Round of Applause
Naugatuck baseball put itself back on the map this month with a terrific run in the Class LL state tournament. The Greyhounds suffered a 2-1 defeat to Simsbury in the quarterfinals last week, but it was a game Naugy could have definitely won with a few timely hits. It had been seven years since Naugatuck even won a state tournament game, and these guys made it all the way to the quarters — and were about a hit or two away from reaching the semifinals. The local sports universe feels as though it’s in order when Naugatuck baseball is near the top of the heap, so congratulations to Tom Deller and his squad on making solid strides back to that place.
The Beacon Hose carnival is this Thursday through Saturday, and once again the guy who takes up your time in this column will be hosting our live entertainment each night. There’s a solid lineup of bands each night to highlight the action inside the firehouse, and there’s a whole parking lot full of carnival rides to give the kids plenty to do outside — plus, I’m told a couple of the rides are brand-new to our carnival and are pretty nuts. Everyone’s favorite foods are back, too, including the famous fried dough and the delectable lobster dinner. We’ll be hosting our annual parade on Saturday at 6 p.m., so there’s plenty to come enjoy with us. Maybe we’ll even break Beacon Hose tradition and manage to stay dry for all three days!
Beacon Hose Softball
Hell has frozen over and we know that because your Beacon Hose softball team recorded its first victory in department history on Monday night. That’s right, read it again! Beacon Hose came away with a 14-13 win over Paugies from Derby in an absolute thriller at Matthies Field in Seymour. We went down 8-2 entering the fifth inning — we have unexplained struggles in the opening innings of games — but started to rally in the bottom of the fifth with three runs. Paugies stretched its lead back to 10-5 heading to the bottom of the sixth, but we batted around in the sixth and scored eight runs in the frame to take a 13-10 lead. In the top of the seventh, Paugies tied the game on a one-out base hit that resulted in catcher Shane Henion getting his ankle taken out at home plate, and I was the last substitute remaining on our bench. So I headed behind the plate with a runner on third, and the next batter hit a ground ball to shortstop Ray Buzgo. He fired home — except it was about eight feet out of the baseline, so I made a leaping grab of the throw and tagged out the runner hung up in the baseline. I followed that up by catching a foul pop-out to end the inning, and we won it in the bottom of the seventh. John Mis led off the inning with his second single and our pinch-running specialist Adam Daniels took his spot. Jeff Kean’s base hit allowed Daniels to advance to third, and Paul DeGeorge’s grounder up the middle allowed Daniels to score the winning run. I hope you’re as excited right now as we were after that game. You can see the game ball on display this week at the carnival. Really.
State Open Track
Nearly a half-dozen local athletes competed Monday at the CIAC State Open track meet at Middletown High. The best showings came from a pair of Woodland senior boys, Mike Lang and Levi Fancher. Lang, returning from an ankle injury that derailed his triple jump chances at the Class M meet, finished fifth in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 3 inches. Fancher was the only local to compete in two events, placing fifth in the shot put (50-2) and 10th in the javelin (158-4). Lang and Fancher helped Woodland earn eight points, good for a 30th-place tie among boys teams. The Hawks’ 4×800-meter relay team of Jimmy Jensen, Jeff Giusto, Dean Conway and Jack Pinho also competed and finished 17th. Three Naugatuck girls also competed at the meet. Abreana McKoy placed 16th in the high jump while Christina Batista, the Class L discus champ, was 22nd. Jasmine Grey also competed in the high jump but failed to clear a height.