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Victories are precious these days for the Shepaug Valley High School baseball team. The Spartans are keepers of a long and storied diamond tradition, but that rich history isn't making life any easier for the young Region 12 bat crew this spring.

Coach Scott Werkhoven's squad owned a 5-8 record heading into a scheduled date Wednesday at Terryville.

The Spartans would need three wins in their final seven games to qualify for the CIAC state class `S' tournament.

Yet simply qualifying isn't really the end all for Shepaug baseball. Coach Werkhoven and Co. hope to make a run to finish at or above .500 and then make some noise in the tournament.

Back-to-back shutout wins last week certainly helped the cause.

Eric Hungerford spun a masterful 1-0 game May 4 vs. Gilbert in Winsted, poking out three hits along the way to lift his team out of a two-game slide.

Two days later, Ian Bowman and John DeFeo combined on an eight-hit whitewashing of Northwestern in front of an appreciative crowd at Alex Field in Washington Depot.

Brian Hungerford stroked two hits to deliver two runs and teammates Sam Iannucci and Wes Meeker contributed an RBI apiece.

Berkshire League power Wamogo outplayed the Spartans, 10-5, Monday in Washington, however, to at least temporarily derail Shepaug's win skein.

The Spartans were set to visit Lewis Mills Thursday in Burlington. They'll play Housatonic Valley Regional Monday in Falls Village before returning to the friendly confines of Alex Field for Wednesday's tilt vs. Thomaston.

Norm Cummings