Sam Keblinksy gets ahold of the ball earlier this week at a Mount Desert Island High School varsity baseball practice. Keblinsky is the only freshman on the team of mostly upperclassmen. ISLANDER PHOTO BY TAYLOR BIGLER

Boys ready to ‘Play ball!’



Starting pitcher Matt Perconti makes a catch during a recent practice of the Mount Desert Island High School varsity baseball team. ISLANDER PHOTO BY TAYLOR BIGLER

BAR HARBOR — The success of the Mount Desert Island High School football, varsity boys’ basketball and boys’ indoor track teams has set the stage for this spring’s varsity baseball season.

According to first-year Head Coach Andy Pooler, there is some added pressure on the Trojans to have a successful season after the football team earned the Class C Northern Maine Championship and the basketball and track teams each won state titles.

But those high-profile wins also have helped mold the baseball team into a promising group.

“They have each already played another sport, and so they are ready to come out and play,” said Pooler.

The players are conditioned after a season or two of fall and winter sports, meaning the coaching staff doesn’t have to start from square one.

Last spring, the 10-8 Trojans were edged out of the baseball playoffs after a 2-1 loss to Waterville High School in the preliminary round.

This year’s juniors and seniors who played last year know what it takes to get to a championship berth. That gives the Trojans an early advantage.

“We’ve got a veteran group which is good, and we’ve got some good guys starting infield and on the mound,” Pooler said.

While some positions still remain to be filled, Pooler has selected his catcher and pitchers.

Junior Alden Fournier will be the starting pitcher, while senior Seth Clark and junior Matt Perconti will start on the pitcher’s mound.

Clark and Perconti follow ace pitcher Dylan Collin, who graduated last year.

“Dylan was our ace pitcher, but they pitched in many other games last season,” said Pooler.

Although this is Pooler’s first year as head coach, he was an assistant coach for the team starting in 2009. He also has been around the school’s diamond a few times himself as an MDI High School student who helped the Trojans clinch an Eastern Maine championship in 2005.

Former Trojans Head Coach Mike Swanson will serve as an assistant coach this season, along with Gregg Linscott, Kyle McKim, Alex Maffucci and JV baseball Coach Brent Barker.


Senior Riley Swanson taps the ball during a bunting drill at a recent Mount Desert Island High School varsity baseball practice. ISLANDER PHOTO BY TAYLOR BIGLER

The veteran coaching staff feels confident in this year’s varsity team.

“We’ve done a lot of work on our team defensive strategy, and a lot of that is carried over from last year,” said Pooler. “If we had a game today, we’d be ready to go.”

While getting to the state championship game would be an impressive hat trick for MDI High School’s athletes, the boys, most importantly, are ready to get outside and play ball.

“They are hungry to win and hungry to compete and to just have fun,” said Pooler. “This is a really tight-knit group, and that really carries over into the field.”

The rest of the roster this season includes Aaron Snurkowski, Riley Swanson, Mac Shea, Ezra Johnson, Jacob Mitchell, Nick Stanley, Andrew Kennedy, Stanley Grierson, Finn McConomy, Drew Shea, Derek Collin and Sam Keblinsky.

 

 

Taylor Bigler Mace

Taylor Bigler Mace

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Taylor covers sports and maritimes for the Islander. As a native of Texas, she is an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan. tbigler@mdislander.com
Taylor Bigler Mace

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