Wilton Senior Legion team wins third straight

A strong pitching performance and a clutch base hit kept the Wilton American Legion senior baseball team headed in the right direction — upward in the Zone 4 standings — on Tuesday evening in Ridgefield.

Michael Legaz’s double down the left-field line in the top of the eighth inning drove in Collin Kahal with what proved to be the winning run in Wilton’s 4-3 triumph over Ridgefield Post 78.

The victory was the third straight for Wilton, which is now 3-4 following an 0-4 start to the season.

Going into tonight's second game of a three-game series against Ridgefield, Wilton is seventh in the Zone 4 standings, one game behind fifth-place Norwalk. The top five teams at the end of the 27-game regular season qualify for the state tournament.

In Tuesday night’s game, which was delayed due to a damaging microburst storm that left Ridgefield in a state of emergency, Wilton took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Sean McEwen and Jackson Ward both singled, and Ben Rappaport followed with a two-run single. Alex Jacobson scored later in the inning on an RBI single from Legaz.

Ridgefield got two runs in the bottom of the third inning and one in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 3-3 and send the game into extra innings. All three of those runs were unearned against Ward, who pitched a complete-game, five-hitter with 10 strikeouts and no walks.

“He was in command all day,” said Wilton general manager Jeff Mastrianna about Ward. “He pitched a great game.”

In the top of the eighth, Collin Kahal singled for Wilton and went to second on Jason Rothstein’s groundout. Legaz then ripped his double down the line, scoring Kahal for a 4-3 Wilton lead.

Ward set down Ridgefield in order, getting a strikeout and two groundouts to end the game — the final out came when Jacobson, Wilton’s catcher, fielded a slow roller in front of home plate and fired to first base to beat the runner.

“We’re playing well now,” said Wilton head coach Ian Thoesen. “As long as we keep getting good pitching and play solid defense, we should be OK. The hitting was kind of sluggish in the first few games but is coming around.”

Notes: McEwen, Legaz and Rappaport had two hits apiece for Wilton.

Wilton’s three-game winning streak began with a 6-0 triumph over Fairfield in the second game of a doubleheader last Thursday in Wilton. Ward pitched a shutout in that contest.

The next day, Wilton routed Bridgeport, 15-2, at Seaside Park in Bridgeport. Jack Mastrianna pitched the first four innings for Wilton, and Glenn O’Brien pitched one inning in relief before the game was called due to the run rule.