One year ago the Amity baseball team completed the second ‘three-peat’ in Connecticut baseball history. But when the final GameTimeCT/New Haven Register poll came out the Spartans were No. 2, just behind 2015 Class M champion Sheehan.
Fast-forward one year and Amity is in a class of one.
The Spartans beat Fairfield Warde 4-3 on Saturday at Palmer Field in Middletown to complete the first ‘four-peat’ in state history and in the process finishing the season the way it started: No. 1 in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register poll.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” Coppola told New Haven Register’s Chip Malafronte on Saturday. “Coaches can only do so much. The players have to be in the right frame of mind and come and do the job. When the going gets tough, they’re ice. They’ll make it happen. It’s what they’ve done year in and year out.”
Amity started the season narrowly edging Staples for the top spot by garnering eight first-place votes to the Wreckers seven. But then Staples dropped off quick and the Spartans were unanimous No. 1 after the first in-season round of voting.
They remained unblemished until the May 9 edition of the poll when just a few days earlier Cheshire handed Amity its first — and only — loss of the season.
From their on out, Coppola got his team refocused and they set sail on the unprecedented fourth straight Class LL title.
On the way they beat Class L champion Notre Dame-West Haven twice by a combined 29-2 score, including 17-0 in the Southern Connecticut Conference championship game and a 10-1 win over Class M semifinalist Sheehan, the team that preceded them in that final 2015 poll.
Then in the state tournament where Amity has made winning look easy, it outscored five opponents 27-5 and has now won 20 consecutive single-elimination games dating back to the 2012 season, a quarterfinal loss to Southington. Amity’s beaten Southington in the state tournament for four consecutive years.
“I’m just sort of numb,” said Coppola on winning four straight state titles. “If you think about the possibility of that happening, it’s impossible. We never really thought about it all year. Four is…I don’t know how that happened.”
SCC baseball realignment
The Southern Connecticut Conference has released its division realignment for baseball for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The new divisions are divided up into North, South, East and West signified by the colors above. Each team will play the other teams in its own division twice.
The horizontal lines represent crossover games. Each team will play two crossover games with the other teams in their respective row.
There are 14 other interdivision match-ups that will count towards the SCC playoffs: Career vs. West Haven; Lyman Hall vs. Guilford; Branford vs. Wilbur Cross; Sheehan vs. Lyman Hall; Amity vs. Cheshire; Shelton vs. Xavier; North Haven vs. Law; Hamden vs. Fairfield Prep; Notre Dame-West Haven vs. North Haven; Foran vs. Hand; East Haven vs. Wilbur Cross; Career vs. Branford.
The final two are listed as non-conference games: Cheshire vs. Xavier and Hand vs. East Haven.
There are five games that will not count towards the SCC playoffs: The second game played between Amity and Shelton, Branford and Foran and East Haven vs. Notre Dame-West Haven. And the single games between Cheshire and Branford and Foran vs. Xavier.
In addition, the SCC/FCIAC Challenge will be back as every team except Hamden and Lyman Hall will play the FCIAC team they played in 2016, but at the opposite site.