Wilton drops to losers' bracket in Legion 17U state tournament

Scoring two unearned runs — the second in the bottom of the ninth inning — the Bethel American Legion junior (17U) baseball team edged Wilton, 2-1, in a second-round state tournament game Tuesday in Bethel.

Wilton, the seventh seed in the 16-team Southern Division, will now play 15th-seed Orange in a losers' bracket contest Thursday at 5 in Wilton. The loser of that game will be knocked out of the double-elimination tournament.

Bethel took a 1-0 lead against Wilton starter Billy Black with an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning. Black shut down Bethel after that, allowing just four hits over his seven strong innings.

Wilton (20-8 overall) tied the game in the top of the fifth, as Henry Hovland's sacrifice fly scored Zach Adams, who had reached on a single and moved to third following two walks.

With the score knotted at 1-1 through seven innings, the two teams went to extras. Wilton reliever Matt D'Elisa held Bethel scoreless in the eighth inning, but in the bottom of the ninth the hosts managed to score the winning run on an infield error.

Notes: Wilton had defeated 10th-seed Wallingford, 4-1, in the first round of the state tournament on Saturday in Wilton.

Orange, Wilton's upcoming opponent, fell to Bethel, 5-1, in the opening round before staying alive with a 7-5 victory over Wallingford on Tuesday in a losers' bracket game.