NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck Senior Legion baseball team’s magical run through the first round of the state tournament was a short-lived celebration.
Days after defeating Guilford in both games of a doubleheader in the first round to win their pod, Post 17 was eliminated in the Southern Division super regional of the American Legion state tournament in a 13-0 mercy-rule loss to Cheshire on July 30.
Naugy (21-11) ran out of pitching as all of the team’s top guys had been used up prior to the game. Cheshire (30-5) scored four in the bottom of the first and extended its lead with six more runs in the second inning.
Cheshire’s Ben Shadeck and Cole Feinauer combined on a five-inning no-hitter.
Naugatuck opened the Southern Division super regional, a double-elimination bracket with four teams, against Cheshire on July 28.
Naugy didn’t start off the super regional with a win like in the first round as Cheshire topped Post 17, 4-0.
Nate Deptula pitched six innings, giving up just four hits, but that resulted in the four runs for Cheshire. Naugy had four hits, one each from Corey Plasky, Will McDonald, Derrick Jagello, and Derek Sampaio.
The loss set up a matchup on July 29 with Zone 5 rival Oakville, who lost to Southington in its first matchup of the super regional.
In a season full of outstanding pitching for Post 17, another shutdown performance, this time from Steve Marinaro, allowed Naugatuck to stave off elimination one more time as Naugatuck beat Oakville, 2-0.
Marinaro tossed all 10 innings, giving up just five hits.
“Our coaching and play from some of our top dogs took the pressure off the team,” Corey Plasky said. “Everyone fed off these stellar performances.”
Jon Chatfield delivered with a game-winning, two-run triple in the top of the 10th to bring in the only runs of the game.
“I just wanted to drive the ball hard,” said Chatfield, who had a similar opportunity with two outs and two runners on in the eighth, but flied out.
“This time, I needed to stay calm and look for a better pitch and not let them beat me again,” Chatfield said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just ready.”
The win set up the rematch with Cheshire, which eventually was eliminated by Southington.
After playing his final game, Marinaro, who will be graduating from Legion along with Chris Flynn, Jarrett Allen, and Plasky, said he always looked forward to Legion baseball.
“Legion baseball to me is a great way to improve your game for the upcoming years, it’s great competition,” Marinaro said. “It’s definitely something to look forward to every summer.”
The season was one of Post 17’s best in years.
Manager Ron Plasky always thought he had a special team and said everyone involved deserves recognition.
“You had players like Corey, Will, Steve and Jarrett that have been with the program anywhere between three to six years,” Plasky said. “They brought a lot to the team in terms of leadership by example and determination to be successful. It was a magical run that brought a great group of boys together. The support from Post 17, the town and our families made the ride that much more special for everyone, and I can’t thank everyone enough.”
The Republican-American contributed to this article.