Hawks showcase heart

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland-Ansonia baseball game last Friday turned into a good old fashion donnybrook.

The batting averages thrived and the pitchers’ ERAs suffered as five home runs cleared the fence. Ansonia came back and held on to a 14-12 win on a blustery day on the Woodland baseball diamond.

“We had our chances,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said. “We are a young team and we are going through growing pains. It doesn’t help that we are on our third catcher this season due to injuries and we lost another two starters out with injuries.

“But our young guys are gaining experience and I love the heart of this team. Especially the enthusiasm of the younger guys getting their chance to play and make something happen.”

Ansonia struck in the top of first when Woodland starting pitcher Brett Petruny issued a walk and Pat Palmer sent one out of the park for a two-run homer. In the top of the third, the Chargers plated another run aided by a Woodland error in the field to open up a 3-0 advantage.

That’s when this run-of-the-mill ballgame took on a life of its own.

Tyler Boisvert drew a walk in the bottom of the third and Jarrett Allen singled to center. The Chargers had two outs when the floodgates opened.

Petruny walked to load the bases and Justin Butterworth dumped a two-run single over the head of the shortstop to get Woodland on the scoreboard. James Paulella split the gap sending a run-scoring double to left center.

Ansonia was one strike away from slamming the door shut only to have Zack Bedryczuk send a two-out two-strike single into center field to plate another run to put Woodland on top 4-3.

That was just the start of the carnage.

Matt Butterworth reached base on an error to continue the uprising. Jared Grillo followed and lofted a full-count pitch down the line in right field that reached the tennis courts for a three-run home run.

Bosivert got a hold of one in the next at bat and sent it over the center field fence for a solo home run. Allen and Matt Szturma worked out walks and Petruny singled to load the bases again before Allen was thrown out at the plate trying to score.

When the dust had settled the Hawks had taken a 9-3 lead into the top of the fourth. Two hits, two walks and a three-run homer from Bryson Cafaro closed the deficit for the Chargers as they put five more runs on the board to make it a 9-8 ball game.

Woodland wasn’t done just yet.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Hawks plated three more runs. A double by Justin Butterworth got it started. An RBI single from Paulella sent home the first run of the frame and he came around to score on a passed ball.

Matt Butterworth singled and Grillo sent home a run on a solid hit to right. Boisevert belted a double for the fifth hit of the inning and Woodland was on top 12-8. Ansonia finally got the door closed and the Hawks would not score again for the remainder of the game.

The Chargers went on to score six more times in the top of the fifth including a game-breaking three-run homer from Palmer, his second homer of the game, to open up a 14-12 advantage.

Szturma came on and recorded the first one-two-three inning in the sixth. He went on to throw two and a third innings on the hill allowing just one hit and striking out two to finally close the door on the Chargers.

The Hawks left runners on second and third in the fifth and sixth innings, and had two runners on base when Boisvert hit one to the fence in center to end the game in the seventh.

Woodland fell to Holy Cross on Monday, 7-4, and to Watertown 4-2, on Wednesday to drop to 3-8 on the year.

Bosivert went the distance versus Holy Cross striking out four. Grillo contributed a two-run double for the Hawks.

Szturma had six strikeouts against Watertown. Justin Butterworth with two hits and Matt Butterworth, who had a RBI single, paced the offense.

Woodland has been in nearly every game this season. The Hawks have lost three games by a three runs and four games by two runs. The Hawks will look to turn things around as they enter the second half of the season and make a push to qualify for the postseason.

Woodland will host Wolcott on Friday and Seymour May 2.