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Merolla Goes Deep, but Wilton Falls in 9 Innings

WILTON, Conn. – When your starting pitcher goes 8? innings, you probably expect the game to end in a win for your team. That was not the case for Wilton, which fell 5-4 in extra innings to Fairfield Ludlowe despite a workhorse effort from ace Paul Merolla on opening day.

“Paul pitched good enough to win, no doubt about it,” Wilton head coach Tim Egan said. “We kept these guys around too long, leaving nine guys on base and runners in scoring position. We showed our inexperience today.”

Ludlowe sophomore Mikey Arman, playing in his first varsity game, laced the go-ahead single in the top of the ninth, and Wilton could not respond. Arman drove in three runs for the Falcons.

Merolla gave up just one hit through the first four innings and struck out eight in his nearly nine innings of work. But one tough inning was all it took to undo the tall righty’s good work.

A dropped popup in foul territory gave new life to Ludlowe in the top of the fifth. The Falcons got to Merolla for four runs (two earned) on four hits in the inning after the error.

Andrew Jacobsen knotted the game at 4-4 on an RBI triple in the sixth, but the Ludlowe bullpen kept the Warriors in check from that point on. Victor D’Ascenzo hurled three innings of no-hit baseball to force the game into extra innings.

“We played tentatively today and wasted a real good pitching performance from Paul. That’s what bothers me the most,” Egan said. “We let a game get away that we should have won and that makes tomorrow’s game even more important to us.”

Wilton (0-1) travels to Weston on Thursday for its annual out-of-conference game against the Trojans. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports. Like The Daily Wilton on Facebook.

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