Andover Falls Short In League Championship

Despite a complete game shutout from Glenn Stowell ’09 in the semifinal game against Exeter, Andover fell to Deerfield Academy, 4-3, narrowly missing its third consecutive Central New England Prep School Baseball League Championship. Andover advanced to the Central New England Prep School Baseball League finals against fourth-seeded Deerfield Academy, who had defeated opponent Worcester Academy 4-2 in the first round. Andover split a doubleheader with Deerfield just last week, losing one game 7-0 and winning another 12-0. Deerfield jumped in front of Andover early on, scoring one run in each of the first three innings. Once Andover settled down defensively behind Doyle on the mound, Andover kept Deerfield from scoring in the next three innings. Meanwhile, the Andover bats remained quiet until the sixth inning. But after a Sam Clark ’09 walk and a one-out double by Bennett Carroccio ’10, Andover found themselves with men on second and third with only one out. Stowell came into the game to pinch hit and took advantage of the opportunity to drive in both runners with a double to left center field. Chris Cameron ’11 plated Stowell with a double of his own, tying the game at three. But Andover could not bring Cameron home, stranding him at second base. At the end of sixth, the game was knotted at three. In the seventh, Deerfield capitalized on a defensive miscue and a walk by Andover, plating the winning run on a sacrifice fly to left field to earn the 4-3 win. Doyle was without his best stuff, but he held Deerfield in check in allowing seven hits and just two earned runs. Despite the efforts of the Andover squad, the team fell just short of a championship three-peat. “Ultimately, we came up short, but I think our young guys, and there are a lot of them, learned some valuable things from this years run,” Stowell said. “I look forward to reading about them bringing the title back to Andover next year.” In the first round of the tournament, third-seeded Andover went up against second-seeded Exeter. Andover dropped two one-run games to Exeter in the regular season, but came into Saturday’s semifinal match-up prepared to avenge the losses. The game was a pitcher’s duel from the start, with ace Stowell for Andover and fellow lefty ace from Exeter on the mound. Stowell came into the game firing on all cylinders, striking out five of the first six batters he faced in the first two innings. In the top of the second inning, Jack Doyle ’10 reached base on a one out walk. After stealing second and advancing to third base on a passed ball, Doyle scored on a ground ball to the right side, tapped by Mike Siraco ’09. The run would turn out to be the only one of the game for either team, as Andover took the 1-0 lead. Siraco said, “In that at bat I knew the infield was playing back so I was just trying to put the ball on the ground.” “Everyone could tell it was going to be a pitcher’s duel from the beginning of the game so when I came to the plate and Jack [Doyle] was in scoring position I knew it was going to be crucial to get him in any way I could,” he continued. Solid defense combined with Stowell’s stellar performance on the mound allowed Andover to preserve the one run lead. Stowell went the full seven innings, striking out nine and allowing no runs on only four hits. It was the most dominant outing by any Andover pitcher this year, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Andover. “I established the fastball on the inside of the plate early on and then kept it away from the hitters, looking for them to chase,” said Stowell. “I was able to throw my slider for strikes, but more importantly I was able to bury it out of the strike zone in appropriate counts, again making them chase it.”