Baseball squad on road for season wrap-up (5/28/09)

Redhawks clawing for playoff spot

May 28, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

A pair of old foes await the Champlain Valley Union High baseball team this week as it finishes out the regular season with road contests.

The Redhawks will travel to South Burlington High (7-6 entering the week) Thursday afternoon for a 4:30 session. On Saturday, the scene will shift to Burlington High (7-6) for an 11 a.m. start time.

CVU, 4-10, hopes to remain in the swing of things. The bats rang out Tuesday in an 11-10 whackathon loss to 7-7 Rice Memorial High in the regular season finale at the Hinesburg ball yard.

Led by Andrew Nick with four rocket hits, including a solo homer, in five trips, the Hawks ripped for 12 safeties but were undone by a timely hitting Rice crew that took advantage of five CVU errors for five unearned runs.

Nick was in the crush zone. In the bottom of the first inning, the CVU shortstop and leadoff batter blasted Rice starter Jack Kowlaski’s second offering over the left field fence for his second round tripper of the season. After popping up in the second, Nick slammed blue darter singles in his next three plate appearances, winding up with two RBIs.

The Redhawks had fallen behind 4-0 in the top of the first as Rice struck with four singles, with an infield throwing error and walk thrown in.

CVU starter Curt Echo regrouped in the second frame, striking out two and leaving two runners stranded in a shutout inning, but was literally knocked out of the game in the third when a one-out shot back to the mound caromed off his pitching hand, leaving him with a bruised flipper.

Lefty Alex Hopkins took over and gave up an RBI double to Rice’s Nicky Elderton before getting the side out.

Three tainted runs in the next two innings helped the Green Knights roll up an 8-4 lead.

CVU then struck for four runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie matters, exploding for four singles after Rice relief pitcher Nick Meunier opened the door by walking Carl Lozon and Collin Teator to start the inning.

Alec Zullo, Konnor Fleming, Andy Leckerling and Nick followed with singles, Zullo driving in one run and Leckerling a pair.

With the score 8-8, Emily Sackett took over CVU’s mound duties. She threw strikes on 12 of 16 pitches, but Rice batters connected for four hits, including a double and triple, and jumped to an 11-8 advantage.

Coach Tim Albertson’s young squad bounced back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on an error, a single by Teator, a walk to Zullo, a hit batter (Fleming) and wild pitch.

The Redhawks trailed by just a run in the bottom of the seventh but could not get Nick home with the deadlocking run after he led off with the third of his blistering singles, stole second and got to third on an infield out.

Downed by Mt. Abe

Last Saturday, CVU bowed 8-3 at Mount Abraham Union despite outhitting the Eagles, 8-4. Mount Abe’s Kyle Kayhart was the terminator of the Redhawks’ hopes as he stroked a two-run homer and three-run triple.

CVU’s rappers included catcher Joe Myers with a double and two singles. Teator and Fleming each slugged a pair of hits.