NAUGATUCK — Three years ago the Naugatuck High baseball team made a run to the quarterfinals of the state tournament. Since then, the Greyhounds have made first-round exits from the NVL and state tournaments.
Armed with four seniors — Corey Plasky, Steve Marinaro, Shane Swierbitowicz and Joevanni Torres — the Greyhounds are focused on exceeding expectations this year.
“The expectations are always high when you are talking about Naugatuck baseball and the tradition that has been built here,” Plasky said. “There are no excuses this year. We bring back a lot of experience and the ultimate goal is to win the NVL and the states, but we need to go out there and take it one game at a time.”
Torres will be a key figure on the hill. He gave up just four earned runs during the regular season last season.
“The difference with this year’s team is we are together as a group,” Torres said. “Last year we had a lot of ifs and buts and what could have been. We are poised to work harder and support one another, so we don’t look back on any game with regrets on what we could have done better.”
Pitching depth will be a strength for Naugatuck this season. Along with Torres and Plasky, Naugatuck will also turn to Marinaro, who will be pitching for Post University next season.
“Having a deep pitching staff is one of the most important components to having a successful season,” Marinaro said. “I think as a staff we have gained a lot of experience and confidence, and that will carry us through the tough times during the season.”
Swierbitowicz will be looked on to take on a bigger role this season.
“I just want to go out there and do whatever I can to help this team win,” Swierbitowicz said. “That’s the attitude I came into the season last year, and there are a lot of guys on this team with the same mindset this year and that is what will make us successful having that team-first mentality.”
Naugatuck, a team that has reached the NVL and state tournaments for straight years, is loaded with talent throughout the lineup.
Junior Mike Plasky has come on as a go-to guy in the field and on the mound. Last season, junior Joe Kwaak and sophomore Mark Nofri stepped into roles and excelled to give the Greyhounds a boost in the field and at the plate. Naugatuck will be looking to juniors Adriano Moura and Domenic Landolfi to give the team that added dimension this season.
Head coach Tom Deller and assistant coach Ron Plasky can’t ask for much more than to have a group of players who are all pulling in the same direction.
Sophomores Derek Sampaio, Zack Ryoka, Mike Patton, Mike Natkiel, Nate Deptula, George Cruz, Tristan Crelan, Justin Carasone, Nick Bruno and Brian Andrade are young players who will be looking to fill important roles this season.
Freshmen John Braziel, Tommy Ayash and Derrick Jagello will also be establishing the foundation of the Greyhounds’ success.
Naugatuck is scheduled to open the season April 4 at home against Kennedy. The Greyhounds have games at Fairfield Warde on April 5 and St. Paul on April 7.