Breaks not falling Woodland’s way


Woodland’s Sam Merriman (12) scores in the fifth inning against Ansonia on Monday in Ansonia. The Hawks fell to the Chargers, 4-2. –KEN MORSE
Woodland’s Sam Merriman (12) scores in the fifth inning against Ansonia on Monday in Ansonia. The Hawks fell to the Chargers, 4-2. –KEN MORSE

ANSONIA — The Woodland baseball team can’t seem to catch a break. The Hawks were still two wins away from reaching the postseason after suffering a tough 4-2 loss to Ansonia on Monday at Nolan Field.

“Ansonia is a team that is taking advantage of every break right now, winning 10 of the last 11,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said. “We beat them, 3-2, a few weeks back and in that game we got the breaks. But right now we just can’t seem to get that two-out hit when we need to.”

Tanner Kingsley got the job done on the hill, going five-plus innings while holding the Chargers to six hits and four runs. Anthony D’Agnone came on to keep Woodland close but the Hawks chased the lead the entire game.

“Tanner gave us a solid performance,” Mike Kingsley said. “We had our opportunities but we just didn’t get that one hit that would have put us in the lead.”

Ansonia plated runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-0 advantage. The Chargers didn’t seem to get the big hit but scored on a groundout and a sacrifice fly.

The Hawks battled back, plating a run in the fifth. Sam Merriman reached on a bunt single and Mike Kenney drove a single to right that was mishandled, putting runners at second and third with no outs.

Chargers starter Adam Thayer was equally as tough on the hill, scattering six hits. Thayer got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts, but not before Nick Brown drove home the run on a groundout to make it a 2-1 deficit.

Woodland gave away the momentum when Ryan O’Connor tripled in the bottom of the fifth. Sean Bonaparte grounded into a fielder’s choice and second baseman Matt Butterworth threw to catcher Mike Gondola, but not before the run scored to make it a 3-1 game.

The Hawks staged a two-out rally in the sixth. David Uhl singled to left and Stephen Baeder drew a walk to set the table. Merriman came through with a run-scoring single but that was all Woodland could manage as it still trailed 3-2.

Ansonia plated an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI standup double by Corey Dzienkiewicz that scored Larry Cafaro to open a 4-2 cushion.

Woodland went down in order in the top of the seventh on three groundouts.

After the Hawks appeared to turn around their season two weeks ago with three straight wins, they have lost four in a row and dropped out of Naugatuck Valley League tournament contention. Eight wins is the milestone needed for a return to the state tourney.

“We have our work cut out for us,” Kingsley said following the Ansonia game. “We have three games left and we still need two to get in. But until they tell us we are mathematically out of it we are going to show up and play like we have a chance.”

The Hawks nearly upset Wolcott on Tuesday but their rally fell short in a 10-9 loss. Woodland trailed 10-1 midway through the game before it scored eight unanswered runs. The Hawks left the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the seventh. It was their fifth loss by two runs or fewer.

Woodland kept its state tournament hopes alive with 4-1 win over Seymour on Wednesday. Anthony Scirpo had two hits, two runs scored, two stolen bases and an RBI for the Hawks at French Park. D’Agnone allowed four hits with four strikeouts for Woodland.

With the win the Hawks improved to 7-12 on the season. Woodland must win against Crosby Thursday to secure a place in the state tournament. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. in Beacon Falls.