University of Maine pitcher Nick Sinacola was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the MLB draft on Monday. Photo provided by University of Maine Athletics

After dominating America East Conference hitters this spring, University of Maine pitcher Nick Sinacola will get his shot in professional baseball. The 6-foot-1 righty was selected in the seventh round of the MLB draft by the San Francisco Giants Monday afternoon. Sinacola was the 206th overall pick.

Sinacola was 9-3 with a 2.04 ERA and 139 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings for the Black Bears this past season. The America East Pitcher of the Year, Sinacola’s 15.77 strikeouts per nine innings was second best in the nation. He was also named first team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, and Sinacola struck out at least 10 batters in 11 of his 12 starts.

“He just kept doing it,” Maine coach Nick Derba said of Sinacola’s season. “Every outing was hard to believe.”

Sinacola has been pitching for the Harwich Mariners in the Cape Cod Baseball League. Sinacola is 0-1 in two starts with Harwich, striking out 13 in nine innings.

The 2021 season was a breakout season for Sinacola, who was winless in his first two seasons at Maine. As he matured, Sinacola’s fastball improved. While pitching for the Brockton Rox of the Collegiate Futures Baseball League of New England last summer, Sinacola worked with teammate Joey Walsh on improving his slider. The slider became a dominant pitch for Sinacola throughout last season with the Black Bears.

“I’ve thrown the same slider for years, probably from when I first started throwing breaking balls when I was 14, 15,” Sinacola said in April. “(Walsh) had a really good wipeout slider. I talked with him a little bit about it. We talked about throwing it a little harder, which meant messing with the grip a little bit.

Sinacola is the sixth Black Bear to be chosen in the MLB draft since 2014, and the fourth-highest draft pick from UMaine since 1991, following Larry Thomas (2nd round 1991), Jeremy Pena (third round 2018) and Chris Bec (fifth round 2018). The highest UMaine selection was Bill Swift, the No. 2 overall pick in 1984 by the Seattle Mariners. The last UMaine player drafted by San Francisco was Mike Connolly, in the 27th round of the 2013 draft. Connolly advanced to Triple A Sacramento with the Giants organization.

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