BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School varsity baseball team will have a new look this season after losing all three starting pitchers and seven of the top-10 hitters from last year’s squad. In the 2018 season, the team went 11-5 and claimed the No. 3 seed in the conference.
Yet the Trojans are bringing back Sam Keblinsky and Liam Sullivan, the team’s RBI leaders last year, as well as Sam Mitchell, who went 2-0 on the mound last season with 11 strikeouts and just a single walk.
“We lost seven or eight guys from last year, so it’s kind of a situation where we’re turning the page a bit,” head coach Andy Pooler said. “It’s going to take us a while to kind of find that groove and make decisions as to who’s playing where, but with a new group, we’ve got some kids who are hungry to step up and fill their roles.”
In addition to moving some of last year’s junior varsity players up to the varsity level and having a new crop of freshman with which to work, Pooler’s team will also welcome the return of Drew Shea. One of MDI’s top players two seasons ago, Shea is looking to make his mark on the team again this go-around after not playing in 2018.
“Drew had two really good years [as a freshman and a sophomore], and it hurt not having him last year,” Pooler said. “It’s good that he’s back a senior. He’ll be a huge anchor in the midfield, and he’ll also help us leadership-wise.”
In Class B North, the team will look to hold its own against a field that includes Ellsworth, Hermon and Old Town.
Preseason play will begin when MDI hosts Penobscot Valley at 4 p.m. April 8. The Trojans’ first regular season games will be played on the road against Bucksport at 4 p.m. April 18.
“I know these kids are hungry to get outside,” Pooler said. “It’s been a long winter, and with us starting in the gym for a week or so, we know we’re going to be really excited when we get out there.”