Trey Cavello has spent some extra time on the golf course this summer. And while the former Holy Family Catholic High School baseball player hasn’t seen much improvement in his golf swing, his approach at the plate with the Victoria Vics is producing large results.
Cavello has 14 hits in 32 at-bats for a .438 batting average with 10 RBIs.
Victoria is 8-1 in the River Valley League with one game remaining on Thursday at home versus unbeaten Chanhassen at 7:30 p.m.
“Baseball, it couldn’t going any better. You know, stats are stats. I don’t really look much at that. Winning and having fun are more important,” Cavello said. “The group we’re playing with, it is something special. The chemistry we have is unmatched. If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?”
Cavello remembers a playoff game with Shakopee in 2018. The game was tied at seven through nine innings.
Cole Sweeney, the oldest player on the Vics this summer at the age of 26, called in the youthful Victoria team in the dugout.
“He said something like ‘You’re young, you’re new to this, but we’re going to win this. And we did. He said, ‘Give us a couple years and we’re going to be really good,” Cavello said of Sweeney.
Cavello, then a first-year Vic, doubled home two runs as Victoria moved on to state in a 10-7 win. Last year Victoria won a state game behind a stellar pitching performance from Riley Sweeney.
This year, Victoria may have one of the best rosters in all of Class B.
“We all have matured incredibly. Our depth is absurd,” Costello said.
Victoria has drawn in former state high school champions in Jordan Bonk, Jared Davidson, Jeffrey Kressler, Joey Costello, and Hunter Even from Chanhassen.
Cole Sweeney, Riley Sweeney and Carter Schmidt all starred at Chaska High School and later collegiately.
Then there’s the group from Eden Prairie including Cavello and lifelong friend Matt Dolan.
“I called up Matt, told him I was going to play in Victoria and that he should join. He plays at St. Thomas and I play at St. John’s, so it’s nice to play against each other after playing against each other in college,” Cavello said.
Dolan won a state title at Eden Prairie High School. He’s filled out the third-base position for the Vics and is hitting .357 in the middle of the batting order.
“He’s my best friend on the team. I’ve known him since I was like 4 or 5, so we’re having a blast together,” Cavello said.
What makes playing for Victoria so great is the teammates in the dugout. Cavello said “veterans” such as Cole Sweeney and Schmidt bring in a level of experience that guys look up to.
“They are asking the question, how we can approach things differently. They both understand the game so well. And our pitching staff. Wow. Guys like Bonk, (Ryan) Och, and (Corey) Binger. With guys like that, it doesn’t take too much to win the game. I’m glad they wear the Vics uniform,” Cavello said.
Cavello, who has pitched, played outfield and has been a designated hitter this summer, called catcher Jeffrey Kressler “the glue” of the staff. “When he calls a pitch, I don’t shake him off,” Cavello said.
Victoria went 3-0 last week, sweeping Chaska in 2-0 and 7-0 shutouts July 19 and 23.
Cavello was lifted in a 1-0 game in the rematch in favor of Davidson. The pinch hitter came through with two singles and run batted in.
“Whether it was me, or Jared, at the end of the day we took care of business and got the win. We’ve got confidence in our entire team right now. We know whoever we put out there, they’re going to produce results,” Cavello said.
CROW RIVER PLAYOFFS BEGIN
Suffering seven losses in an eight-game stretch in July, Carver knew it was heading on the road for the Crow River Valley League regardless of outcome July 25 and 26 in the regular season finales.
The Black Sox, state qualifiers the last three seasons out of Region 7C, gained some much-needed momentum with a 10-0 win over New Germany and a 13-4 victory over Young America, denying the Cardinals of a potential bye in the first round.
First-year Black Sox Connor Cornell and Jay Bresnahan each collected three hits at Young America with Andrew Weber connecting a 3-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, part of a four-RBI game.
David Dolan, who like Bresnahan plated three runs in the game, added a monster solo home run as Carver jumped out to an early 5-0 lead.
Bresnahan, who previously played at Hamburg — Carver’s Crow River Valley League playoff opponent — allowed three earned runs in six innings of work in the win. Adam Fredericks and Jacob Booden combined for three scoreless innings of relief.
Bresnahan collected four hits and three RBIs in Carver’s home finale win over New Germany by a 10-0 score. The Black Sox scored five runs in the eighth inning to end the game one frame early.
Mark Ulrich shutdown the Dutchmen over all eight innings, scattering five hits and a season-high 10 strikeouts. Sam Warner added two hits and three RBIs with Bailey Melz reaching base three times.
Carver, beaten short-handed on July 10 to Hamburg, will play a best-of-three series with the Hawks for a spot in the Region 7C Tournament.
Carver, without lights at Woody Swanson Field, will host Hamburg in game two at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 30 in Cologne.
Despite three key league wins over the final two weeks, Cologne was unable to move up in the Crow River Valley League standings, finishing fifth with an 8-5 record.
None of the victories were more impressive than a 17-0 throttling of then first-place Winsted on the road July 21. The Hollanders pounded out 19 hits to three from the Wildcats.
Cologne led 11-0 through three at-bats as Kyle Brazil drove in six runs, finishing 3-for-5 with a home run and double. Tanner Luebke was 3-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored.
Jayce Luna struck out 12 batters in the seven-inning complete-game shutout.
Torben Urdahl, Joey Lilya, Alex Eichner, Brazil, and Cole Pengilly combined to throw a one-hitter in Cologne’s 5-1 regular-season finale on Sunday.
Pengilly led the way at the plate with two bombs to straight-away center.
Cologne, coming off its first state appearance in 47 years last summer, will play St. Bonifacius in a best-of-three league series. The Hollanders are the home team in game two July 31 and Aug. 2, if necessary.
LAST WEEK OF THE REGULAR SEASON
Mother Nature put a hold on two key River Valley League games between first-place Chanhassen and local rivals Chaska and Victoria.
That just means the final week is all that more exciting.
The Red Birds are set to host the Cubs and Excelsior on back-to-back nights July 29 and 30, game times 7:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. The regular season finale is at Victoria on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The River Valley League East playoffs begin on Sunday, Aug. 2 at the top four seeds. Second and third rounds are Aug. 4 and 7 with the winners bracket, and Aug. 5 and 7 in the losers bracket.
State qualifier games are Aug. 9, 11 and 13 with a if necessary second championship game on Aug. 14.
Brandon Arnold plated four runs on two hits in a 13-0 win over Excelsior July 21. Ryan Diers added a solo home run with Zach Hartford pitching five shutout innings, striking out nine of 17 batters faced.
Chaska, handed a 7-0 loss at Victoria on July 23, came back one night later to beat Shakopee 9-2 on the road behind an eight-inning gem from Drake Kilber. The southpaw allowed just one run on six hits with three strikeouts.
A Kris Goodman walk, Justin Johnson RBI-double and Tyler Polster RBI-single set the tone in the first three at-bats of the game.
Mac Born’s sacrifice fly in the first and RBI-single in the third inning was joined by a bases-loaded walk and Grif Wurtz’s run-scoring fielder’s choice as Chaska jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
Chaska closes out the regular season July 28 versus Eagan, July 29 at Chanhassen, and July 30 at home versus Minnetonka with a start time of 7:15 p.m.