The Naugatuck Dogs qualified for the 2008 16-team Stan Musial State Tournament coming out of the Tri-State Baseball League (as the #7 seed) during the 2008 season and reached play on semi-final Sunday in their bracket.
The Dogs opened with a loss to eventual tourney champ All-Star Batting out of New Milford by a 6-1 final score, played at beautiful Bethel HS Wednesday evening before making a surprising run over the next 3 days.
Naugatuck 12, Cheshire 4 (5 innings): The Dogs kept their hopes for a state title alive with a convincing mercy rule win over the Mustangs at Ceppa Field in Meriden Thursday evening . Steve Hiscock led Naugatuck with a double and two runs batted in. Ryan Russell went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while George Harlamon went 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored. Matt Smolley (run batted in) and Ryan Nelson rounded out the Dogs’ attack with two hits apiece. On the mound, Tim Lebel pitched well, giving up four runs on six hits in five innings, striking out six while walking three.
Naugy stayed alive in the tournament with an 8-7 8th inning suicide squeeze to win the game and advance to weekend play, in a game played on Friday night under the lights at Trumbell High School vs Marissa’s Restaurant of Trumbell. “I will remember that game until the day I die” stated head coach Jay Harlamon. “The kids just went wild when we won the game”.
Saturday brought a familiar but epic up-hill battle versus Tri-State colleague Torrington Rebels, whom the Dogs have never beaten. The cinderella story continued as Naugatuck escaped with a 4-3 victory, knocking the Rebels out of the tourney.
One of only two teams (Brass City Brew) in Tri-State still playing on Semi-final Sunday, the Dogs came up on the short end of a 5-2 game versus Bridgewater as their regional tournament hopes came to an end. “If that is your 7th best team in the league, I would hate to see the top 6” stated one opposing coach. The DOGS were truly the talk of the tournament and certainly bodes well for a great future in Naugy!!