Ellsworth baseball team falls to MDI in extra innings

first_imgBAR HARBOR — All throughout a back-and-forth game between Hancock County’s biggest rivals Tuesday, a sense of something special was in the air on the baseball diamond at Mount Desert Island High School.Whether it was clutch pitching on the mound, timely hitting at the plate or a gaggle of geese disrupting the game, this early-season contest between Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island in Bar Harbor had just about everything. Seven innings weren’t enough to separate these Hancock County foes, who went blow for blow with one another in a matchup between two of the top teams in Class B North.MDI edged Ellsworth 5-4 on Nick Stanley’s walk-off single up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night in Bar Harbor. It was a joyous win for the Trojans and a difficult result for the Eagles, but it felt as if this could be just the beginning for each of the two rivals.Ellsworth’s Jackson Curtis swings at a pitch during the fourth inning of a high school baseball game against MDI on April 24 in Bar Harbor. Curtis had a single and a run scored for the Eagles. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“Both of our teams are special, and we knew it would be a battle from start to finish,” Stanley said. “We brought everything we had, and so did Ellsworth. We’re going to be seeing them in the playoffs, for sure.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textFrom the start, this encounter was a battle between two of the area’s top pitchers, MDI’s Matt Perconti and Ellsworth’s Conner Wagstaff. After both pitchers got out of the first inning unscathed, Perconti forced two groundouts and a flyout to retire the side in the top of the second before the Trojans used patience at the plate and situational baserunning to score the game’s first two runs.Perconti continued his strong performance on the mound throughout the next few innings and even had a no-hitter going through five. Yet Ellsworth’s resilience paid off in the top of the sixth inning when it mounted a one-out rally to take a 4-2 lead.“I thought we attacked some fastballs that were up in the zone and drove them,” Ellsworth head coach Dan Curtis said. “Our big bats in the middle of the order started hitting some line drives into the gaps, and good things started to happen for us.”MDI, though, used a pair of runs to tie the game after Wagstaff departed in the bottom of the inning with two men on base. After scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth — and a brief delay as Ellsworth’s Jared Hamilton fought off a pair of geese in center field — Stanley had the chance to win it for the Trojans with a runner on second against Ellsworth’s Brad Smith.“I’ve gone against Bradly a lot of times in the past, and he’s a good pitcher who had made me look silly in the at-bat right before with a curveball,” Stanley said. “He got ahead of me 0-1 with a fastball this time, and I was looking curveball again. I just put my weight back, connected with it and drove it up the middle.”Alden Fournier was the winning pitcher for MDI (2-0) with two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth, and Smith, who had guided the Eagles through the seventh and eighth after giving up two unearned runs in the sixth, took the loss. Perconti allowed two hits with three strikeouts and a single walk, and Wagstaff allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and six walks.Stanley and Liam Sullivan had two hits each for MDI, which had seven on the night. Jack Lee, Jackson Curtis and Matt Burnett had singles for Ellsworth (2-1).MDI players celebrate after Nick Stanley’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning cemented a 5-4 win over Ellsworth on April 24 in Bar Harbor. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“For us, I think you have to be happy with what we were able to do at the plate,” MDI head coach Andy Pooler said. “Both teams managed to pull off the couple of runs they had to have when they needed them most. It came down to that one hit in extra innings.”For Ellsworth, the loss snapped a two-game winning streak to start the year. The Eagles, who beat Bucksport 14-5 last Thursday and John Bapst 13-5 Saturday, face Washington Academy (1-1) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, before finishing their three-game road stand against Foxcroft at noon Saturday, April 28, and hosting Washington Academy in a rematch at 4:30 next Tuesday, May 1.MDI, which beat George Stevens Academy 10-4 to open the season last week, will be back at home Saturday for a doubleheader against Caribou (0-2) beginning at 1 p.m. The Trojans are then scheduled to play the first of four consecutive road games when they face Hermon at 4:30 p.m. next Tuesday.As for the next game between Ellsworth and MDI, that won’t come until the end of May. Both teams have plenty of games to play before then, but after this battle, the month until the rematch in Ellsworth will seem like a lifetime.“I think you saw tonight how solid both teams are and what we can do,” Stanley said. “Whenever you have Ellsworth and MDI playing, it’s going to be a fun ride.” Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Bio Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest Postscenter_img Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

See More

UW finishes 3rd at WCHA finals

first_imgST. PAUL, Minn. — The path to the NCAA tournament was simple for the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team: two Final Five wins and they’re in.But a 3-0 loss to Denver Friday ended the Badgers’ hopes for a Final Five title, dashing their NCAA postseason chances in the process. When the tournament field was chosen Sunday, UW was the first team out.Standing in the way of Wisconsin and a date in the Final Five championship game was the Denver Pioneers and goaltender Marc Cheverie, who blanked the Badgers by stopping all 42 shots en route to a 3-0 win.“Tonight was just a solid game by them,” Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said of Denver. “I thought they played an extremely intelligent game. They played well as a team. They played hard. They won a lot of battles, and got some timely goals tonight.”The loss to the Pioneers was a familiar feeling for the Badgers, who were swept in the season series against Denver, losing all five games.It was a familiar cast of characters as well that did UW in on Friday. Brian Gifford, Kyle Ostrow and Patrick Wiercioch all netted goals in the victory.For Wiercioch, his power play goal 6:01 into the third period was his tenth point of the season against the Badgers — a team he nearly played for this season.Wiercioch originally gave a verbal commitment to Wisconsin to play as a defenseman, but because of UW’s depth on defense, he would have had to wait a year before cracking the lineup. An opportunity to play immediately at Denver arose, so Wiercioch took it and hasn’t looked back. The freshman finished the season with 12 goals and 21 assists — and a good portion of his scoring came against the Badgers.“Our team generally has been playing well against this team,” Wiercioch said. “They’re a good team, and ever since we’ve played them back in October, we knew it would be big series coming down to the end.”DU’s Brian Gifford started the scoring late in the first period. After skating across the UW blueline, Gifford wristed a shot that crept over the left shoulder of Wisconsin goalie Shane Connelly and in for a 1-0 lead.In the second, Ostrow gave the Pioneers a 2-0 edge. Ostrow took a brilliant pass from teammate Luke Salazar and then split Wisconsin’s Sean Dolan and Jake Gardiner on his way to the net.“One of the things we certainly wanted to do is be able to get our transition game functioning and functioning properly,” Denver head coach George Gwozdecky said. “I thought that was part of our success today.”Wiercioch’s shot in the third period on the power play from the left point found its way through traffic and beat Connelly for the final goal of the game.The story of the day for Denver, though, was sophomore Cheverie, who pitched the shutout by stopping all 42 Badger shots.“This is a goaltender’s tournament,” Gwozdecky said of the Final Five. “Goaltenders are going to win it for you.”Indeed, Cheverie did everything he could to make sure his Pioneers advanced to the championship game. And despite firing 42 times on net, the shots the Badgers took didn’t make Cheverie work particularly hard.“He did his part,” UW defenseman Jamie McBain said. “We gave him that first shot, but a lot of the time their defense — give them credit, they blocked our forwards out.”“Good teams have to tighten up in the playoffs if you want to have success,” Cheverie said. “That’s what our team’s been doing. … I give all the credit to them. They make my job a lot easier.”Following the loss, Wisconsin advanced to the consolation game Saturday against WCHA regular-season champion North Dakota. With the NCAA tournament no longer an option, the Badgers seemingly had little to play for.But Wisconsin certainly didn’t look like a team playing in its last game of the season. UW jumped on UND three times in the second period, taking the third-place game by a 4-1 final.Early on, though, it appeared as if Wisconsin was ready for its season to be over.UW fired just six shots on net in the first period to the Fighting Sioux’s 17. North Dakota forward Ryan Duncan — the 2007 Hobey Baker award winner — put his team up 7:45 into the first with a goal from the doorstep. It appeared as if Connelly had the left side of the net sealed up, but Duncan found an opening and slipped the puck in for a 1-0 UND lead.“It wasn’t one of his classics,” North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol said. “He showed good, quick hands and he pulled it from below the goal line and stuffed it in. It was a good goal for him and it got us off to a good start.”But during the first and second periods, a switch was flipped on in the Wisconsin locker room.The Badgers came out in the second playing their most aggressive hockey of the weekend, peppering Sioux goalie Brad Eidsness with 25 second-period shots. Just 3:37 into the second, UW forward Andy Bohmbach tied things up when he poked a loose puck in the crease past Eidsness.Later in the first, freshman Jordy Murray scored what proved to be the game-winner on a great hustle play by teammate Michael Davies. After Eidsness casually left the puck behind his own goal, Davies raced in and collected the puck, eventually finding Murray cutting to the net for a one-timer and a 2-1 Badger lead.“I think everyone stepped up and realized we can still win this game,” Connelly said. “We were embarrassed in the first period, just like we were kind of embarrassed yesterday.”Defenseman Brendan Smith added a power play goal with under a minute to go in the second. Smith slapped one from the right faceoff circle that trickled under the leg pad of Eidsness and in.Wisconsin struck again on the power play in the third, as Murray notched his second goal of the game, this time on the man-advantage 17:04 into the final frame.The Badgers were 2-for-7 on the power play, while North Dakota struggled with the man-advantage, failing to convert on nine power play attempts.“We had some great power plays this weekend,” Hakstol said. “I thought today we were just more sporadic in our performance on the power play.”The 4-1 victory was a bittersweet one for Wisconsin — especially for seniors Connelly and Tom Gorowsky. Not only was it the final game of the 2008-2009 season for UW, but it was the final game of Connelly and Gorowsky’s careers.“It’s awesome. You never want to end on a loss,” Connelly said. “This is a unique situation to end on a win like this, and to get a performance from the team that showed character coming out after a disappointing day yesterday. … For me, it’s gratifying playing against a great team like North Dakota and getting the win here in the Final Five.”last_img read more

See More