MIDDLETOWN -- All John Amendola wanted, no matter what it took, was a lead.
Masuk made him sweat for it on Saturday, especially after the Notre Dame-West Haven ace was victimized early by bad luck and some even worse fielding.
Two errors left him trailing 1-0 after a half-inning of the L state championship. A bad-hop single in the second contributed to a 2-1 deficit. None of it seemed to faze him, though.
No. 14 Masuk managed just four hits and was spurned in its chase for a title, losing 9-2 to fourth-seeded ND-WH in the Class L final before 1,000 fans at Palmer Field.
"We've just got to take our hats off to Amendola," coach Ralph Franco said of the Northeastern University-bound right-hander, who held the Panthers hitless after the second inning. "He proved today why he can pitch at the next level."
ND-WH won its first state title since 2011 and fifth all-time. Masuk is now 0-4 in the title game.
ND-WH (21-5) gave Amendola plenty of support, recording 10 hits off three Masuk hurlers. Masuk's No. 1, Chris Lindquist, was knocked out in the fourth after falling behind 5-2.
"I looked in John's eyes," Green Knights coach Lou Kessler recalled, "and he said, `Get me some runs. Get me a lead and we'll take care of business.'"
Masuk (16-10) didn't come close to answering the Green Knights' bats. Appearing in their first state final since 2008, the Panthers had only one baserunner after the second inning.
Amendola struck out five, walked one and needed only 82 pitches (63 strikes) to finish off the Panthers. He appeared in all five tournament games, notching three wins and two saves.
After plating an unearned run in the first, the Panthers loaded the bases with three singles to open the second. They pushed across one run on a John Orzechowski grounder but nothing more. It ended up costing them.
"He gets out of that mess," Franco said, "they build confidence from there."
Both teams stumbled through a sloppy first inning, in which each side committed two errors. Masuk took a 1-0 lead when Kyle Horton reached on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch with two outs. ND-WH tied it in the bottom half when Zack Balabon's liner to center field was dropped.
Franco knew that in order to beat the Green Knights and Amendola, generating runs would be imperative.
"It was going to have to be a low-scoring game," Franco said. "They just played better than us today."
Class L final
MASUK 110 000 0 -- 2 4 3
ND-WEST HAVEN 103 140 X -- 9 10 2
Records: Masuk 16-10; ND-WH 21-5. Batteries: M -- Chris Lindquist (L), Cameron Kovachik (4), Tyler Weiss (5) and Matt Romaniello; ND-W -- John Amendola (W) and Aiden Burton.
Highlights: M -- Kyle Horton and Malik Cummings scored runs; John Orzechowski had an RBI. ND-WH -- Evan Lumpinski and Dylan Reynolds each had a two-run single.