Mssrs. Nate Shanks & David Huber
The CVU Baseball team wrapped up their season on June 3 with a loss to Burlington. The game was a part of the VPA playoffs in which the Redhawks reached the quarterfinals. Coming off of a 4-3 win in the playdown game against Missisquoi, the 13-4 Redhawks looked to grow their record as they prepared on the home field on Saturday.
The regular season saw the Seahorses defeating the Redhawks by a score of 2-0. The 3-seeded Redhawks were the favorite to win the game, and in fact, win it all. However, as many athletes and coaches know, being a favorite means nothing in playoffs. These playoffs have been like no other however. “This is the first time I’ve ever seen the top 12 teams with 10 or more wins,” said CVU coach Tim Albertson.
With the skill levels closer than ever, CVU knew they would have to play their best baseball everyday if they wanted to be successful. “There are no teams that can be taken for granted in this league. We learned that after our first game,” said captain Hunter Anderson. The team faced a close call when they found themselves in a battle with the 14-seed Missisquoi.
The game started as many had expected. After the first few innings, the teams found themselves locked at 0-0. It looked like a potential pitchers duel. However, as the game progressed, the scoring began to open up. CVU woke up the bats first, going up 4-0. However, in the next half inning, Burlington came back with a vengeance. Putting up 5 runs, they found themselves with the lead entering the bottom of the inning. After the big inning from Burlington, the big question was whether or not the Redhawks would be able to come back. However, that question was quickly answered. After a double from CVU Junior Liam Reiner, Chris O’Brien found himself with quite the at-bat. With a beautiful stroke, O’Brien crushed a 2-run homerun over the 357-foot sign in left-center field. “Not gonna lie, I thought that was going to be the turning point in the game,” said CVU senior Max Pudvar.
The following innings found themselves filled with one or two runs being scored by both teams. As the game neared an end, the Redhawks found themselves down 10-6. With just the bottom of the seventh inning left, they were really up against a wall. They did not back down however. If Burlington was going to win this game, they were going to have to earn every last bit. CVU started working there way onto the base paths. They started breaking into the lead with one out as they made the score 10-7. With two outs and runners on first and second, the teams found themselves in quite the battle. Pinch runners took their positions on both bases to ensure the quickest option. A slow grounder to third looked to be the last of the game; however, an arid throw meant that it was not over. Lead pinch-runner Nate Shanks found himself halfway down the third base line however. Max Pudvar occupied third base behind him, and made his only option scoring or getting out. He took off for home in hopes of beating the throw. The throw got home at about the same time as Shanks. A dive over the glove found Shanks safe at home bringing the score to 10-8. A steal from the runner on first found runners on second and third. Two outs and runners in scoring position put the fans on the edge of their seats. However, a pop up to right field lead to the final out of the game.
The Redhawks fell by a final score of 10-8, bringing their final record to 13-5. Although, disappointed with the final, the fight of the Redhawks could not be questioned. A strong team made sure to give the fans as much excitement as they could throughout the entire season. It was quite the season for the Varsity Baseball team.