Wilton scored four times in the second inning and made the lead stand up, clipping host Shelton, 4-3, in the opening round of the American Legion state tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Post 86 left-hander JT Morin closed the door on Post 16 in the bottom of the ninth inning, escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam — aided by some reckless Shelton base running.
CJ Rizzo, who led off the ninth with a double to the fence in center field, attempted to steal home on catcher Zach Ellenthal’s throw back to Morin following a pitch to Mike Ferro. Morin tossed it back to Ellenthal in time to cut down Rizzo for the final out, as Shelton stranded the winning run at second base.
Post 86 advanced to face Bethel tomorrow at Hunt Field at 1 p.m.
Rizzo reached base in all five of his plate appearances for Post 16, with two singles, a walk and a hit by pitch.
Hudson Boles and Matt Foley drew bases-loaded walks from Wilton starter Ben Rappaport to pull Shelton to within 4-3 in the bottom of the third. Jeremy Soderholm scored Post 16’s other run in the bottom of the second, drawing a walk and scoring on throwing error by Wilton shortstop Andrew Jacobson.
Rappaport gutted his way through seven innings in the sweltering 90-degree heat for Wilton (14-14), allowing six hits, walking eight and hitting a batter.
Morin threw two innings of scoreless relief to nail down the save.
Frank Talcik took the loss for Shelton, allowing four runs, one earned, on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. Vin Backert worked 4 2/3 innings of stellar relief, allowing just two hits and striking out two.
Shelton finishes its Legion season at 15-13.
For the full game story and photos, check out next week’s Herald.