MIDDLETOWN >> All season Amity found a way. The Spartans fought off a slow start to the season and made it all the way to the state title game. Trailing early in the Class LL final to Southington, Amity still had some fight left.
The 17th-seeded Spartans broke open a tie game with a four-run sixth inning and wrapped up consecutive Class LL titles by topping the third-seeded Blue Knights for the second straight year, 8-2 at Palmer Field Sunday.
This is Amity’s fourth state title and the second time the Spartans (19-9) have won back-to-back championships. Amity is also the last team to win consecutive state championships in Class LL, doing it in 2006-07. Amity coach Sal Coppola said there is no secret formula, but it helps to keep runs off the board.
“It starts with pitching, and I tell you (Nick) Fusco and (Ross) Weiner down the line were just really, really good,” he said.
When Amity topped Southington last season 4-0, Fusco watched from the dugout as Mike Concato twirled the shutout. This season, it was Fusco’s turn.
“It felt really special that I was on the mound for the game,” Fusco said.
Fusco wasn’t just in the game, he controlled it, giving up two runs in five innings on 86 pitches. Amity allowed only five total runs in five postseason games.
Meanwhile, Fusco was aided by Josh Sabitsky’s three hits and Matt Ronai’s two hits. Anthony Capozziello, Kyle Mattei and Jake Russo all added two RBIs apiece. To Russo, it was the perfect end to a season with an imperfect 0-3 start.
“After an 0-3 start it’s not looking too good,” Russo admitted. “But we were able to find out what the team’s made of and get back here.”
After scoring in the second inning to tie the game 2-2, the Spartans’ bats went quiet. Fusco kept Amity in the game by not allowing a baserunner until the fifth inning when Southington loaded the bases with two outs. Fusco worked out of the jam and got Liam Scafariello to fly out to center.
Amity blew the game open in the next inning.
After Sabitsky grounded out to lead off the sixth, Sebastian DiMauro reached on an error. Capozziello walked after a Chris Winkel ground out and Russo brought DiMauro in with a single for a 3-2 Amity lead.
Mattei followed by lining a double to right, scoring Capozziello and Russo. Ronai doubled home Mattei with a fly ball to center, just eluding a diving catch by center fielder Brett Shaw, making it 6-2 Spartans. All four runs scored with two outs.
“When we got the extra two runs, the insurance runs, that was huge,” Coppola said.
Southington had one last chance, loading the bases again with one out in the bottom of the sixth. DiMauro, who was playing centerfield, came in to pitch and got Josh Makles to strike out and Joe Daigle to fly out to center to end the threat.
“We wanted this,” Fusco said. “We made it happen.”
AMITY 8, SOUTHINGTON 2
(at Palmer Field)
Amity 110 004 2 — 8 11 1
Southington 200 000 0 — 2 7 1
Nick Fusco, Sebastian DiMauro (6) and Gerald Farace; Kyle Cole, Joey Rivera (4) and Zach Susi.
WP: Nicholas Fusco (). LP: Kyle Cole (). 2B: (AM) Kyle Mattei, Mart Ronai.
Comments: Amity wins back-to-back state titles.