North Stamford sends Wilton All-Stars to losers' bracket (updated)

The Wilton Little League 11/12-year-old All-Star team still has a chance to win the District 1 championship. But the road to the title got longer Monday night.

A 6-3 loss to North Stamford in a winners' bracket game at Stamford Springdale dropped Wilton into the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Wilton (3-3) will now need to win five consecutive games in order to become the district champion and advance to the state tournament. That trek begins with a game Tuesday evening at 5:30 against Stamford American at Scalzi Park in Stamford.

Playing its third game in as many days, Wilton took a 1-0 lead over unbeaten North Stamford (5-0) by scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Drew Phillips walked, advanced to third on two wild pitches, and then scored on an error.

But North Stamford tied the game in the bottom of the first on George Psichopaidas's solo homer

In the top of the second, Wilton looked to regain the lead. Regan Kahal led off the inning with a single. Lucas Uriarte then singled between two North Stamford outfielders, and Kahal was sent home by the third-base coach. But the relay from the outfield was in time get Kahal out at the plate. Zayvion Eusebe singled for the third hit of the inning, but North Stamford pitcher Adam Stone settled down to get the final two outs to keep the game tied at 1-1. Stone pitched four solid innings for Stamford, striking out eight while walking two batters.

North Stamford rallied for five runs in the bottom of the second to go ahead, 6-1. The five-run outburst was highlighted by Matt Hallihan’s two-run homer and aided by Wilton errors and two walks.

Kyle Hyzy hit a solo home run for Wilton in the top of the third, and Dean DiNanno doubled and then scored on a passed ball and an error — on the same play — in the fifth to pull Wilton within 6-3.

But North Stamford retired Wilton in order in the top of the sixth to close out the win.

Richard Nolan was the starting pitcher for Wilton but left in the second inning with an elbow injury. DiNanno, Michael Angerame, Phillips, and Zayvion Eusebe also pitched for Wilton. The five Wilton pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts.

Two of the strikeout victims reached base on dropped third strikes, as Wilton recorded only two outs in the game on fielding plays. Angerame struck out all five batters he faced and was pulled after throwing 22 pitches so he would be available to pitch again Tuesday. Eusebe also struck out the four batters he faced.

“We out-hit them (6 to 5) but we just couldn’t plate any runs from them,” said Wilton head coach Scott Gioffre. “It’s frustrating. We made some silly plays in the field that cost us the game; this loss really hurts.

"It was unfortunate that we lost our starting pitcher early in the game to injury, but I am very pleased for the way the other pitchers took to the mound and performed outstanding. Actually, both teams’ pitchers did a great job tonight for their teams."

Uriarte was the only Wilton player with two hits, going two-for-three in the game.

Four North Stamford pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts on the night.