Spaulding High drops Redhawk baseball team (4/30/09)

April 30, 2009

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The Champlain Valley Union High baseball team may be 0-3, but coach Tim Albertson sees better things on the near horizon for his youthful Redhawks.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High outfielder Collin Teator makes a diving catch during Saturday’s game against Spaulding High School.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High shortstop Andrew Nick dives for the ball during Saturday’s game against Spaulding High School.

“We are improving,” the first-year coach said Saturday following a narrow, 5-2 home loss to visiting Spaulding High of Barre. “We played well against a very good team.”

The Redhawks took a 2-2 tie into the top of the seventh and final inning against the now 3-0 Tide, a team that popped CVU 11-1 the previous Saturday in Barre.

An opportunity to get that elusive first win Tuesday against visiting Mount Mansfield Union was put off until after press deadline on Wednesday by a game time drizzle that began just before the two teams were to take the field.

In giving Spaulding a time of it Saturday, CVU got a workman-like pitching performance from junior Theron Fuller, who scattered seven singles over the first six innings. Fuller limited the Tide to lone tallies in the second and fourth frames before weakening in the top of the seventh, when the visitors struck for three runs fueled by a single, two doubles and two walks, one intentional.

Fuller, who whiffed four, gave up five runs, four earned, before giving way to junior Collin Teator. Teator recorded the final out.

Spaulding righty Sam Fuller, who was hitting his spots with good pitch placement, cruised through the first four innings, allowing singles by Andy Leckerling and Shane Montani while striking out four.

The Redhawks pulled to within 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth. Leckerling struck out but reached when the third strike pitch went to the backstop. After a second out fanning, Teator singled Leckerling to third and freshman Andy Nick drove him home with a pop infield single that fell out of reach inside third base.

Cheered by that success at scoring, the Redhawks tied the contest in the sixth. Back-to-back two-out singles by pinch hitter David Titus and Leckerling drove home Jared Badger, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

But Spaulding struck back in the top of the seventh, the key sock a bases loaded double to left center by Rueben Stone that pushed home two runs and put the Tide in front to stay.

Spaulding starter Sam Fuller departed after the sixth with six hits allowed — two by Leckerling — seven strikeouts, no walks and two hit batters.

The Redhawks committed one error. Sparkling plays included a superb rolling catch in left by Teator, plus a stellar stop and throw by freshman second sacker Lawrence Halverson.