by Ken Brown
HARDWICK – After a school record 15 win season and playoff run that took them to Centennial field over the weekend as the top seed in Division III, the Hazen Union baseball team raked in several season ending honors in their first year in the highly competitive Capital League.
Junior slugger Tyler Rivard led First Team selections after a stellar season at the plate, on the base paths, and on the mound for the Wildcats. Rivard led Hazen in nearly every offensive category with a .434 batting average on 23 hits, 18 RBI, 31 stolen bases, 25 runs scored, and 16 walks. He also won three games on the mound for the Wildcats, including a clutch complete game effort in a win over Lyndon Institute (L.I.) in their regular season finale. He also recorded a pair of saves on the season.
In Rivard’s first year in the Division II heavy league, he has a pair of First Team selections after breakout seasons on both the basketball court and the baseball diamond. Joining Rivard on the First Team were Co-Players of the Year Austin Wheeler (L.I.) and Danny Kiniry (Spaulding), Shane Starr and Kevin Dowling of U-32, Trevor Lussier and Luke Dudas of L.I., Andrew Tringe (Montpelier), Ethan Marshia (Thetford Academy), David Piers (Lake Region), and Kieran Mcnamara, Cole McAllister, and Trevor Arsenault of Division II state champions Spaulding.
Junior Lyle Rooney led Second Team selections after he was a workhorse again for Hazen Union on the mound in 2022, throwing his second career no-hitter. The Wildcat ace led the team with over 53 innings pitched on the season, posting a 2.10 era, and striking out 74 batters. He will undoubtedly have the ball in his hand again in 2023 if the Wildcats are to make another deep run in the playoffs.
Seniors Tyson Davison and Aasha Gould were selected as honorable mentions after ending their high school careers with an incredible 28 wins in their last two seasons. Davison batted .350, was second on the team with 21 hits and 24 stolen bases, scoring 18 runs on the season. Gould was second on the team with a .409 batting average, scored 17 times, stole 14 bases, and drew 11 walks. Gould also wins the “clutch award” for the Wildcats, with a team leading three walk-off game winning hits in 2022. Both seniors were instrumental in rebuilding the Hazen Union baseball program from where it was just a few short years ago and head coach Spencer Howard will have to go back to the drawing board in order to fill the two holes they will leave in next year’s lineup.