Captain Bennett Carroccio ’10 Goes Yard Twice to Lead Andover Past NMH

Smashing two home runs, Captain Bennett Carroccio ’10 led the Andover baseball team past Northfield Mount Hermon in the first game of the doubleheader Saturday, 9-2. The team fell in the second game, 4-9, despite great performances from Sam August ’10 and Zac Elder ’11 at the plate. “The pitcher was throwing two seam fastballs all game, so I was sitting on it, and luckily enough, he threw one low and inside, which I turned on. He threw me the same pitch in my last at bat, and I also got a good piece of that one. I was happy to see the home runs provided a spark for the team, because as a team, we haven’t been hitting as well as we should be,” said Carroccio. With three home runs, Carroccio is now the team leader in home runs. He also leads the team with his impressive .774 slugging percentage. The first home run came in the first inning on a two-run shot that scored Chris Cameron ’11, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning and stole the first of his four stolen bases in the game. The Andover bats continued to produce, adding another run in the second after Mike DiFronzo ’11 scored on an error from second. DiFronzo also added an RBI of his own, singling in the fourth inning and allowing Brian Delaney ’12 to score. A four-run seventh inning, two runs coming from the second Carroccio home run, shut NMH out of the game. Fred Shepherd ’10 took the mound for Andover and was lights out throughout the game. With nine strikeouts in six innings of work, Shepherd had all his stuff working for him on Saturday. “All day, I was doing a pretty good job of keeping the ball close to the plate. I went through the lineup the first time without even using the breaking ball, because most of their guys were falling behind the fastball and I was doing a solid job of picking my spots. The second time around, I incorporated the curve ball more often, which was throwing most of their batters off, leading to good outing. I didn’t use the slider much, because I really didn’t need it,” said Shepherd. With his commanding performance on Saturday, Shepherd improved to 2-1 on the season. In the second game of the doubleheader, Andover was a little out of sync and didn’t get the production they needed on both sides of the ball. Andover had six errors in the field and only seven hits in the game. The team lost, 4-9. On Monday, Andover squared off against cross-town rival Brooks School, winning 8-4. Jeb Roberts ’11 got the start for Andover and had a great performance, allowing four runs in four innings of work. “Jeb [Roberts] did really well for his second varsity showing. Once he gets his confidence up, he will be a great pitcher in our rotation. When he goes out there and pretends there is no batter, or just playing catch, he is dominant,” said Tom Palleschi ’12, who went 3-4 in the game with two RBIs. Andover’s offense came to life in the fifth inning, scoring three runs singles coming from Elder, August, Palleschi and Jack Doyle ’10. With the scored tied 4-4, Andover scored three runs in the fifth, resulting in the 8-4 victory. This weekend, the team will travel to face rival Phillips Exeter in a doubleheader.