Blue Hill—Standing undefeated at 8-0, the George Stevens varsity baseball team faced Ellsworth on May 18, with an early season 7-2 win against the Class B team behind them and just a handful of games left in the regular season. Ahead lay the top-ranked team’s defense of its Class C North regional title in the playoffs, and the sun was shining. But then, what no baseball coach wants to see happen, happened.
“[Pitcher] Jacob Keenan started feeling arm soreness in the second inning,” Coach Dan Kane said, and after taking him off the mound, his team took its first loss in nearly a year, losing 8-3.
With back-to-back games set for May 19 and 20 against Dexter (6-5), and a star pitcher with a sore arm, Kane put Taylor Schildroth on the mound the next day.
“Taylor pitched an excellent, complete game,” Kane said. “[He] pitched effectively and the rest of the team backed him with a great defensive effort.”
The Eagles walked away with a 2-1 victory off two hits with two runs brought in by Beckett Slayton. Slayton, a senior, opened Saturday’s home game as pitcher but Dexter pulled out a win, scoring four runs in the first three innings. The Eagles slid in a late run but the final score stood at 4-1, Dexter.
“As a team we had a tough four-game stretch last week,” Kane said. “We faced all top level opponents who were all trying to make a strong push to move up in their standings.”
Kane said he would have a better idea if Keenan will be able to return to the mound full strength next week but his other pitchers—a strength for the team this season—are doing well.
“Someone else will get the opportunity to step up and get more chances to pitch,” he said.
Despite a 3-1 win over Sumner (4-8) on May 23, the now 10-2 Eagles slipped to the second spot in the Heal Point Standings behind Houlton (11-1). But, with three games on the road to end the regular season, the Eagles are rounding home stretch to the tournament.
“Some of the adversities we faced last week should only help to prepare us for later in the season,” Kane said.