DeLaubell lives the dream

Connecticut Post (Sunday) - - High Schools - By Scott Eric­son ser­ic­son@ stam­for­dad­vo­cate. com; @ Eric­sonS­ports

MID­DLE­TOWN — Cheshire’s Ben DeLaubell has been dream­ing about pitch­ing at Palmer Field in a state cham­pi­onship game for a long time.

It turns out, the re­al­ity was bet­ter than any­thing he ever imag­ined.

DeLaubell pitched a three- hit shutout and drove in the only run in the top of the sev­enth as No. 4 Cheshire de­feated No. 3 Ridgefield 1- 0 in the Class LL state cham­pi­onship game.

It is the first state ti­tle for Cheshire since 1993.

It was the stuff of dreams for DeLaubell, only it was so much more.

“This was so much bet­ter than the dream. It’s amaz­ing, amaz­ing,” DeLaubell said. “This team is amaz­ing. Its chem­istry, its fam­ily. This was for this team, for these boys. Ev­ery day, ev­ery prac­tice I al­ways bring it for them. I couldn’t be hap­pier for these guys.”

DeLaubell and Ridgefield starter Matt DeLuca matched ze­ros for six in­nings be­fore Cheshire scratched out a run in the top of the sev­enth.

Ian Bat­ti­paglia reached on an in­field sin­gle lead­ing off the sev­enth, mov­ing to sec­ond on a sac­ri­fice bunt by Paul Vil­leco.

Two straight walks loaded the bases and chased DeLuca from the game with one out.

With the in­field back, DeLaubell grounded out to the sec­ond base­man, but did enough to get the run home.

Cheshire coach Bill Mr­woka said DeLaubell tak­ing what the pitcher gave him in that at bat tells you all you need to know about the West Point­bound se­nior.

“We talk all the time about guys hav­ing base­ball IQs and sometimes you have guys who don’t un­der­stand the game and you have to teach them the game. Then you have guys have a bet­ter feel for it. Ben DeLaubell is one of those guys, as is Ben Schena our short­stop,” Mrowka said. “You know Ben is just go­ing to try and get the job done. When your best player is also your hard­est work­ing guys it makes it a lot eas­ier. This is such a great group of kids and I am so happy for them.”

DeLuca struck out six, match­ing ze­ros with DeLaubell un­til he ran out of gas in the sev­enth af­ter 106 pitches.

“I am amazed by what ( DeLuca) has done as a sopho­more,” Ridgefield coach Paul Fab­bri said. “This was a one- run game, he gave up no runs against New­town and he came in and did what he did against Amity. As a sopho­more, he was not fazed by all this stuff and go­ing against a kid who is go­ing to West Point. He matched him al­most pitch for pitch. He was awe­some.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Ben DeLaubell, Cheshire. He not only pitched his team to the ti­tle on 80 pitches, he also drove in the win­ning run and also had a sin­gle in the third.

QUOTABLE

“We knew it would come down to a sin­gle play and that would de­ter­mine win­ning and los­ing,” Mrowka said. “You have to be able to ex­e­cute bunts, cut offs and you have to play the game the right way and our de­fense was out­stand­ing and with Ben on the mound I felt pretty good.”

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