BRISTOL — Naugatuck’s Rich Pimental pitched his best game of the year on Monday afternoon. Unfortunately for him and the Greyhounds, St. Paul’s Kyle Dube was a little better.
Dube outdueled Pimental in a 1-0 Falcons victory that took one hour, 22 minutes to complete. St. Paul extended its winning streak to five and now stands at 9-4 overall, while Naugy fell to 7-6.
Pimental pounded the strike zone, scattered eight hits over six innings, and was aided by several nice defensive plays. It was a bounce-back effort for Pimental, who lost a 5-4 decision to Watertown last week.
On Monday, Pimental kept the game scoreless until the sixth.
“This was Richie’s best outing by far,” Naugy coach Tom Deller said of Naugatuck’s No. 2 starter.
The Naugatuck right-hander retired 10 of 11 batters from the second to the fifth. With one out in sixth, Joe Randall drove a pitch to dead center. Nolan Kinne, the Greyhounds’ speedy center fielder, had the ball in his sights, ran back to the warning track and dove.
“It tipped off my glove and I missed it by a few inches,” said Kinne, who made several nifty catches earlier in the game to keep the Falcons off the scoreboard.
Randall landed on second with a double, and Josh Dobratz lined the next pitch through the right side to score Randall for the only run of the contest.
Kinne made on-the-run catches in center to end rallies in the second, fourth and fifth.
“We were finally able to get one past him,” St. Paul coach Pat Holden said, referring to Randall’s hit in the sixth that Kinne just missed.
Dube (3-1) and his mid-80s fastball made the run count. He struck out six, walked two and allowed two hits in a complete-game gem.
“We just couldn’t catch up to his fastball, and when we did, we hit it at somebody,” said Kinne, who was one of only four Greyhounds to reach base after he led off the game with a single.
Naugy’s best scoring chance came in the second after back-to-back, two-out walks to Karl Johansen and Mike Burns. Dube retired the next hitter, Jon Bisson, to halt the Naugy rally.
“When you lose 1-0, sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other team,” Deller said.
Naugatuck will host Derby Wednesday night before returning to divisional play against Holy Cross on Monday. The ‘Hounds will host Sacred Heart on May 9 at 7 p.m.