Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

July 30, 2009

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

(Continued)

"I had grown a lot as a player," said Burdeau, who was also a two-year letterman in basketball. "But I was always confident I could play when I was given the opportunity. I had always been able to hit."

He not only exceeded expectations, he emerged as one of the best hitters in the state. He finished the season with exactly a .400 batting average, with 21 RBIs and 12 runs, and he was named an Eagle-Tribune and MVC All-Star.

The 6-foot-3 slugger continued that success into the summer, starting all but one game at third for the Andover Legion squad that finished 14-4-1. He hit an impressive .313 with eight RBIs, and said it helped him gain confidence.

During his senior year, like many high school seniors, Burdeau struggled with the college decision process, especially after the bad news from Holy Cross.

"I was really confused with the whole process," he said. "I didn't know if I wanted to go to a big school or small school. I didn't know if I wanted to dedicate my time to baseball or not. My parents brought up going to Phillips Andover."

With the help of his family, Burdeau decided to take a postgrad year with the nearby Big Blue. That move proved a smashing success on the field.

Burdeau earned the starting job at third base, and dominated the league with a team-best .464 batting average and 26 RBIs, both good for fourth in the Eagle-Tribune area, and scored 22 runs. He was joined on the Big Blue squad by fellow 2007 Andover High grad Sam Clark, who marveled at his friend's success.

"To see where (Burdeau) was our junior year to where he is now is incredible," Clark said during the season. "His persistence is amazing. He's going to play Division 1 college baseball, and he definitely belongs there."

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