Hunting another title

NAUGATUCK — There are some things you can count on in the summer — hot and humid weather, hot dogs on the grill and the Connecticut Hackers in the title hunt once again.

The Naugatuck-based adult baseball team, now in its 11th season, is off to a 9-4 start and sits in the top half of the league standings. Fresh off the Hackers’ fourth postseason tournament championship in the last seven years, this year’s squad features many familiar faces.

But their opponents in the Connecticut National Adult Baseball Association seem to be getting better.

“The league is getting more and more competitive,” said Mike Doran, who won the league’s manager of the year award in 2013.

Thus far, the Hackers have pieced together their pitching with Doran, Mike Fox, Wes Dutton, Jeff Farrell and Steve Webb. Fox gutted through last year’s title game against Orange and has returned to be a key component to the team’s solid beginning in 2014.

The Hackers swept Durham in a doubleheader earlier this month behind the arms of Webb and Fox. Dutton slammed two homers that day and leads the team with three.

Doran and Dutton led the week the before against the Owls. Dutton no-hit the Owls through five and slammed a three-run homer, while Doran went the distance in game two to complete the sweep.

Naugatuck also swept a doubleheader against Meriden last Sunday with wins of 6-1 and 7-2, stretching the Hackers’ winning streak to seven.

The team has also relied on the experience from other regulars such as Nick Pereira, Dan Kaminiski, Mike Bochino, Ron Swierbitowicz and Ryan Mazurkivich.

The Hackers, who are sponsored by the Pour House in Naugatuck, finished 17-7 in the league’s 2013 regular season and in third place. The Hackers have qualified for the postseason for each of the last nine years.

Orange, Bridgeport and Milford currently sit above the Hackers in the league standings. The playoffs are set to begin in August.

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