NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck American Legion Post 17 senior baseball team looks to bounce back as the 2012 season begins this week.
Last year, Post 17 won four of six to start 2011 but cooled off and finished the year at 9-18 in Zone 5. Oakville won the zone again with a 24-3 record.
Post 17 returns several of its top pitchers, which could be the strength of the team. Matt Zahornasky, a 2011 Naugatuck High grad and former All-Naugatuck Valley League pitcher, returns after being the team’s ace last summer.
In addition, Tyler Lafo of Emmitt O’Brien Tech and Adam Neveski, the Greyhounds’ top starter this spring, are also expected to be near the top of Naugatuck’s rotation. Rich Pimental, Mike Burns and Ryan White will provide additional depth on the mound.
At the plate, Nolan Kinne, Naugy’s batting average leader this season, returns to the team, along with Pimental, one of the Greyhounds’ top run producers.
The team also features other seniors from the 2012 Naugy squad — White, Kyle Lopes, Seth Mulhall, Zac Mercer, Karl Johansen, Jon Bisson and Charles Healy.
Naugy sophomore John Dean will also see action at the senior level this year, along with Chris Anderson, who attends Holy Cross. Tim Cronin of Pomperaug is also on the roster.
Arber Mehmedi, a former standout catcher and infielder at Naugy, returns to the Legion team after a year at Albertus Magnus College. Another college student, Sean Dibble, will also see playing time.
Post 17 began play on Sunday against Oakville and begins the bulk of its schedule this week with games against Ansonia (Wednesday), Waterbury (Thursday), Oxford (Friday), and Prospect (Sunday).
Bob Dibble, the team’s manager, did not return calls seeking comment on the team. He will coach the team along with Paul D’Agnone.