‘Hounds struggle down the stretch

Naugatuck’s Devan Aviles slides safely back to first base as Wolcott’s Isaiah Negretti-Flannery (1) covers the bag Monday in Naugatuck. Wolcott won the game, 15-1. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Naugatuck’s Devan Aviles slides safely back to first base as Wolcott’s Isaiah Negretti-Flannery (1) covers the bag Monday in Naugatuck. Wolcott won the game, 15-1. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — If there’s one thing that Naugatuck coach Tom Deller feels is most important in high school baseball, it is how well his team is playing in the month of May.

The month of May signals the end of the regular season and the beginning of the NVL and state tournaments.

Entering May, Deller’s Greyhounds seemed poised for a solid ending to the regular season. Naugy won six of its last seven games in April and held an 8-5 record. However, this hasn’t been the month of May that Deller, so far, envisioned.

The Greyhounds have dropped four of six games in May.

After holding on for an 8-7 win against a Derby on May 4, Naugy’s other win this month came against Wilby on May 11.

The Greyhounds beat Wilby, 18-9. Steven Marinaro had two hits and scored three runs. Joe Kwaak had three RBI and two runs scored, and Corey Plasky crossed home plate four times against the Wildcats.

After the Wilby game, Deller told his team that every game was even more vital because of tough losses to Woodland and Torrington in the two previous games.

“After that win against Wilby, I told the guys that every game is important from this point forward,” Deller said.

The team didn’t respond well to that message. On Monday night, the ‘Hounds suffered their worst loss of the year, 15-1, to Wolcott.

On senior night, Naugy had just five hits while Wolcott exploded for 20. Corey Plasky had two hits and Kyle Torok added a single and a run scored. It was the third time this month that Naugy was held to one run or fewer.

Naugatuck’s Steven Marinaro dives to keep a ground ball in the infield Monday versus Wolcott in Naugatuck. Wolcott won the game, 15-1. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Naugatuck’s Steven Marinaro dives to keep a ground ball in the infield Monday versus Wolcott in Naugatuck. Wolcott won the game, 15-1. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

“We need to be playing the complete opposite of how we are playing,” Deller said. “This is not how we should be playing, especially in the month of May.”

Deller said he can’t put his finger on what has happened to his team this month.

“I have no idea,” Deller said. “We are just not hitting. We are just not being productive.”

With the loss to Wolcott, Naugatuck is in serious trouble of not making the NVL tournament, which starts Saturday.

Four teams, are fighting for the last two spots: Naugy, Ansonia, Torrington and Seymour.

In order for the Greyhounds to clinch a spot, the answer is pretty simple: win their regular season finale Thursday against Watertown (13-4 NVL), who beat the ‘Hounds earlier this season.

A win over Watertown would set the stage for the more important half of the month of May.