A symphony of applause erupted from the crowd as Co-Captain Jack Penney ’21 hit his second triple of the game against Cushing. From the bleachers and through an online live stream, Blue Key Heads and students watched Andover Boys Baseball win their first home game in nearly two years 16-4.
According to Eric Giarnese ’21, it was not just the doubles by Joshua Keevan ’21 or the triples by Penney which gave them the victory—it was the team working together to get as many runs as possible on the board.
“A lot of people were contributing offensively, which helped us put sixteen runs on the board. So that was our offensive approach, and our offensive game plan was the deciding factor in the game,” said Giarnese.
Giarnese says that the team stayed confident after conceding two early runs through fielding errors and the nerves that came with playing their first home game in nearly two years.
Giarnese said, “I think [the early errors] was [us] getting the jitters out. We had not played home in a really long time and there were some fans in the game, and I think we made a couple of mistakes in the field and that allowed them to score two runs. We weren’t worried at all when we came back to the dugout, we just knew that now we were just going to have to go out and score two runs, and we did that. We scored two runs in the first two batters we had that went up to the plate, so we just knew that we put our mistakes to the sides and went to do our job on the offense.”
According to Sebastian Mexico ’21, another reason for their big margin of victory was their excitement for the game and their desire to improve on their performance against Belmont Hill the week prior.
“We were really jacked up… because it [was] the first game of the season at home and we did good against Belmont, but not as good as we wanted to do the first game. I think after having a lot more practice, having to put together all pieces and being on the same page, we were really ready to destroy Cushing,” said Mexico.
Mexico added that another positive consequence of the large margin was that the younger, less experienced players on the team were able to have an opportunity to showcase their talent.
“When we went up by such a high margin, we were able to put in a lot of kids that probably won’t get a lot of playtime this year… because unfortunately for them, this year is a very special year in that we have eleven Seniors on the team… seven or eight of which are going to play college baseball and are very good calibre players, so it’s really nice to give those kids playing time and give them a chance to show what they can do. Even with them in the game, we still kept upping the margin,” said Mexico.
Mexico says that although he anticipates the game against Deerfield on Saturday to be more challenging, the team’s approach to the game remains the same as usual.
“I think [our approach is] the same as always, just show up to the game, ready to have some fun, and realise this is a game, and we don’t have to take it too seriously, but at the same time, we’re trying to be competitive and win, and we’re definitely trying to kick Deerfield’s butt. I don’t see it going the same as the Cushing game; I think it’ll be a lot closer of a game, there’s a lot more talent in Deerfield and I think they’re ready to match us,” said Mexico.
Andover Baseball will next face Deerfield Academy away on April 24.