Baseball Loses Two Heartbreakers

Andover Baseball fell victim to two heartbreaking losses, 4-3 and 5-3, this week against undefeated archrival Exeter. Although the PA play was encouraging in many aspects, frustration was the dominant emotion at the end of the day, as the Blue were knocked back on its heels and fell to 5-3 in league play. Andover’s own two aces drew up so that Co-Captain Matt Boylan ’06 would start the first game of the doubleheader, and he gave one of his best performances of the year. The Andover bats would quickly break open a 3-0 lead in the first game, as Co-Captain Tom Dignard ’06 was brought in after a doubling from Sam Conte ’07 and Boylan singles. Two more runs followed as Tommy Arrigg ’06 hit an RBI grounder, and J.R. Santaniello ’08 prolonged the rally with a two-out RBI single to right field. With the three-run lead in hand, Boylan would cruise on the mound, scattering 2 runs in 6 innings while striking out seven and walking only two. After getting out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth, Boylan trotted out for the seventh and got two quick outs, allowing only a man to reach first base. However, with Exeter on their last breath and one out from losing, a bouncer to the shortstop took a bad 12-foot hop over his head and into the outfield, while the throw to third base took another strange carom after hitting the dirt in the infield, causing the ball to get away and the Exeter runner to tie the game. A roped single by the next Exeter hitter finished the punch to the gut, and wrapped up the Exeter 4-3 win. Arrigg would toe the rubber in the nightcap, but found trouble in the second inning following an error and a bases-loaded walk, but Arrigg and the team would settle down after falling behind 3-0 early. The right bats found life in the next frame however, as Andover began to chip away at the deficit, going for single runs in the third and fifth, while using consecutive bunt hits by Sam Gould ’07 and Chris Bramwell ’07 to allow Dignard to drive in the tying run in the sixth inning, with his third hit of the day. With the game up for grabs, PA would find itself facing a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the sixth again, but fell victim to the game of inches, as an inning-ending double play was barely beat out, allowing the next Exeter hitter new life.