WASHINGTON — Junior Matt Cook pitched a complete game, four-hit, shutout to lead the Coventry baseball team to a win in the Class S state championship game, 3-0, over Shepaug last Saturday in Middletown.
The Spartans had the first inning jitters and committed two errors that allowed the Patriots to score a run.
It would prove to be all that they needed.
Shepaug pitcher Dominic Perachi settled in as the game progressed, not giving up hits and only walking a few batters.
But then Coventry scored again in the fifth frame.
With two outs, the Patriots got a baserunner on a walk. Then shortstop Jordan Jeroszko gave his team some insurance as he lined a shot to centerfield.
Chance Dutcher retrieved the ball but one run had already scored and Coventry took a chance and sent Jeroszko home too.
He made it safely for an inside the park home run and a 3-0 lead.
The Spartans did not do much offensively against Cook. The Hibbards, Owen and Ethan, pulled off a double steal in the third frame with two outs, but were left stranded on a ground-out.
Coach Scott Werkhoven said, “I’m proud of them. I have enjoyed every minute I got to coach these guys.”
Most of the Shepaug starters are seniors, although Owen Hibbard will be back for two more seasons, and the team can once again work to build a squad that will be very reputable.
The Spartans were co-champs of the Berkshire League this season.
The Spartans advanced to the championship game last week when they knocked off top-seeded Holy Cross, 2-1, in a game played in Berlin.
The victory moved the Spartans into the final game on Saturday, against second-seeded Coventry.
Jack Kennedy was the star for Shepaug as he gave up just one run in the first inning before shutting down the tough Crusader hitters in his almost six innings on the mound.
He struck out four and walked just one.
Chance Dutcher came in for relief and closed out the game.
In the second inning the Spartans got on the scoreboard.
Jack Pesce reached on an error and moved up on singles by Kennedy and Mike McCluskey.
He then scored on a sacrifice fly by Owen Hibbard.
The other run scored in the fifth when Ethan Hibbard reached base and Joe Brunelli drove him in with a long double.
Shepaug improved to 20-4.