In the top of the seventh inning, pitcher Thomas Lane ’15 retired another batter to tally his fifth strikeout of the game. Lane threw a complete game shutout against Phillips Exeter Academy last Saturday. Ben Reinisch ’15 sealed the victory for Andover Boys Baseball when he fielded a ground ball at shortstop to win Saturday’s game 2-0.
Andover’s shutout marked the first victory of a doubleheader sweep against its rival. The team proceeded to win the next game 4-3, avenging its 7-3 loss against Groton the day before. Andover built on this momentum to edge out Cushing in an 8-7 win on Wednesday.
Andover’s loss to Groton on Friday halted its previous four-game winning streak. Although both teams finished with seven hits, Andover looked shaky on defense, giving up five errors throughout the game.
Pitcher Travis Lane ’18 started the game for Andover, striking out two and giving up six hits. Cam Garfield ’17 relieved Lane with two outs in the bottom of the third and kept Groton scoreless for the rest of the game.
Although both teams were tied 1-1 after two innings, Groton soon found its stride in the bottom of the third, driving home six runs to gain a favorable lead. Despite Garfield’s efforts on the mound, the team was unable to rally to a comeback.
Joe Simourian ’18, Payton Jancsy ’16 and Calvin Carbone ’15 scored during the game.
The next day, in its first game of the doubleheader against Exeter, Andover came out comfortably with the win. Andover generated ten hits on offense, while Thomas Lane’s shutout pitching held Exeter to just three. Lane has not allowed an earned run all season.
Taylor Beckett ’17 continued his good form from last week by driving in both runs of the game and going three-for-three at the plate.
“At the plate I felt really good. I wasn’t trying to do too much. I tried to see the ball well and hit it hard on the barrel. I was fortunate to be successful in that and that turned into hits,” said Beckett.
Dominant pitching continued throughout the day. A few hours later, Post-Graduate Jake Nelson ’15 went to work in the second game of the doubleheader, striking out a whopping 12 batters in six innings while surrendering three hits. David Gaetano ’15 replaced Nelson in the final inning and gave up two hits.
Nelson said, “I think we stayed in the games really well mentally. Doubleheaders can get long and I think we were focused and ready to do our jobs the whole time. I just felt like I was making all of the pitches I wanted to, my curveball was working, and they were having a lot of trouble catching up to my fastball. It’s always good to beat down on Exeter.”
Beckett added, “Overall the pitching was phenomenal. Nelson and Lane were fantastic, and they were the ones that deserve the credit for the wins.”
On Wednesday, Andover beat Cushing for the second time this season, bringing its record to 11-3. Trailing 8-1 earlier in the game, Cushing almost made a comeback, but Andover successfully secured the result in the end.
Having not lost a league game since April 18, Andover seems to have gotten into a comfortable rhythm of winning important matchups while having good team spirit on the field.
Jancsy said, “The boys are playing our game. We show up to the park every day, work our tails off and have a lot of fun doing it. The more fun we have, the better we play. As long as we continue to have fun, we are going to keep winning.”
Andover has its sights set on the impending Championships, motivating the team even more to beat out its opponents.
Nelson said, “We need to consistently play our game and take it to every team this season. We have only league games left, and every game is a must win if we want to be the first seed in the tournament.”
Andover hopes to strengthen its bid for New Englands by sweeping a doubleheader against Deerfield this weekend.