MDI softball, EHS baseball teams win rivalry nail-biters on regular season’s final day

first_img Bio Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) BAR HARBOR — On adjacent sides of the Mount Desert Island High School parking lot, fans watching the Ellsworth and Mount Desert Island baseball and softball teams spent nearly three hours on the edges of their seats.Even with a 30-minute difference in start times between softball and baseball games, the action had fans of both schools craning their necks and running back and forth as they followed the claps and screams from both fields. With playoff seedings hanging in the balance, it took until the final pitch for each game to be decided.The baseball and softball regular seasons came to an end Friday with two instant classics between Ellsworth and MDI in Bar Harbor. Neither the Trojans’ 3-2 win in the softball matchup nor the Eagles’ 6-4 baseball triumph in extra innings was decided until the final pitch, leaving the Class B North playoff picture in flux until the dust settled.Ellsworth’s Kayla Duhaime bats as MDI’s Lily Cook catches during the fourth inning of a high school softball game May 31 in Bar Harbor. The Trojans won the game 3-2 to earn a season sweep of the Eagles. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELL“You know it’s going to be a battle whenever you come down here to MDI,” Ellsworth head baseball coach Dan Curtis said. “It doesn’t matter who’s got what record or any of that. You’ve got to be prepared to go in there and fight the entire way.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textThe afternoon began on the softball field, where a pitchers’ duel quickly emerged between MDI’s Lindsey McEachern and Ellsworth’s Mackenzie Chipman. With both staff aces in strikeout mode, the teams found themselves in a scoreless deadlock through five innings.After McEachern sent the Eagles down in order in the top of the sixth inning, the Trojans (9-7) got one of the game’s few scoring opportunities in the bottom half when McEachern and Maddie Neale reached base on singles with no outs. That’s when junior Ruby Brown blasted a home run over the left-field fence to give MDI a 3-0 lead.Brown knew her hit was a big one when she saw assistant coach Mike Clark going wild as she rounded first base. It wasn’t until she saw the ball clear the fence as she made her way to second, though, that she realized just how hard she had smacked it.“It’s one of those things where I don’t even remember hitting the ball,” said Brown, whose home run was the first of her career. “Mike was jumping up and down as I got to first base, and then I saw Maddie, and she was almost at third already. Then I saw it go over, and I was just really, really happy.”Ellsworth, though, would not go down without a fight. Kayla Duhaime, Trinity Montigny, Chipman and Sydney Stevens cut MDI’s lead to 3-1 with four straight singles to start the seventh, and Isabelle Perry made it 3-2 one batter later with a sacrifice fly. Yet after McEachern recorded the inning’s second out on a strikeout, Olivia Gray caught a fly ball in right field to preserve the Trojans’ win.MDI’s Ruby Brown blasts a home run to left field during the sixth inning of a high school softball game against Ellsworth on May 31 in Bar Harbor. The three-run homer was the first of Brown’s career. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLMcEachern struck out 10 batters for MDI in the win, and Chipman fanned eight for Ellsworth as neither pitcher walked a single batter. Lily Cook and Montigny had two hits apiece to lead the Trojans and Eagles, respectively.On the baseball diamond, the Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning before MDI (8-8) scored a run apiece in the first and second to take a 2-1 lead. Yet Ellsworth responded with an RBI single from Matt Burnett in the third and RBI double from Nate Smith in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.Although Ellsworth pitcher Conner Wagstaff bounced back from allowing those two early runs with scoreless third, fourth and fifth innings, the senior had to depart in the sixth as he reached the 110-pitch limit. Yet the Eagles got a clutch inning from reliever Devin Grindle, who escaped a bases-loaded jam to keep the visitors on top.“We stranded a lot of runners, and they did, too,” MDI head coach Andy Pooler said. “That’s just a testament to some very good pitching and some good defensive plays from both sides.”The two teams went to extra innings after one run from Ellsworth and two from MDI in the seventh, and the score remained tied 4-4 after a scoreless eighth. Yet after the Trojans turned a double play in the top of the ninth, the Eagles mounted a two-out rally that resulted in Wagstaff scoring on a passed ball and Michael Palmer scoring from second base on an RBI single from Smith.MDI threatened Ellsworth’s lead in the bottom of the ninth when Drew Shea stepped up with two outs and a runner on second base. The Trojans’ leading hitter gave the visitors a real scare with a deep fly ball to left-center field, but Wagstaff tracked it down with a long run to the gap before securing it in his glove to end the game.“I just started running as fast as I could,” Wagstaff said. “I knew I had a shot to get it if I did that. If I don’t get it, there’s a good chance the game keeps going, and I didn’t want that to happen.”MDI sophomore Sam Mitchell pitches during the third inning of a high school baseball game against Ellsworth on May 31 in Bar Harbor. ELLSWORTH AMERICAN PHOTO BY MIKE MANDELLGrindle got the win for Ellsworth with six strikeouts in four innings after Wagstaff allowed two runs in five innings, and Porter Isaacs took the loss for MDI with three runs allowed in five innings of relief. Burnett had four hits for the Eagles, and Sam Keblinsky had a game-high five for the Trojans.The game being tied 4-4 entering the ninth inning gave Wagstaff a flashback to last year’s game at MDI High School, in which the Trojans defeated the Eagles 5-4. That game also saw Ellsworth and MDI enter the ninth at four runs apiece, and Wagstaff and the Eagles were determined this time to avoid another loss in Bar Harbor.“Looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the same score in the same inning on the same field, that was definitely a feeling of déjà vu,” Wagstaff said. “Give credit to Devin because he did a great job of coming on and pitching his way through all those tough innings.”Ellsworth, which clinched the No. 1 seed in Class B North on Thursday with an 11-1 win over Washington Academy, has earned a bye to the regional quarterfinals. MDI will have the No. 5 seed and will host a preliminary round game against John Bapst (7-9) on Tuesday, June 4.Both softball teams will play in Tuesday’s preliminary round. Eighth-ranked MDI will host No. 9 Erskine Academy (9-7), and 10th-ranked Ellsworth will travel to play No. 7 Gardiner (11-5). Mike MandellMike 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]center_img Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest Posts MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

Doc Rivers admits there is ‘chance’ Jamal Crawford will not return

first_imgClippers sixth-man Jamal Crawford sat on the bench Friday and watched as J.J. Redick broke his franchise record for 3-pointers made. Crawford’s mark of 161 was set in 2013-14. Redick now has 164 after sinking 4 of 7 in the 113-99 victory over the Washington Wizards at Staples Center.Crawford was wearing a suit, not his Clippers uniform, because he was missing his ninth consecutive game with a strained right calf. Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Crawford has shown improvement. But afterward, Rivers was taken to task about just how uneasy he is regarding Crawford’s status.“Well, I’m concerned,” he said. “I mean, make no mistake about that. I mean, I was pretty confident that Blake (Griffin) would be back at some point, so I didn’t have concern on that. But I do have concern with Jamal; I’ll say that.”Rivers was then asked the million-dollar question: Is it possible Crawford may not return at all this season? “There’s a chance,” said Rivers, whose team today at 12:30 p.m. plays host to the New Orleans Pelicans. “You know, I don’t know right now because he’s improved, but not enough, I can tell you that. He’s nowhere near, in my opinion, playing. So we just have to hope he gets better.”Crawford is the NBA’s two-time Sixth Man of the Year. He turned 35 Friday, but he’s having a solid season averaging 16.4 points per game.Speaking of RedickRedick has now made 164 of 384 from 3-point range this season. That is a terrific 42.7 percent, sixth-best in the league. He was stoked to set the new record, more so because the old one belonged to his pal.“I knew I was getting close,” Redick said. “I didn’t know I was that close, that I was one away (when the game began). Jamal had mentioned something to me two or three weeks ago, when I was at 130-something. “It’s cool to break Jamal’s record – a good friend, and a guy I love playing with. Hopefully, I will have many more seasons with the Clippers and challenge this record.”Redick admitted he likes having his name in the record book.“There is no question,” he said. “Any time you ever hold a franchise record, it is a positive.”Griffin feeling goodThe Clippers (45-25) are 3-1 since the return of Griffin, who sat out 15 consecutive games with a staph infection in his right elbow. He has averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.2 assists in those four games. He’s averaging 22.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season, meaning only his scoring is down some.Griffin talked about his numbers. But he made it clear that winning is the most significant part of the equation.“Stats sometimes can be a little fickle and not tell the whole story,” he said, “but the best part is being 3-1. Winning games, especially this time of year when we only have a handful of games left, I think that is what is most important. But I could be better, so it’s great that we are winning games while I am getting back into it.”Scouting the PelicansNew Orleans enters with a record of 37-32, having lost its past two games at Phoenix and at Golden State. The Pelicans are ninth in the West, two games behind Oklahoma City. The Clippers were fifth before Saturday’s slate of games.Star forward Anthony Davis leads New Orleans in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots with respective averages of 24.6, 10.4 and 2.9. Davis missed the games at Phoenix and Golden State, however, with an ankle injury. Consider him questionable.The teams have split two games. The Clippers won 120-100 at Staples Center on Dec. 6, but the Pelicans – sans Davis – defeated the Clippers 108-103 on Jan. 30 at New Orleans.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more