Redhawk baseball team eyes return to winning ways (5/20/10)

May 20, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After a two-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday by a narrow margin, the Champlain Valley Union High baseball team will be swinging away Thursday hoping to open another string of victories.

North Country Union High shows up at the Redhawks’ nest for a 4:30 p.m. encounter.

On Saturday, coach Tim Albertson’s charges will travel to Milton for an 11 a.m. tilt against the Blue and Gold, who entered the week at 3-6. On Tuesday, the Redhawks will be off to St. Albans to meet Bellows Free Academy at 4:30 p.m.

After a pair of decisive road victories over St. Johnsbury Academy and Middlebury Union, CVU was primed for Tuesday’s invasion by Spaulding High of Barre. The Crimson Tide came to town with a 7-4 mark.

But Spaulding put up six runs in the top of the fourth to erase an early 2-1 CVU lead and then held on for a squeaker of a 7-6 triumph, leaving the Hawks with a 6-6 season log.

Chief culprit for Spaulding was center fielder Sam Fuller, who bashed a pair of RBI doubles and made a big third out catch in front of the 350-foot marker in center off CVU slugger Drew Nick. CVU had runners at first and third, and Fuller’s catch ended a furious Redhawk rally in the bottom of the fourth.

After Fuller doubled home a run off Nick in the first inning, CVU took the lead in the bottom of the frame as Tucker Kohlasch (surprise bunt) and Alec Zullo got singles off Spaulding starter Scott Bigelow. Nick singled to left to drive in the swift Kohlasch and Lawrence Halvorson lofted a sacrifice fly to right for the run and the lead.

After three strong innings, Nick’s pitches started getting up in the strike zone in the fourth and the Tide followed a walk and hit batter with three singles and an infield miscue.

Theron Fuller relieved Nick with four runs in and runners at first and third. An infield ground out produced the fifth Tide tally and, with two out, Fuller slammed home the sixth with his second two bagger.

Fuller then finished with three innings of shutout hurling.

CVU got three runs back off Bigelow in the bottom of the inning, Zullo’s two-run single the key stroke after singles by Curt Echo and Fuller plus a walk to Tim Jones and a bases loaded pass to Kohlasch.

CVU provided some nervous moments for Spaulding in the bottom of the seventh after side-arming Bryan Hickey took over for Bigelow, who had thrown 100 pitches in his six frames of work.

With one out, Collin Teator worked Hickey for a walk, stole second, took third on a balk and scored on Halvorson’s single to left to reduce the Tide’s lead to a run. But the rally ended there.

At Middlebury on Saturday, the Redhawks scored a 13-4 victory as Andrew Leckerling tossed a complete game five-hitter while striking out eight. Nick unloaded four hits, including three doubles, to drive in three runs.

Kohlasch stroked a triple and single for an RBI and Jones cracked a pair of hits to plate two tallies. Teator bashed a homer and drove in two runs.