Staples baseball pushes to the postseason


As the 2018 spring season comes to an end, the reigning state champion Staples baseball team jumps into beginning of the FCIAC and state tournaments.
Last season, the Wreckers lost 4-3 in the FCIAC quarterfinals in a nail biting game against Darien, but went on the defeat Amity High School 5-1 in the Class LL state finals.
“I think it definitely gave us a lot of confidence coming into the season,” Captain Chris Drbal ’18 said, “but it also gave us motivation knowing everyone was going to come at us with the best they had and we knew we couldn’t take any game for granted, so it really helped us focus on every game.”
While the majority of last year’s pitching staff was comprised of seniors, most of the position players and a few pitchers know what the FCIAC and state playoffs are like, having been on the road to the championship. “Last year everything worked out, now we know what we need to do to get back to that point, and what it takes to win a championship,” Captain Matt Stone ’18 said.
The Wreckers lost a couple of impactful, now Division 1, players including Rob Stone and Ben Casparius. The team has big shoes to fill, and Chad Knight ’19, the only junior captain on the team, thinks that they have been doing a great job so far filling their roles.
“There is no doubt that we lost a bunch of great players and leaders last year,” Knight said. “All the seniors last year were just phenomenal leaders, but I think this year, especially, we have had some great senior leadership… We have had two great senior captains in both Chris and Matt, and under coach [Head Coach] McFarland’s leadership we have been able to have everyone step up and take the roles of the seniors who left.”
Staples is coming out of this season 13-3 in the FCIAC and 15-4 overall, which leaves them as the second seed in the FCIAC tournament, a slightly better record than the Wreckers had going into the postseason in 2017. The team will most likely have a chance to get revenge on Trumbull, one of their season losses, in the first game of the FCIAC tournament, and then potentially with Ridgefield, who they lost to earlier in the season.
Some things that the captains want to continue into the postseason are solid pitching and the consistency throughout the batting order.
“Our lineup one through nine has had production from the one hitter and from the nine hitter, so just kind of knowing that everyone will step up and everyone will have an impact,” Stone said.
Drbal added that there are a bunch of players on the bench who can step up in any role they are asked to play, and that is an important thing to have in the playoffs.
All of the captains agreed that the seniors, who may be playing their last games of baseball, are going to give everything they have to help win, and this team will prove that it takes a full team to win baseball games.
Drbal talked about the memories that this team has made, and how many former players come back and talk about their time playing Staples baseball and making deep tournament runs. “I have no doubt everyone’s going to go out there and leave everything they have on the field,” Drbal said, “and create some of those memories for life.”