WILTON, Conn. Wilton's 11-year-old Little League team was always smaller than those it played in the district and sectional tournaments, but it always found a way to win. Solid swings, speed on the base paths, and a feisty attitude helped carry Wilton to the Section 1 state final. The magic ran out in the title game, though, as Wilton was trounced by Fairfield American, 14-3.
"Comparatively speaking, we are generally smaller than the other teams. But we had speed in our lineup and know how to grind out singles and doubles," Wilton manager Kevin Black said. "It's definitely more fun to be on the other side of these games."
Shut out by Fairfield in pool play, Wilton came to life after tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first. Fairfield's bats were just getting warmed up, though, as Will Lucas put the game out of reach for Wilton with a three-run blast in the third.
Colin Kahal and Jack Dooley hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches in the bottom of the fourth to cut into Fairfield's lead. Those sluggers have ignited their team all season, but Fairfield starter Ryan Meury silenced the rest of the Wilton lineup.
Wilton was also without leadoff hitter, and catalyst, Henry Strmecki. The speedster has been sidelined since receiving a concussion in a highlight-reel catch in the second game of sectional play.
Fairfield exploded for eight runs in the top of the fifth. The final exclamation point was another three-run blast, this time by Meury. Wilton failed to score in the bottom of the fifth and the mercy rule was implemented.
"Fairfield is the program we aspire to be like. We know now what it takes to compete with them," Black said. "Hopefully our guys will grow a little and next year the score will be a little bit better."
Wilton finished 3-2 in sectional play. Both losses were to Fairfield American. Wilton won its second consecutive District 1 championship over North Stamford.
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