Lawrence Lancers Baseball '19

Wed, Jun 12, 2019 04:00 PM @ Lawrence
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Final
Andover 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 3
Lawrence 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

Andover knocks off Lawrence in 8-inning barn-burner

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Wednesday, June, 12 By By Bill Burt
Sports editor

LOWELL — Everything was in place for Lawrence High and an eventual berth into the Div. 1 North finals on Saturday.

They had momentum after consecutive, dominating wins over Central Catholic and Lexington and they had their ace, Miguel Matos, who allowed six runs the entire season.

But then there was Arvin Nunez, and his 80 mile an hour fastball for Andover High.

A junior varsity pitcher a year ago, Nunez went pitch-for-pitch with Matos this distance, including one extra inning, and the Golden Warriors stunned the Lancers, 3-1, and will be in the sectional title game back at Alumni Field at 6 p.m.

"I tried to throw strikes," said Nunez, a Dominican who grew up in Andover and is headed to UMass Lowell in the fall to study chemical engineering.

"It was fun," he added. "This is what you play for, for games like this."

Even when the score was scoreless through four innings, it felt like Lawrence was chasing Andover. Lawrence didn't get its first hit until the 5th inning, just after Andover went ahead 1-0 on Joshua Gruenberg's RBI single to left field.

The Lancers finally tied it in the bottom of the sixth on a booming, high, 370-foot sacrifice fly to left center by Christian Verona, scoring Kebler Peralta.

The teams went quietly in the seventh inning before the floodgates opened for Andover in the first extra frame. It all started with one out on a grinding, 10-pitch walk by Matthew Potts, followed by a botched fielding play on a sacrifice bunt (error on throw).

A long fly ball to center gave Lawrence a breath of fresh air, with two outs, but a single by catcher Nolan Schirmer, who ended the sixth inning by throwing out a Lawrence baserunner at second base, went under the glove of the Lancers right fielder. Two runs scored.

Nunez got the ball back in the eighth.

"It was his game," said Andover coach Dan Grams. "He was still going strong."

Lawrence hit four balls hard, including a leadoff single by Peralta, but they were hit hard at Andover fielders. 

Andover players all ran toward Nunez as if they'd won a championship. Honestly, it felt like one, at least for Nunez.

"That kid was tough," said Lawrence High coach Kevin Fielding. "We couldn't get that second run. We were close, but (Nunez) made the pitches."

Grams said he couldn't have predicted a game like this from Nunez last year. But after seeing him gain confidence throughout the spring, he isn't surprised by anything Nunez did yesterday or does in the near future.

"When you work hard and love the game like he does, anything is possible," said Grams. "We met with him before the season started and told him we needed him to be one of our top three starters. But when Andrew Therialt got hurt, we needed more out of him. Well, as you saw, we got it."



Game Statistics:

Andover (3): Joshua Gruenberg rf 3-0-1, Patrick McConnell cf 3-0-0, Matthew Potts ss 3-1-1, Shane Lachance DH 2-1-0, Anthony Teberio 1b 4-0-1, Nolan Schirmer c 4-1-2, Alex Weinreb 2b 2-0-0, Aidan Ritter 3b 4-0-2, Alex Pisacreta lf 2-0-0, Henry Grebe lf 1-0-0, Tanner O'Sullivan lf 1-0-0, Totals 29-3-7 

Lawrence (1): Kebler Peralta ss 4-1-2, Juan Medina 4-0-0, Henry Checo 4-0-1, Christian Verona 1-0-0, Luis Mejia 3-0-0, Luis Colon 3-0-2, Iconencia Cuevas 2-0-0, Pedro Mora 3-0-0, Denis Brito 2b 2-0-0, Totals 26-1-5

RBI: A — Gruenberg, Schirmer; L — Verona

WP: A — Arvin Nunez; LP: L — Miguel Matos

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