Mount Abe Shuts down Redhawks bats (4/16/09)

Baseball squad to play next game in Barre

April 16, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

No doubt hoping for outdoor batting cage time in the week to prepare, coach Tim Albertson and his Champlain Valley Union High baseball team will visit Spaulding High in Barre at 4 p.m. Tuesday. With a favorable weather forecast, some extra time in the cage may help the Redhawks find some more pop in their bats and lead to the first victory of the season.

The Redhawks’ offense got shut down last Tuesday by Mount Abraham Union High righty Ben Orvis, who limited CVU to a single in six innings in leading a veteran Eagles outfit to a 7-2, opening day triumph in Hinesburg.

CVU bats remained almost totally silent until the bottom of the seventh and final inning, when senior co-captain Joe Myers greeted MVU reliever Kyle Kayhart with a blistering double to deep center.

Shane Montani followed with a single, putting Myers at third. Montani stole second and the two runners scored later on a grounder and Collin Teator’s sacrifice fly.

The two late runs put a positive note on the day, which was one of the few times that the Redhawks have been in the great outdoors this spring.

“The field is still soft,” said assistant coach and diamond-master Onnie Matthews. “But the next few days (of weather) look good.”

Orvis, who throws hard and mixed in an occasional snake of a curve, is probably not the person one wants to see on the mound in the initial, chilly, early season game. And maybe not later in the season either.

The MVU senior faced only 19 batters in six innings (one over the minimum), striking out 10 while walking two.

CVU’s lone hit off Orvis came in the bottom of the fifth, a well-placed pop to left center by freshman second baseman Lawrence Halverson, who was later erased trying to steal second.

Mount Abraham came out swinging against CVU starter Theron Fuller, unloading three runs in the first on three doubles and a single, and then adding three more in the second on a double, three walks, a fielder’s choice and infield error.

Fuller then got more comfortable and worked two scoreless innings before giving way to Teator (two hits, one run, three strikeouts) for two innings and lefty Alex Hopkins, who worked a scoreless seventh.

The Eagles finished with eight hits, four in the first inning, to go with seven walks. CVU got three hits and just two free passes.