Three of the four CIAC baseball championship games were shutouts, (Staples 3, Southington 0; Waterford 1, Berlin 0; Coventry 3, Shepaug Valley 0).
In the history of the CIAC tournament, there have never been four shutouts in finals in the same year.
2013 is the only other season there were three shutouts in the finals (Amity 4, Southington 0; New Canaan 3, Waterford 0 and Oxford 4, Cromwell 0).
The hope of going four-for-four was dashed in the first inning of the last game of the night, the Class M title game, when both St. Joseph and Wolcott scored in the first inning.
In fact, the nine runs scored in the Class M game were more than the total of the other three games, combined.
It should not have come as a surprise the M game was the outlier as the two teams combined for 99 runs in the entire tournament.
FINISHING WHAT THEY STARTED
With runs at a premium for the three games outside of M, five different pitchers threw complete games.
Chad Knight of Staples, Matt Cook of Coventry and Jared Burrows of Waterford all pitched complete-game shutouts.
Dom Perachi of Shepaug had possibly the toughest loss of the weekend, allowing just two hits and walking three while striking out eight.
An unearned run scored in the first, but Perachi did not allow a hit until the bottom of the fifth when Jordan Jersoszko hit a two-run inside-the-park home run.
Berlin starting pitcher Adam Bilinsky went the distance, striking out six and giving up five hits.
He was undone by two hits in the top of the seventh.
Sonny Pezzella blooped a double to right with one out and Cadin Maynard followed with a sharp single up the middle, scoring Pezzella with the game’s only run.
For the first time since 2013 (St. Joseph and New Canaan) the FCIAC won two state titles.
For the first time since 2005, the SCC did not win any state titles. The SCC was without representation in the championship games for the first time since 1999.
The conference did place Amity, Cheshire and Notre Dame-West Haven in semifinals.
The NVL did not win a championship for the first time since 2015.
Coventry was the first winner from the NCCC since Northwest Catholic in 2015.
Waterford from the ECC won titles this year and in 2017. Otherwise, the league has not won a state championship since Fitch won Class L in 2012.
With Shepaug Valley losing, the Berkshire League is now without a state title in baseball since 2008 when Thomaston won Class S.
Chad Knight, Staples: Knight did it all for the Class LL champions. He pitched the final 16 innings of the season. Two in relief in the quarterfinals and two complete-game shutouts in semifinals and finals. He struck out 10 in each the semis and championship.
Matt Cook, Coventry: Cook pitched a complete-game shutout in the Class S championship game. He allowed four hits while striking out nine and issuing two walks as the Patriots won Class S 3-0 over Shepaug Valley.
Jared Burrows, Waterford: The junior needed just 82 pitches for his complete-game, 1-0 win over Berlin in the Class L championship. Burrows struck out 10 including the final batter of the game.
Stephen Paolini, St. Joseph: Paolini opened the Class M championship game with an opposite-field home run down the left field line. He had two hits in the game, drove in two runs and scored one.
Jordan Jersoszko, Coventry: With his team up 1-0 in the sixth inning but without a hit in the game, Jersoszko ripped a ball over the centerfielder’s head to the fence. Jersoszko drove in the runner from second but also came all the way around himself for the inside-the-park-home run.
Michael Chaves, St. Joseph: Wolcott brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth with no outs but Chaves came on in relief, striking out three to escape the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Chaves sat down the Eagles in order, striking out the final batter and earning the save.
Alex James, Wolcott: With a runner on first, the lefthanded James launched a home run to right off the lefty pitcher, putting the Eagles up 2-1 after one inning.
Cadin Maynard, Waterford: After Sonny Pezzella blooped a double to right with one out, Maynard followed with a sharp single up the middle, scoring Pezzella with the only run of the Class L final.