Mount Desert Island’s Erik Merchant crosses home plate to score a run during the second inning of a high school baseball game against Ellsworth on May 29 in Ellsworth. MDI lost the game 8-3. ISLANDER PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Baseball falls to Ellsworth

ELLSWORTH — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity baseball team fell 8-3 to Ellsworth Tuesday in the final game of the regular season.

The win for Ellsworth brought the rivals to 1-1 after MDI gave the Eagles their only loss of the season last month. It has been a great season for Hancock County’s two Class B North schools, both of which could have deep playoff runs ahead of them.

Fans of both teams lined the fences all the way from home plate to the left- and right-field foul poles, and with Senior Day proceedings for Ellsworth unfolding, the atmosphere was a festive one.

“Going into a big game like this with one team No. 1 and the other No. 2 is the way both these teams would want it,” Ellsworth Head Coach Dan Curtis said. “Both games this year, you saw that neither one of us ever gives in.”

After the teams exchanged runs in the first inning, MDI took a one-run lead in the second when Liam Sullivan tripled to right field to score Erik Merchant. Ellsworth pitcher Matt Burnett was able to strand Sullivan at third with back-to-back strikeouts, but diving stops by MDI pitcher Matt Perconti and second baseman Nick Stanley in the bottom of the inning preserved MDI’s lead.

In the third inning, though, Ellsworth took a 4-2 lead after Sam Horne knocked in two runs with a base hit to right and Austin Baron laid down an RBI bunt single down the third-base line. MDI (11-5) put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the fourth, but Burnett escaped the jam with consecutive strikeouts once again to keep the Eagles in front.

“These boys have been under duress plenty of times this season, and I think one of the biggest things that happen as your team matures is that you just don’t panic anymore,” Curtis said.

Ellsworth (15-1) plated four more runs to give itself added breathing room in the bottom of the fourth inning, and the Eagles were well on the way to victory. Conner Wagstaff struck out five straight batters after coming on in relief, and a late MDI rally in the seventh earned the Trojans just one more run before Wagstaff forced a ground ball for the game’s final out.

Depending on results elsewhere in the state, MDI will receive a home game in either the preliminary round or the regional quarterfinals.

“We’ve got some things to work on, but we’ve done a really good job to get this far and get that home playoff game,” Pooler said. “We’ll see where we end up in the playoffs, and then it’s a brand-new season from there.”

MDI 3 – Belfast 2

MDI beat Belfast 3-2 last Wednesday to avenge a loss to the Lions earlier this month. The Trojans didn’t allow a run until the seventh inning in the win.

Alden Fournier earned the win over the Trojans with six strikeouts and only one earned run. Jacob Mitchell had three hits for MDI at the plate.

MDI 8 – WA 4

Against Washington Academy the following day, MDI reached double-digit wins on the year with an 8-4 victory. Mitchell again had three hits for the Trojans, and Andrew Kennedy pitched six innings to record the victory.

MDI 6 – Old Town 3

On Friday, the Trojans celebrated Senior Day with a 6-3 win over Old Town. The result marked the final home game for MDI seniors Fournier, Kennedy, James McConomy and Perconti. Also recognized was senior Stanley Grierson, who missed the game after suffering a season-ending leg injury earlier this month.

Perconti threw a complete game against Old Town to earn his fifth win of the season. Sullivan had two hits and two runs scored for MDI, as well as four stolen bases.

Mike Mandell

Mike Mandell

Mike 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]

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