Defending LL district champ Wilton opens play Tuesday

Bob Cullinan knows it is a tough act to follow.

“That was a great team,” he said. “They just dominated the competition.”

Cullinan is referring to last year’s Wilton 12-year-old Little League All-Star squad, which romped to the Connecticut District 1 title, going 7-0 and outscoring the opposition by a combined 107-13. It was Wilton’s first district title at that age level since 1977.

Those players have moved on, but Cullinan believes this year’s edition can also contend for a championship.

“We have several very good pitchers, speed and some pop in the lineup,” he said. “I feel good about this team.”

Most of the returnees were members of Wilton’s 11-year-old squad, which went 4-0 in pool play before losing to Ridgefield National in the playoff round.

“They did well as 10-year-olds and as 11-year-olds,” said Cullinan, whose team begins district play next Tuesday against Stamford Springdale in Stamford at 7:30. “I’m hopeful that their success will continue.”

Wilton’s impressive pitching staff includes Kyle Phillips, Cole Judelson, Brendan Connor and Ryan Looney.

“Those are some good arms,” said Cullinan. “Our pitching depth is strong.”

Judelson and Chris Tienken are the primary catchers, with Nicky Cullinan (the coach’s son) and Scott Vollmer at first base. Other infielders include newcomer Nick Kronenberg and Phillips, as well as Matt Cipri, Connor Wyman, and Nick Condos.

Mark Sreckovic, Condos, Looney and Cullinan are among the top outfield options.

“The lineup is not set in stone yet,” said Bob Cullinan. “We’re still trying to sort out positions. The good thing is that we have a lot of good players to work with.”

Notes: Wilton is in Pool B along with five other teams. Each team will play four pool games, with the top-three teams in the pool then advancing to the playoff round.

The district champ advances to the state sectionals.

Wilton’s assistant coaches are Rich Cipri, Pete Condos and Ryan Phillips.