06/23/2011 9:17 PM
Article By: Tom Quinlan
CHATHAM, Mass- Imagine being told you’re going to be able to play at the next level in front of friends, family and people you grew up with.
How would it feel waking up on game day, sitting down with your parents and enjoying a home-cooked meal or going to the beach on Cape Cod catching some rays. And then around 4 p.m. head to the field a mere 45 minutes from your house.
That’s the background for Keith Bilodeau (Maine) of the Chatham Anglers, born and raised in Sagamore and matriculated at Bourne High School. Bilodeau was a dominant force throughout his four-year high school career at BHS.
Bilodeau’s junior year signified his high school career after posting a 1.82 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 77 innings. He was even more dominant during his American Legion season he went a perfect 7-0, compiled a 0.62 ERA and played in the Bay State Games, not to mention tossing a no-hitter. College scouts were intrigued by his gaudy numbers, although it was the way he could make a baseball move that stunned visiting college scouts when they saw Keith pitch in high school.
So far, his collegiate numbers are even better than in high school and he’s proven to pro scouts he’s ready for the next level. He pitched University of Maine to an America East title and NCAA Regional bid, going 10-3 with a 3.04 ERA and a team-high 83 K’s in 91.2 innings. His ten wins tied a UMO single season record and Bilodeau earned the start in the Black Bears’ NCAA Regional opener against #3 North Carolina.
After allowing four runs in the first inning, Bilodeau allowed no runs and three hits the rest of the game. He earned the win vs. Binghamton in the America East Tournament by pitching a complete game.
Instead of immediately hiring an agent and signing after being drafted in the 24th round by the World Champion San Francisco Giants, Bilodeau decided to improve his skills and possibly better his stock for 2012 if he remains unsigned this summer while playing for the Anglers.
Chatham is Bilodeau’s second club in the Cape League, after playing for Wareham last summer.
“We’re very impressed with his first start against Hyannis,“ said Chatham field manager John Schiffner. “He didn’t get the decision, but his numbers were really good and with that he’s rewarded with another start.”
Schiffner explained while Bilodeau is not yet an established starter, he may be able to earn a spot in the Anglers’ rotation.
“It’s a young season and we’re still trying to find our identity, “said Schiffner. And what does Coach Schiffner think about Bilodeau’s chances of signing this year? “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Whether Bilodeau decides to stay on the Cape or play in the pros, he’ll always be able to say he played at home-sweet-home.