Phillips Academy Andover (MA)

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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To view the full list of 2023 Team Previews that we have already completed, please click here.

2023 Spring Team Preview: Phillips Academy Andover

ANDOVER, Ma. - After coaching the past four years in Maryland, Chris Powers has returned to his roots in the northeast as head coach at Phillips Academy Andover.

“When I got the opportunity to come back to Massachusetts I jumped at it,” reflected Powers, who had previously coached for 17 years at The Pingree School in Hamilton, Ma.

Powers understands the challenges ahead at such a prestigious school.

“There are so many good teams around the area, that’s evident by the talent in New England and colleges are taking notice,” Powers said. “Every day is a challenge, but I think our kids will rise to the challenge of a very strong schedule. I hope we have enough pitching.”

With the second-rated senior in the country on the roster in Thomas White, Powers has an ace.

“He’s a talented kid, a once-in-a-career type of talent that you get,” Powers said of the 6-5 left-handed pitcher whose fastball has hit 98. “He’s well-rounded, he’s a top student and he’s the leader of our staff.”

Cole Mascott and Matt Spadacini are two more strong arms on the team. Mascott, the ninth-rated senior right-hander in Massachusetts, is committed to Northwestern, while Spadacini, a 6-6 righty, has signed with Yale.

“These three have been together for four years,” Powers related. “It’s cool to see their relationship and things that they’re teaching the younger kids on the staff. It’s nice to see them helping others.”

Depth comes from Carson Cormier, the 10th-ranked senior RHP in Massachusetts, and sophomores Marek Krystofolski, Matt DeBenedictis and Robert Brown, the 25th-rated 2025 righty in New England.

“When you look at how we did last year, in 21 games we gave up 17 runs,” Powers noted. “This pitching staff puts a lot of pressure on the other team.”

There are more issues than outstanding pitching that the Golden Eagles can bring to the opposition.

“Our defense is strong and overall our team speed is good,” Powers pointed out. “If there is an area that we need to improve it’s at the plate. We just need a little more consistency.”

Jace Roossien shared catching duties last year with Thomas McAndrews, who is now playing at Fordham, and takes over full-time duties behind the plate.

“Guys love to throw to him,” Powers said of the Northwestern commit, the ninth-rated junior catcher in New England. “He’s a calming influence and just a great asset for us.”

White will be at first base when not pitching with senior three-year starter Trevor Grady, “a left-handed bat and a tremendous glove,” according to Powers, also at first.

Junior Larry Hotaling will be at second base after splitting time a year ago, with Luke Gallo back at shortstop after starting every game as a ninth grader.

“He has great footwork, a tremendous arm and was our leading hitter as a freshman,” Powers said of Gallo, the third-rated shortstop in New England and a Boston College commit. “He’s a five-tool guy.”   

Isaac Lamson, the second-leading hitter a year ago and the tournament MVP after driving in the tying and game-winning runs in the championship game, will start at third for the second year in a row.

Senior captain Andrew DeBenedictis, no relation to Matt, will bat first and play left field with Danny Flynn, the second-ranked sophomore outfielder in New England, in center. Senior Max Gomez, who missed time last year with an injury, is a two-year starter in right.

“I love how invested they are in the program as a whole and how much pride they take in the history of a program that has existed since the 1880s,” Powers related. “You learn to appreciate what people did before you and you want to do everything you can to maintain it. The work ethic here is incredible.”

With more than 130 years of history at the school, Powers is hopeful more history will be made in 2023.

“The keys as I look at them are if we pitch to our potential, that will help us,” Powers concluded. “Also, getting timely hitting will be a key and continuing to be a solid defensive team. If we do those things the hope is we’ll be in good shape to have the opportunities for success.”

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