Naugatuck falls in NVL semis, Woodland out in quarters

Naugatuck’s Joevanni Tores delivers a pitch during the NVL baseball semifinals against Holy Cross Tuesday at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. –JIM SHANNON /REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

The final week of the baseball regular season was a frantic one with teams having to pack games in before the start of the NVL tournament last Saturday.

The Greyhounds made the most of the frenetic pace and rode a nine-game winning streak into the NVL semifinals Tuesday against Holy Cross at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury.

The No. 4-seeded Greyhounds battled with the Crusaders, the top seed, for much of the night. The game was tied 1-1 after five innings before Holy Cross (21-1) erupted for five runs to pull away with a 6-2 win and end Naugy’s (15-7) chance to play for the NVL title for the first time since 2006.

Shane Swierbitowitz singled home Corey Plasky with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 1-1. Swierbitowitz also had a double in the game. Plasky had two hits and two runs scored, Derrick Jagello had a pair of infield singles and Steven Marinaro doubled.

Joevanni Torres allowed just five hits in 5 1/3 innings and struck out six.

Naugatuck scored early in the quarterfinal game last Saturday to take the lead over No. 5 Sacred Heart. Marinaro then went to work on the mound going 6 1/3 innings allowing just two hits and two runs in a 7-2 win.

Jagello had a two-run single to pace the Greyhounds. Plasky had three hits and two runs scored, and Mariano added an RBI double.

Woodland entered the tournament as the Iron Division champion courtesy of a 4-2 win over Wolcott in the last game of the regular season on May 18.

No. 6 Woodland faced a tall task against No. 3 St. Paul in the NVL quarterfinals. Wes Lahey spun a four-hitter for St. Paul and struck out six batters to as the Falcons beat the Hawks, 7-0.

Dante DiRubba had the only extra base hit for the Hawks (14-7), who were in the NVL tournament for the first time in seven years.

Naugatuck and Woodland will now head into states. The state tournaments begin Saturday with qualifying rounds.

The Republican-American contributed to this article.