STAMFORD — About the only thing missing from their baseball résumés is an FCIAC championship.
Chad Knight, Harry Azadian and Chris Drbal will get their shot to play for that title on Thursday.
All three players — who have state and New England Little League titles and a CIAC Class LL championship under their belts — played vital roles in the Wreckers’ 3-0 win over Danbury in Wednesday’s second league semifinal at Cubeta Stadium.
Staples will face Darien back at Cubeta at 7 p.m. on Thursday for the FCIAC title.
The Wreckers haven’t won a league title since 2011.
“I think, as a team, that’s been one of our goals, not just to get there but to win it,” said Knight. “Since we were 10, 11, 12 years old, our goals have always been to win championships.”
Azadian fired a complete-game four-hitter, striking out four and walking just one to get the win.
“I thought my command was good,” Azadian said. “I felt comfortable out there, but I couldn’t do it without our lineup. Our guys fought and hit the ball hard and won us the game.”
Knight and Drbal delivered big blows with their bats as Staples improved to 17-4 with its fifth straight win.
Knight’s solo home run to right field in the first against Danbury starter Justin Solimine staked the Wreckers to a 1-0 lead.
“It felt good off the bat,” Knight said. “Solimine is a great pitcher and I was fortunate to get it.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Drbal ripped a two-run double to right center to push the lead to 3-0. Adam Petro had been a by a pitch and Zach Zobel walked with one out, setting up Drbal’s big blow.
“We had guys on base and I had to get them in, to give Harry a little bit of a cushion,” Drbal said.
Danbury threatened in the top of the sixth when Matt Sabene and Devin Trotta both singled. The Hatters were left stranded, however, when Azadian struck out Justin Hope to end the threat.
“That’s what tournament time is all about,” Danbury coach Shaun Ratchford said. “We hit a lot of at-them balls. That happens in baseball. Guys asked if we wanted to change anything, but we were getting good pitches and just hitting right at them. We out-hit them 4-3 and that’s a good hitting team.”
PLAY OF THE GAME
Danbury center fielder Kenny Martinez, who broke up Azadian’s no-hit bid in the fifth inning, made a spectacular diving catch while running straight back to rob Azadian of a likely trip.
One inning later, though, Martinez injured his hamstring trying to chase down Drbal’s double. He had to leave the game.
An honorable mention goes to Staples right fielder Adam Petro, who made a left-to-right diving catch to rob Danbury’s Ryan Solimine of extra innings.
“I tell you what, that was like watching a college game,” Staples coach Jack McFarland said. “The defense both teams were playing, the base running, the situational hitting. Those were two of the best outfield plays I’ve seen. It was high-level baseball.”
STAPLES 3, DANBURY 0
DANBURY 000 000 0—0 4 1
STAPLES 100 020 x—3 3 0
Records: Danbury 12-10, Staples 17-4; Batteries: D—Justin Solimine and Josh Lopez; S—Harry Azadian and Matt Stone.