Foxcroft aces hold opponents to just four total hits in opening three games
Nate Church’s season-opening no-hitter may be a premonition of things to come for Foxcroft baseball. In game two, Tanner Strout held PCHS to just one hit to make it two dominant pitching performances in a row. Noah Allen’s effort that limited MDI to three hits, in game three, made it a trend.
With three aces in his pocket, first-year head coach Nick Miller, who enters the season with two years of baseball coaching experience, may just have the pitching staff needed for a deep playoff run that has become expectant of Foxcroft baseball in recent years.
The Ponies are off to a good start, opening the season 3-1.
Behind Church’s no-hitter and good production from Chandler Rockwell and Jeremy Richard, who make up the top of the batting order, Foxcroft defeated Dexter 4-1 in the team’s first regular season game.
After a quiet start at home against PCHS in their second game of the season, the Ponies exploded for a 6-run third inning and an 11-run fourth to break the game open. In a total-team effort, every Pony player notched at least one hit, one run, and a RBI in the 20-3 victory. Logan Butera led the Ponies offensively, going 3 for 3 at the plate with a single, a double, and a rocket of a triple to the left-center gap.
The Ponies again came away victorious in their third game of the season behind excellent pitching from Allen (who showed great resolve to finish the game strong after taking a line drive to the lower leg early in the game), a two-run double from Jason Thompson in the top of the fourth, and an insurance RBI single by Richard in the seventh that scored Allen. Foxcroft’s 3-1 win over MDI in their third game of the still young season may be the team’s greatest victory yet. “This was an important early season win for us,” commented Coach Miller. “MDI is a quality conference opponent, and our guys showed they could win a tight game on the road.”
Old Town’s trip to Foxcroft Academy, for the Ponies’ fourth contest of the season, proved to be the closely contested game everyone expected in a battle of two undefeated teams. Evenly matched through regulation, behind strong pitching performances from Foxcroft’s Church and Old Town’s Dana Ouellette, the game was forced into extra innings, where the Coyotes put together some timely hits against reliever Strout to take the game 7-1.
Foxcroft continues play on Saturday in Ellsworth at 11 am.
Click here to see more of Camille Bozzelli’s great photos of the PCHS game or here to see her excellent photos of the Old Town game.
High-powered offense leads softball to 3-1 start
In their first three contests of the season, the Foxcroft girls softball team connected on 16 extra-base hits to lead an offense that scored at least 15 runs per contest during the three-game stretch.
In the Ponies’ first game against Dexter, Jenna Clukey knocked three doubles, Avery Carroll smacked a triple and a double, Grace Bickford hit two doubles, and Desirae Brawn blasted a home run to lead the Ponies to a 15-0 win. In victory, freshman Makenzie Beaudry pitched a shutout in her first high school game on the mound.
In their next game and first contest at home, the Ponies again hit the ball well, scoring 20 runs in six innings against PCHS. Beaudry was again strong for Foxcroft, striking out six while holding the Pirates to eight runs. Carroll hit two doubles for the Ponies in the contest.
At MDI for Foxcroft’s third game, Brawn hit a double and her second home run of the season to lead a Pony attack that received a triple from Bickford and additional doubles from Kiara Prescott, Gabby Johnson, and Carroll en route to a 16-6 win. For her third win in three consecutive games to start her high school career, Beaudry struck out ten and limited the Trojans to six runs.
After a loud start, Foxcroft’s bats fell quiet against top-ranked Old Town, which left Dover with a 13-0 win. Clukey and Brawn had two hits apiece, but the Ponies were unable to string anything together in the loss.
After a 3-1 start, Foxcroft sits third in the Class B North Heal Point standings. The Ponies continue the regular season in Ellsworth on Saturday at 11 am.
Tennis bounces back against Dexter and Old Town
After falling to Caribou in their season opening matches, the Foxcroft Academy boys and girls tennis teams have been on a roll since, winning nine of ten matches against Dexter and six of ten against Old Town.
On Monday, April 25, the boys team never surrendered more than two games in any match to sweep the Tigers 5-0. In singles play, Bojia Yang defeated his opponent 8-1, Kazu Kawashima won 8-2, and Dylan Harmon-Weeks shut out his competition 8-0. The doubles teams of Tino Ayala–Blake Arno and Griffin Loomis–Brandon Young also won convincingly.
The girls team also found success against Dexter, winning four of five matches. Alice Russo, Lexi Raymond, and Elena Russo all won decisive singles matches, and the team of Hannah Vainio and Maria Cedeno defeated their competition 8-3 to lead the Ponies to a 4-1 victory over the Tigers.
At home against Old Town on Wednesday, April 27, the boys team showed tremendous resolve and won several closely contested matches to win 4-1. Yang (8-5), Harmon-Weeks (8-4), and Kawashima (8-6) led the Ponies with wins, and the team of Ayala and Arno won the most excited match of the afternoon with a 7-5 tiebreak in a 9-8 victory.
Elena Russo won her singles match 8-6, and the team of Sophia Kurzius and Hannah Vainio won their match 8-4 in the Ponies’ 2-3 loss to Old Town.
Up next for the Ponies, Foxcroft returns to their home court for matches Friday against Ellsworth at 4 pm and travels to Hermon on Monday for a showdown with the Hawks.
One-two punch of Smith and Caron leads track
The Foxcroft boys track team finished third with 126 points in a closely contested ten-team meet at the Academy on Saturday, outscoring Bangor High, Bangor Christian, Calais, Fort Kent, PVHS, PCHS, and Narraguagus.
Leading the way for the Ponies was Hunter Smith, who won the 200-meter dash in 24.80, the high jump at 5’-10”, and the long jump at 18’-10”. Contributing the second part of Foxcroft’s one-two punch that makes for a lethal combo in team scoring was Zach Caron, who backed Smith with second-place finishes in the high jump at 5’-08” and long jump at 18’-00.25”, as well as a runners-up finish in the pole vault with a jump of 11’-00” and a fifth-place finish in the 200 with a run of 26.00. Together, Smith and Caron combined for 56 of the team’s points.
Also contributing more than 16 points a piece were Brandon Brock who was second in the shot put, third in the discus throw, and fifth in the javelin, and Cooper Nelson who was second in the 800, third in the 200, and the anchor of the winning 4×400-meter relay team.
Joining Nelson in the winning 4×4 relay were Paul Birtwistle, Jason Eubanks, and Gabe Piquette. Piquette and Birtwistle also placed third in individual events–the 800 and 400, respectively.
In addition, Birtwistle and Eubanks teamed with Dustin Simmons and Hyatt Smith in the second-place 4×100-meter relay team.
Renee Smith (third in the shot put), Jen Clawson (fourth in the 800 and fifth in the 1600), and Jordan Thomas (fifth in the 400) scored points for the girls team that placed seventh.
“Saturday’s meet was our second of the season, and things are progressing well,” said assistant coach Graham Pearsall. “As a team, we’ve already posted 14 championship qualifying marks and many athletes haven’t even competed in the their primary events yet. We’re about to have three meets in seven days, and I’m interested to see what our athletes can do with a number of opportunities. I expect to see many more qualifying marks in the coming week.”
The Foxcroft Academy track team will complete their three meet homestay with meets Saturday at noon and next Tuesday at 3:30 pm.