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Beaver Bats Come Alive

After the first two games of the Blackstone Valley Tech baseball season, Anthony Leonelli may have been a bit concerned that his team picked up where it left off in terms of offensive struggles. The Beavers had gone 15 innings without a run, dating back to the final game of last season, when they entered the 9th inning in a scoreless tie with Worcester Tech. Senior Brendan Vieira drove in a run with his first varsity hit to give BVT a 1-0 win in the season opener.
The Beavers turned around quickly to face Uxbridge and were on the wrong end of a 12-1 blowout, but rallied for a 17-0 rout of Monty Tech in what Leonelli termed a "culture win." "After the Uxbridge game, we had a little talk about what we need to do better, and the next day we just hit during practice, no fielding, just hitting," he said.
The result was an 18-hit onslaught in a mercy-rule, shortened win. Cam Fiorentino hit a two-run home run, and senior Dan Avery and sophomore Austin LeBastie each went 3-for-3 in the win. BVT's work was not done after the victory, however.
"I thought it was telling that almost everyone stayed after the game, in uniform, to get in some extra work," said Leonelli. "It's not something that we make mandatory, but they all got some fielding work in after the game, which was nice to see considering the rough game we had earlier in the week against Uxbridge."
In addition to the work ethic, Leonelli has been particularly pleased with his team's aggressiveness on the mound and on the base paths. "We are going after it," he said. "Our pitchers are going right after guys. Even against Uxbridge, we threw strikes and did not walk batters. And the stolen bases have been a hallmark of the program."
BVT is 9-for-10 in stolen bases through its first three games. Junior Anthony Beschi has been a catalyst on the bases and is hitting .500 on the young season. Avery and Fiorentino have led the way on the mound. Avery struck out 13 and did not walk a batter in the 9-inning win over Worcester and Fiorentino struck out 12 in beating Monty Tech.
Valley Tech took part in the Bartlett tournament this week, which included Eastern Mass power Weston. The Beavers get back to league play with three straight Colonial Athletic League games next week.
"We are still trying to figure out who we are as a team," said Leonelli. "Playing a team from Eastern Mass and playing a number of league games in a row will be a nice challenge. I am excited to see how we stack up."




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