After having his All-Area and All-State photos taken, Notre Dame-West Haven’s John Amendola walked out of the Register studio sporting a smile. The season was officially over.
“I have a couple vacations this summer,” Amendola said. “I’m going to take it easy.”
Taking it easy is usually not the Amendola way. The senior posted a 10-3 record with four saves — one during the Green Knights’ state tournament run — struck out 65 and walked just 10 while eating up 84 innings. He finished the season with a 0.77 earned run average and a Class L state title. For his efforts, Amendola has been named the Register Baseball Area MVP.
Amendola is the second consecutive pitcher, and state champion, to win the award. Amity’s Mike Concato won it last season after leading the Spartans to the Class LL title. This year it was Amendola who stifled hitters all tournament long, not surrendering a run until the state title game after appearing in each of the Green Knights’ four tournament games leading up to the final.
“A lot of people expect a lot,” Amendola said.
And he delivered each time.
During the state tournament, Amendola went toe-to-toe with the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Bunnell pitcher Ronnie Rossomando, in the quarterfinals. Amendola unleashed a masterful performance, holding the Bulldogs hitless until a two-out single in the seventh inning. Amendola would pick up the victory with a one-hitter.
“The whole season I was going to do whatever it took,” he said.
Even if that meant cracking some jokes in the dugout to make sure his teammates were loose.
“He made it fun,” said Notre Dame coach Lou Kessler. “He really did.”
Now Amendola is giving himself a break. He said baseball has consumed his life since his was 5 years old.
“AAU, all-stars, my whole summer was taken up,” Amendola said. “There wasn’t really any downtime.”
Amendola said he will take some time to relax, but not too much. He’ll be pitching at Northeastern University next spring.
“I’m still working out and training three days a week,” he said. “Just getting ready.”
Currently he’s just getting ready for some much-needed, and deserved, rest and relaxation.