Co-Captains Tom Palleschi ’12 and Brian Delaney ’12 hit walk-off singles in the Central New England Prep School Baseball League Semi-finals and Finals to lift Andover Baseball to its first Championship since 2008.
“You really couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Delaney said. “This was both Tom and my fourth tournament and to both hit walk-offs is a truly amazing way to cap things off.”
Dan Dymecki ’12 started in the semi-final game against Cushing Academy and pitched all 8 innings, only allowing four hits and striking out a whopping 10 batters.
“I was just focusing on how I could help my team win one batter and one pitch at a time. All of my pitches were effective, and I was getting ahead and staying ahead in the count,” said Dymecki.
Andover drew first blood as Seamus O’Neill ’13 hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second to give Andover a 1-0 lead. Cushing bounced back to a 2-1 lead, but Curtiss Pomeroy ’12 then hit an RBI single in the bottom half of the fifth to tie the game up at two all.
It was a pitcher’s duel in the final innings. Neither team recorded a hit in the sixth and seventh innings, and the game went to extra innings as the two teams were deadlocked at 2-2.
Andover walked out of the eighth inning unscratched with the help of a crucial double play.
Andover began the home half of the eighth with a pop out, and then Pomeroy hit a single and advanced to second on a Cushing throwing error.
Palleschi then ripped a double into left field, which brought home Pomeroy to seal the victory and move Andover to the final game against Worcester later in the day.
“We knew what pitches he was throwing, and he started me off with a curveball every other at bat so I was looking for it. I saw the spin and went with the pitch the other way,” said Palleschi.
Rory Ziomek ’13 took the mound against Worcester. He pitched all seven innings, allowing only three hits while striking out 9.
“I was able to mix up my pitch sequences from batter to batter, and this really helped me to keep them at bay while our offense kept chipping away at their pitcher,” said Ziomek.
Worcester struck first in the first inning, but Andover quickly answered back in its half of the first inning and tied the game at one.
Andover took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third after an RBI single hit by Palleschi.
Worcester scored two runs of its own in the 5th inning.
Andover tied up the game at three in the 6th inning as Chris Hohlstein ’14 walked to bring home Matt Hosman ’15.
Andover escaped the top of the 7th unharmed, putting the team in a great situation to win the game.
William Poss ’12 walked and advanced to second base on a passed ball, to start off the inning.
Shortly after, Delaney, who was pinch hitting, hit an RBI single to centerfield with a 1-1 count, bringing home Poss and the championship at the same time.
With a 15-5 record, Andover will take on Exeter next Saturday, hoping to cap off its championship season with a win over its rival.