NAUGATUCK — The season has been an up-and-down one so far for the Naugatuck senior American Legion baseball team.
Post 17 got back over .500 with back-to-back victories this week, and Naugatuck (6-5) is looking to keep the streak going heading into another tough stretch.
Naugatuck climbed back over .500 with a 5-1 win over Danbury Thursday. All five of Naugy’s runs came in the third inning. Nick Delucia started the inning with an infield single, then a walk, a hit-by-pitch and another walk brought the first run home. Zach Bedryczuk and Austin Verab both delivered two-run singles with the bases loaded in the inning.
Bedryczuk was also lights out on the mound. He pitched a complete game, striking out nine and allowing just four hits.
“Zach came up huge for us tonight, no doubt,” coach Mark Nofri said after the game. “Last time he was out there, I felt bad because we lost the game 1-0. At least today we gave him some run support and he continued to throw strikes for us.”
Post 17’s win over Danbury followed a 5-2 win over Shelton on Wednesday. Once again, Naugy came through with a big inning early on, scoring three in the first. Mark Nofri had a two-run single to make it 3-0 right out of the gate.
That was more than enough for the starter, Nate Deptula, who pitch 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run and three hits. He struck out nine. On the season, Deptula has a 1.42 ERA with 25 strikeouts and seven walks in just less than 25 innings.
Eight of Naugy’s ten batters in the game recorded a hit. Zach Graveline had two hits and two runs scored while Derrick Jagello added two hits and an RBI.
Nofri said before the season started that hitting is going to be key, and Post 17 has certainly improved at the plate as of late.
In Naugatuck’s last three victories, they outscored their opponents 24-4. Outside of being swept in a doubleheader against Oakville 14-1 and 3-0 June 24, Post 17 hasn’t lost a game by more than two runs.
Nofri said he is finally getting consistency from the team game after game, and they have improved because of it.
“I would say when you get two wins in a row, we’re faring pretty well,” Nofri said. “The pitching has been outstanding. The biggest difference between now and the beginning of the year is I have a consistent 11 kids showing up for each game and we are getting timely hits.”
With that, Post 17 enters another stretch of six games in seven days that starts Saturday 29 at Bethel. The stretch includes games against Oakville and Shelton and a doubleheader against Torrington next week. Naugatuck is home July 5 to face Shelton.
Nofri said this stretch is big for the team and he is hoping to have another week of above-.500 baseball.
“This is it, this week coming up is the biggest stretch for us,” Nofri said. “We can beat any of these teams, but I think this year this zone is evenly matched and anyone can beat anyone from top to bottom. I am really impressed with how good the zone is this year.”