Hawks pound 14 runs in tourney opener

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BEACON FALLS – In its most prolific production of the season, the Woodland baseball team scored 14 runs on 14 hits against a hapless Windham Tech squad in the Hawks’ 14-1 first-round win Tuesday in the Class M state tournament.

Postponed about a half hour due to rain, Woodland wasted no time in taking control of the game. The No. 15-seeded Hawks did not score in just one inning, the fifth, as the score was already 13-1 after four.

Ryan Genua hurls one home against Torrington in NVL play May 24. Genua held  Windham Tech to one hit in first round play Tuesday and got plenty of help from the hot Hawks' bats.
Ryan Genua hurls one one in NVL play May 24. Genua threw a one-hitter in first-round state tournament play and got plenty of help from the hot Hawks' bats.

Catcher Jack DeBiase led the Woodland offense with a 4-for-4 effort while scoring four runs and driving in another. Shortstop Kyle Georgia belted two doubles, a single, scored two runs, and drove in four more while second baseman Mike Hardy also notched two doubles, a pair of runs, and three RBI.

Woodland put up three runs in the first to begin the rout. DeBiase led off with a double before Georgia singled him home. First baseman Mike Diurno took the next pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run homer to make it 3-0.

The Hawks had their best inning in the second, hanging a six-spot to effectively put No. 18 Windham Tech out of contention. After the first two batters reached, DeBiase, Hardy, and Georgia strung together three straight hits to make it 7-0. Pitcher Ryan Genua and right fielder Ben Kozera added RBI singles in the inning to extend Woodland’s lead to 9-0.

Meanwhile, Genua cruised on the mound. In just his second start of the year after making no regular season appearances, Genua allowed just one hit—a solo home run to lead off the fourth. He struck out two while walking five.

“Once I started pitching in the mound, I knew I didn’t really have my zone so I had to find ways to work through it and get outs,” Genua said. “Luckily my teammates made some plays in the field and I knocked a few balls down on the mound. I just had to kind of work around it and work through it and get some outs.”

In the third, DeBiase led off with another single and came around to score on an error. Later in the inning, Genua added another RBI single to make it 11-0.

Following Windham Tech’s only run in the top of the fourth, the Hawks added a pair in the bottom half for good measure. The top half of the lineup did it again, as DeBiase, Hardy, and Georgia knocked three straight hits to push the lead to 13-1.

“Offensively we were able to sit back and keep our weight back and get our hands through the zone with quick bats,” Genua said. “We picked each other up and worked as a team. With guys on third base, we put the ball on the ground. We just did what we had to do to put some runs up. If you put the ball in play good things happen.”

Woodland’s last run came in the sixth when pinch-hitter Mike Masulli scored on a sacrifice fly by Genua.

The Hawks won their first-round tournament game for the fifth time in seven years, but this was the most lopsided win in Woodland’s postseason history. The Black and Gold has advanced past the second round just once, however, when Ken Graveline’s 2007 squad reached the Class M semifinals.

Woodland was set to face the winner of the first round game between No. 2 Haddam-Killingworth and No. 34 Windham. That game was postponed to Wednesday. The Hawks were scheduled to play their second-round game Thursday. If they can reach the quarterfinals, that game would be played Saturday at a neutral site.

Read recaps of all Woodland games throughout the tournament, including the Hawks’ second-round tilt, on our Web site at mycitizensnews.com.