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BVT Baseball Runs the
Table in the CAL
Before last season, the Blackstone Valley Tech baseball team had gone more than three decades without winning the Colonial Athletic League championship. Never mind the players, even head coach Anthony Leonelli wasn't alive to see that championship. After going 13-1 and winning the 2012 league crown, the Beavers followed it up this year by going a perfect 14-0 to win their second straight CAL title. BVT finished off the perfect run with a 9-0 win over Assabet.
"Winning the league is always our first stated goal at the beginning of the season," said Leonelli. "To run through the league clean was huge for us and for our program."
The Beavers finished the regular season 16-4 overall, earning a spot in the state vocational tournament for the second straight year. BVT won the state voke last season, and beat Greater Lawrence 5-0 before falling to last year's runner up, Whittier, 3-2 in the 2012 finals.
"We wanted to defend our title in the state voke, so it was definitely disappointing," said Leonelli. "We left nine guys on base, so it was not a good way to lose a title game, leaving so many good opportunities on the board."
With the 2013 district tournament beginning this week, there was little time for the Beavers to dwell on their past disappointment. "I told the guys after the Whittier loss that we are in a unique position," said Leonelli. "We have another postseason coming up and it's the one that most of the state pays attention to."
BVT entered this week's tournament as the number two overall seed in Central Mass Division 2. A big part of the reason for the success continues to be ace pitcher and middle-of the order hitter Dan Avery. Fellow senior Cam Fiorentino has also emerged as the team's number two starting pitcher.
"Avery has been phenomenal all season, our most consistent player for the past three seasons," said Leonelli. "And Fiorentino led us in home runs, RBIs, he's a great offensive player and he had 14 strikeouts on the mound against Whittier in the state voke finals."
Avery finished the regular season with six wins and a 0.94 ERA to go with a .500 batting average. Fiorentino also hit .500 with three home runs, and won six games with a 1.77 ERA on the mound. Leonelli also praised the late season play of a pair of juniors, leadoff hitter Jared Vadenais and second baseman Anthony Beschi.
"Vadenais has been aggressive on the bases all year, he stole his 20th base of the season against Greater Lawrence," said Leonelli. "Beschi has been out most consistent hitter, he gets on base, he's a guy I thought could have been a league all-star."
Valley Tech accomplished one goal, winning the league, and came up short in a second, the vocational tourney. Now the Beavers turn their sights to the districts, where the objective is not as defined.
"We tend to talk about the districts in the abstract," said Leonelli. "We want to make a run. We don't define what it is, but I'd like to get to a neutral site game [district semi-finals and beyond]. That's my barometer, so hopefully the road can break for us and we can get it done."




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