Bats ‘come alive’

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Post 17 shrugs off slow start, wins six straight

NAUGATUCK — The start to the season has been a tale of two weeks for the Naugatuck Senior American Legion baseball team.

After dropping the first three games and scoring zero runs in the process, Post 17 has scored 42 runs over the last six games and won all of them.

“Our bats have really come alive,” manager Ron Plasky said. “Corey (Plasky) has been doing his thing and Will (McDonald) is just on fire. Our approach has been better. It is different with wood bats. Sometimes we have to scrape for some runs. But we have gotten the timely hitting.”

In a 2-0 win over Bethel last Wednesday, McDonald went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI, and Plasky went 1-for-3 with a run scored. Nate Deptula pitched six strong innings for Post 17 (6-3), surrendering just two hits and striking out eight before Steve Marinaro got the save against Bethel (5-2).

That win followed a 5-4 victory over first-place Oakville (7-2), who beat Naugy in the season-opener, last Tuesday. In the win, McDonald and Plasky led the way at the plate. McDonald went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, while Plasky went 2-for-4 with two runs as well. Plasky scored the eventual game-winning run in the fifth inning on a McDonald triple.

Chris Flynn gave up just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings before the ball was given to Marinaro once again to close out the win.

Post 17’s offense looks almost entirely different from the first week of the season, and McDonald and Plasky have been the focal point of the turnaround at the plate. Over the six-game winning streak, McDonald has batted .650 with 11 RBIs and seven runs. Plasky has batted .429 with six runs scored. McDonald and Plasky are batting .560 and .429, respectively, so far this season.

Plasky recognizes the role McDonald and Plasky have played in sparking the offense, but said the whole team looks better at the plate compared to the first week.

The six-game winning streak started June 15 with an 11-1 win over Washington. Post 17 then picked up 11-1 and 7-3 wins over Danbury in a doubleheader on June 16, before beating Waterbury, 6-3, on June 17.

Post 17’s pitching has more than complimented the offensive fireworks. The pitching staff has an ERA of 1.15 and has given up five or more runs just once.

“Our pitching has been absolutely phenomenal,” Plasky said. “We have four guys I’m confident can go out there and give us five to six quality innings: Chris Flynn, Zack Royka, Nate Deptula, and Steve Marinaro. We have had huge contributions from everybody.”

Post 17 kicks off another full week of games with Washington at home on Friday followed by games against Shelton on Saturday and Washington again on Sunday.