By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — A four-game win streak that vaulted Naugatuck to first place in the Division 5 standings in the Connecticut Elite Baseball Association came to an abrupt end with a string of three tough losses.
Naugatuck struck for two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to pull out a 7-5 victory over Oakville July 18 for the team’s fourth straight win. Nick Bruno belted a two-run home run and Austin Verab knocked in a pair of runs for Naugatuck. Derrick Jagello and Jon Chatfield had two hits and two runs scored.
The win streak came to an end this week, as three tough losses dropped Naugy to 6-5.
The week started with a 4-3 loss to Winsted July 19. Chatfield had two hits and two RBI. Ryan Galiette added two hits.
Naugy went scoreless over the final seven innings and fell to Danbury, 10-3, in extra innings July 21. Danbury erupted for seven runs in the top of the 12th to take the win. Alvin Torres and Bruno had three hits, and Mark Nofri drove in all three runs for Naugatuck.
Nofri got the only Naugatuck hit of the game in a 2-0 loss to Winsted July 22. Nate Deptula kept Naugatuck in the game with an excellent performance on the hill. He scattered six hits and two runs in six innings and struck out eight.
The four-game win streak was fueled by an opportunistic offense that generated 19 runs over the games as well as depth provided by the U17 team.
“We have been hitting with some consistency,” Naugatuck U19 coach Mark Nofri said. “A couple of the younger guys have stepped in, like Ryan Galiette gave us two big hits in a game with Winsted.
“Then we had bases loaded with one out against Winsted on Sunday and couldn’t get the run home. The next game we were up 3-0 in the seventh inning with one out and just fell apart and lost it in 12 innings.”
The U17 team showed some prowess at the plate July 18 in a 6-3 loss to Wallingford. Mike Deitelbaum had two hits and two RBI, and Matt Stefan added two hits. Jibree Bartelle and Anthony Abate added a hit and a run scored each.
“We have a good group of players who can step up and fill in for the U19 team,” Naugatuck U17 coach Jim Duda said. “Pitching and defense has been our strength. A few more timely hits and we would be better than our 4-7-1 record. But it’s good to see some of the kids doing well for the older team it makes us more competitive.”
Naugatuck U19 is set to start a stretch of five games in five days Sunday at Bethel. Coach Nofri is looking forward to the opportunity to get back on track.
“We do have some home games coming up and hopefully that will get us back in the win column,” Nofri said last week.
Naugatuck is scheduled to play Danbury on July 28, a double header with Bethel on July 29, followed by a game at Danbury July 30.