Young Hawks answer the call  

Woodland’s Dante Dirruba pitches Sunday against Naugatuck at Naugatuck High School. Woodland won the game, which was Dirruba’s first start for the Hawks, 7-3. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The mark of success for a young team is what happens when injuries strike and role players need to step up in crucial situations. The Hawks are finding out that they have the moxie to compete no matter the situation.

Woodland cleaned up last Thursday with a 7-0 win over Waterbury Career. Zach Bedryczuk threw six innings of one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts, and Justin Butterworth pitched a perfect last inning.

Colby Linnell had two hits and two runs scored to pace the offense with Zach Bennard adding three RBI in the Hawks’ assault.

The Hawks dropped a tough 3-2 decision to the Wildcats on Saturday at French Park in Seymour. Butterworth had two hits and one RBI with Bedryczuk adding one hit and an RBI. Dante DiRubba chipped in with a double.

On Sunday, the Hawks had a couple of new players in the lineup and they delivered big time in a 7-3 bounce-back win over the Greyhounds.

“I’m proud of the way this team is sticking together,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said following Sunday’s win. “They don’t linger on a loss they just go out and play the game like it’s a new day and it showed today against a very good Naugatuck team.”

“We have been hit with an injury bug and some of these younger guys have had to step up,” Kingsley added. “A freshman, Nick DeLucia, got his first varsity start at first base and a sophomore, Dante DiRubba, got his first start on the hill.”

DiRubba went 1 1/3 surviving a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the first inning when DeLucia turned an unassisted double play to end the threat.

Matt Hicks came on and pitched three innings, and Butterworth closed the game with 2 2/3 innings of no-hit relief.

The Hawks held a slim 2-1 lead over Naugatuck when they broke it open with three runs in the fifth. Brendan Rowley went to third on a double from Bennard. The run scored on a single from Butterworth. A sacrifice fly from Jarrett Allen scored Bennard, and Bedryczuk brought home the third run of the frame on a single up the middle.

Woodland’s Jason Claiborn (10) beats the tag by Naugatuck’s Joevanni Torres (8) to score Sunday at Naugatuck High School. Woodland won the game, 7-3. -JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

Naugatuck battled back and pushed two runners across the plate to make it a 5-3 game. But in the top of the sixth the Hawks struck again on a two-out error to make it a 7-3 final.

Rowley had a hit and two runs scored. Butterworth had two hits, two runs and one RBI, and Bedryczuk added a hit and two RBI.

“DeLucia will remember his first varsity start,” Kingsley said. “On the first groundball he took it off his kneecap, later on he got spiked in the foot and ended the inning with a double play.

“These guys are ready to step in when called upon. And for the most part they are coming in and getting the job done. That really feeds into their confidence and we are ready to go for whoever is next on the schedule.”

After a couple of days rest, the Hawks beat Kennedy 17-3 to improve to 9-4 on the season.

Linnell had four hits, three RBI and two runs scored. Bedryczuk knocked in four runs on three hits and scored three runs.

The Hawks will host Wolcott on Friday before traveling to East Granby on Saturday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the version that appears in the May 5 edition to include results through May 4.