MIDDLETOWN—Jared Burrows wanted nothing more than to pitch in the state championship.
The Waterford junior got his wish and boy, did he make the most of it.
Burrows pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out 10, including the final batter of the game as No. 15 Waterford defeated No. 1 Berlin 1-0 in the CIAC Class L Championship game.
“My arm felt great in the bullpen and I was hitting most of my spots and executing my curveball. I tried to carry that over to the game, and I think I did,” Burrows said. “At the beginning of the state tournament, I really wanted this game. If I were to only pitch one game, all year, I would definitely want it to be this one. It is such an amazing experience.”
Burrows needed just 82 pitches to complete his gem, out-doing his cousin, Mike Burrows who threw 100 pitches in his complete game effort in the 2017 Class M championship game win.
It is a state-record 11th state championship for Waterford.
The game was tied 0-0 heading into 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.
Berlin starting pitcher Adam Bilinsky matched Burrows for six innings until giving up the two hits in the seventh.
Bilinsky went the distance, striking out six and giving up five hits.
“He pitched good enough to win,” Berlin coach Leo Veleas said. “It was a great run and a great season.”
Berlin threatened in the bottom of the second, getting two on with no outs.
A failed sacrifice bunt was popped to the first baseman and Burrows shut down the rally, striking out the next two to end the inning.
That inning epitomized Burrows night.
“Jared (Burrows) had a little giddy-up on his pitches, he hit spots and he knows how to get guys out. He knows how to strike them out, he knows how to set them up,” Waterford coach Art Peluso said.
“He has been in big moments before and he’s used to it. Jared Burrows is a winner and winners win. Winners don’t get caught up in the moment or lose their composure. That second inning is him being a winner. Good for him.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jared Burrows, Waterford. Burrows struck out a batter in all but one inning and multiple batters in four innings.
“In the ECC tournament we started to figure it out and played extremely well,” Peluso said. “That kind of carried over into the state tournament. We beat some good teams. We beat five good teams. I am proud of the kids. This is a well-earned championship.”