Baseball: 10U Blue team nips Monroe, 1-0
In a game highlighted by spectacular pitching and defense, the Wilton 10-under Blue baseball team defeated a talented Monroe team 1-0 on Sunday in the second game of pool play in the 2013 Fairfield nine-year-old All-Star Tournament.
With a 13-3 victory earlier in the week over Stamford American, and a 13-9 defeat of Fairfield American in the first game of pool play in the tournament, Wilton Blue has quietly built a 5-0 record in the summer season.
Starting pitcher Ryan Van Heyst, who was brilliant on the day, walked the lead-off hitter in the first and fell behind the second batter, but settled down to whiff two and force a weak pop-up to second to end the threat.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Van Heyst drew a walk and was off and running as Ryan Sorbo lined a pitch up the right-field line. Streaking around third, Van Heyst slid into the plate and was struck by the throw from the outfield, yielding a bloody nose, but also what turned out to be the decisive run.
Showing himself to be a tough competitor, Van Heyst came back to the mound and set Monroe down 1-2-3 in the second. With one out and runners on first and second in the third, Sam Strazza snuffed out Monroe’s attempt to tie the game by making a spectacular diving catch of a sinking line drive to center. Monroe managed two more base runners in the fourth, but strong defense behind Van Heyst prevented any damage. In all, Van Heyst allowed just three hits in four shutout innings of work.
While the Warriors did manage singles by Sorbo, Everett Andersen, Brian Cipri and Aiden Shannon, they were unable to push another run across the plate for the rest of the game.
Andersen came on in the fifth to relieve Van Heyst and retired the first two batters he faced before walking two to put a runner in scoring position, but Shannon made a nifty play at second to record the third out and end the rally.
In the sixth, the Monroe lead-off batter blooped a single to right, but second baseman Max Rothkopf made a nice play on a soft liner before Andersen fired a fastball by a Monroe hitter to end the game and earn the save.
On a day when Wilton’s bats were relatively quiet, an errorless performance in the field, including three fielding gems, and ten strikeouts from the pitching staff sealed the victory for the Warriors.