Baseball Sweeps Double Header vs. Worcester; Andover Continues First Inning Scoring Streak

Mike Palermo ’08 went deep in the fourth inning of an offense-powered victory last Friday, knocking in two of Andover’s season high sixteen runs over Buckingham Browne & Nichols. The game was the first of four wins for Andover last week, as it took both games of a double-header on Saturday against Worcester, and defeated Tufts University on Wednesday, 9-6. It was clear from the very first inning of Andover’s 16-13 victory over B. B. & N. that it would be a big night for the Andover offense. Centerfielder Joe Smith ’07 was involved in half of the team’s runs, droving in five and scored three. JR Santaniello ’08 had three hits, scoring two runs, and Brian Thompson ’07 scored three times. Every starting Andover player had at least one hit, the biggest one coming off the bat of Palermo, with his first home run of the season. “The pitcher had thrown me two curveballs in a row for strikes, so I was sitting on anything off-speed,” said Palermo of the home run. “Luckily, he threw another curveball right over the plate and I just put a good swing on it.” Andover entered the bottom of the last inning with a substantial 16-5 lead. B.B. & N. battled back, however, and scored eight runs to get within three. With the bases loaded and two outs, Andover catcher Geoff Lynch ’09, in his first varsity game, picked off a runner on third base to end the threat and secure Andover’s wild 16-13 victory. “Brian Thompson (third baseman) gestured to me after the first pitch, and I knew that he wanted me to throw over,” said Lynch. “I was lucky to get a nice pitch to handle, so I could make a good throw. I was excited to have an opportunity to contribute to a win.” The very next day, Andover traveled to Worcester, where the team won both games 5-2 and 4-2, respectively. Pitching dominated both victories, as Jack Dilday ’07 had a complete seven inning outing in the first game of the day. Dilday struck out seven batters and allowed two runs, silencing Worcester’s bats for only five hits. Andover’s bats supported the effort in the first as Santaniello, captain Sam Conte ’07, and Thompson all crossed the plate. Conte came around to score two more times later in the game. Later in the day, Thompson took the mound in Andover’s second game. After playing two games in the last 24 hours, Thompson showed terrific control as he went five innings for the win, allowing a single run on only three hits. “I certainly wasn’t fresh taking the mound in the second game, so my mentality going in was mainly to throw a lot of strikes, changing speeds to keep hitters off balance and also getting outs on first or second pitches,” said Thompson, who forced 11 ground ball outs. “Our defense in the second game was as good as I’ve seen it so far. Our infield as a whole was phenomenal.” Preston Atteberry ’08 came on in the sixth, and Santaniello preserved the win in the seventh with his second save. Conte scored two runs, one coming off a two-run single by Matt Skinner ’07 in the third. On Wednesday, the team faced off with the Tufts University JV team. For the seventh time in seven games, Andover’s offense struck in the first inning, and the team added on to its lead with a three run third. Atteberry got the start and went three innings before being replaced by John Gardner ’07 with a comfortable 6-3 lead. Santaniello came in at the start of the sixth inning and finished out the game, with a final score of 9-6. The 9-6 win continued Andover’s undefeated season, as it improved its record to a perfect 7-0.