Wolcott falls on walk-off homer in opener

The Wolcott baseball team made a great comeback in its season opener at Naugatuck on Saturday afternoon, but it didn’t come with a happy ending.

The Greyhounds beat the Eagles, 5-4, in eight innings following a walk-off home run. Tensions boiled over a little bit after the home run and the benches cleared. There was apparently some trash talking that had gone on between the two sides. The teams stayed on their respective sides and nothing further came of the confrontation, thankfully.

Wolcott trailed, 4-0, entering the top of the sixth inning, but it started to get to Naugatuck left-hander Brady Evon, who was All-NVL in 2021. The Eagles loaded the bases with two outs, but a ground out to second base ended the rally.

Nick Kleinschmidt and Tommy DeRosa singled back-to-back to lead off the top of the seventh. After a flyout, Chase Belisle launched a three-run home run to left center field on an 0-1 pitch to cut the Wolcott deficit to 4-3. On the very next pitch, A.J. Martinez homered the other way to left field to tie the game, 4-4. A fly out and strikeout ended the top half of the inning. Martinez pitched a 1-2-3 seventh in relief to send the game to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, Drew Rocca singled to lead off. After back-to-back strikeouts, DeRosa kept the inning alive with a single. A fielder’s choice ended the Eagle rally. In the bottom of the eighth, Naugatuck’s Mike Rusin launched an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall to win the game for the Greyhounds.

Joe Ferrucci threw the first four innings and gave up four runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked four. Nate Yachtis pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth inning while yielding a single hit.

GALLERY: Here are my photos from Saturday’s game.

Photo caption: Wolcott catcher Chase Belisle really got his team’s seventh inning rally going with a three-run home run. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69)