Hawks flying high

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Woodland’s Matt Butterworth digs in at the plate April 9 versus Naugatuck at Rotary Field in Naugatuck. Woodland won, 4-1. Butterworth, the Hawks’ leadoff hitter, is one of three left-handers at the top of the lineup that have put a spark in the Woodland attack. The Hawks put up 30 runs in the first three games. –KEN MORSE
Woodland’s Matt Butterworth digs in at the plate April 9 versus Naugatuck at Rotary Field in Naugatuck. Woodland won, 4-1. Butterworth, the Hawks’ leadoff hitter, is one of three left-handers at the top of the lineup that have put a spark in the Woodland attack. The Hawks put up 30 runs in the first three games. –KEN MORSE

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland baseball team has come out swinging.

The Hawks put 30 runs on the board in their first three games. It’s a far cry from last year when a lack of offense at crucial moments led to a three-game slide to end the season.

“I’m really pleased with our start on the season,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said. “Even in the one game we lost to Oxford, we had a chance to win that game in the bottom of the seventh and had the potential winning run thrown out at the plate.”

Kingsley said the team battled Oxford in every inning, scoring in six of eight innings.

“That showed a lot of character and tells our opponents when you play us you better be in it for the full seven innings,” Kingsley said.

Helping the offense is a couple of stable arms on the hill. In the season-opening 4-1 win over Naugatuck April 9, junior Tyler Boisvert showed the poise of a veteran pitcher. He scattered six hits and wiggled out of two bases-loaded jams inducing double plays to end the threats.

“Tyler has been rock solid,” Kingsley said. “He doesn’t get rattled and stays within himself and that has been the key to his success.”

The Hawks erupted for three runs in the fifth inning to secure the win over the Greyhounds. Jared Grillo belted a solo home run and added a single to spark the offense. Sam Merriman had two hits and a run scored with Matt Spofford adding a single and a double.

Spofford took the hill against Oxford April 10 and left with Woodland trailing 8-7 after six innings. Matt Butterworth tied the game on a bases-loaded two-run double in the bottom of the seventh. The runner on first was thrown out at the plate to send the game to extra innings.

Oxford scored in the top of the eighth to pull out a 10-9 win over Woodland. Mike Kenney had a day at the plate getting four of the Hawks’ nine hits and scoring two runs.

On Monday it was Boisvert back on the mound versus Kennedy and the right-hander threw three innings of no-hit ball with four strikeouts. With Woodland safely out in front, Dylan Cummings came on in relief and threw the final four innings, striking out six in a convincing 17-6 win over the Eagles.

Kevin Gabianelli led the hit parade with four hits, two runs and two RBIs, including a run-scoring double. Grillo added a single and a triple knocking in four runs to do most of the damage.

“I wanted to save Tyler’s arm once the game was in hand and Dylan came on and did a great job for us,” Kingsley said. “We banged out 14 hits and the offense is really coming around.”

The defense is holding its own as well.

“Our defense has been making all the plays to back up our pitching, especially those two double plays with the bases loaded against Naugatuck,” Kingsley added. “Tyler and Matt are our big one and two punch on the mound and it’s very encouraging to see at this point in the season.”

Woodland (2-1) is scheduled to host Goodwin Tech Wednesday. The Hawks will be back in action Friday at home versus Wilby, before visiting Derby on Monday.