Facing a 2-2 tie late in the seventh inning with two runners on base, Kevin Superko ’14 stepped up to bat against Collegiate Baseball’s top-ranked Maryland team, DeMatha Catholic High School.
Determined to bring home a win after a 0-3 start to the season, Superko blasted a long base hit to center field, and Kenta Nomoto ’14 dashed to home base for the winning run. Superko’s walk-off hit resulted in Andover Baseball’s first victory of the season at 3-2.
The win against DeMatha on Saturday came just a day removed from a 6-5 loss at the hands of Belmont Hill.
“Against Belmont Hill, we gave up a big inning early. I think we gave up four runs in an early inning, which really set us back. We can’t let that happen, and that improved [when we played] against DeMatha,” said Thomas Lane ’15.
Andover’s game against DeMatha was evenly matched through all seven innings. Neither team fell behind by more than one run for the entire game.
DeMatha struck first with a run in the top of the fourth inning, but Andover responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own — Nick Gorski ’14 drove in a run with an RBI single, and Matt Whalen ’16 scored on a Nomoto single to put Andover ahead 2-1 after four innings.
After DeMatha tied the game at two runs apiece in the fifth inning, neither team made much noise until Andover put two runners on base in the seventh.
“I went up there having not seen [the DeMatha pitcher] yet, so I wanted to see where his arm slot was and get a feel for it. He had a funky motion going on out there. He eventually got me into a 3-1 count, and I was looking fastball and wanted to zone it up, and I was able to,” said Superko in an interview with “ESPN Boston.”
Lane tossed seven strong innings for his first complete game of the season, allowing just two runs on seven hits. Head Coach Kevin Graber did not have to rely on valuable bullpen arms.
“When I step on the mound, I expect to succeed, and I did expect to throw seven innings. I expect that every time,” said Lane. “Against Bridgton, I gave up a couple runs in the first inning, and this time I went three innings without giving up a run. I think the key to the DeMatha game was not giving up runs in bunches, and we avoided that.”
Andover will look to pull closer to .500 when it plays at BB&N today and Worcester tomorrow at home.