They started the season as one of the favorites in Division I and three months later, the CVU baseball team was the last team standing.
A four-run third inning and a three-hit shutout from senior Curt Echo helped CVU top BFA St. Albans 5-0 in the Division I baseball championship game at Centennial Field for their second state title.
“They did it,” said CVU head coach Tim Albertson. “After the season we had last year, there was just one goal, and they made it happen. They worked their butt off all offseason, all preseason, and all season and here are the results.”
The experienced CVU team lost to Rice last season in the semifinals and bounced back this year with seniors manning eight of the nine starting spots in the title game.
“We worked hard all season just to have this exact feeling right now,” said Echo. “We were so happy when we heard the final would be at Centennial and it immediately became our goal to come play here.”
Echo made the most of his opportunity to play at the historic ballpark by retiring the first fourteen BFA batters he faced. BFA’s Dana Duquette broke through with a single in the top of the fifth inning, leading to an ovation from the crowd.
Four days after shutting out Colchester in the semifinals, the senior pitcher used just 64 pitches to shut out BFA—including a lean 41 pitches though the first five innings. The pace of the game was brisk as Echo relied heavily on his defense for outs, including a late-inning defense gem by Tucker Kohlasch.
“I knew getting the first pitch over [the plate] was crucial and I wanted to let them hit it,” said Echo who also shutout the Bobwhites during the only regular-season meeting between the two teams. “It was just more of the same from my defense; they always get the job done for me every game.”
Entering the third inning with a 1-0 lead, the first four batters for CVU (18-2) reached base and all four eventually scored to extend the Redhawks’ lead to 5-0. Tim Jones (who also came around to score after a first-inning single by Echo), Drew Nick, Davis Mikell, and Echo all scored for CVU with Davis, Lawrence Halvorson, and Ryan Fleming each grabbing an RBI.
The Bobwhites threatened in the sixth inning with two-out hits by Matt Palmer and Skyler Bushey, but Echo retired Jordan Stone to end the threat.
Junior Darren Callan started for BFA (15-5) before being removed in the third inning after allowing two hits and four walks in 2+ innings. Sophomore Ryan Connor came in and pitched the final four innings for the Bobwhites. BFA is now 0-3 all time in the D-I baseball championship game
“Playing at Centennial is special and our goal all season was to be playing here at the end,” said Echo, who also worked at Centennial Field during the Vermont Lake Monsters’ season last summer. “It is indescribable how happy we all are now.”