CVU nips South Burlington in extra innings (4/22/10)

Redhawks to host Thunderbirds on Thursday

April 22, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With a hard-earned entry into the victory column secured Tuesday, the 1-1 Champlain Valley Union High baseball aggregation was looking forward to a second straight home contest Thursday when Missisquoi Valley Union High comes calling at 4:30 p.m.


    Observer photo by Shane Bufano
Drew Nick throws a pitch for Champlain Valley Union High on Tuesday, when the Redhawks defeated South Burlington, 3-2.

Their bats silenced Monday by Mount Mansfield Union’s Sam Spencer’s 9-0 no-hitter in Richmond, the Redhawks used scarce but timely hits Tuesday to nip visiting South Burlington High. CVU won 3-2 on a Drew Nick’s two-out, screaming double down the left field line, which chased home Alec Zullo from first with the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

“I was just trying to get a hit,” said Nick, who had been re-inserted into the batting order after being relieved from his starting pitching chores after completing seven frames.

The victory blast was Nick’s second hit of the game. He also rapped a first inning single that sent in Zullo, who had singled and stolen second. Zullo had all three CVU runs, also crossing home plate in the sixth on a throwing error after he reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second, his second swipe of the contest.

Zullo’s first inning single — he was batting in the second slot — was the Redhawks’ initial safety of the campaign.

In all, CVU had just four hits off Rebels pitcher Ben Jenkins. Andy Leckerling’s seventh inning single was the other bop.

Nick scattered seven hits, including a homer and RBI double, in his seven innings of hurling. He whiffed five and hit a batter but allowed no walks.

A crucial time came in the bottom of the second. After Popper Hanson led off with a circuit clout to tie the game at 1, South Burlington loaded the bases on a hit batter, single and infield error. Situation grim.

No sweat for Nick. The sophomore slinger then struck out the next two batters and got the third on a fly to Zullo in left.

Nick then kept the Rebels from doing further damage until the seventh, when a leadoff single, sacrifice and double tied the game.

Ryan Machavern took over in the eighth and gave up a pair of singles but emerged unscathed.

After the game, Nick got a hero’s chilling: a cooler filled with ice cubes over the head while he was chatting with media representatives.

As for Monday’s no-hit effort by the Cougars’ Spencer, Nick said the MMU pitcher “was hitting his spots. We hit the ball pretty well a few times but right at someone.”

Head coach Tim Albertson noted that Tuesday’s win was commensurate with the Redhawks’ slogan of “grind it out.”

CVU will hit the road Saturday for an 11 a.m. clash at Rice Memorial High in South Burlington and will travel to Vergennes on Tuesday for a game at 4:30 p.m.