Wilton’s 12U All-Star Little League Team once again lifted the district banner after winning the CT Little League District One Championship by defeating Darien, 10-5. This was the third year in a row the two rival towns met in the district championship, coming into the night with one championship win apiece.
Wilton wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning, sparked by a leadoff walk by Gavin Toohill and a two-strike hit by Charlie Cretella to start the game. Casey Meyer took advantage of the opportunity by hitting a screaming line drive off the top of the left-field fence to score Toohill, quickly followed by an RBI single from Mario Coppola to drive in Cretella.
Colton Smith kept Darien in check with his dominating fastball and curveball, going 4 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts. Catching Colton was Ethan Driscoll, who caught an impressive game as he has done throughout the district tournament.
After Darien managed three runs in the second inning to take a 3-2 lead, Wilton came back to score two more in the fourth inning. Anthony Palumbo led off the inning with a walk, followed by a perfect sacrifice bunt by Greg Bocchino and a single to right by Cole Herbst. Wilton then regained the lead on RBI singles by Cretella and Smith to make it 4-3 Wilton.
In the fifth inning, Wilton’s offense was intent on putting the game out of reach. Wilton quickly loaded up the bases on a walk to Meyer and singles by Coppola and Denny Dustin, but a hard line out by Gavin Levenherz followed by a strikeout put the rally at risk. That’s when Toohill came through with a clutch single to center field, scoring Bocchino (pinch-running for Meyer) and Coppola. Peter Braid capitalized on the momentum shift by driving in a run with a single to left, and Meyer topped it off with a double off the center-field fence to drive in two more, making the score 10-3.
Although Darien plated two more runners, Jeff Fox and the defense made sure the game stayed out of reach. Fox closed out the game pitching 1 2/3 innings, giving up no runs on the way to the championship win.
Wilton ended the tournament with a 7-1 record, outscoring opponents 54 to 14 supported by a team batting average of .356 and a team ERA of .89 across six pitchers.
Wilton now moves on to the Connecticut Sectionals Tournament, which begins Tuesday, July 20 against the winner of the District Four championship. The game will be played at 7 p.m. at Stamford Springdale (1197 Hope St., Stamford, CT).