NAUGATUCK — If there is there one thing that could be said about the Naugatuck baseball team in recent years it’s that, win or lose, they have played higher seeds very well in the Class LL tournament.
Naugy’s last three losses in the state tournament before this season have all come against higher seeds and were decided by one run.
This season, the 23rd ranked Greyhounds could not last with 10th-seeded Fairfield Warde as they fell, 11-4, May 31 in first-round action. It was Naugatuck’s worse state tournament loss since a 16-0 defeat to Westhill in 2008.
Farfield Warde got to the Greyhounds early in the game, scoring eight runs in the first three innings. Jovanni Torres, who only had four earned runs all season for Naugy, gave up four in the first inning.
Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller said Fairfield Warde simply hit the ball well against Torres.
“I don’t think he (Torres) was getting frustrated or there was anything wrong with his command,” Deller said. “I think he walked one or two batters in the first inning. They just hit him around a little bit.”
Fairfield Warde’s big early lead had a big impact on Naugy’s confidence, according to Deller.
“As soon as we get behind early, we do not have confidence,” Deller said. “It has been a common occurrence all year. We haven’t had confidence all year if we got down early, especially our hitting.”
Deller firmly believes that his team could have beaten Fairfield Warde, who will play in the Class LL title game on Saturday.
“They (Fairfield Warde) were nothing spectacular,” Deller said. “Their pitcher was not anything special. I certainly feel we had a legitimate shot of beating those guys.”
The ‘Hounds scored two runs in the fourth and added one more in both the sixth and seventh innings. Mike Plasky led the way with two hits, two runs and an RBI.
Mike Plasky is one of 17 returning players on the varsity roster from a team that finished the regular season 10-10. The Greyhounds will lose only two seniors to graduation, outfielders Kyle Torok and Devan Aviles.
While Deller did not have much to say after the Fairfield Warde, he said he talked to the returning players frequently throughout the season about the opportunity they have next year.
“I did not have much to say after the game … I think we were all ‘talked-out’ by then,” Deller said. “We talked a lot during the season. It is just a matter of competing and hitting.”