WALLINGFORD >> Amity outfielder Sebastian DiMauro had not pitched since his junior varsity days heading into this season. However, when the senior volunteered to be the team’s closer because of a lack of pitchers, coach Sal Coppola was all ears.
“He was just so confident at the beginning of the year he’s like, ‘Coach I can throw strikes,’ ” Coppola said. “I said, ‘Well alright, here we go.'”
DiMauro entered in the sixth and stopped a rally to pick up another save as the Spartans topped Sheehan 7-5 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division game Wednesday.
With the win Amity improved to 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the division and dropped Sheehan to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in the Housy. Titans coach Matt Altieri said his team has to play better.
“We just need to continue to improve in all areas of the game,” he said. “That’s really what it’s about.”
DiMauro, who has four saves, has always had a good arm, according to Coppola.
“We knew he could throw a little bit,” the coach said. “This year, when you have a kid with an arm like his you just figure if he can throw strikes?”
DiMauro did just that when he came into the game with Amity up 7-5 with two outs, runners on second and third and Paul Gozzo up. DiMauro struck out Gozzo swinging on three pitches to end the threat and closed out the contest in the seventh with two fly outs, a line out and one walk.
“I’m just trying to throw strikes,” he said. “Just hit my spots and make sure I do my job.”
DiMauro and Chris Winkel led Amity with three hits, Anthony Capozziello and Elias Oliphant had doubles and Nick Fusco got the victory, striking out two in five innings of work.
Meanwhile for Sheehan, Brandon Gauthier, Chris Gerzabek and Turner French all had two hits. Starting pitcher Brandon Rentas struggled, giving up seven runs, four earned, and eight hits in three innings of work.
The Spartans took control of the game in the fourth inning after a questionable call on a pitch that would have been strike three on Jake Russo. On the next pitch, Russo laced a single that started a seven-run outburst that featured five hits, one double, one stolen base, a sacrifice fly and a Sheehan error and balk as the Spartans batted around. Altieri said the scoring outburst had nothing to do with the questionable call.
“If you’re depending on calls you’re not going to win,” he said. “That’s just stupid.”
Sheehan attempted to come back in the fifth and sixth innings, scratching off five runs between the two, but could not get out of the hole it dug itself into in the fourth.
And after starting the season in an 0-3 hole, Amity has gone 8-2 and clinched a berth in the state tournament.
“We really are starting to put it together,” DiMauro said. “Our defense is clicking, we had that big inning and everyone is starting to play some good baseball.”
AMITY 7, SHEEHAN 5
Amity 000 700 0 — 7 11 3
Sheehan 000 032 0 — 5 9 2
Nick Fusco, Sebastian DiMauro (6) and Gerald Farace; Brendon Rentas, Brian Demaio (3) and Paul Gozzo.
WP: Nicholas Fusco (). LP: Brandon Rentas (). SV: Sebastian Demauro (). 2B: (AM) Anthony Capozziello, Elias Pliphant; (SH) Brandon Gauthier, Chris Gerzabek.
Team records: Amity 8-5 (5-2); Sheehan 8-6 (3-3).