Greely senior Connor Russell, one of several aces the powerhouse Rangers baseball program has produced in recent seasons, has committed to attend and play ball at Bates College in Lewiston. Russell was considering several schools, including Division I Dartmouth College and Manhattan College, but ultimately decided to stay close to home.
“Bates was the best fit for baseball and academics,” said Russell, who is undecided on a major. “I like the (New England Small College Athletic Conference). They see me as a starter. Hopefully I’ll build up to a weekend starter and get to go on the road.”
Russell had a record of 6-0 with a 0.82 earned run average last spring, his first full season with the varsity team. He only allowed 17 hits in 34 innings, fanning 60 and tied a program record with 15 strikeouts in a seven-inning game. He was named to the all-conference team.
“I think Connor will be very successful at the college level,” said longtime Greely coach Derek Soule. “He has outstanding control and three good pitches: a fastball, curve and a change-up he can throw for strikes in any count. What separates him and what I believe will lead him to further success are his intangibles: incredible composure, work ethic, confidence, fierce competitiveness and the fact he’s a student of the game.”
Russell, who also swims at Greely, credited college-bound teammates Jonah Normandeau and Bailey Train, as well Soule and pitching coach Miles Hunt for his success.
“I’ve gotten a wealth of knowledge from my coaches,” Russell said. “They’re the best by far from what I’ve seen. I hope we can win a state title this year.”