Greyhounds prepare for Class LL tournament
NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck baseball team went on a run down the homestretch of the season to qualify for the NVL tournament.
The Greyhounds earned the No. 7 seed and faced St. Paul in Bristol on May 23 in the quarterfinals.
Spencer Dreher got the starting nod against the No. 2-seeded Falcons (16-4). The Falcons scored in the bottom of the first only to have Jovanni Torres smash a home run in the top of the second to tie the game.
Dreher pitched into the fifth inning and gave Naugatuck a chance trailing 4-3 when he was relieved by Corey Plasky. Naugatuck had its share of opportunities, as Dreher, Torres, Josh Aviles and Evan Pelliccia each connected for two hits for the ‘Hounds. But, St. Paul managed to pull away for an 11-3 victory.
“St. Paul is a very good team,” Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller said. “We had our opportunities but didn’t get that timely hit to put a few more runs on the board. Corey has pitched real well for us this season. We didn’t want to waste Spencer pushing him to go more than five so he would be available for the state tournament.”
No. 18 Naugatuck will play at No. 15 Stamford Monday in the first round of the Class LL tournament.
The Greyhounds (11-9) concluded the regular season with a 1-0 victory over Westhill May 21 on senior night. Seniors Dreher, Jason Bradley, Aviles, Pelliccia, Matt Whitney, Brandon Caldwell, A.J. Torrice, Colin Leary, Chris Yacavone, Kyle Pyshna and Robert Hess took the home field for the last time.
Pelliccia earned his fifth win on the hill spinning a four-hitter and Aviles walked and stole second before scoring the games only run in the second inning on a hit by Caldwell.
Pelliccia, Aviles and sophomore catcher Torres earned All-Iron Division honors as the ‘Hounds finished the regular season 7-3 to qualify for the NVL tournament.
“We already qualified for the states and the NVL when we celebrated senior night with a solid win,” Deller said. “All the seniors played and we came away with a win on our home field for the final time this season.
“Evan has pitched very well for us this year and Jovanni has delivered some big hits for us. Aviles just came back in the lineup in the game against Torrington, but is the kind of player that all the coaches in the league recognize. These three players earned league honors and deservingly so.”
Naugatuck made the quarterfinals of the state tournament last year and is looking to make another run.
“There are still some games to be played to find out the final rankings, but as of now it looks like we might face New Britain,” Deller said early this week. “We will no doubt be on the road. Last year we made the quarterfinals for the first time in a while. We certainly will have our work cut out for us to get back there.”