With two outs in the top of the eighth inning in Andover Baseball’s nine-inning game against Phillips Exeter Academy last Saturday, four-year Senior Matt Hosman ’15 came up to bat for the last time in his Andover career. He made his final plate appearance count as he drove in two runs with a line drive to left field to boost Andover to a 7-3 lead.
Hosman’s two R.B.I. proved to be the last runs scored in the game and capped off Andover’s impressive season with a 16-5 record.
Saturday’s game marked the team’s third win against Exeter this season after Andover swept its rival team in a doubleheader on May 2.
Andover finished the game with 11 hits and two errors, holding Exeter to just three hits and forcing an error. Along with Hosman, catcher John Simourian ’16 also batted in two runs, while Taylor Beckett ’17 and Ben Reinisch ’15 each recorded an R.B.I. as well. Co-Captain John Festa ’15 went three for four at the plate, spearheading the offense with Hosman.
Although the score stayed close until late in the game, Andover finally pulled away in the eighth inning to establish a four-run lead. Leadoff batter Joe Simourian ’18 started the rally with a single to right field, followed by a line drive from Festa. Beckett managed to get on first with a walk, loading the bases with just one out.
John Simourian then hit a sacrifice fly to tally his second R.B.I. of the game, scoring Joe Simourian from third. Hosman proceeded to bring home the other two runners, effectively securing the result for Andover.
Catcher Sam Zager ’15 said, “We wanted [the win] more. We came out with more energy, more passion, more urgency, and I think that’s due in part to the bond we developed as a squad.” When asked what the team’s mindset was like heading into Saturday’s game, John Simourian simply said, “Win.”
In his last start for Andover, pitcher Tim Salvadore ’15 surrendered just one hit over four innings. Thomas Lane ’15 took to the mound in the fifth and recorded a season-high ten strikeouts in his last appearance for the team, giving up just two hits throughout the rest of the game.
Saturday also marked the final game for the Seniors on the team and was a true display of the strong team chemistry that it developed over the season.
“I think more than ever before in my four seasons here this group was incredibly tight knit. This team was a family,” said Zager.
After finishing runner up in this season’s Central New England Prep Baseball League, Andover heads into the offseason motivated to prepare for the 2016 season.