Clutch hits help Wilton take down Danbury

The Wilton High baseball team’s 7-2 road victory over Danbury yesterday may have been its best win of the season. Although not the prettiest (five errors wouldn’t allow that), it was the way the Warriors moved past their mistakes that made this win — against one of the FCIAC's top teams — so impressive.

Clutch power hitting played a major part in Wilton's triumph. It began in the Warriors' first at-bat when Cole Judelson whacked a thunderous RBI triple to right-center field with two outs, scoring Kyle Phillips, who had reached on a fielder's choice following Drew Phillips' leadoff single.

In the third inning it was Judelson delivering again with two outs, this time driving a single to center that scored Lucas Uriarte. Despite a pair of Danbury infield throwing errors, a base-running gaffe cost the Warriors an additional run.

When it came to defensive miscues, the Hatters (12-5 overall) weren’t the only donors. Wilton gifted Danbury two runs — one in the second inning, on a bobbled, tailor-made double play grounder to short that loaded the bases for Jackson Ciccone’s RBI single to right; and one in the fourth, when a single and a pair of infield errors led to a sacrifice fly to left by Javon Hernandez.

In both cases, however, it was Wilton's resolve and resilience that enforced damage control. In the second, Uriarte, who had booted the earlier grounder, got a second chance. With the bases loaded, he fielded another grounder and flipped flawlessly to second on the front end of an inning-ending double play.

In the fourth, two Wilton errors left the bases loaded with just one out. But pitcher Mike Angerame retired the next two batters on fly balls — one of those was Hernandez's sacrifice fly — to end the threat.

It was Angerame who, in attitude and clutch execution, exemplified Wilton's performance. He wound up completing the game, allowing two runs (both unearned) on five hits while walking four and striking out two. 

“I was able to get out of situations I got myself into and in the last inning my curve ball was working well,” said Angerame, a senior left-hander who got his first varsity win and has now posted strong outings against three tough teams (Westhill, Daniel Hand, and Danbury). “Our bats lit up today and this team really helps me settle down. These guys give me a lot of support and a lot of support to each other.”

“Mike Angerame was outstanding,” said Wilton head coach Tim Eagen, whose team improved to 9-6 with its second win in two days. “We got big, two-out power hitting. I’m so pleased for these kids. It was a confidence and character game for them.”

The Warriors took a 4-1 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Once again it was two-out hitting, as singles by Sam Strazza and Parker Ward set the stage for Drew Phillips’ blast to deep left for a two-run double.

In the seventh — after John McMahon’s leadoff single and walks to Ward and Drew Phillips loaded the bases with one out — Uriarte lined a two-run single to center. Then, with two outs, Kyle Phillips’ double down the right-field line brought home Wilton’s final run, putting the Warriors ahead 7-2.

It was up to Angerame to close out the game and he didn’t disappoint. Angerame got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh and then yielded a single before getting the final out on a grounder to short.

It was a breakout day at the plate for the Warriors. Drew Phillips, Judelson, and Strazza had two hits apiece, while Phillips, Uriarte, and Judelson contributed two RBIs apiece. Judelson drew three walks (one of them intentional), and Ward scored a pair of runs.