The one-two punch of Lucas Milner and Austin Clark catapulted Andover Central baseball over its rival Andover in a doubleheader sweep on Friday night, with the Jaguars posting 4-3 and 6-3 victories.
Milner went 4 of 7 with one RBI in the two games and was the winning pitcher in the first game, giving up six hits.
Andover Central coach Grant Bacon said the team has been practicing on working the count in their favor. Milner did just that.
“I think the biggest thing is that I was on time,” Milner said. “I was able to recognize which pitches were coming at certain counts, able to get counts where I could get good fastballs or fight the curveballs off.”
Andover Central took a 3-0 lead in the first game on an RBI by Milner, Milner scoring off a wild pitch and an RBI single by Austin Clark.
Bacon said Milner takes advantage of pitchers missteps when he has the chance.
“He’s going out there with a lot of confidence, and if pitchers makes mistakes he’s making them pay,” Bacon said.
Milner held off the Trojans after they loaded the bases in the fourth with the score tied 3-3, striking out two batters and getting a groundout to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Central’s Kevin Olney hit a two-RBI single for a 5-3 lead.
“Whenever they needed to get strikeouts their pitchers just turned it up a notch and shut us down,” Andover coach Chris Weidert said.
Austin Clark kicked things off for the Central in the second game, with a bases-loaded, RBI single.
Bacon said he has been able to rely on Clark when the team needs him to perform.
“He is Mr. Clutch situation when we need somebody to come through,” Bacon said.
Clark went 3 of 4 in the second game with three RBIs.
“I just really started seeing the ball a lot better and tracking it a lot more,” Clark said.
Andover took a 2-1 lead in the second game, before the Jaguars took the lead back with two runs in the third.
Looking ahead, Clark said the sweep will give the Jaguars energy moving forward.
“This is going to give us a lot of momentum going forward and hopefully throughout the rest of the season,” he said.
Andover Central 5, Andover 3
|A. Central||300||002||0||—||5 10 4|
|Andover||120||000||0||—||3 6 1|
W — Milner. L — Starks.
Andover Central 6, Andover 3
|A. Central||102||012||0||—||6 10 0|
|Andover||020||100||0||—||3 4 1|
W — Harris. L — Fry.