Middletown - A jubilant victory mob ran out onto Palmer Field to check out the Class L baseball state championship plaque.
Each Fitch player reached out to touch his reward for a season's worth of hard work.
It was fitting, too, because their collective finger prints were all over a rousing come-from-behind 6-4 win over 24th-seeded New Canaan on Saturday.
From left-hander Shawn Nadeau's gutsy complete game pitching performance to Chris Corum-Giles' decisive two-run triple, to Al Jordan Johnson's sparkling game-ending running catch, Fitch rode a team effort to the program's fourth state title and first since 2005.
"I knew the entire game we were going to win," said Nadeau, who allowed four hits while striking out seven and walking four. "We always find a way to win.
"... I've been playing with these guys my entire life. This was the team that was going to do it."
The third-seeded Falcons (24-4) never led until scoring three runs in the sixth inning. Their last four runs came with two outs.
"It's a testament to who they are," Fitch coach Marc Peluso said. "They came back. They fought. They battled. They clawed their way and came up with two-out rallies all day long. ... These guys step up when they need to."
Corum-Giles is a prime example of Fitch's never-quit approach.
Mired in a slump, the Fitch leadoff batter worked earlier this week on hitting the ball down in order to take advantage of his speed.
Prior to coming up with two runners on and the score tied in the sixth, Corum-Giles attempted to bunt for a hit in the fourth and reached on an error. John Conley, who stole second after a two-out infield single, scored the tying run on the play.
The next time up, Corum-Giles took a more aggressive approach, belting Daniel Rajkowski's first pitch to deep right field for a two-run triple to give Fitch a 6-4 lead.
"It's been a rough year, but I'm just glad that I could come through for these guys in the end," Corum-Giles said. "I hit something hard and it worked."
The sixth-inning rally started off harmlessly enough. After Nick Cascione's single put New Canaan in front 4-3 in the top of the sixth, Rajkowski retired the first two batters.
Then Zach Wolfgang and Jon Mewha reached on infield singles, bringing up Conley, Fitch's No. 9 hitter. He bounced a game-tying single up the middle before Corum-Giles delivered.
"I was determined," Conley said. "I've never been in a position like this and I just wanted a chance ... and I took advantage of my chance. I was very happy that Chris followed it up with a big at-bat."
Championship-game jitters nearly derailed the Falcons, who had nine seniors playing their final game.
Nadeau walked the game's first batter and the Falcons committed errors on two straight bunts, allowing a run to score. William Burger's triple handed New Canaan a quick 3-0 lead.
The Falcons had allowed only two runs in the first four tournament games.
"The jitters kind of got in there a little bit," Peluso said.
New Canaan (14-11) threatened to extend its lead in the second inning, loading the bases with one out. But Nadeau induced Andrew Casali into a 4-6-3 double play.
"That helped me immensely," Nadeau said. "It was a change of momentum for me."
Nadeau settled down and so did the Falcons. He allowed only two hits and a run after the second inning.
The Falcons finished with 10 hits, coming from eight different players. Aaron Hill's triple and David Hall's groundout generated two runs in the third inning.
When Johnson, a first baseman, raced into foul territory to catch the final out, the Falcons celebrated a hard-fought win.
"It means so much," Corum-Giles said. "We've been talking about this since the beginning of the year. We knew it would take a lot of hard work and we were able to do that.
"I'm just so happy for those guys. We deserve this."