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Friday, July 7, 2017

Top 10 Moments: #8: Balducci's Marathon Relief Stint Helps Hanover Clinch State Bid

(NOTE: Our countdown of the Top 10 Moments of the 2016-17 high school season relives events which occurred live either on an RVA Sports Network live broadcast on our YouTube Channel or as we provided live tweet coverage from the game....)


Imagine going into relief in a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning of a game that decides whether or not your team is going to go to the state tournament. Now, imagine that you have no idea that your relief stint is about to go, not two innings, but eight.

That's what happened to Antonio Balducci of Hanover, who gutted out an amazing eight innings of relief work under tremendous pressure, finally seeing his teammates get back to back doubles in the bottom of the 13th inning for a 2-1 win over Jamestown in the 4A East Region Semifinals, sending the Hawks to the 4A State Tournament for the fourth straight season, and to state tournament play for the fifth year in a row.

The performance included finding a way out of a bases loaded jam in the tenth inning as Hanover found a way finally to scratch in a run with a two-out rally three innings later to end Jamestown's amazing 20-game winning streak.

Though the Hawks didn't grab the state title they hoped for, they can always claim victory in one of the most nail-biting playoff games this region has ever seen. Antonio Balducci's unforgettable night, the #8 Moment of the 2016-17 season covered live by The RVA Sports Network!

(Below: Brian Sisson scores the tying run in the fifth inning to make it 1-1. Sisson would score the winning run in the 13th inning, giving Antonio Balducci the win.)

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