Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

July 19, 2012

Andover American captures District 14

The Andover American team defeated North Andover East 10-6 on Tuesday night to take the rubber game in a thrilling best-of-three District 14 finals.

The third and deciding game was played Tuesday night at Townsman deadline.

The third game had almost not been needed.

But in the second game on Monday, after a controversial call disallowed an apparent game-winning run for Andover American, North Andover East rallied back for a 5-3 win in extra innings.

Andover had runners on first and second with no outs in the bottom of the seventh of the second game. Jake Zanazzi hit a ground ball to second baseman Austin Ward who got the runner on first with a force at second. Shortstop Jake McElroy's throw to first was high and Josh Grunenburg, who began the play at second base, scored on the errant throw. But the play was called dead when the runner at second neglected to slide and interfered with McElroy's throw resulting in a double play. That's when a couple of phone calls to Bristol, Conn., with the second forwarded to Pennsylvania was needed to determine where Grunenburg should be.

"That's why we play three games," Andover manager David Metzemaekers said. "The kids played their hearts out. It's a shame that was the call. I didn't see it, so I'm not going to comment."

...

With a startling 1-2 punch from John Metzemaekers and Josh Gruenburg, Andover American jumped out to a fast lead and bested North Andover East — which had no-hit them earlier in the tourney — 4-1 in the first game of the best-of-three District 14 finals on Sunday.

After three North Andover hurlers had shut down Andover before, it took just two batters to break the hex in the finals. Metzemaekers jumped on a high 0-2 fastball and deposited it deep in left-center field for a double. Danny Regan was hit by a pitch, and with two outs Grunenberg cleared the bases by lashing an outside pitch down the right field line for a triple.

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