Ellsworth Loses in Semifinal



ELLSWORTH — In a disappointing end to a superb season, the Ellsworth Eagles saw their hopes of an Eastern Maine championship shattered on Saturday as they fell 8-4 to the Waterville Purple Panthers in a Class B semifinal.

Shortstop Brad Folmer of the Ellsworth Eagles waits to apply the tag as Samer Nashed of the Waterville Purple Panthers tries unsuccessfully for second base during Waterville’s 8-4 Class B semifinal win over the Eagles on Saturday at Ellsworth.—HUGH BOWDEN
Shortstop Brad Folmer of the Ellsworth Eagles waits to apply the tag as Samer Nashed of the Waterville Purple Panthers tries unsuccessfully for second base during Waterville’s 8-4 Class B semifinal win over the Eagles on Saturday at Ellsworth.—HUGH BOWDEN

ELLSWORTH — In a disappointing end to a superb season, the Ellsworth Eagles saw their hopes of an Eastern Maine championship shattered on Saturday as they fell 8-4 to the Waterville Purple Panthers in a Class B semifinal.

Ellsworth righthander Pat Kelley got off to a strong start on the mound, retiring the first three Waterville batters in order.

And the second-ranked Eagles jumped on Waterville righthander Kyle Bishop for four runs in the first inning, getting hits from five of the first six batters.

Brad Folmer led off with a single, Kelley followed with an infield single and Mickey Manning drove both runners home with a line drive double to right field.

Manning then went to third on a single by Jordan Carter and scored as Adam Kaspala grounded out to the second baseman.

Carter scored the fourth Ellsworth run on a double by Andrew Hodge before Bishop finally retired the next two batters.

Kelley gave up two hits in the second inning but both runners were stranded.

Ellsworth threatened again in the bottom of the inning but couldn’t score.

Fortune smiled on the third-ranked Panthers in the third inning when they pushed five runs, including what proved to be the game-winner, across the plate.

With one out, Cam Sawyer reached on the first of four Eagle errors on the day and Josh Gaudette followed with a bunt single.

Curt Chaput then singled to drive in Sawyer, and Bishop followed with a fly ball to center for the second out.

But the Panthers weren’t done.

A single by J.T. Whitten scored Gaudette and Tim Locke beat out an infield single to load the bases.

Zach Wehry then hit a soft popup that barely reached the outfield grass in right field and floated just out of the reach of second baseman Garrett Kaspala.

Chaput and Whitten both scored and Locke was waved home from third with the go-ahead run as the throw-in from the outfield skipped past third baseman Seth Cote and rolled out of play.

The Eagles loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the third, but Gaudette came on to pitch in relief of Bishop and retired the next two batters.

Waterville added a run in the fifth when Kyle Veilleux — pinch-running for Chaput, who was hit by a pitch to open the inning — raced home on a passed ball.

The Eagles missed another scoring opportunity in their half of the inning.

Gaudette walked Hodge and Cote and Ross Saunders beat out a bunt single. But Andrew Austin, who was inserted to run for Hodge, was caught off third base and tagged out after Saunders’ bunt.

Garrett Kaspala then popped the ball in the air to Locke at third, and he fired the ball to second where an umpire ruled that Cote did not get back to the base in time.

Kelley, who pitched a complete game for the Eagles in his final career start, gave up a two-run homer to Bishop in the top of the seventh.

The Eagles closed out the season with a record of 14-4, while the 16-3 Panthers advanced to the Eastern Maine final against top-ranked Gardiner.

For more sports stories, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

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