WEST HAVEN >> Xavier coach Rich Magner said he vaguely remembers the Falcons’ last Southern Connecticut Conference title in 1998.
On Saturday at Yale Field in the SCC title game against Amity, this year’s team gave him a performance he won’t soon forget.
The fourth-seeded Falcons jumped out to an early lead and coasted to a 7-1 victory over the seventh-seeded Spartans to win their second conference crown. The last time Xavier made it to the SCC final, it lost to Amity back in 2006.
With the win, Xavier improves to 18-5 as it heads into the Class LL tournament. The Falcons rebounded from a mediocre start to the year and Alex Parkos said Xavier is aware of how far it has come.
“I feel great right now, the whole team feels great,” he said. “We feel like we can win (states). too.”
Amity drops to 14-9. The Spartans also started slow with an 0-3 record. After getting its bearings during the season and making a run to the SCC final, coach Sal Coppola said the sky is still the limit for his team.
“We love our team,” he said. “We really think this is a gutsy group. They’ve gone through a lot of adversity and we hope that will help us in the tournament.”
Chris Winkel led the Spartans with two hits, one of them a home run, and Anthony Capozziello had a double.
Parkos led Xavier with three RBIs on two hits and a double. Pat Downey, Joe Criscuolo and CJ Caprio all had RBIs for the victorious Falcons.
The Falcons wasted no time in jumping all over pitcher Mike Appel, who was making just his fourth start of the year. Lawrence Hill, who won the Ed Marocco MVP award, singled and stole second.
Will Garrity walked and Parkos doubled, scoring Hill to make it 1-0. Downey singled in Garrity and Nick Roy walked to load the bases with the score 2-0. Appel walked in the third run after four straight balls to Caprio. Criscuolo then singled in Downey and Roy scored on the throw for a 5-0 first inning advantage.
“We stepped up to the plate with the right attitude,” Hill said. “Swinging and ready to go.”
Amity, which won the last SCC title in 2012, had its hopes of a repeat dashed in the fourth when Xavier tacked on two more runs.
“At that point you start to think maybe it’s not meant to be,” Coppola said.
And even though the first SCC crown in school history was great, this one is a little easier to enjoy.
“It was a good feeling,” Magner said, as he reminisced. “We beat Branford (in 1998) it was 6-3 if I remember right. But I’ll take this one though, because it’s today.”
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