By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — After winning their season opener, the Greyhounds had to shut down for two weeks after a player tested positive for COVID-19.
Head coach Tom Deller was understandably concerned about how his team would respond after two weeks off.
The Greyhounds quickly eased those concerns. Naugy won four straight games after returning to the diamond to improve to 5-0.
“This game is all about momentum,” Deller said. “Our first practice after that layoff was not pretty. But after that first game, we came out and had a good practice.”
Naugatuck returned to the field April 24 against Wilby and didn’t miss a beat in a convincing 13-0 win.
Jonathan Chatfield had three hits, including a home run, and knocked in six runs. Lucas McKenney had two hits and two runs scored, Mike Deitelbaum added two hits and two RBI, and Ryan Galiette added two hits, one run and one RBI.
A combination of solid pitching and timely hitting has propelled the Greyhounds.
Trailing Torrington 4-1 on April 26, Chatfield came up with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second and blasted a grand slam to put Naugy on top for good in an 8-4 win.
“It was a big confidence booster,” Chatfield said about hitting the grand slam. “Especially after Torrington just put four runs on the board at the top of the inning. I always have confidence in these guys. They are here to win.”
Clinging to a 5-4 advantage, James Duda came through in the fifth with a two-out, bases-loaded double for a little breathing room.
“I came up looking fastball, and he put one just off the plate and I went with it,” Duda said. “We weren’t too concerned about the layoff. Bottom line is we have each other’s back.”
Brady Evon gave up four runs early, but settled down to pitch six innings of four-hit ball.
“COVID isn’t going to stop me,” Evon said. “I was throwing in the bullpen to keep my arm ready during the shutdown. I knew Torrington could hit but I also had confidence in our guys that we could hit as well.”
Chatfield came on in relief in the final inning and struck out three Raiders with the bases loaded to secure the win.
On April 27 against Watertown, Ryan Sutherland went the distance in his first varsity start. He scattered five hits in a 4-2 win.
Once again, the Greyhounds came through with timely hitting. Chatfield belted a home run to tie the game at 2-2. Mike Rusin delivered a two-run single in the sixth to break the tie.
The Greyhounds earned a 2-1 win over Waterbury Career on April 28. Sutherland, Alex Sosa, Chatfield and Peter Mullin combined to throw a four-hitter.
Naugy plated two runs in the first and made it stand up. Anthony Abate had two hits and a run scored, and Chatfield doubled and scored.
Naugy is scheduled to play St. Paul on April 30, Holy Cross on May 4 and Kennedy on May 5.