NAUGATUCK - In a game that had no earned runs, Naugatuck defeated St. Paul 3-1 on Saturday at Naugatuck High.
Zack Royka pounded the strike zone all day to pick up the complete game win for the Greyhounds. He allowed only one unearned run on seven hits while striking out three.
Ethan Rembish was the hard-luck loser for the Falcons, allowing three unearned runs on five hits, while striking out 10.
Naugatuck got off to a good start as leadoff hitter Derrick Jagello doubled to right center to start the game. Jagello advanced to third on Mike Natkiel’s single, then was able to score when the ball was bobbled in left field.
The lead remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fifth, as both pitchers dominated the opposing lineups. Naugatuck’s Mark Nofri led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and later came in to score on an infield error for a 2-0 lead.
St. Paul finally broke through in the sixth, as Nick Morrell (2-for-4) and Julian Thayer had back-to-back singles after there was one out. A passed ball resulted in runners at second and third, and an infield error allowed Morrell to score. Jagello, playing short, turned what looked to be a game-tying line drive off the bat of Ryan Parent into a double play to end the inning and keep the score at 2-1.
Royka led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and John Braziel came in to run for him. A passed ball on strike three allowed Mike Plasky to reach first base safely, and that extended the inning long enough to allow Braziel to score on Nick Bruno’s ground out.
St. Paul rallied to load the bases in the seventh with no outs. Chris Mills and Josh Cofrancesco (2-for-3) had back-to-back singles to open the frame, then Walker Sharp bunted for a base hit. Pinch hitter David Strager laced a ball to the right side, but second baseman Nofri speared it to preserve the lead and get the first out. Royka bore down to retire the next two hitters to end the game.