Ben Casparius, whose arrival at Staples High School was trumpeted after his accomplishments at the youth level, was an early commit to the University of North Carolina and carried a long burden of living up to the high expectations, this morning was named the Gatorade Connecticut Baseball Player of the Year.
Casparius became the first Staples player to earn the honor in the sport and it came just days after FCIAC coaches voted him their Player of the Year.
“It feels great,” Casparius said. “When I woke up this morning it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my athletic career. Freshman year I made it a personal goal. I don’t want anything personally to get in the way of the team and what we’re trying to do here with this program. To win this and a couple of days ago FCIAC Player of the Year couldn’t mean anything more to me. I put in all the time and the effort for it and it feels awesome coming down to my last couple games here at Staples.”
Casparius, who is a candidate to be selected in next month’s major league baseball draft, is about to finish the end of his high school career. The Wreckers begin the state playoffs today with a home game against Cheshire.
“Ben has worked very hard for this,” Staples coach Jack McFarland said. “It’s great for him, for the program, for his teammates and for the school.”
Casparius has had an outstanding senior season. He is hitting .449, with 7 home runs and 26 RBIs in 21 games. As a pitcher he has a 3-2 record, with a 2.52 earned run average and 57 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings.
In a press release announcing the honor, Stamford baseball coach Rit Lacomis said, “I haven’t seen anyone in the past few years who can do the things Casparius can do on the field. He’s a shut-down pitcher, pumping mid to upper 80s consistently, and he’s got a plus-level curveball. He’s also probably the toughest out in the league — everything he hits is a missile.”