The Greyhounds knocked off Kennedy 8-3 on Monday at Rotary Field for their third straight victory. But the postgame huddle wasn’t about patting everyone on the back; it was about reminding players that they need seven innings of focus and effort.
“I saw flashbacks of last year, when they came back twice against us, scored five runs in the last inning and beat us,” said Deller, who saw his team outscored 2-0 over the last three innings. “We’re still learning and we’re still a work in progress. Sometimes you just like to get a win and get off the field, and that’s what happened today.”
Kennedy took a 1-0 lead in the first when John McMahon singled and later scored on a throwing error, but Naugatuck’s deficit didn’t last long. The Greyhounds scored three in the first and four in the second to take control of the game.
Josh Aviles cracked a leadoff double, moved to third on Kyle Plasky’s groundout and scored on Adam Tavares’ sac fly to center. Spencer Dreher and John Dean continued the rally with back-to-back singles, and both scored on Jason Bradley’s double in the right-center gap to make it 3-1 in the first.
Naugy kept its bats warm in the second. Rick Plasky and Colin Leary both reached base to start the inning and came around to score, and Kyle Plasky and Tavares both added RBI base hits and scored later in the inning. Naugatuck took a 7-1 lead after two.
But the Greyhounds made little noise at the plate the rest of the day. They went down in order in the third, fifth and sixth innings, and they added just one more run in the fourth when Dean’s RBI single plated Kyle Plasky.
“We come out with a good, hot start with the bats, and then we think the game’s over instead of continuing it,” Deller said. “We have to play the game like it’s 0-0, and that’s what we’re trying to get across.”
Naugatuck knocked seven of its nine hits in the first two innings. Kyle Plasky finished with two singles, two runs, three steals and an RBI, while Tavares added a double, two RBI, a run and a steal. Dean checked in with two singles, an RBI, a steal and a run.
The ‘Hounds marched out three pitchers, starting with Dean for two innings. He allowed an unearned run with four walks and a strikeout. Evan Pellicia came in for three innings of relief and allowed a pair of unearned runs in the fifth with two strikeouts and three walks. Aviles closed the game with a pair of scoreless innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Naugy pitchers combined to allow just three hits and no earned runs.
“When you play six games in nine days to start the season, we don’t want to throw anybody out,” Deller said. “We’re constantly evaluating soreness and who can go next. Once we get to midseason and it’s warmer, we can let some guys go a little longer. Nobody’s gone over 60-70 pitches yet.”
Naugatuck also boasts wins over Ansonia (12-1 last Friday) and Manchester (3-2 last Saturday) and is a poor first inning against Derby away from a perfect start. The ‘Hounds dropped a 4-3 decision to the Red Raiders.
“We were very nervous at the start of the Derby game with two errors and a homer, but we battled back and could have won,” Deller said. “The wins and losses don’t mean much at this point; it’s about the approach.”
The Greyhounds made it four wins on the season with a 4-1 victory over Wolcott. Ricky Plasky threw a complete-game five-hitter. Kyle Plasky had a hit, scored a run and knocked in a run for Naugatuck. Teammate Kevin Mariano added a triple, an RBI and a run scored.
Naugy stretched its win streak to five Thursday with a victory over Woodland. The Greyhounds went into Beacon Falls and came away with a 6-1 win over their neighboring rivals as well as a little more fire.
“Our dugout has been lacking intensity the first few games, but this being Woodland really fired us up,” Naugatuck’s Dreher said. “The rivalry really brought up the intensity today.”
Dreher pitched four scoreless innings and went 3-for-3 day at the plate with two RBI and two runs.
Naugy will also host Watertown on Monday.