Baseball Puts Exclamation Point on Championship Season with Win

Andover baseball won its season finale against Exeter on Saturday, 13-9. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated. In the first inning, Co-Captain Mike Ciummei ’08 hit a three run bomb to deep center as Andover’s offense picked up from where it left off in the championship. The game turned into a home run derby as the teams combined for four on the day. Co-Captain J.R. Santaniello ’08 also had a homer to centerfield. The game didn’t really have much importance other than bragging rights. Andover has already won its second straight title, but the season series with Exeter was still tied at one game apiece. All Seniors started in their final game at Andover. Later, Andover emptied out the bench so that everyone could get playing time. Lucian Neville ’09 got his first hit of the season in his only plate appearance. Mike Siraco ’09 also had a hit in his only at bat. Santaniello started the game and went six innings. Postgraduate Bryan Farris came on in relief and Glenn Stowell ’09 got the final three outs. The season ended on a high note, but left a bittersweet taste in many of the Seniors’ mouth. Mike Palermo ’08, who ripped a double in the first inning said, “I’ve been lucky to play on such great teams at Andover, so I will definitely miss seeing the coaches and getting a chance to play with my friends.” He went on to say that he couldn’t imagine a better way to graduate from Andover than winning back-to-back championships. Santaniello praised the hard work the team put in to produce a second championship. “We put so much effort into this season; it was great to see it all pay off.” The team began practicing in Florida during spring break and made it all the way to Worcester for the championship. It was fitting that Andover pounded out 13 runs in its final game, since its offense carried them the whole season. Andover scored a whopping 153 runs throughout the season. Not to be overlooked, the pitching and defense were also superb all spring. The infield was led by Bobby Farnham ’08 at third base, Ciummei at shortstop, Palermo at second and Santaniello at first base, who not only provided a lot of power and RBI’s in the order, but also fielded several ground balls while making few errors. The starting pitching staff was able to consistently keep opponents in check as Andover rarely trailed on the season. Santaniello, Preston Atteberry ’08 and Neville got the majority of the starts. All three were very impressive due to the way they handled jams. It was as though the more runners on base, the better they threw. The bullpen also did an excellent job on the season. Farris and Stowell did a great job keeping games close and picking up many saves.