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Valley Tech Baseball Eyes League Title
When Anthony Leonelli took over the head coaching position at Valley Tech, he walked through the gym and took note of a particular banner on the wall -- Valley Tech Baseball, 1977 Dual Valley League Champs.
Leonelli was a few years away from being born the last time the Beavers hung a league title banner in baseball. The league is different, BVT is now a member of the Colonial Athletic League, but halfway through the season, Leonelli's team controls its own destiny when it comes to winning the first league championship for the program in 35 years.
"It's good to take control of your own destiny," he said. "Now, we go from being the hunter to the hunted. The guys that have put us in this position of tracking down the teams ahead of us have got to keep us ahead now."
One of the teams the Beavers had to track down was Worcester Tech. After scoring the program's first win over Worcester in more than a decade last month, BVT had to wait just two weeks to beat the city team again. Dan Avery pitched a gem to lead the Beavers to their second 3-1 win over Worcester on the season. After Monday's 15-7 drubbing of Parker Charter, Valley Tech sits 7-2 overall and a perfect 6-0 in the league.
Avery has been one of the team's stars, posting a 3-1 record on the mound with a 1.33 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched against only three walks. He has also chipped in at the plate with a .375 batting average through the first nine games.
"Dan has come on strong with the bat," said Leonelli." But on the mound, he's been great. He throws three pitches for strikes, has great command, and has great poise for a junior. He's probably the most poised player on the team."
Valley Tech has also received blistering offensive efforts from Cam Fiorentino and Julian Picard. Fiorentino is hitting an eye-popping .567 (17-for-30) for the season and leads the team with 13 runs batted in. The ever-steady Picard is second on the team, hitting at a .433 clip. Senior Tim Broduer has also given the Beavers a big lift, according to Leonelli.
"Tim plays the infield, he pitches, he picks everyone up, he does a lot of things that don't show up in the box score," said Leonelli. "He has a solid glove and has been our most effective relief pitcher, so he's wearing a lot of hats out there."
After a strong start that has Valley Tech two games up on its nearest rival in the league, the head coach is trying to make sure his team's energy stays high for the stretch run. "It's easy to get up to play a team like Worcester, but harder when it's a team that has struggled a little more," said Leonelli. "Now that we are in first, we are going to get everyone's best shot, and we need to be prepared."




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