BEACON FALLS — A young Woodland baseball team grew by leaps and bounds this season.
All Brass Division senior captains Tyler Boisvert and Jared Grillo teamed up with senior Matt Butterworth to lead a young group of Hawks into the state tournament following a slow start.
“The seniors on this team were everything you would expect,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said. “They rewrote the phrase leading by example. They are good ball players, great students and outstanding young men who make great decisions all the time.
“These young kids on this team had great role models to look up to. I’m not sure reaching the postseason was as important to the development of this team, as the work ethic it took to make it happen.”
The season began with Woodland losing a three-year player Matt Tuohy to a season-ending injury. Then, eight games into the season, the Hawks lost of their bright and rising stars, sophomore Zak Graveline, for the season with an injury.
Just after midseason the Hawks were barely keeping their head above water with a 3-9 record. Instead of mailing it in the senior trio banded together and encouraged the young Hawks to fight their way through it.
Something clicked. The Hawks finished the regular season 9-11 and earned a home game in the state tournament. Overcoming that kind of adversity will bode well for a Woodland team that will return next season looking for more.
“They had to learn on the fly as most are only freshman and sophomores,” Kingsley said of his players. “The confidence they gained and the trust they built in each other will no doubt make them better players and students next season.”
Woodland will lose some important firepower in the lineup to graduation.
Boisvert, the team’s top pitcher, was also potent at the plate. He led the team with a .371 batting average, with 26 hits, three home runs, 20 RBI and 16 runs scored.
Grillo batted .365 with 23 hits, two home runs, 23 RBI and 16 runs scored. Matt Butterworth carried a .295 average and scored 16 runs.
The Hawks will return their number two and three pitchers in sophomores Brett Petruny and Matt Szturma.
The future of the offense looks bright as well.
Freshman catcher Colby Linnel batted .317 with 10 runs scored, and freshman outfielder Justin Butterworth batted .293 with eight runs scored.
Freshman shortstop and pitcher Zack Bedryczuk batted .282 with 20 hits, 18 RBI and nine runs scored. Szturma batted .293 with 17 hits and 10 RBI. Junior Jarrett Allen had 17 hits, batted .279 with nine RBI.