WILTON — Baseball has been referred to as America’s favorite pastime and participation in local programs bears that out.

Each spring, the sport draws numerous family members and their friends to watch as youngsters learn the fundamentals of the sport.

Tuesday and Thursday evenings youth learn how to throw, catch, hit off a Tee and run the bases in the Wilton Recreation Department’s Tee Ball program at Kineowatha Park. There are three teams, the Astros, the Pirates and the Yankees.

Connor Greenleaf of the Wolves runs past first after singling in a game against the Royals in a Cal Ripken U-10 game Tuesday, May 21. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

From 6 to 7 p.m. family members and friends fill the bleachers or sit in their camp chairs while urging the youngsters to catch the ball, throw it to another teammate or run to the next base. Members of both teams are praised for a job well done.

The Wilton Cal Ripken League has two teams. The U–10 team is

named the Wolves while the U–12s are the Grizzlies.

The Wilton Wolves are coached by Greg Whittier assisted by Jon Macomber. Tuesday, May 21 was their fifth game of the season. Whittier said so far only one game had to be rescheduled due to rain.

The team’s record so far is 3 wins and 1 loss.

Jasiah Gross touches home plate while his teammates rush to swarm him following a home run over the outfield fence. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Whittier said there are 10 teams in the league with most coming from the Farmington area. Jay, Strong, Temple, New Sharon and Livermore/Livermore Falls also have teams.

“We play each team once. Playoffs will be in June.

“The kids are doing awesome, working hard. They are getting better every day,” Whittier said.

Fundamentals are stressed before each game and between half innings

Wilton Wolves player Dillon Gordon at left catches a throw from teammate Noah Dunham prior to a Cal Ripken U-10 game at the LTC. Michael J. Backus Memorial Ballfield in East Wilton Tuesday, May 21. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

with team members practicing throwing and catching balls. Coaches encourage members to only swing at balls in the strike zone and not go after those that are too high or too low.

The Royals, a team from Livermore/Livermore Falls, were up to bat first. A number of hits, walks and stolen bases quickly led to five runs crossing home plate.

There is a five-run per inning rule, so at that point, the Wolves came to bat. Connor Greanleaf singled to first and scored before the third out.

The Wolves kept the Royals scoreless in the top of the second inning.

Teammates hug Jasiah Gross and cluster around home plate after Gross hit a home run in a Cal Ripken U-10 baseball game against the Royals. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

In the bottom half, the Wolves had better luck at the plate. A dropped ball during a steal to home scored one run. Two more were added before Dillon Gordon’s base hit was followed by Josiah Gross’ towering home run over the outfield fence.

Cheers echoed across the field and Gross was greeted at home plate with hugs by his teammates and coaches.

This reporter left the game then in an effort to take pictures at one of the Tee Ball games at Kineowatha Park. The games ended early due to the cold weather.