Sam Horne of the Trenton Acadians barrels toward home plate as Zain Fitzsimmons (No. 8) and manager Josh Jackson look on during the American Legion championship game against the R.H. Foster Riverdogs of Hampden on July 31 at Husson University in Bangor. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAREN BARON

American Legion team matches best-ever tournament finish

BANGOR — From start to finish, 2019 has been a banner year for baseball at all levels across Hancock County. On July’s final day, some of the top local players finished it with one last hurrah.

The Trenton Acadians concluded their 2019 season Wednesday with an appearance in the American Legion state championship game at Husson University. The Acadians’ second-place finish matched the 1998 team for the best-ever state tournament result in Post 207’s 40-year history.

“This was an outstanding year for us,” Acadians coach Josh Jackson said. “We had a solid regular season and kept it going in the tournament with a bunch of big wins.”

The Acadians went 13-5 in regular season play to earn the No. 2 seed in the tournament. They began the double-elimination competition Saturday with a 6-2 win over Pastime Club of Lewiston before moving to 2-0 the following day with a 6-1 win over Bessey Motors of South Paris.

Although the Acadians fell 6-2 to the R.H. Foster Riverdogs of Hampden on Monday, they bounced back the next day with a 4-1 win over Quirk Motor City of Orono. The team’s season then came to an end with a 2-1 loss to the Riverdogs in the title game.

The Acadians, who play at the George Stevens Academy field in Blue Hill, are composed of Hancock County players from the ages of 13-19. This year’s team drew players from GSA, Bucksport High School, Ellsworth High School, Mount Desert Island High School and Washington Academy.

Because all players born between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2006, were eligible to play, the Acadians weren’t restricted to high school players. That allowed 2018 Ellsworth graduates Austin Baron, Sam Horne and Brad Smith to join their former high school teammates and opponents and add some pop to the lineup.

“Those guys were some great leaders for us,” Jackson said. “When you start off with kids of all ages from a bunch of different schools, it can take some time for things to mesh and fall into place, but for us, the kids seemed to get right into it and get going right away.”

With the Ellsworth varsity team’s appearance in the Class B championship game keeping several players occupied through June 15, the Acadians didn’t start practicing until the following week. Once they did, though, they delivered a season-long effort that left Jackson optimistic about the sport’s future in Hancock County.

“I’m really proud of this team for going [as far as] the Acadians have ever gone before,” Jackson said. “You look all around, and there’s just some really great baseball being played all around the area right now. We’re fortunate to have some great players.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the Trenton Acadians reached their first-ever state championship game this season. The team also reached the final in 1998.

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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