The Hanover baseball team is off to a tough 1- 6 start despite playing well in most of its games. With 13 games left, there is still plenty of time to right the ship and have a successful season. It won’t be easy, however, in a tough Patriot League.
The season started a little late this year after some delays due to the snowy winter. The Indians kicked things off at Silver Lake, then ranked #3 in the state, and fell 11-1 in 5 innings. Hanover’s rust really showed and it was tough to go from practice in the gym and 45 mph in the batting cage to facing one of the best pitchers in the South Shore. Senior Matt Holland, coming back from an injury, gave it his best on the mound but Silver Lake was too good. Junior Sean Cornell had Hanover’s only RBI, knocking in Justin Paskell.
Hanover followed that game up with an away game vs Scituate. In a 9-8 action-packed game, Hanover came out on top. Sophomore Matt Lanagan was on the mound and pitched a good game. He was relieved by Jake Cheney, who would pick up the win for Hanover. Offense came from many sources, with junior Marshall Pizzi leading the way with 3 hits, and it was an exciting game from beginning to end, concluding with a Scituate player being thrown out attempting to steal home.
In their third game of the week, Hanover faced rival Norwell, who has been besting Hanover in sports all year. It would be another close one, but Norwell would come from behind and win 6-4. Justin Paskell threw a good game on the mound and Hanover had a solid game at the dish, but missed opportunities and some rallies by Norwell are what got them in the end.
Over vacation week, Hanover had one game against Plymouth South. It was 8-0 drubbing and I wasn’t in attendance, but the reports weren’t pretty. Hanover got one hit, Junior Tom Merritt being the only one to poke one through.
This week, Hanover started off with a game at Hingham. Matt Holland spun a good one on the mound and threw a complete game, while having his teammates make the plays in the field behind him. One Hingham kid had all 4 of their RBIs. Hanover didn’t give up in this one despite being down 2 in different occasions. A couple of nice rallies by the team made it a tight game, but Hanover also left some opportunities out there and needed some more timely hitting. It was a tough game to lose, 4-3, after playing well.
Next up was Pembroke, a game Hanover lost 7-2 in 9 innings where the final score was nowhere near indicative of how close the game was. The Pembroke left fielder collapsed over the fence while making a great catch to rob Shane Fallon of a bombing home run. Jack Phelan had a good game at the dish and everyone supplemented at the plate. Two solid teams battled it out and Hanover managed to tie it 2-2 after in the bottom of the 7th after a nice piece by Justin Paskell and a little help from the Pembroke center fielder. Paskell had been pitching a great one and he ended throwing 8 1/3 innings. Unfortunately in the top of the ninth, Pembroke loaded the bases on Paskell, and Matt Lanagan came in to a tough situation. The Pembroke offense erupted for 5 runs, including 2 on a suicide squeeze. Captain Shane Fallon’s post-game sentiments echoed true to me when he said that the team needs to improve their timely hitting and string some things together in order to win these close games.
Today Hanover got off to one of their worst starts and went down 7-0 quickly to Whitman-Hanson. The offense would pick up a little bit later in the game but unfortunately it was far too late and the Panthers won by 10+ runs.
Still plenty of games left and there are promising signs, but the team needs to right the ship soon in order to make the tournament