Sophomore pitchers Lengyel, Silvia sparkle in debuts, lead Wilton baseball over Danbury

DANBURY — This year more than most, it appears underclassmen and first-year players are going to have to fill larger roles for most baseball teams.

It may not necessarily be a bad thing. Just ask Wilton, which defeated Danbury 8-7 on Tuesday behind two pitchers making their debut.

Wilton’s Sean Lengyel made his first career start, completing three innings and allowing three runs while Cole Silvia made his debut with 22/3 scoreless innings in relief to earn the win.

Silvia entered the game with a man on third and a 7-6 lead, which was surrendered on a wild pitch.

However, Silvia settled in, holding Danbury at 7 before Sam Strazza began the top of the seventh with a leadoff triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan van Heyst.

“They are fighters,” Wilton coach Timothy Eagen said. “We aren’t playing the best baseball by any means, but we fight. When we gave the lead away and it was 7-7 we could’ve easily hung our heads but they battled.”

With the lead, Silvia maintained his composure, working around a one-out single to seal the win for Wilton.

“That tough little sucker told me not to worry about it,” Eagen said. “Usually that makes me nervous, but he backed it up.”

Silvia caught a line drive comebacker, induced a groundball to third and registered a strikeout in his final frame.

“If they are hitting the ball all over the place, alright, but we were just giving it away with walks, wild pitches and passed balls,” Eagen said. “But to our team’s credit they battled, but it all started on the mound and the two sophomores were fantastic.”

Wilton improves to 2-0, having won both of its games by a one-run margin.

“I am pleased to be 2-0, believe me,” Eagen said. “This league is as balanced as anything, and anybody can beat anybody on a given day. When you battle, good things happen.”

Danbury drops to 0-2, but there is much to like beyond the scoreboard looking forward. Danbury only has a minus-3 run differential so far, and has collected nine hits in both games.

Trailing 7-4 in the fourth inning, Danbury’s potent offense — sparked by leadoff-man Jackson Ciccone — battled back.

“We can come back and we can hit,” Danbury coach Shaun Ratchford said. “We are not going to be out of games. Right now, we don’t have anybody who can finish a game. We get ahead and go out in the field and let up a hit or make a mistake.”

Ciccone, who was a freshman standout in 2019, went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases. He is 4-for-6 so far on the year between both games.

“We know that we are just losing by a few and we know we have what it takes,” Ciccone said. “We are hanging with these teams, we know we can beat them. We have to work in practice on these things we are messing up on, it is just fine tuning.”

Thai-Ler Sestokas was also 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Each of the Nos. 1-5 batters in the Danbury lineup had at least one hit.

Perhaps the highlight of the night for Danbury was the debut of freshman reliever Nick Parker, who allowed one run on one hit while striking out four over 31/3 innings.

“We don’t have anybody who had pitched on the mound before this year, everybody is new,” Ratchford said. “Parker does a good job keeping the ball low. I told him every once in a while, someone is going to jump a first pitch fastball and at Danbury the ball goes a long way. He did a great job and he gave us a chance to win.”

Will.Aldam@hearstmediact.com; @AldamWill