Season Ends for Hazen Union at Richford

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photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union seniors on the baseball team included (from left) Jake Davison, Dan des Groseilliers, Fenton Meyer, Eliot Rosendahl and Andrew Menard.

RICHFORD – An improbable first inning by Richford decided the fate of the Hazen Union baseball team early, as they bowed out of the first round of the Division III playoffs last week.

Carter Blaney struck out five in three innings of work to earn the win and helped his own cause, driving in three runs with a trio of hits to lead seventh seeded Richford to a dominant 19-6 home win over the Wildcats last Wednesday. Blaney put the home team on the board with a two-run double in the bottom of the first and Marcel Gendron drove in two more with a single to make it 5-0.

Richford did the rest with two outs as Jerrick Jacobs and Will Steinhour drove in four more with singles, Bobby Gendron and Dawson Derby found the gap with a double and a triple, before Marcel Gendron capped off a 14-run inning with an RBI double.

“That was the first playoff game for some of our kids and the nerves possibly got to them in that first inning. It’s tough when you know the skill is there to execute those routine plays, but they just don’t happen. Baseball is a mental game, and you have your head in it at all times. We could have won that game if not for the first inning. I wanted so much more for our seniors, and it was a tough way to end the season for sure,” said head coach Shaun Allen.

Down 15-0, Hazen clawed back with four runs in the top of the fourth and in the fifth inning Wildcat senior Fenton Meyer ended his high school career with bang, belting a solo shot over the left field fence for his first career home run. Michael Cunningham came on in relief for Richford to close it out.

Bobby Gendron ended the day for Richford with three hits, three runs, and three RBI. Marcel Gendron and Jacobs combined for four more hits and four RBI, and the Falcon defense turned a pair of double plays to end Wildcat rallies.

Allen will lose Meyer, Andrew Menard, Jake Davison, Dan des Groseilliers, and Eliot Rosendahl to graduation, but should return a talented young core that is led by Craftsbury Academy’s Grayson McNaughten, Landon Miller, along with Owen Skorstad and Hazen’s Jake Hayden.

“My first year at Hazen was definitely a learning experience for me. Thanks to Joe Rivard, T.J. Davison, and James Montgomery for assisting me this year and helping through my transition. Our program definitely has some things to work on, but I saw some great improvement with our younger players throughout the season. Establishing a JV program is the key to building and sustaining a successful baseball program here at Hazen and that is my plan, as well as changing and adding a few things to the program in the coming years,” said Allen.

Richford fell to second seeded Bellows Falls 8-2 in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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