MIDDLETOWN -- Even after losing their first three games, even after losing the SCC baseball final, Amity had a mission, a CIAC Class LL title to defend.
They completed that goal Sunday with an 8-2 win over Southington at Palmer Field, winning the school's fourth baseball championship, all since 2006, and second in a row.
"It's surreal," said senior second baseman Jake Russo, whose sixth-inning single broke a 2-2 tie. "It doesn't even feel like it happened. Once it settles in, it's going to be great. It's unbelievable to win two in a row."
The Spartans won last year's championship game over Southington 4-0. This year, Amity (19-9) scored four in the sixth and two more in the seventh after stranding baserunners in scoring position in every inning before that against starting pitcher Kyle Cole.
"It was nerve-wracking," coach Sal Coppola said. "We had opportunities with men on base and weren't knocking them in. We knew they had the kid (Joe) Rivera ready to come in at some point."
Rivera caught some bad luck with one out in the sixth when Sebastian DiMauro reached on an error. Rivera got a groundout that would've ended the inning but instead moved DiMauro, who'd stolen second, to third.
But then he walked Anthony Capoziello. Russo lined a single to center to score DiMauro. Kyle Mattei lined a double to center, past a diving Brett Shaw, to bring in two more runs. Matt Ronai drove his second double deep to center to make it 6-2.
"We knew they were going to throw a lot of offspeed pitches," Russo said. "It took a while to get used to it, but once we were able to settle down, we were able to come through."
Senior Nick Fusco pitched into the sixth for the Spartans. DiMauro finished up for the save.
The Blue Knights (20-4) got both runs in the first, Fusco's only trouble spot. The first of four hits went off his leg. One hit was a bloop into no-man's land behind the second baseman. Adam Wilson's two-out liner to right plated the only two runs, taking a 2-1 lead.
"That inning was a little tough. I had some bad breaks," Fusco said. "I knew our team was going to come back and score runs. I wasn't worried."
The third out was the first of 12 in a row that Fusco retired.
"He had good velocity. He was locating his pitches," Coppola said.
Josh Sabitsky had three hits for Amity. Capoziello had three RBIs, and Russo had a first-inning RBI groundout to go with his tiebreaking single.
Russo, shortstop Sabitsky and first baseman Chris Winkel turned a game-ending double play to wrap up the Spartans' five-game tournament run, their longest winning streak of the year.
"I think we came together a lot more as a team, and definitely in the postseason," Fusco said. "When we came together, we had a chance to win something together. I think it's all teamwork. We practiced hard. We came to win."
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AMITY 110 004 2--8 12 1
SOUTHINGTON 200 000 0--2 7 1