NORTH STONINGTON — Wheeler High’s Connor Melinosky scored the winning run in the bottom of the eighth as the Lions defeated Putnam, 1-0, in a nonleague baseball game Monday.
Melinosky led off the eighth inning by reaching second base on an infield throwing error. Justin Veal beat out a bunt as Melinosky went to third.
Veal stole second and Chrise Caisse was walked to load the bases.
One out later, Bowen Baker hit a ball in foul territory behind third base. The Putnam third baseman made a diving catch for the out, but as he was celebrating the grab, Melinosky tagged up and beat the throw home for the winning run.
“It wasn’t a deep ball; it was just beyond the bag. Connor made a heads-up play and took a chance to score the winning run. He made a great slide under the tag,” Lions coach Eric Collins said.
Calvin Vrabel was 2 for 4. Baker pitched the first seven innings and struck out nine. Lucas Jones pitched the eighth to earn the victory.
Wheeler improved to 7-13 and No. 31 in the Class S state tournament rankings. The top 32 qualify. Other teams that could beat out the Lions still have games to play. Wheeler should find out its fate by Tuesday, Collins said.
The Clippers dropped to 7-11.
— Keith Kimberlin