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Valley Tech Baseball Falls to Hudson in Playoffs
The Blackstone Valley Tech baseball season came to an end a little sooner than head coach Anthony Leonelli would have liked, but by his standards, the members of the Class of 2014 can look back on their time in a Beaver uniform with pride.
"I told the seniors the way they can measure their legacy is by looking at whether the program is in better shape when they are leaving than it was when they got here," Leonelli said following his team's 1-0 loss to Hudson in the Division 3 sectional quarterfinal. "We may have taken a half step back this year because we didn't win the league and lost in the first round, but that just shows how high the standards are for this team. 15-6 would be a great thing in a lot of places."
15-6 is where the Beavers ended up after falling to Hudson. They were 11-3 in the Colonial Athletic League, two games behind Assabet in second place. Junior Austin LeBastie struck out nine against the Hawks. The only run of the game came across on a two out single in the top of the fourth. Despite the loss, LeBastie was a star on the mound and finished the regular season with a 1.74 ERA.
"Hudson is a great team, they lost seven games but they play in a tough league and were very well prepared," Leonelli said. "We hit the ball hard but they made all the plays. It was a very well played game both ways."
BVT put runners on first and second with no one out in the 6th but could not get the tying run to score. Derek Muccini served as interim head coach in place of Leonelli, who was serving an MIAA-mandated two game suspension after being ejected in the second to last game of the regular season.
The list of graduating seniors includes two-year captain Connor Byrnes. The catcher graduates with more wins than any other player in the history of the Valley Tech program. The Beavers were also lead by Jared Vadenais, who lead the team with a .422 average, and Mike Iacovelli, who went 6-1 on the mound with a 1.98 ERA in 41 innings pitched. Both players garnered league all-star honors.
"Jared was a two-year starter for us and there were times where he carried us offensively," Leonelli said. "Mike was the other head of our pitching monster along with LeBastie. He and Byrnes are going to play at Becker College, so there is more baseball in front of them."
Senior outfielder Anthony Beschi turned himself into a plus-outfielder midway through the season. Leonelli says he was more than willing to learn the new position. The head coach also pointed to seniors Mike Godowski, Ryan Cuthbertson, and Chuck Martell as for similar acts of selflessness. "They were all great guys with great attitudes who showed up to work every day and did everything we asked of them in order to make this a better team and a stronger program," Leonelli said.
Valley Tech, which is enjoying an unprecedented run of success in baseball, will return a pair of all-stars next season. LeBastie is back for his senior year as is Sam Danis, who hit .364 this season in his first year at first base. "Sam is another player who selflessly changed spots for the good of the team," Leonelli said. "Those guys are going to be part of the foundation of our team next year and I know they will be excellent leaders for us."




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