Wilton baseball team rallies to win state opener

Coming off its first conference title in 20 years, the Wilton High baseball team found itself in danger of quickly bowing out of the state tournament.

Down 6-5 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the host Warriors rallied for two runs and then got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the seventh to edge 24th-seed Xavier-Middletown, 7-6, in a Class LL first-round game Wednesday.

Wilton, the ninth seed, will now face a familiar foe, eighth-seed Norwalk, in the second round on Thursday at 3:30 at City Field in Norwalk.

Jackson Ward's double scored Collin Kahal with the tying run for the Warriors with one out in the sixth inning. Following a second out, freshman Dillon Lifrieri came through with a single to drive in Ward with the go-ahead run.

Sean McEwen, the third Wilton pitcher of the game, came on in the bottom of the seventh and retired the fist two batters. But Xavier then loaded the bases on a single, a double, and a walk. McEwen then got a grounder for a force-out to end the game.

The contest was back-and-forth throughout. Xavier took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning against Wilton starting pitcher Ward, but the Warriors responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning to go ahead, 4-2.

Xavier tied the game in the third inning, and Wilton regained the lead at 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the fourth.

Xavier then used four hits to score two runs in the top of the fifth inning and move in front, 6-5. That lead, however, vanished when Wilton put together its two-run rally in the sixth.

Trevor Blond picked up the win for the Warriors in relief of Ward, who pitched into the fifth inning.