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Orono, Maine — Scott Morse recalls sitting in his living room in Bellows Falls, Vermont, watching the University of Maine in the College World Series on ESPN.

Peter Bushway, from a neighboring town in New Hampshire, was playing for the Black Bears.

“I remember telling my dad that I’m going to play for them – not thinking that would ever happen,” Morse said.

A year later, UMaine coach John Winkin was watching recruit Mike Ballou, another Vermonter, pitch in an American Legion game. His opponent was Scott Morse.

Winkin was impressed and offered a scholarship to Morse, who became one of the most prolific pitchers in school history. The tall right-hander, who helped UMaine maintain its place as a regional power and national contender, has earned him a place in the UMaine Sports Hall of Fame.

“I couldn’t believe that it was happening. It was really, really exciting,” Morse said of his selection.

Morse sparkled during his three seasons in Orono, posting 26 victories in 39 career starts. He helped propel the Black Bears to two College World Series appearances, earning third-team, All-America accolades in 1986.

The two-time All-ECAC North pick (1985-86) still holds the program record for consecutive wins with 10 in 1984. Morse holds the school season mark with 15 starts, accomplished during UMaine’s 41-win campaign in 1986.

“Scott had a classic pitcher’s body, was a tremendous athlete and a fierce competitor,” said former UMaine assistant coach Bob Whalen, now the head coach at Dartmouth. “He went after hitters with his fastball, and eventually developed a good slider.”

Morse credits Winkin with facilitating his transformation into a big-time college pitcher on an outstanding ballclub.

“I feel like God gifted me some talent, but coach Winkin had a way to make that talent better,” Morse said. “He could take different individuals and bring them together to make a cohesive unit that works together.”

Morse, who is tied for second at UMaine in single-season shutouts (3) and ranks fourth with 248 career strikeouts, was selected in the fifth round (111th overall) by the Texas Rangers in the 1986 major league draft.

He is grateful for the support, encouragement and friendship of his teammates in helping him excel.

“Everybody had the same goal in mind and we were willing to do whatever it took to reach that goal,” he said. “We got along so well, we joked around. The memories that we had together off the field were just as special as what was on the field.”

Some of his favorite memories included holding eventual national champion Arizona to four hits and one run in UMaine’s CWS opening-game loss in 1986. He also recalled pitching 7 2/3 no-hit innings in a victory over national power Miami at Mahaney Diamond.

Morse burst onto the scene as a freshman in 1984. He was expected to be a reliever initially, but the suspension of ace Billy Swift opened the door for him to start during the spring break trip.

He debuted by beating a highly ranked University of Oklahoma team, and future major league pitcher Bobby Witt, 4-2.

“That was a big momentum shift when I was able to beat him,” Morse said.

He enjoyed four seasons in the minor leagues, posting a 20-18 overall record while reaching the Class AA level.

Morse has spent the last 29 years in Florida as an IT manager for Charlotte County public schools. He and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of a daughter, Alyssa, 17, and sons Jadon (15), Jeremiah (9) and Austin (9 months).

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