STRATFORD–It was a very special evening at Penders Field and not just because the host Red Devils defeated Immaculate by a 2-1 score.
Longtime Stratford High baseball coach Alvin “Bud” Russell was honored before the game when the Red Devils’ baseball dugout at Penders Field was named after him during a ceremony before the game.
Members of Coach Russell’s family were on hand along with friends, Stratford Mayor Laura Hoydick and other dignitaries in which a commemorative plaque was attached to the third-base dugout.
Russell was the longtime Stratford High baseball coach and soccer coach who also spent 37 years as an influential educator and physical education teacher at Johnson Junior High School and Stratford High School.
Russell, a member of Stratford High Class of 1954 and a Athletic Hall of Famer, took over the reins of the Stratford High baseball program from his own high school coach, the legendary Jim Penders, who is the namesake of Penders Field.
He coached the baseball program from 21 seasons from 1969 to 1989 amassing a record of 252 wins, 160 losses, 2 league titles, and 17 state tournament appearances.
In addition, he started the Stratford High soccer program from scratch and coached it for 11 seasons from 1974 to 1984 collecting 100 wins, 52 losses, 19 ties, 2 league titles and 8 state tournament appearances.
He passed away in 2018 on March 1, 2018 at the age of 83.
The Red Devils made sure the special evening ended with a win as Mike D’Aloia spun a brilliant, complete-game four-hitter to earn the victory.
Catcher Anthony Torreso had three of Stratford’s five hits and drove in both Red Devils runs—one in the first and one in the third.
Stratford is now 8-6 overall, 5-3 in SWC play.
The Red Devils travel to Newtown on Friday for a 6 p.m. game.