— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) June 7, 2017
WATERBURY >> Ben Casparius overcame a shaky start and pitched a complete-game gem to lift Staples to a 7-3 victory over FCIAC rival Ridgefield in the Class LL semifinals Wednesday at Municipal Stadium.
After his team spotted him a two-run lead, Casparius, the reigning Gatorade state Player of the Year surrendered two runs in the bottom of the first, one on a balk. He settled down, however, and wound up throwing a four-hitter with 14 strikeouts against just two walks.
He also hit an RBI triple and reached base all four times. He’s reached base nine consecutive times overall.
Staples advanced to its second Class LL championship game in three years. The 11th-seeded Wreckers will face Amity, a 5-2 victor over Danbury in the nightcap, in a rematch of the 2015 Class LL final. Amity defeated Staples 8-1 in that game, and has won the last four titles.
Staples took the lead for good when Chad Knight hit an RBI groundout and Chad Drbal scored on a wild pitch. Knight later sparked Staples’ three-run sixth inning with an RBI triple.
Ridgefield’s Colin Lowe relieved starter Alex Price in the second inning and kept Ridgefield in the game with 12 strikeouts and three walks in five innings.
STAPLES 220 003 0—7 6 0
RIDGEFIELD 200 000 1—2 4 2
S—Ben Casparius and Matt Stone; R—Alex Price, Colin Lowe (2), Andrew Mathers (7), Nick Squitieri (7) and Ben Cohen.
Records: Staples 17-8, Ridgefield 20-7