NAUGATUCK — Behind an impressive pitching performance and a hot start at the plate, the Naugatuck baseball team did something it hasn’t done since 2014: advance to the second round of the Class LL state tournament.
The No. 10-seeded Greyhounds defeated No. 23 Trumbull, 4-0, at home on Tuesday to move on to the second round of the tournament.
The Greyhounds (16-7) picked up the win behind another stellar performance on the mound from Steve Marinaro, who pitched a complete game shutout.
Naugy got the bats going early and scored all four runs in the first three innings.
Derek Jagello had two hits, an RBI and a run. Corey Plasky had two hits, while Shane Swierbitowicz and Marinaro added an RBI each.
Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller said that the first few innings were important for the Greyhounds, especially facing a good team from the FCIAC like Trumbull (10-11), which defeated top-seeded Westhill in the FCIAC tournament last week.
“When you get out early, it doesn’t make it easy but it makes it easier,” Deller said. “[Trumbull] is a good team. So, it is important to get out and not fall behind because then we get a little tense and the doubt starts to creep in, and it’s kind of hard to come back.”
Naugy was held scoreless after the initial offensive onslaught, which did concern Deller a bit. He said the team has to play better offensively to succeed as the tournament goes.
“We should have put up four more runs and that is what good teams do,” Deller said. “In one inning, we had our first two batters get on with the two, three, and four hitters coming up, and we did not score a run, which is a concern. In this tournament we have to play our best.”
Naugatuck will play No. 7 seed Ridgefield (16-5) on Wednesday on the road at 3:30 p.m., weather permitting.
A win over Ridgefield, which defeated No. 26 Simsbury, 1-0, in the first round, will put Naugatuck into the quarterfinals. If they reach the quarterfinals, the Greyhounds will host the winner of No. 31 Manchester against No. 18 Enfield — teams that pulled off first-round upsets — on Saturday.
Deller said he’s confident in the team’s pitching going deeper into the tournament but wants to see better execution from the offense.
“We have said from the beginning of the year that our pitching is our strength,” Deller said. “But if we hit, it makes it easier. We are not going to win a lot of games 1-0.”