blow out because his facial expressions never changes."
Holmes, who also plays third base, was the Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year. The cleanup batter hit over .400. He will be enrolling in Husson University and majoring in Physical Therapy.
The Winkin Award is named after the legendary University of Maine baseball coach, who guided the Black Bears to six appearances in the College World Series. Finalists for this year’s award are Max Andrews of John Bapst of Bangor, Sam Dexter of Messalonskee of Oakland, Luke Fernandes of Marshwood of South Berwick, , Corbin Hyde of Lewiston, Dustin Sawtelle of Lee Academy, Ben Wessel of Scarborough and J.T. Whitten of Waterville. Fernandes had already been named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Hyde, whose brother Mekae Hyde was a finalist for the Winkin Award last spring, is a four-year varsity player at Lewiston with a career pitching record of 14-2 with four saves, including a 5-1 record, two saves and an 0.61 ERA this spring. Hyde batted .455 with 16 RBI.
Former Cougar Jon Smith was a Winkin finalist.