Skidmore College coach Ron Plourde, right, talks to his players between innings of a game against Bates College on Saturday at Leahy Field in Lewiston. Plourde is a Lewiston native who has been coaching at Skidmore for the past 25 years. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Coach Ron Plourde stopped by for a visit to his hometown of Lewiston on Saturday and brought along the entire Skidmore College baseball team. 

Plourde, 53, had tried to schedule a doubleheader with the Bates Bobcats at Leahy Field for a quarter of century, but circumstances beyond his control prevented the matchup between the Bobcats and Thoroughbreds.

Bates, on senior day, won Saturday’s opener 8-5, then took the second game in exciting fashion, winning 6-5 on Brandon Biggane’s walk-off two-run single.

The teams also will play a game Sunday at 11 a.m.

The weekend series also is like a belated homecoming for Plourde, a Lewiston High School and St. Joseph’s College graduate. His two brothers, sister and childhood friend Brian Seguin came to cheer on the Skidmore coach, who had an extra spring in his step and was feeling quite at home at Leahy Field. 

“We have crossed over and played quite a few on the NESCACs,” Plourde said, referring to schools in Bates’ conference. “But Maine schools, unless we see them in Florida, it is really hard because we are both in conferences that typically play every weekend.” 


Skidmore plays in the Liberty League and is located at Saratoga Springs, New York — a 334-mile, five-hour bus ride to Lewiston. 

“But then there was a kind of an opening in our schedule this year because we had an extra team in our league — Hobart College — and that created opening in April that we never had or usually don’t have,” Plourde said, “and so the Bates coach (Jon Martin) is a friend of mine and I just kind of reached out and sent out an email to a bunch of people and (Martin) responded. He said, ‘You want to come to Maine?’ I said, ‘I would love to come to Maine.’” 

Martin met Plourde over 20 years ago when Martin began coaching the Vassar Brewers in New York. 

“We have had some absolute battles on the field,” Martin said. “I think Vassar, Bates, Skidmore are very similar schools … but (Plourde) is a good friend, a true competitor (and) he is a great coach. I mean, you can tell by his track record. 

“He has been doing it a long time. So he is definitely a good opponent to play this week. It is good to play a different team that you don’t know much about … but at the same time it is all business when the first pitch goes up.”

Martin said both out-of-conference teams are fortunate to be able to go head-to-head against each other this weekend.


“I think that we both feel like we both have good competitive teams and we both are pushing for a playoff spot at the end of the year, so this is a good matchup, good series for both of us to play good competition and keep it rolling a little bit,” Martin said.

Plourde said that many Mainers have played for Skidmore during his tenure, including pitcher Jack Clark of Scarborough, who is on this year’s team. There are also a wide variety of athletes from all over New England. 

Skidmore coach Ron Plourde, left, stands near third base Saturday during a doubleheader against Bates College at Leahy Field in Lewiston. Plourde is a Lewiston native who has been coaching at Skidmore for the past 25 years. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“That makes sense to try to play (at Bates) somewhere in the Northeast when we can,” Plourde said Friday. “We just can’t because the baseball season is so short that we can’t do it. 

“I guess it was just the lining up of the stars this year. I am just so excited to be going up there. A lot of family friends are trying to go the games this weekend and it will be great for our kids.” 

Plourde said Bates was less than mile from his family home. 

“I spent a lot of time going (to Bates) as a kid and my early adult years, when I was still in Lewiston. I would still go over and use the weight room,” he said. “I spent a lot of times going to football games and baseball games …”



Seguin was standing right next to the Skidmore dugout to demonstrate his support for Plourde. 

“Ron and I still stay in touch, and he had told me he was coming up to Bates. Then I said, ‘Hopefully, things will work out, that I will be able come up and say, hey,'” Seguin said.

“We played together from the time we could walk. We used to play every day, something, whatever season it was, we’d play. We used to play all over (Bates).”

The Bates doubleheader was a chance for Plourde to be around his two brothers. 

“Every single year since (Ron) started at Skidmore, I have been going to Florida with him,” Mark Plourde said. “I go down for the start of the season, eight or 10 games, whatever it is. 


“(Today) is a blast for me. This is a bonus for me.” 

Don Plourde, Cony High School’s baseball coach and one of Maine’s finest soccer officials, enjoyed seeing his twin brother and rooting for him.

“I couldn’t be any happier for him, and we are close,” Don said. “We’ve been best friends all our lives, and him being out six hours away, you know it’s hard. This is the first college game I’ve seen him (coach) because we are always in our (high school) season. So this is pretty special.” 

Bates assistant Jeff Benson was once the assistant coach at St. Joe’s. He said Ron Plourde was a great second baseman, and Don was the catcher for the Monks. 

“We are glad that (Ron) could get up,” Benson said. “A least now we can able to see him coach and not ride six hours to do it. He is a great coach.” 

Both Martin and Don Plourde welcomed the opportunity to finally hook up again, with a bonus for Plourde of seeing home again. 


“Coach Plourde was excited to come back to Lewiston and check it out,” Martin said prior to Saturday’s doubleheader. “It’s been a while since he has been home, so we are glad to welcome him here and welcome him back, but hopefully we come out with a couple of (wins) today.” 

“Like I said, I have been trying to get up there for 25 years, and finally it is working out,” Plourde said. “I am enjoying this too much. I get to coach baseball for a living. That is pretty cool.”

BATES 8, SKIDMORE 5:  Saturday’s opener was a hard-hitting affair for both teams, with the Bobcats’s Henry Jameison leading the way three hits in four at-bats and driving in two runs. The Bobcats had 14 hits for the day.

Luke Linnehan got the win on the mound, striking out six batters.

Jaciso Hornung and Anthony Peterson led Skidmore three hits and two RBIs apiece.

BATES 6, SKIDMORE 5: Brandon Biggane smacked a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Bobcats a 6-5 victory over the Thoroughbreds and secure a doubleheader sweep.

The second game was a battle for both teams, with the score staying close and the lead changing hands three times. Skidmore took a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh.

Matthew Shrake got the win on the mound for Bates.

Danny Melillo went 3 for 4 at the plate and doubled to drive in two runs for the Thoroughbreds.

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