GUILFORD — Braydon Lyons didn’t need to think much about what pitch he was going throw.
He made it really easy.
Fastball. Fastball. Fastball and fastball.
The Wallingford righthander threw 72 of them — plus one curve ball all night — and he retired 14 of the final 15 batters to lead Post 187 to a 3-0 shutout of Guilford in a Zone 3 American Legion game Thursday night at Guilford High School.
“The fastball was working, so I stuck with it,” Lyons said.
Lyons only faced two batters over the minimum as the defense behind him turned a pair of double plays in the first two innings. That enabled Lyons to keep his pitch count down on a hot and muggy night.
“I felt much more comfortable as the game went on,” Lyons said. “It was hot, but I got used to it.”
After allowing three baserunners in the first three innings, the only runner that Lyons allowed came in a single to center by Kevin Ciardello.
“Braydon has been our best pitcher all year,” Wallingford coach John Amendola said. “He’s pitched in some tough luck this year.”
In the meantime, Wallingford got to Guilford lefthander Casey Johnson for single runs in both the second and fourth inning. In the second, Sam DeMaio reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored the first run on a single by Caden Cloutier.
Post 187 made it 2-0 in the fourth when Tyler Lyons walked, stole second and scored on a single to center by DeMaio.
Wallingford added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning as Johnson walked two hitters with two outs in the inning. Anthony Cretella beat out a grounder to shortstop Ethan Vashel. However, Vashel threw the ball away as Aidan Weir scored to make it 3-0.
That run gave Lyons even more breathing room, but he retired the side in the seventh to make it the final 10 batters in a row.
“It’s much more comfortable having runs, especially the last one in the sixth inning,” Lyons said. “Insurance runs are always good.”
Wallingford improved to 9-10 and remains alive for one of the four state tournament spots that will come out of Zone 3.
“We’re right in that mix with Guilford and Middletown, and Meriden is on the fringe,” Amendola said. “It’s doable, but we have to get some more pitching outings like tonight.”
Guilford, which started the season by winning nine of its first 10 games, is 2-8 in its last 10 outings.
“He (Lyons) threw a good game tonight,” Guilford coach Mike Yates said. “He didn’t allow us to get a runner to third base. When you do that, you win a lot of games.”