Wilton rallies but falls to Ridgefield in Little League district opener
When it comes to high school sports, meetings between Wilton and Ridgefield typically produce some of the best entertainment in the state.
But on a misty Tuesday night in Wilton, it was the two towns' Little League All-Star teams that produced the drama.
After seeing its six-run lead erased by a Wilton rally, Ridgefield scored the winning run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to come away with a 10-9 triumph in the District 1 tournament opener for both teams.
Early on, the chances of late-game excitement seemed minimal. In the bottom of the first inning, a combination of bases-loaded walks and Liam Carcich's two-run single up the middle staked Ridgefield to a 7-0 lead.
But with the bottom of the order leading the way, Wilton responded with three runs. AJ Preisano, Ryan Sorbo, Kevin Hyzy, and Craig Hyzy all got on base, and clean-up hitter Sam Strazza delivered a two-run single to trim Ridgefield's lead to 7-3.
In the bottom of the second, Wilton's third pitcher of the game, Ryan Van Heyst, retired the side on nine pitches, recording two strikeouts.
Two bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third helped Ridgefield extend its lead to 9-3, but Wilton then went on its six-run rally in the top of the fifth to tie the score. Anthony Passaniti, Davis Wallon and Chris Hyzy all had RBI hits to get Wilton within one run, and Brian Cipri's RBI single to right tied the game at 9-9.
The score stayed knotted until the bottom of the seventh. Ashton Weiskopf had a lead-off single for Ridgefield but was doubled off when Wilton shortstop Everett Andersen snared Michael Narcisio's line drive and fired to first for the double play.
Following Andersen’s spectacular play, consecutive singles from Eli Keeler and Carcich put runners on base for Ridgefield. Ben Cherico was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, and, with Andrew Castelluccio at the plate, Keeler scampered home on a wild pitch to give Ridgefield the walk-off win.
"I saw the ball hit the ground, and there was no hesitation — I went straight for home plate," said Keeler. “I have to thank my third-base coach, because he held me up at third the pitch before. I’m glad I listened to him."