The 2019 Mount Desert Island High School junior varsity baseball team included, kneeling from left, Israel del Orbe de la Cruz, Matt Jones, A.J. Lozano and Seth Heard; standing, from left, coach Brent Barker, Andrew Clark, Noah Lambert, Oliver Blank and Cedar Ellis; player not pictured is Parker Shortell. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HIGH SCHOOL

JV baseball team fights through weather, low numbers

BAR HARBOR — Faced with a difficult situation, the 2019 Mount Desert Island junior varsity baseball team made the best of it.

MDI, which boasts a very strong JV team on an annual basis, entered this season with a schedule similar to any other: 12-14 scheduled games and a play day with the other Hancock County schools at the end. Yet between this year’s exceptionally cold, wet spring and a slight dip in numbers taking tolls on the Trojans, only five of those games happened.

“Our numbers just weren’t super great compared to past years,” coach Brent Barker said. “You run into that problem from time to time, and a lot of other schools were in the same boat. When it wasn’t that, we had Mother Nature canceling on us. We just had to do the best we could.”

Even with just nine players, the Trojans made it work. After not playing a single game in April and having played just once as of May 20, the team of Israel del Orbe de la Cruz, Matt Jones, A.J. Lozano, Seth Heard, Andrew Clark, Noah Lambert, Oliver Blank, Cedar Ellis and Parker Shortell finished the year with a record of 2-3.

The last of those five games were played June 1 as MDI traveled to Ellsworth High School for Hancock County’s season-end JV tournament. Although Bucksport and George Stevens Academy weren’t available to play, the Trojans still earned a 10-5 win against Sumner before falling to a strong Ellsworth team.

“That was a good day because we finally just got to go play.” Barker said. “It also had that tournament setup, which was exciting for the kids. We knew that, no matter what, this was the last day of the season, and we went out there and had some fun.”

Even with the frustrations that came with being unable to play, Barker said all parties involved were very understanding.

“I just want to thank the guys on the team, their parents and [Athletic Director Bunky] Dow for fighting through it,” Barker said. “It was just something that was out of everyone’s control, and they all handled it very well.”

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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