ELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth baseball team is within striking distance of first place in the Class B North standings after recent victories over Belfast and Mount Desert Island.
Last Thursday, Ellsworth earned a road 3-2 win over Belfast to finish the first half of the regular season with unbeaten record at 8-0. Belfast had responded to Ellsworth runs to start off the first and sixth innings by tying the game both times, but the Lions were unable to do so a third time after freshman Hunter Curtis scored in the top of the seventh.
Senior pitcher Matt Burnett struck out nine batters in seven innings against Belfast to improve to 4-0 on the season. Junior Jackson Curtis led the Eagles at the plate with two hits and two RBIs. Tyler Mitchell and Michael Palmer also had base hits.
On Monday, Conner Wagstaff led the way for Ellsworth as the Eagles notched an 8-1 home win over No. 5 MDI (5-4). The senior struck out 11 batters in 5 2/3 innings of work before Burnett recorded the game’s final four outs on strikeouts in relief. Burnett and Jackson Curtis had two hits apiece for the Eagles, who had seven as a team.
The wins moved the No. 2 Eagles (9-0) within 5.2 Heal points of top-ranked Hermon (11-0) in the Class B North standings. The Hawks had 64.8 points to Ellsworth’s 59.6 following Monday’s games. The two teams will play one another at 4:30 p.m. next Thursday, May 23, at Hermon High School.
Before that, Ellsworth will battle sixth-ranked Brewer (6-2) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16, in a rematch of last year’s regional championship game. The Eagles will then play at that time on the road against George Stevens Academy (7-1), at home against John Bapst and at Washington Academy on Friday, May 17, Monday, May 20, and next Tuesday, May 21, respectively.