Big inning propels Wilton past Staples
WESTPORT -- When Wilton ace JT Morin struck out a Staples batter to end the fifth inning, he and his team were locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel with the Wreckers.
When Morin threw his next pitch almost 30 minutes later, the game was virtually over.
The Warriors offense exploded for nine runs in the top of the sixth inning, backing Morin's complete-game gem in a 9-1 win on Friday night. Wilton (6-1) stayed red hot with its fourth straight win while Staples (5-3) dropped to 3-3 in the FCIAC.
"That was a very good team we beat today," Wilton coach Tim Eagen said. "I thought (Morin) did a great job. (The Wreckers) swing the bats very well, I was never comfortable no matter how big the lead was."
Wilton sent 14 to the plate in the big inning. The first two reached on walks, and Dillon Lifrieri laced a two-run double off the large left field fence to give Wilton the lead. Four batters later, Jackson Ward almost cleared the blue monster with a double to increase the lead to 6-0.
"Hitting is contagious thing," Eagen said. "When you get one hit, it can turn into two hits three hits. We're playing with a lot of confidence right now."
The Wreckers also committed two errors in the frame. By the time the dust had settled, Staples needed four pitchers to record the three outs. Prior to Friday, the Wreckers hadn't given up nine runs in a regular season game since 2012 -- a span of 50 games.
"We just ran out of pitching," Staples coach Jack McFarland said. "You can't walk the first two batters of in the inning. When it got to 3-0 the game was over."
Morin struck out six batters and allowed just four hits. Morin piled on the misery for the Staples offense, which has been held to nine runs in five games.
"He moved the ball around and he changed speeds," Eagen said. "He was keeping the kids off balance and that was the big thing. He's got really good stuff, he kept changing speed and that's what gets them to pop out and ground out."
The game remained scoreless in the fourth inning after a reversal of a call on a double by Warriors catcher Alex Jacobson. Jacobson was ruled to have not touched first base, and although the umpires did not call him out on the initial appeal, the crew huddled and called Jacobson out.
Noah Yokoi broke up the shutout bid with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two runners on and two outs later in the frame, Morin struck out power threat Ross Poulley.
"We're very concerned, we're trying everything," McFarland said. "I really believe in this lineup, it's going to come through for us. Sometimes it's better to not peak early in the year. I believe we have enough talent to make a horse race out of this."
WILTON 9, STAPLES 1
WILTON 000 009 0--9 8 1
STAPLES 000 001 0--1 4 2
Records: Wilton 6-1, 4-1 FCIAC; Staples 5-3, 3-3.