Baseball: Wilton 10s rally to beat Stamford North, 4-1

After being held to only two hits through four innings, the Wilton Little League 10-U baseball team strung together four consecutive singles in the bottom of the fifth to power a four-run rally and a 4-1 win over Stamford North on Monday at Stamford Springdale Field.

The win moved Wilton to the losers’ bracket final, and one step away from reaching the final round of the District One tournament.

Wilton will host Weston on Tuesday night (7) at Bill Terry Field. The winner will play Stamford American in the finals, which open Thursday night (7) at Stamford Springdale.

“Our pitchers, Jack Schwartz and Luke Perna, kept us in the game the whole way. They threw strikes. We have a good defense. Pitching and defense kept us in the game and the hitting finally woke up,” said head coach Kevin Toohill. “Baseball’s a funny sport. We’re dead for four innings and then we explode in the fifth inning on a kid who was throwing hard.”

Stamford North held a 1-0 lead through four-plus innings, after the first batter of the game, Ryan Connors, lined a triple to right-centerfield and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Matt Freeny.

Freeny kept Wilton in check through three innings, as he allowed only one hit and two walks, while striking out six. He was relieved in the fourth by Harrison Mirkin, who pitched one inning and got out a jam by striking out back-to-back batters with runners on second and third.

Wilton’s winning rally began when Will Soucy reached on an error with out out, followed by singles by Conor Toohill, Stef Cross, Luke Perna and Jack Schwartz to bring home four runs. Wilton kept the rally going when Max Roberge's high flyball to deep left field was dropped, putting runners on second and third with one out. But Connors bore down to get the next two hitters and escape further damage.

Stamford loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, before Perna got the final out to send Wilton onto the next round.

Schwartz started for Wilton and went four and one-third innings, allowing one run on three hits and four walks, with three strikeouts.

Perna got the win, going the final one and two-thirds and allowing no runs and no hits. He walked one.

Perna had two hits, one RBI and one run scored for Wilton. Also getting hits were Mason Behar, Toohill (run), Cross (RBI, run) and Schwartz (RBI), while Soucy walked and scored a run.

“It’s always exciting,” coach Toohill said of the team’s performance in the district tourney. “We’ve had three one-run games, two walk-offs, and then this game tonight. The kids never give up. They always fight. They’re playing good baseball right now and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”