Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

July 30, 2009

Zach attack: Once a backup, Burdeau now a star on the diamond

Even prior to his final high school season, Zach Burdeau was determined to play baseball at Holy Cross. The problem was, he was not accepted.

"During my senior year I talked to the Holy Cross coach (Greg DiCenzo)," Burdeau said. "I was really disappointed when he said he couldn't support my application. I got rejected."

But after following up his breakout senior season at Andover High with an even better campaign as a postgraduate at Phillips Academy and a pair of stellar seasons with the Andover Legion team, Burdeau is ready to take on Division 1 college baseball with the Crusaders.

"He is a big, strong kid that is only getting better," said Andover Legion coach Joe Iarrobino. "He's a guy that you can bat anywhere in the middle of your lineup. Instead of hitting ground balls, he's driving the ball. He is also a very good third baseman with a very, very strong arm. He is a great fit for a great school."

Burdeau admits he was far from a headliner on the diamond growing up. In fact, he considered walking away from the sport in Little League.

"I was on the 12-year-old All-Star team," he said. "We were playing in Worcester and I was sitting on the bench. I was fed up with sitting a lot and wanted to quit. But my dad (Steve) convinced me to keep playing."

Once high school arrived, Bureau spent his first season with the freshman baseball team, and as a sophomore played JV. He made the varsity team as a junior, but received only two at-bats (going 1 for 2) and pitched seven innings.

His senior season (2008) started much the same way, with him on the bench for the first game of the season. But, Burdeau found himself in the lineup for Game No. 2 when the starting third baseman was away. He finished the contest 2 for 3, and the rest is history.

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