Hawks take advantage of Naugy miscues

Woodland’s Zak Graveline slides safely into home plate ahead of a tag from Naugatuck’s Joevonni Torres in the second inning Saturday in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 8-5. –KEN MORSE
Woodland’s Zak Graveline slides safely into home plate ahead of a tag from Naugatuck’s Joevonni Torres in the second inning Saturday in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 8-5. –KEN MORSE

BEACON FALLS — The baseball season is just two weeks old and both Naugatuck and Woodland have battled with inconsistency.

On Saturday, the Hawks held off the Greyhounds, 8-5.

Heading into the Naugy game, Woodland left a few games on the table, losing to Oxford 3-1, Torrington 4-1 and Goodwin Tech 5-3. The Hawks’ wins came by large margins. They defeated Wilby, 13-3, and Derby, 15-2.

On Saturday, the Hawks used a little bit of luck and some fielding miscues by the Greyhounds to put the game in the win column. Brett Petruny picked up the victory throwing solid six innings on the hill and Zack Bedryczuk slammed the door shut for the save.

“That’s the second time Brett has pitched into the sixth inning for us this year,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said after the game. “He doesn’t hurt himself walking batters.”

Naugatuck’s Corey Plasky deserved a better fate on the mound but the defense deserted the right-hander allowing Woodland to extend a couple of innings to take the lead.

It was the second game in a row that Naugatuck committed five errors in the field. The Greyhounds dropped an 8-4 decision April 15 to Oxford after Steve Marinaro struck out the side in the first two innings.

“Two or three games ago it was our pitching and defense that was keeping us in games,” Naugatuck head coach Tom Deller said. “Now it seems like we are getting our bat on the ball but obviously we are making mistakes in the field and it’s hurting us.”

Naugatuck and Woodland were deadlocked at 2-2 after the first inning with Devan Aviles getting an RBI hit for the ‘Hounds and Matt Szturma knocking in a run for the Hawks.

Woodland erupted for three runs in the second. Jared Grillo’s RBI single scored Zak Graveline to put Woodland on top 5-2.

Shane Swierbitowicz came on for Naugatuck in the fourth and escaped a bases-load jam with a strikeout and groundout to keep the Hawks off the board.

Naugatuck battled back in the top of the fifth. Marinaro hit a solid single and Corey Plasky beat out a bunt for a base hit. With one out and runners at second and third, Joe Kwaak unloaded a three-run homer over the fence in left to tie the game at 5-5.

In the bottom of the frame, Woodland staged a two-out rally that started with Matt Butterworth reaching base on an infield error. Bedryczuk singled up the middle and Butterworth scored on a wild pitch for a 6-5 Woodland lead.

“These younger guys are growing up fast,” Kingsley said. “We gave up the lead and fought right back to go ahead and that says a lot about the character of this team, they don’t quit.”

“We are right where we need to be based on the experience of this team,” Kingsley added. “I’m pretty encouraged by their effort.”

A dropped fly ball in the sixth opened the door again for the Hawks. Grillo reached base on a fly ball to left center and Szturma drew a walk. Jarrett Allen took care of business slamming a two-run double for an 8-5 Woodland lead.

“To our kids’ credit, maybe they are trying to do too much,” Deller said. “We are a young team and they are going to be mistakes made, but no matter how young we are we still need to make plays.”

Naugatuck improved to 3-4 with a 2-0 win over Holy Cross on Monday. Joevonni Torres pitched five innings of two-hit shutout ball. Marinaro completed the shutout with two innings of relief.

Kwaak led the way at the plate with two hits and a RBI single in the first to score Corey Plasky. In the fifth inning, Mike Plasky singled and scored on an RBI hit by Zach Monck.

Woodland fell to 3-4 on the season with a 4-1 loss to Sacred Heart on Monday, ending a stretch where the Hawks won three of four games. Grillo led the Hawks at the plate with two hits.

Naugy will play Seymour on Wednesday and Fairfield Ludlowe on Thursday. The Greyhounds will close out the week Friday when they travel to Bristol to take on St. Paul.

Woodland will play St. Paul on Wednesday before hosting Ansonia on Friday.