Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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.

Regan worked his 85-pitch limit over 4 1/3 innings, striking out eight and yielding only two hits and two walks.

"I absolutely thought Danny would be in control in this game," coach David Metzemekers said. "It's what he's done in AAU, in Little League ... he's just been immense."

Zach Smith relieved Regan and efficiently retired the last five batters on only 11 pitches, getting a big assist from shortstop Caeden Dillman.

...

Danny Regan smashed a two-run homer that went approximately 300 feet to lead Andover American to a 12-0 five-inning run-rule victory over North Andover West in the semifinals of the District 14 Little League tournament on Saturday.

"The umpire behind the plate said it was the longest hit he had ever seen from a Little Leaguer," Andover American manager David Metzemaekers said.

John Metzemaekers went 3 for 4 with three singles and drove in two runs. Thomas Manty went 2 for 4 with a double, single and three RBIs and Zach Smith had three hits for Andover, which managed 16 hits as a team.

Josh Gruenberg earned the win. He worked five innings, throwing just 48 pitches and surrendering just two hits.

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Andover National fell to North Andover East in the District 14 semifinals on Saturday. Michael Reilly doubled and singled for Andover National, which got its other three hits from Patrick Hughes, Philip LeBlanc and Andrew Theriault.

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Owen Mosher tossed a complete-game two-hitter as Andover Americans took out Tewksbury, 8-1, on Friday.

Mosher struck out seven and needed just 85 pitches to earn the win. Offensively, Josh Gruenburg had a double and a single to pace American. Kyle Vaumbaco and Caedan Dillman each had key hits.

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Michael Reilly hit a pair of home runs, but Andover National lost to North Andover West 11-10 on Friday.

Ryan Neal added a homer of his own, while Michael Slattery had three hits. Philip LeBlanc shined on defense at third and 11-year-old Andrew Theriault struck out three in three innings on the mound.

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Danny Regan went deep well over the fence to spark a 5-2 Andover American victory over Lowell Callery last Wednesday.

Regan's shot was a two-run blast, following a single for John Metzemaekers. Starter Thomas Manty worked five innings, allowing just the two runs on three hits, striking out seven and walking just one. John Metzemaekers closed the game out, forcing a double play turned by Caeden Dillman before striking out the game's final batter.

Right fielder Josh Gruenburg and first baseman Owen Mosher each made nice plays defensively.

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Michael Reilly continued to roll, hitting three homers and recording six RBIs as Andover National beat Billerica National 14-3 last Wednesday.

Jack Boese homered and drove in three runs and pitched the final inning, striking out the side. Ryan Neal also homered. Philip LeBlanc pitched the first two innings, striking out five and not walking a batter.

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Andover National opened its District 14 schedule with a bang, as Michael Slattery hit a grand slam, Michael Reilly blasted a three-run homer and Michael Galatis added a solo homer in a 16-1 drubbing of Tewksbury American last Monday.

Liam Murphy also got in on the action, going 4 for 4 with two RBIs, Philip LeBlanc added three hits and drove in four runs while leadoff man Ryan Neal set the table with a pair of hits.

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Daniel Regan and Caeden Dillman combined to throw a two-hitter, but Andover American was no-hit by North Andover East and fell 2-0 last Monday.