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College Notebook: Eventful week for Northeastern's Lyons brothers from Bedford

May 04. 2013 10:47PM

IT'S BEEN an eventful week for the Lyons brothers of Bedford.

On Monday, the Trinity High School products celebrated with their Northeastern University teammates on the field at Fenway Park after a 6-3 win in the Baseball Beanpot final over the University of Massachusetts.

On Friday, center fielder Connor broke his collarbone making a catch against the wall in a game at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Twin brother Sean, also an outfielder, is likely to get more playing time in center because of the injury,

But the two will never forget the experience of playing and winning at Fenway. Sean drove home a run with a sacrifice fly and Connor had an RBI groundout in the win.

"Playing at Fenway with your family watching, growing up watching Red Sox games," Sean Lyons said, "actually getting to play on Fenway and win something was surreal.

"To get to dogpile with your teammates on Fenway Park was a surreal experience," he said of the Huskies' first Beanpot crown since 2009.

For the final, the Northeastern players swapped their usual uniforms for shirts that read "Boston" and the front with the number 617 on the back, both in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"It was great that we could show the familess and victims that NU baseball has their back," Sean Lyons said of the special jerseys. "To win the Beanpot in Boston with those shirts against a team that wasn't from Boston is pretty much the icing on the cake, I'd say."

The team will wear the 617 shirts as batting practice jerseys for the rest of the season, Lyons said, "to represent Boston and to represent the families affected by this tragedy."

The Huskies are 24-19, 8-12 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Before his injury, Connor Lyons had been enjoying a strong season, hitting .293 with a .374 on-base percentage and 19 runs batted in. Sean Lyons, who is hitting .167 in largely a backup and designated hitter role this season, has been recovering from a torn labrum, but may be called upon to fill in for his injured brother in center.

Not the way he wanted to get more playing time for sure, but Sean Lyons said it's his time to "step up."


Three outstanding athletes from New Hampshire are closing in on the end of their collegiate baseball and softball careers at the University of Maine.

Michael Fransoso, a shortstop out of Portsmouth High School, and Hilary Kane, a first baseman out of Concord, are captains of the Black Bear baseball and softball teams.

In addition, A.J. Bazdanes, a right-handed starting pitcher out of Nashua South High School, has bounced back nicely after missing last season and getting a medical redshirt.

The baseball and softball teams have had decidedly different seasons.

Softball has struggled and took a 7-37 overall record and 3-12 mark in America East into this weekend's season-ending games at the University of Hartford.

Kane, who led Concord to the Class L championship in 2009, had a .259 batting average with two home runs and 13 runs batted in and led the team with 11 doubles going into the weekend. She was second team all-America East last year.

Fransoso and Bazdanes and the baseball team are 26-17 overall and led America East with a 14-6 record going into the weekend.

Maine is at Albany this weekend and closes out the America East portion of the regular season next weekend at Binghamton.

Fransoso, who helped Portsmouth to undefeated records and state Class I titles in 2008 and 2009, is having another impressive season.

He leads the team with a .348 batting average and 35 RBI and is second in doubles with a dozen. He made the America East All Rookie team as a freshman, was second team as a sophomore and first team last year.

Bazdanes took a 5-4 record and a 3.11 earned run average into the weekend. In 75.1 innings he had 56 strikeouts and 21 walks. He was a second-team All-America East pick as a sophomore.

In high school, Bazdanes, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, pitched for Bishop Guertin of Nashua and then transferred to Nashua South for his senior season.


Danielle Walczak, a 6-foot-1 sophomore out of Lee and Oyster River High School in Durham, is leaving the University of Maine basketball program.

Walczak made the America East All-Rookie team as a freshman and this past season was one of the team's leading scorers at 10.4 points a game and also averaged 5.5 rebounds.

Walczak told the Bangor Daily News last month that she is leaving the team for personal reasons but plans to stay at the school and continue to pursue a degree in journalism.

She has dealt with a couple of injuries at Maine, but said the main reason for her decision is that it wasn't the right fit for her and playing basketball wasn't as fun as she wanted it to be.


HONORS: Colby-Sawyer's Nathan Taschereau of Goffstown has been named the 2013 North Atlantic Conference East Division Men's Tennis Player of the Year in a vote by the conference coaches.

Taschereau was a perfect 6-0 at first singles and doubles in conference play, leading the Chargers to their second-straight unbeaten NAC East Division season.

Junior center fielder Tanya Robidoux of Hooksett (Manchester Central) has been named to the 2013 Northeast-10 Conference All-Conference Team, as voted by the league's 16 head coaches. Robidoux was named to the second team.

Robidoux earns All-Conference honors for the second time in her career as she led the Hounds with a .350 batting average while starting all 43 games in center field. A 2012 Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference honoree, she ranked 17th in the league in batting average, ninth in doubles with 11 and 15th in the league in total hits with 48. She has scored 27 runs, driven in 20 runs, has a pair of home runs and 65 total bases. Robidoux had an eight-game and a 10-game hitting streak this season, had hits in 31 games and reached base safely in 35 of 43 games, including 11 multi-hit games. Robidoux was a Northeast-10 First Team All-Conference selection in 2011 and was also named as the league's Rookie of the Year that season. She was named to the All-Rookie Team and was the Assumption Freshman of the Year.

Mount Olive freshman Dylan Lafond continued a stellar first year for the Trojans' track and field team this weekend with a pair of conference championships in the 10,000 and 5,000 meters, then just missed a third in the steeplechase. For his efforts, Lafond was named the Conference Carolinas Men's Track and Men's Freshman Athlete of the Year.

Lafond won the 10-kilometer run with an NCAA-provisional mark.


Former Colby-Sawyer men's basketball standouts Ethan Casson '96 and T.J. Gondek '95 will be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in a ceremony on June 22 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Ethan Casson graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 1996 and has gone on to lead a successful career in sports. He spent 11 years working for the Minnesota Timberwolves in corporate sales and is currently an executive with the San Francisco 49ers.

Gondek, who was a member of the inaugural Colby-Sawyer Athletics Hall of Fame class in 2006, is currently the owner and general manager of Advantage Real Estate in Boston.

A great player when the men's basketball program was in its infancy, Gondek. set many Chargers' single-season and career records on his way to becoming the college's all-time scoring leader with 2,164 points.

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