, Newburyport, MA

May 3, 2013

Amesbury's simple man

By Jim Sullivan

---- — Amesbury baseball left-handed pitcher Andy Reidy has a simple approach to life.

“I’m just another Amesbury-born baseball player,” said Reidy.

He also has a simple approach to the game.

“I’m just looking to get the batter out,” said Reidy. “I just want to do whatever it takes to do that.”

That approach has been working well for the junior, who currently sports a 0.87 ERA on 31 innings pitched, featuring 48 strikeouts. As of press time, he has four starts where he is 3-1 and has two saves.

“He’s improved a great deal from his sophomore year to his junior year,” Indians coach Gene Burnham said. “He still has a way to go, there is always room for improvement. But it’s been a pleasure to watch him pitch this first half of the season.”

A homegrown Indian, Reidy came up through the Amesbury Little League program and has been playing since he was 5 years old. Reidy says his Little League coaches were delighted when they saw him coming.

“I was unique,” said the southpaw. “It’s not very common.”

Also a hockey player, Reidy sees his role on the mound as even more intense than his as a left wing on the ice.

“It’s very different,” Reidy said of hockey pressure versus baseball pressure. “Maybe being up 2-1 with a minute to go (in a hockey game) is similar. But it’s very different other than that. I like pitching, I love coming in under pressure. That’s what I love about pitching.”

The current Indian season, as with any high school baseball campaign, has given the starter just what he likes, as sometimes he may be called into close out games just a few days after starting one. In last Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Masco, Reidy was brought in in relief in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner on second and one out with the heart of the order about to bat.

“I don’t mind coming in whenever they need me,” said Reidy. “I tell coach, every game, I’m always here if you need me to pitch. I’m never not available. I like being able to prove myself.”

According to Burnham, Reidy has been proving himself all over the diamond this season.

“He’s probably as good a fielder as anyone else,” Burnham said. “He fields his position very well, (but) Andy has been playing first base for us when he’s not pitching and he’s done a great job over there. He’s got a good glove and he fields his position there very well. He’s played the outfield for us as well, over time, and he’s very capable there.”

Reidy is currently looking forward to proving himself again when his squad makes the trip to Newburyport on Tuesday.

“The River Rivalry is big time,” said Reidy. “Both teams have a great competition. And to be able to play a part in that is amazing. You see the most competitive games you’ll ever see in high school between these two teams. No matter what the record is, it’s all forgotten when both teams step on the field.”

Once the Clippers are out of the way, Reidy says his Indians are feeling good about the season’s second half.

“We’re feeling pretty good actually,” Reidy said of his team’s current temperature. “We didn’t really lose that many players from last year, so we’re feeling pretty good about this year. We feel like we can make the tournament. We feel we can make a run for it. We’ve got all the tools. We’ve got fielding, hitting and pitching. We just need to put it all together for one game, every day, every game.”