Members of the Mount Desert Island baseball team greet teammate Drew Shea (second from right) at home plate after his fourth-inning home run against Bucksport on May 21 in Bar Harbor. Shea hit two of MDI’s three home runs in the Trojans’ 12-2 win. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

MDI baseball team crushes 3 home runs to beat Bucksport



BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island baseball team opened the 2019 season by losing to Bucksport in walk-off fashion. When the two teams met again Tuesday, the Trojans came away with a walk-off win of their own — in a much different manner.

MDI homered three times Tuesday en route to a 12-2 win over Bucksport in Bar Harbor. The victory, which was solidified when Drew Shea’s second home run of the game activated the 10-run rule in the fifth inning, avenged the Trojans’ season-opening loss to the Golden Bucks last month and gave the team a third straight win in the midst of a tight Class B North playoff race.

MDI’s Kyle Nicholson makes a running catch during the fourth inning of a high school baseball game against Bucksport on May 21 in Bar Harbor. Nicholson had two hits for MDI in the win. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

“We’re playing good ball right now,” MDI head coach Andy Pooler said. “It can be hard to find that consistency at first with such a young group, but we’ve been able to get that in these past few games. … Today, we just came out, had fun and hit the ball really well.”

Porter Isaacs gave MDI (8-5) a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when he hit a three-run blast over the center-field fence for the team’s first home run of the season. The Trojans then extended their lead to 5-0 on RBI singles by Sam Keblinsky in the second inning and Quentin Pileggi in the third.

Bucksport (5-7) got on the board in the top of the fourth with a pair of RBI doubles to cut MDI’s lead to 5-2. After pitcher Sam Mitchell got out of a jam to keep the Golden Bucks from cutting further into the lead, Sam Keblinsky hit an RBI double to score Kyle Nicholson before being caught stretching at third.

Three batters later, Shea hit a fly ball that appeared headed for the gap in right-center field. Instead, with just the right amount of wind pushing it, the ball cleared the fence for a two-run home run.

“Drew has a very good approach where he’s going to try and hit it to that gap,” Pooler said. “You hit the ball as hard as he does, and those line drives turn into big flies sometimes.”

After the Trojans added one more run in the fourth inning to make the score 9-2, Shea got another turn to bat in the fifth. With two runners on base, the senior slugger homered for the second time to bring an end to the game.

Keblinsky led MDI with three hits on the afternoon as Isaacs, Nicholson, Pileggi, Shea and Nick Corson had two apiece. Mitchell earned the win on the mound for the Trojans with seven hits and two earned runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings of work.

MDI’s Sam Mitchell pitches during the second inning of a high school baseball game against Bucksport on May 21 in Bar Harbor. Mitchell allowed just two runs in 4 2/3 innings of work to earn his second win of the season. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL

Ty Giberson, who homered for Bucksport when the Golden Bucks and Trojans met last month, had two hits for the visitors. Jacob Ames added a single and a double for Bucksport, which also got hits from Cam Grindle, Tyler Hallett, Ryan Howard and Dylan Wight.

The Trojans moved on from that April 18 loss to Bucksport rather quickly, but it was still weighing on their minds as they took the field Tuesday. Isaacs’ early blast gave fourth-place MDI the momentum it needed to avoid putting itself in another tight game with the Golden Bucks.

“We’re all really happy,” said Isaacs, whose home run assistant coach Brent Barker called a “moon shot.” “It feels a lot better [to be where we are now] than it did at the start of the season.”

Bucksport, which remained in third place in Class C North despite the loss, will host Sumner (4-9) at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, May 22. The Golden Bucks will then play 4:30 p.m. road games against Dexter Thursday, May 23, and George Stevens Academy on Monday, May 27, before finishing the regular season with a rematch against Sumner at 4 p.m. next Wednesday, May 29, in Sullivan.

MDI’s next game will be back at home against Belfast (7-6) at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23. The Trojans will then take on John Bapst (5-7) at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, May 24, at Husson University before hosting Ellsworth at that time Monday, May 28, to close out the regular season.

“I always say to these guys, ‘Hey, we’ll worry about tomorrow after today,’” Pooler said. “We’ve got a tough road ahead still with three good teams left and then the playoffs, but I’m happy with where we are at this point. We’re getting hot at the right time.”

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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