In a re-match of last year’s District Championship game, Wilton’s 11-year-old District All-Star Team cruised to a 14-0 home win over Ridgefield on Wednesday night, July 6, at the Wilton YMCA field. Nevin Belanger and Shane Taubin combined to hold the opponent hitless through four innings before the 10-run mercy rule was invoked. The Wilton batters combined for 13 hits in only three innings at the plate, highlighted by Connor Robertson’s two-run home run in the first inning.

In the top of the first inning, Ridgefield put two runners on base with a lead-off walk and a rare fielding error. Belanger closed the frame with two strike outs to snuff Ridgefield’s closest scoring attempt of the night, stranding runners at first and third.  In the bottom of the inning, Wilton’s George DiRocco and Zarius Eusebe reached on base hits before Quinn Stengrim launched a sacrifice fly to score DiRocco. Robertson followed with his booming shot over the left field fence into the YMCA parking lot to give Wilton an early 3-0 lead and putting the opponents on their heels early.

Ridgefield went down 1-2-3 in the top of the second on two grounders and a line out, perplexed by Belanger’s mix of speeds and location. Wilton opened the bottom of the inning with three consecutive doubles driven deep by Alexander Reyes, Sam Gioffre, and Belanger to plate two more runs. A base hit by DiRocco moved Belanger to third base before a passed ball allowed Belanger to slide into home with the ensuing cloud of dust confusing the Ridgefield defense as DiRocco scampered all the way from first base to score putting Wilton up 7-0.

Ridgefield finally seemed able to slow down the Wilton attack with their second pitcher of the evening getting two quick outs in the bottom of the third, but the next seven batters all reached base to extend the lead. Gioffre patiently worked a walk; Charlie Guglielmo looped a single down the right field line; and Belanger hit a hustle single to score Gioffre while Guglielmo took home on a fielding blunder by the third baseman. DiRocco then reached on a walk, and Eusebe followed with an RBI single. Stengrim cracked a triple to right-center field to plate two more runs for Wilton before scoring himself on Robertson’s hard hit single to left field. Finally Hayden Klyver worked the count before slicing a single to left to bring home pinch runner Owen English and putting Wilton up by two touchdowns 14-0.

Taubin took control of the mound in the top of the third for Wilton, striking out two batters over the final two innings and allowing only one runner to reach base. With the pitching and hitting dominating for Wilton, the defense ended the game with two spectacular plays. Klyver smothered a ball at third base before jumping to his feet and drilling the ball to first base for the second out. The next batter then smacked a liner before Sam Gioffre extended up and back to snag the ball from the sky and end the game. Wilton advances in the District playoffs and will face Stamford National in the next round Friday night.

Pictured above:  Bottom Row L to R⎯Ryan Preisano, Owen English, Matthew Ferrante, Hayden Klyver, Nevin Belanger and Shane Taubin. Middle Row L to R⎯George DiRocco, Sam Gioffre, Zarius Eusebe, Connor Robertson, Alexander Reyes, Quinn Stengrim and Charlie Guglielmo. Top Row (L to R⎯manager Scott Gioffre, coach Bob Belanger, coach Mario Ferrante.