By Mark Haskell
ELLSWORTH — There is something about the baseball rivalry between Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island that seems to bring out the best in both clubs.
That longstanding rivalry between the Eagles and Trojans was renewed on the diamond on Friday, May 20, and did not disappoint as the regular-season high school game was in doubt until the final at-bat.
The game was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning before Ellsworth’s Miles Palmer scampered home with the game-winning run on a wild pitch, which gave the hosts a thrilling, 2-1 walk-off win over the Trojans.
“When MDI and Ellsworth play, no matter who is in what place, they’re always big games,” said Ellsworth coach Dan Curtis. “Certainly coach [Matt] Haney has those boys ready to go, as do we, but it’s always fun to come out on top. We’ve come out on the other side of it plenty of times, but everyone plays hard and tends to play their best when we’re playing against one another.”
The teams combined for only seven hits, as the Eagles (11-1), who are ranked first in Class B North, held a 4-3 edge in that department.
Hunter Curtis (2 singles, run), Billy Garland (single), Michael Palmer (RBI) and Miles Palmer (single, run, stolen base) keyed the Eagles in victory, while the Trojans (5-6) were paced at the plate by A.J. Lozano (single, run, steal), Quentin Pileggi (single, steal) and Joey Wellman-Clouse (single).
Hunter Curtis and Lozano not only accounted for three of the game’s seven hits — and two of the game’s three runs — but also dueled on the mound, as the hurlers worked the distance for their squads.
Hunter Curtis yielded three hits and one walk, to go along with eight strikeouts, on 73 pitches, while Lozano allowed four hits, two walks (one intentional) and one hit batter, with two strikeouts on 88 pitches.
The Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third frame when Lozano ripped a one-out single, moved to second on a groundout and stole third base. In an attempt to throw him out, the ball sailed into the outfield and Lozano scampered home to put the visitors on the board.
Hunter Curtis allowed a single to Wellman-Clouse to start the top of the fourth inning but settled in and only allowed one base runner (by error) to reach the rest of the game, as he retired 11 of the next 12 batters.
Coach Curtis said: “Our pitching has been our strength all season,” while adding “Lozano pitched great” in the losing effort for the Trojans.
“He [Lozano] mixed it up and kept us just enough off-balance and made the plays,” the coach said. “Basically the difference in the game is we hit a few balls hard that took some erratic hops and next thing you knew it was over.”
In the sixth, the Eagles got a leadoff single from Hunter Curtis followed by sacrifice bunt by Brett Bragdon to move Hunter Curtis into scoring position.
After David Baugh reached on an error and Garland was later intentionally walked to put a force play at any base, Michael Palmer drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk to plate Hunter Curtis to tie the game.
In the seventh, Miles Palmer singled and stole second base, which prompted the Trojans to intentionally walk Hunter Curtis, to again put the force play on at any base.
After Bragdon reached on an error to load the bases, Miles Palmer was able to come in after a wild pitch sailed to the backstop, which gave the host Eagles the walk-off win.
Coach Curtis said after the team’s lone loss of the season to Brewer, the Eagles moved Hunter Curtis into the leadoff spot, largely because so many teams have pitched around him so frequently.
“He has half the at-bats that most of his teammates have because he’s walked so many times,” the coach said of his son. “Whether intentional or he’s hit by a pitch or whatnot. When you’re in the leadoff spot that’s harder to navigate. We’ll probably stay that way the rest of the season.”
The Hancock County rivals again will square off on the diamond on the final day of the regular season on Wednesday, June 1, in Bar Harbor.
The end of the regular season is in view for all high school baseball teams in Hancock County, as many look to improve their playoff position with the postseason closing in at a rapid pace.
As of Monday May 23, Ellsworth and Bucksport continued to sit atop their regions, as the Eagles were 11-1 atop Class B North and Golden Bucks first in Class C North at 13-1.
Mount Desert Island was 5-7 in Class B North, while George Stevens Academy and Sumner were 3-10 in Class C North.
The following is a recap of reported results:
Bucksport 8, Dexter 0
At Bucksport May 23, the Golden Bucks continued to gallop toward the postseason with a triumph over the Tigers. Bucksport plated two runs in the first and three in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Bucksport offense was led by Gavyn Holyoke (3 runs), Jake Guty (hit, run, RBI), Ty Giberson (3 runs), Brandon Elden (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Cam Rich (RBI) and Kaleb Nightingale (run).
Nathan Schobel rapped the lone hit for Dexter.
Giberson tossed a one-hit shutout on the hill for the Golden Bucks as he walked one and struck out 13 in the winning effort. Blaine Gould, Ben Bourgoin and Payson Rinehardt pitched for the Tigers and allowed three hits and nine walks, with one strikeout.
Old Town 11, Mount Desert Island 0 (5 inns.)
At Bar Harbor May 23, the Coyotes howled loud and proud en route to a shutout victory over the host Trojans. Old Town scored four in the first inning, five in the third and two in the fifth.
A.J. Lozano had the lone hit for the Trojans, while the Coyote offense was keyed by Gabriel Gifford (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Peyton Vose (hit, RBI), Noah Thibodeau (hit), Brendan Mahaney (hit, run, RBI), Connor McCannell (hit, run, RBI), Jackson Lizotte (hit, run), Alex McCannell (hit, RBI, 2 runs), Preston Vose (2 hits, 3 runs, RBI) and James Dumond (run).
Noah Keeley, Logan Blanchette and Jay Hane pitched for MDI and combined to allow 10 hits and three walks, with two strikeouts. Gifford went the distance for Old Town and allowed one hit and no walks, with 13 strikeouts.
Central 5, George Stevens Academy 0
At Corinth May 23, the Red Devils swung to a shutout victory over the Eagles. Central scored a run in the second and two more in the third and sixth innings.
Hayden Strout fired a no-hitter on the mound for Central as he walked four and struck out 15 in the winning effort. Bretton Lebel and Brady Pert combined to allow three hits and three walks, with four strikeouts on the bump for GSA.
The Red Devil offense was keyed by Strout (home run, single) and Simon Allen (single, stolen base).
Sumner 17, Shead 2
At Eastport May 20, Sumner churned out its most potent offensive output of the season and prevailed by mercy rule over Shead. The visitors scored two runs in the first before putting up a whopping 15 runs in the third inning, while Shead plated runs in the first and fifth frames.
Sumner was led at the plate by Nolan Christiansen (2 singles, 2 runs), Bo Newenham (double, 2 runs), Ian Gatcomb (single, 2 runs), Bryson Parritt (double, 2 runs), Ethan Chase (single, run), Alexis Medina (single), Tyler Michaud (single, 2 runs), Cole Faulkingham (single, 2 runs), Jayvyn Preble (single, 2 runs) and Keith Burgess (2 runs).
For Shead, Nathan Tardif (single, run), Zackary Johnson (2 singles, run) and Caleb Jamieson (double) paced the offense.
Burgess pitched for Sumner and allowed four hits and two walks, with 10 strikeouts. Shead pitchers scattered 10 hits and 12 walks, with two strikeouts.
Bucksport 6, George Stevens Academy 1
At Blue Hill May 20, the Golden Bucks started strong and never trailed en route to a five-run win over the Eagles. Bucksport plated three in the first, one in the third and two in the sixth, while GSA’s run came in the fourth.
Gavyn Holyoke (2 hits, run, RBI), Jake Guty (hit), Ty Giberson (2 hits, 2 runs), Brandon Elden (hit, run, RBI), Cam Rich (RBI), Ayden Maguire (3 hits, run), Jason Terrill (hit, run) and Kaleb Nightingale (hit) led the Golden Bucks at the plate, while Brady Pert had two hits for the Eagles and the lone run and Bretton Lebel one RBI.
Guty pitched for Bucksport and allowed two hits and no walks, along with a whopping 19 strikeouts. Teague Smallidge and Pert pitched for GSA and combined to allow 11 hits and one walk, with four strikeouts.
Bucksport 22, Sumner 0 (5 inns.)
At Sullivan May 18, the Golden Bucks benefited from a 10-run second inning and bested the Tigers via mercy rule. Bucksport also plated two in the first, five in the third, four in the fourth and one in the fifth.
The Golden Buck hit parade was led by Tyler Hallett (hit, 2 runs, RBI), Bo Provencher (2 runs), Gavyn Holyoke (2 runs, RBI), Jake Guty (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Silas Moore (hit, 3 RBIs, 2 runs), Ty Giberson (3 hits, 2 RBIs, run), Brandon Elden (3 hits, 3 RBIs, run), Cam Rich (2 hits, 2 runs, RBI), Ayden Maguire (hit, run, RBI), Jason Terrill (hit, 3 runs) and Kaleb Nightingale (hit, 4 runs).
Nolan Christiansen and Ian Gatcomb collected hits for the Tigers.
Holyoke, Rich, Gunther Cyr and Maguire combined on a two-hit shutout for Bucksport as the quartet walked one and struck out nine. Christian and Gatcomb worked the hill for Sumner and scattered 15 hits and nine walks, with four strikeouts.
Searsport 5, George Stevens Academy 2
At Searsport May 18, the Vikings broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run fifth inning and swung past the Eagles. Searsport also scored single runs in the first and third innings, while GSA plated runs in the first and fifth.
Ashton Ellis (2 hits, run), Sam Cahill (hit, 2 runs), Josh Wright (hit, run), Cole Ellis (hit, RBI), Chase Brassbridge (RBI), Drew Bagley (hit) and Gage Ellis (run) led the Vikings at the plate, while Sol Lorio (3 hits, run), Brady Pert (hit, run), Harrison Walden (hit, RBI), Kyle Gray (hit), Teague Smallidge (hit) and Dexter Brown (hit) paced the Eagles on offense.
Wright pitched for Searsport and allowed eight hits and no walks, with nine strikeouts. Lorio and Bretton Lebel pitched for GSA and allowed six hits and one walk, with eight strikeouts.
Searsport 11, Sumner 1 (6 inns.)
At Searsport May 17, the Vikings swung past the Tigers and posted a mercy rule-shortened win. Searsport scored three runs in the first and second innings, two in the fifth and sixth and one in the third, while Sumner scored in the sixth.
The Vikings were paced at the plate by Ashton Ellis (4 hits, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Josh Wright (2 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBIs), Kyle Larrabee (hit, RBI), Cole Ellis (RBI), Chase Brassbridge (run), Tim Smith (hit, run), Drew Bagley (hit, RBI), Andrew Donald (run), Eli Law (RBI), Nate Ashey (2 runs), Gage Ellis (run) and Charlie Lewis (hit, 2 RBIs).
Connor Kelley, Ian Gatcomb, Bo Newenham and Cole Faulkingham rapped hits for Sumner, while Faulkingham scored the team’s lone run.
Gage Ellis went the distance on the hill for Searsport and allowed four hits and no walks, with 11 strikeouts. Bryson Parritt, Ethan Chase and Faulkingham pitched for Sumner and allowed 10 hits and four walks, with notching two strikeouts.