Boston High School: Keith Anderson

L-S captures third state title in seven seasons

June, 18, 2011
6/18/11
11:57
PM ET




LYNN, Mass. -- Keith Anderson is a big boy at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, but today he was Orca big for his team.

He opened up the offense for the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors with a drop-in to center field to spark a seven-run second inning. On the flip side, he made a potentially game-altering snag with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning, leading L-S (24-4) to its third state championship in seven years with a 10-2 win over Minnechaug.

“I was just trying to the offense going,” Anderson said of his shallow center chip that turned into more than he had imagined. “I was just thinking that it was going to drop in front of him, but as I got to first, I saw that it was past him so I just took second base.”

Anderson did not consider the ball being caught, although he admitted that upon reflection had the ball been dove for, the game could have had a different outcome, but the ball fell in, he took and extra base and the rest is history.

“No one has hit the ball better than Keith in this tournament,” said Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Kirk Fredericks. “Earlier in the tournament, he scooped a ball that saved us a couple of runs. He has turned himself into a really good player.”

Juniors Ricky Antonellis and Ryan Bassinger smacked grounders into left field, respectively, after Anderson got the team going, the second knocking in Anderson. The next batter, junior Matt Cahill, executed a bunt down the third baseline that kept the inning going for the Warriors, a part of their game that was not so heralded early in the year, but something that Fredericks has had the team work on during the season just for situations like this.

“Kids don’t practice bunting in the offseason, so we worked on it during the season,” said Fredericks. “Knowing that the last two years when we lost in the north semifinals, we lost because we couldn’t hit, so if you can’t hit you’ve got to get on base somehow and bunting is one of the options.”

With the bases now loaded, sophomore Brian Carroll smacked a shot to the third baseman, who dove to make the catch, but unfortunately made one of the Falcons’ three errors in the second inning, overthrowing the second baseman after, and allowing L-S to tally another five runs.

SOLID SECOND OPTION

Scoreless in the second, the Falcons (15-11) capitalized on opportunities given them as L-S senior righthander Adam Ravenelle walked four straight batters. He gathered himself and struck out clean-up hitter Matthew Warren, then gave up a right field pop fly to Kevin Sugermeyer that yielded the second and last run of the game for the Falcons.

Kevin Baker fanned for the second time to end the inning, but after Kevin White drove one into dead center in the top of the fourth, Fredericks pulled the plug on Ravenelle on brought in Matt McGavick who allowed two hits during his four innings on the mound.

“I knew I had my team behind me and they have been all year,” said Ravenelle. “I have the utmost faith that they’ll pick it up when I’m not at my best.”

Like Ravanelle, McGavick walked the bases loaded, and was unsure how things would turn out, as he usually comes into the game during either the seventh or eighth inning, but the fielding of Keith Anderson was all that he needed, as he snatched a line drive that would have rolled into shallow right, potentially scoring two runs. A five-run lead is much easier to pitch with than a three-run lead and McGavick was appreciative of the defensive support he received from Anderson and the rest of the Warriors.

“That catch by Keith Anderson the first inning I was in really got me going and gave me confidence to keep throwing the ball in there, pitching strikes knowing that my defense would be there to back me up,” said McGavick.

THIS IS NOT HOW WE GOT HERE…

Although it was a long ride from Main Street in Wilbraham, Minnechaug coach Erik Mandell did not recognize the play that he saw in the field from his team and did not yank his pitcher, or scream at his players, but let them know that he expected to see them making the little plays that made the big differences in the game, such as the one Anderson made two innings later to potentially save the game.

“Baseball is a game of inches,” said Mandell. “And to get here, we’ve had to make a number of plays like that one on first base just to get here. A few inches to the left, a few inches to the right, it may be a different ball game… but I told my guys they needed to make those plays.”

Despite giving up 10 runs, Mandell stuck through the eighth inning with his starting pitcher, Gregory Heineman, because he felt he was pitching a good game.

“We needed to be better on defense, we had one particularly bad inning, and overall we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, but I don’t think that Greg pitched poorly. On top of that, they’re a good ball club.”

L-S hammers its way back to D1 state final

June, 16, 2011
6/16/11
1:49
AM ET



LOWELL, Mass. -- The clock has finally struck midnight on Franklin's magical, even Cinderella-ish run through the Division 1 tournament.

Lincoln-Sudbury's bats struck often and early, to the tune of 20 total hits, as they cruised to a 16-2 win over the Panthers (16-9) at Alumni Field to make their third state final appearance in seven seasons.

The Warriors (23-4) will face Western Mass champion Minnechaug -- themselves a surprise contender, entering the postseason a No. 10 seed at 10-10 but winning five straight -- Saturday at Lynn's Fraser Field for the state title.

"We hit the ball very well," L-S head coach Kirk Fredericks said. "We took advantage of and used a lot of the things we practice all the time, to get up on them and work some things in, which is great."

L-S wasted little time getting on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning, with senior catcher Mike Barry (2 for 4, four RBI) driving in Carl Anderson with a sacrifice fly to left field out of the cleanup spot. Keith Anderson (3 for 4, three RBI) and Ricky Antonellis (2 for 4) each drove in a run in the next two at bats to make it 3-0.

Then in the fourth, already ahead 5-0, the Warriors exploded for five more to blow this thing wide open, with Keith Anderson, Ryan Bassinger and Barry all driving in runs. Barry then made it 12-0 in the fifth, blasting an 0-2 curveball over left.

"I thought they were going to throw me a curveball, and I guess I got a good piece of it," Barry said.

Said Fredericks of Barry, "Michael's been struggling a little bit when we've been taking batting practice, I was concerned that his technique was a little off. But in games, he brings it right home." Asked to elaborate on what techniques, Fredericks simply said, "That's between Michael and myself."

The Warriors beat Worcester Tech for the Division 2 title in 2005, and Algonquin two seasons later for the D1 crown. Based on a snapshot of tonight, one has to like their chances for a third title.

Like the Panthers one day earlier in their walkoff win over Xaverian for the South crown, L-S demonstrated mature plate instincts, balance patience and aggression at the right times. Adam Ravenelle, Dan Cellucci and Brian Carroll (two RBI) also drove in runs to help the effort.

All of it made the job for its starter, Bryant-bound senior lefty Carl Anderson, that much more comfortable. In five innings of work, he Anderson struck out four batters, allowed four hits and gave up one earned run. Five pitchers combined for the final four innings of relief.

"I don't think Carl will tell you, but I'm sure he's sore," Fredericks said. "He had to pitch on three days' rest during the tournament, through five innings...And I'd betcha if we're in the state championship and we need another inning or two, he'd come on too. So, Carl has been an awesome player at Lincoln-Sudbury, and he'll continue to be until the end."

After such a dramatic win less than 24 hours earlier, Franklin head coach Dave Niro's fears of a day-after letdown came true.

"It's tough to get up two days in a row," Niro said. "We're coming off a big emotional win yesterday. I could tell on the bus ride up that we're gonna come out flat. The guys usually have a lot of energy coming to games, they're usually pretty loose. But today [it] was real quiet on the bus ride up, and I kinda thought we didn't have much energy left."

Surely, the Panthers were without key arms used in yesterday's win, leaving junior lefty Tyler Buck with the start after throwing 166 pitches in his start in last week's D1 South quarterfinals against BC High, a 17-6 win. Buck was knocked out of the game with one out in the third, with the score already well in hand at 8-0.

"I don't know if they [the team] knew that, but I knew that," Fredericks said when asked about Buck's 166-pitch start. "And as the rain kept coming and moving games back, it worked to our disadvantage, because it gives him more rest.

"But I talked to BC High, who played them, and got a pretty good scouting report on what he had, and what to do against him. Our kids executed, and did a great job."


L-S bats white hot against Prep

June, 6, 2011
6/06/11
11:22
PM ET
SUDBURY, Mass. -- Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Kirk Fredericks knew the challenge that his hitters could have with No. 7 St. John’s Prep ace Pat Connaughton in the Div. 1 North quarterfinals.

But with a little extra work and some unconventional practice, the No. 2 Warriors (20-2) knocked around the Prep star in the early innings and got to the bullpen late in it’s three-hour, 9-5 victory on Monday night at Feeley Field in the Div. 1 North tournament.

As soon as his team eliminated Boston Latin in the first round, Fredericks and his coaching staff set up the pitching machine at 90 mph to get his team ready for a helping of faster than normal heaters. He also set up the L-screen 20 feet from the hitters and had the coaches fire the ball as hard as they could to get the hitters reaction time just a step quicker.

That plan allowed the Warriors to be ready for Connaughton and the results showed as the Eagles’ ace didn’t get out of the fourth inning, surrendering five runs (four earned), walking seven and throwing over 100 pitches in his brief stint.

“We had a plan and we executed it well,” said Fredericks, whose team will play Chelmsford in the Div. 1 North semis. “It got the pitch count up and more importantly it gave our kids confidence. … If they could hit me the way I was throwing from right in front of them, they could hit Connaughton, Tyler Beede or Adam Ravenelle.”

That plan was executed best by Warriors’ lead off hitter Dan Cellucci. The junior outfielder went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning to break a 5-5 tie. Cellucci reached base safely all six times he approached the plate with three walks to go along with his three hits.

“It helped a lot,” Cellucci said of the extra work. “You can’t just go up in a game and face that speed. You’ve got to practice it and it definitely helped the whole team.”

The Warriors were able to get the leadoff hitter on base in six out of their eight at-bats against Connaughton and the three other Prep pitchers.

With the game tied at two, the Warriors plated three unanswered runs in the third and fourth inning. With runners on second and third with one out, Adam Ravenelle nubbed a swinging bunt down the third base line. Connaughton tried to make a play on the well-positioned ball, but his throw sailed wide of first allowing both runs to come through for the 5-2 lead.

“I couldn’t throw strikes,” said Connaughton. “It was a control issue. I’ve had it in the past and I’ve always had it from lack of playing this sport enough. If I were able to throw strikes maybe it would have been a little different.”

His Prep teammates picked him up immediately in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 5. The Eagles got the first four guys to reach in the inning, with Justin Peluso hitting a RBI single and Connaughton ripping a RBI double to the right field gap.

Cellucci delivered the game-winning run with a shot to center with two out in the bottom of the seventh off of Prep reliever Bobby Woodworth. Keith Anderson fueled a three-run eighth-inning with a bloop two-RBI single into left on a 0-2 pitch.

“Two games in a row,” Fredericks said of Anderson’s plate presence. “Keith got a huge hit and three RBI in the Boston Latin game and he had another huge hit today. He’s helped us a great deal coming on at the end here.”

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