Last Friday, young talents Travis Lane ’18 and Joe Simourian ’18 contributed a combined three runs to Andover Baseball’s offensive attack and helped Andover edge Belmont Hill in a 7-4 win, which was Andover’s second of the season. Lane, who made his first appearance of the season in the victory, brought in two runs and tallied two hits, while Simourian continued his good form from the season opener against Tabor by driving home a run off a single for his third RBI in two games.
After beating Belmont Hill during their season opener on Friday, Andover Baseball continued its streak by claiming a 5-1 victory over Cushing on Wednesday, bringing its record to 3-0.
Belmont Hill, defending three-time champions of the Independent School League, entered Friday’s game with a perfect 3-0 record, only to have it tarnished by Andover’s high intensity offense.
Although both teams produced effectively at the plate, Andover limited its opponent’s opportunities to score while creating offensive bursts to solidify its dominance throughout the game. Eight of Andover’s ten hits came in streaks during the second and fifth innings in which the team scored all of its runs. Belmont Hill could not find a way to respond to this pressure and ended up using four different pitchers in seven innings of play.
On the mound, veteran Tim Salvadore ’15 started and struck out five batters in two innings before being replaced by David Gaetano ’15 in the third inning who only gave up one run in five innings to earn the save.
Gaetano said after the game, “We had a lot of big hits in clutch situations all throughout the order. Our defense really played well.”
As it did against Belmont Hill, Andover rallied offensively against Cushing off of consecutive hits to form a sizable lead early in the game. Simourian started the rally with a double, followed by a walk that sent Co-Captain John Festa ’15 to first base. Taylor Beckett ’17 then loaded the bases when he singled on a hard grounder to left field.
All three runners proceeded to score. Simourian scored on a wild pitch that advanced Festa to third, and Robby Cerulle ’17 hit a sacrifice fly that brought Festa home. Ben Reinisch ’15 also reached base on a walk, and Co-Captain Matt Hosman ’15 rounded out the hitting spree with a double that brought in both Beckett and Reinisch.
“Overall, we put together some really strong at bats. We saw a lot of pitchers. Also a bunch of kids were clutch in getting hits when we needed them,” Beckett said.
At the same time, however, Andover could have put even more pressure on the Cushing defense throughout the game. Beckett added, “We definitely struck out too much. We need to at least put the ball in play and force them to make a play.”
After scoring four runs in the first inning, the team rode on its early success and kept Cushing’s bats at bay with strong defense. Pitcher Thomas Lane ’15 struck out three in four innings and gave up three hits and one run. Jake Nelson ’15 threw for the remainder of the game, conceding no walks and two hits with three strikeouts.
Andover hopes to extend its undefeated start to the season with a win against BB&N on Friday.