The Bethel Admirals stayed alive in the American Legion Junior 17U state tournament on Friday night, rallying for a walk-off 4-3 win over Wilton in eight innings at Hunt Field.
Nicholas Vieira won it for Bethel (25-2) in the bottom of the eighth, lining a single to center off of Wilton reliever Aidan Kyle. Joshua Taylor, who led off the eighth with a towering double to right field, scored the game-winning run.
Bethel, the Zone V champions, will face East Haven Post 89 tomorrow and will need to beat the 89ers twice to advance to the Sectional tournament.
Wilton, which rosters four players from Weston, took a 3-1 edge in the top of the sixth, when Kyle punched a two-out, two-run single to right field. That scored Andrew Travers and Reagan Kahal, who had back-to-back one-out singles.
Bethel pulled back a run in the bottom of the sixth on Sammy Smith’s sacrifice fly, before tying it in the bottom of the seventh.
Brett Melchionno, who started the game for the Admirals and carried a no-hitter into the fifth, lined a 3-2 pitch from Kyle into center field. An errant throw sailed out of play for a two-base error, putting the tying run on third. After Kyle pounced off the mound to snag Nicholas Quinn’s comebacker, holding the runner at third, Shawn Sato followed with a slow roller up the first-base line for an RBI groundout.
Bethel had grabbed a 1-0 lead after one on Smith’s RBI single. Wilton tied it in the fourth, when Daniel Ielusic walked, stole second and third, then scored on an errant throw.
Wilton finished its campaign at 11-13 overall.