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 [email protected] MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img

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