With a triple base hit by Andover Baseball Co-Captain Matt Sapienza ’21 in the top of the 12th inning, both Thomas White ’23, and Thomas McAndrews ’22 scored, extending Andover’s lead to 3-1. As Sapienza closed out the game from the mound, Andover triumphed 3-2 in the first of two games against Deerfield and carried that momentum into the second game where the team earned a 2-1 victory. Andover’s record now stands at 3-0.
Coming off of an exciting win at home against Cushing, Andover was looking forward to its games against Deerfield. Before the doubleheader, the team understood that to win, everyone needed to give their all, according to Head Coach Kevin Graber.
Coach Graber said, “We knew we’d face Deerfield’s two best pitchers, and it might be difficult to generate offense, so our goal was to just play really hard – sprint out every batted ball, sprint on and off the field [and] communicate on every batted ball. Our goal was to take care of the little things so the big things might take care of themselves.”
According to Co-Captain LJ Keevan ’21, the pitching ability of Deerfield posed a unique challenge, but by adjusting its strategy and being fully committed, the team was able to overcome it.
“In the games, we struggled offensively a little bit. Deerfield had [three Division I] arms that were thrown against us, but we were able to bear down as a team and scrape a couple runs across the board and play great defense to win the games,” said Keevan.
Despite the challenges Andover faced on offense, the team was able to match Deerfield’s dangerous pitching arsenal and limit its ability to score runs, according to Keevan.
Keevan said, “Our pitching staff is what won us the weekend. In game [one,] Thomas White ’23, Jake Lapp ’21, Jake Needham ’22, Jonathan Santucci ’21, and Matt Sapienza all threw in the first game, only giving up two runs total. In game [two,] I threw a complete game… for a 2-1 victory.”
Made evident by the close scores in both games against Deerfield, McAndrews believes a focal point of improvement is getting hits and scoring more runs.
McAndrews said, “A big challenge for us right now is our hitting; we are still trying to figure it out. We are doing what we have to to win the game, but we have so much talent on the team that we should be hitting the ball a lot better and getting more hits [and] scoring more runs to give our pitchers that [cushion] of not only one run but three or four.”
The team will seek to improve its offense when it takes on Worcester Academy this Friday at home.