Wilton held off Torrington's late burst of offense in a first-round Class L baseball game

TORRINGTON — Wilton had a big first inning, then knocked out enough runs to withstand a Torrington charge in the final inning in a 6-5 Warriors victory in a Class L first-round baseball state tournament win at Torrington’s Fuessenich Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Wilton, the tournament’s No. 20 seed, scored three runs in the first inning on a hit batter and hits by Ryan van Heyst and Nevin Bellanger, plus a double by Mike Fischetti for the first of his three RBIs for the day.

Torrington reliever Joe DiPippo (52/3 innings, 3 hits, 7 strikeouts, 1 hit batter) stopped the Warriors’ surge after a one-out walk by starter Corey Pray in the second inning.

But Wilton junior lefty Belanger (51/3 innings, 8 strikeouts, 2 walks) took the mound with a comfortable lead and a moving fastball, sailing him through the first five innings on just one Torrington hit.

The Warriors stole bases at every opportunity.

“You can never have enough runs,” coach Tim Eagen said.

He was right.

Wilton put up another run in the top of the fifth on a single by Luca Wentzel and a sac fly by Fischetti and a solo home run by Chris Dummond in the sixth, but two walks by Belanger in the bottom of the inning ended his day.

“His tank was empty,” Eagen said.

Torrington batters couldn’t have been happier to see him go. Brian Duman sent one of the walks home with a single and the Raiders’ first run. Then, after a Torrington error and Fischetti’s final RBI in the top of the seventh, Torrington cut loose.

Down 6-1, Torrington poured four runs through three more Wilton pitchers. A hit batter, two walks, doubles by Jason Karpeichik and Ben Smith and a two-run single by Jake Groebl suddenly made it anybody’s game.

“I’m glad everybody got to see the character of this team,” Torrington coach Pat Richardson said.

“Give Torrington credit; they battled,” Eagen said.

“It was a long inning,” said Belanger, helplessly sitting on the bench.

Ryan van Heyst, Wilton’s final reliever, ended it on a pop-up with Torrington runners on first and second.

Thoroughly tested, the Warriors travel to No. 4 Woodstock Academy for today’s second round.

NO. 20 WILTON 6, NO. 13 TORRINGTON 5

At Fuessenich Park, Torrington

WILTON 300 011 1 — 6 6 1

TORRINGTON 000 001 4 — 5 6 3

WP: Nevin Belanger. LP: Corey Pray. HR: W — Chris Dummond. 2B: W — Mike Fischetti. T — Jason Karpeichik; Ben Smith.

Records: Wilton 10-8. Torrington 12-7