NAUGATUCK — No. 10-seeded Naugatuck jumped out to a very quick 1-0 lead over No. 7 Ridgefield in a second-round game of the Class LL tournament last week, but the Greyhounds couldn’t hold the slim lead.
The Tigers prevailed, 3-1, to knock Naugatuck (16-8) out of the tournament.
Corey Plasky singled, stole second base and scored on a past ball in the first inning to give Naugatuck an early 1-0 lead. A Lucas Furneri double in the fourth put Ridgefield (18-5) up for good to end Naugy’s season.
Joevanni Torres doubled, the only other hit for the Greyhounds, and pitched a four-hitter, walking one and striking out five.
Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller talked about the missed opportunities at the plate in these type of low-scoring, close games, similar to the Greyhounds’ loss in the NVL semifinal to Holy Cross.
“This has been the case,” Deller said. “It was the case against Holy Cross. [Against Ridgefield], we had Corey, the first runner of the game, score and couldn’t score any after that.”
The game was the last for the four seniors on the team: Steve Marinaro, Shane Swierbitowicz, Plasky and Torres.
All four players ended the regular season batting .300 or better, with Torres batting .412. The four seniors also had a combined 3.08 ERA on the mound.
Deller said for a small group of seniors, they made a big impact on the team’s success this year.
“We only lost four seniors but we are losing a lot,” Deller said. “We lost two All-NVL players and one All-State. We said from the beginning of the year that pitching is our strength and the seniors were part of that.”
Naugy will bring back plenty of promising young talent next season. Freshman Derrick Jagello was Naugy’s everyday shortstop and batted .315 on the season. Sophomore Mike Patton batted .415 on the season, while fellow sophomore Zack Royka batted .317 and earned four victories on the mound.
These are a few of the key returning players Deller will look to fill some of the void left by the senior class.
“Zack Royka pitched well in spots,” Deller said. “Mike Patton and Derrick Jagello played very well this year. Their improvement was dramatic.”