NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck American Legion baseball team put on a late run winning seven of its last 10 games to qualify for the state tournament for the first time in seven seasons.
The last time Post 17 reached the state tournament was in 2007 when Naugatuck was the Zone 5 champions at 22-5.
Naugatuck defeated Prospect-Beacon Falls July 17 by a slim 2-1 margin, and then swept a double-header last Friday to finish the regular season at 15-12 to secure the fourth spot in Zone 5.
Kyle Plasky took the hill in the opener last Friday against Monroe and went five innings surrendering just four hits in an 11-1 victory. Josh Aviles and Jason Bradley paced the Post 17 attack with two hits and two runs.
Adam Tavares, Ricky Plasky and Mike D’Agnone drove in the runs with two hits and two RBIs each. Chris Anderson chipped in with a two-run hit in Naugy’s mercy rule win.
Naugatuck made it three wins in a row to close out the regular season as Spencer Dreher threw four innings of one hit ball to complete a suspended game against Oxford as Post 17 claimed a 3-0 win.
Dreher also had two hits at the plate with Scott Sill adding a hit and a run. Aviles, Tavares and Rick Plasky all went one for three to pace the Post 17 offense. D’Agnone came on to pick up the save, setting down all three batters he faced.
“The team did a good job this summer battling to make the tournament,” Naugatuck head coach Rob Dibble said. “We had a few games get away from us and a few more that could have gone in the win column. We lost three games by one run and two others by two runs. If we could have turned those around we would have got a better seed in the tournament.”
Naugatuck got the second seed out of Zone 5 and faced off against Orange Post 127, the number two team out of Zone 2, on Sunday. Orange jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings and held on for an 8-3 win to end Naugy’s run in the state tournament.
Tavares started on the hill and fell victim to a five-run second inning. Naugatuck rallied in the ninth as Anderson got it going with a double. Rick Plasky followed with a run-scoring single and Kevin Mariano brought in the second run with a double. Scott Sill slammed a double for the third run of the inning before Orange managed to close the door on the game and the season for Post 17.
Post 17 will welcome back nearly its full roster next season.
“We have everyone back next year except Scott Sill and Mike D’Agnone. They will be missed, but the guys coming back know what they are capable of and we are looking to make another run at the state tournament,” Dibble said.