Stamford North tops Wilton in extras

Although his team took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night, Glenn Walsh knew more runs would be needed.

His assessment was based on the opponent: Stamford North.

“Against that team an early two-run lead is not a big deal,” said Walsh, the head coach of the Wilton Little League’s 11/12-year-old All-Star team. “They are, by reputation, probably the strongest team in the district.”

In its first year competing in the District 1 tournament, Stamford North is a scary combination of the former North Stamford and Stamford Springdale teams, which have had plenty of success (at all district age levels) on their own in previous seasons. But due to smaller enrollment numbers, those two programs are now one, creating a potential juggernaut — many of the Stamford North players were members of the Springdale squad that won the 10/11-year-old district title last summer.

As Tuesday’s game progressed, Stamford North demonstrated why it is so highly regarded. After tying the score with single runs in the third and fourth innings, Stamford North erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh and beat Wilton, 9-2, at Springdale Field.

“Offensively, given some time they are going to do some damage,” said Walsh about Stamford North, which was playing its first game in the tournament.

Wilton, which is now 1-1 in pool play, held its own through six innings of regulation play. Starting pitcher Andrew Travers had an RBI fielder’s choice and Mikey Roberts drew a bases-loaded walk to give Wilton a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Stamford North closed within one run on Ben Nash’s solo homer in the top of the third inning and then tied the score on David Collazo’s RBI single in the fourth.

Wilton had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the sixth. John Walsh led off with a single on a 3-2 fastball and departed for pinch runner Kyle Burns. Roberts then hit a sharp grounder and Burns was forced out on a close play at second. Patrick Cummins struck out, but John McMahon reached on an error and a passed ball allowed the runners to advance to second and third with two outs.

Everett Andersen was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Stamford North pitcher Matt Jester got Jordan Sayewitz on a swinging strikeout to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.

Stamford North then erupted for seven runs off three Wilton pitchers (Cummins, McMahon and Roberts) in the top of the seventh, with Jester’s grand slam the big blast.

Jester held Wilton scoreless in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

Despite the loss, Glenn Walsh said he was impressed with Wilton’s performance.

“I think this shows the kids that we can play with anyone,” said Walsh. “If anything, we should take away some added confidence from this game.”

Notes: Wilton continues pool play on Saturday against Darien National at noon at McGuane Field in Darien. Wilton plays its final pool game Sunday at noon against Ridgefield at Fitzgerald Field in Ridgefield.

At the end of pool play, the top six teams in the overall standings advance to the double-elimination playoffs.