Surge puts Hawks in good position

Woodland’s Zack Graveline (3) scoops up a ground ball against Watertown April 11 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. – JIM SHANNON/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

BEACON FALLS — An early-season surge has the Woodland baseball team among the frontrunners in the NVL.

Seven games into the season, the Hawks find themselves at 5-2.

A 7-3 loss to Sacred Heart on Tuesday — Woodland’s second game in a stretch of four games in five days — snapped a three-game winning streak. Zach Bedryczuk had a single and scored a run for the Hawks, and Mike Szturma added a single and an RBI.

The Hawks are finding success through consistent pitching, aggressive hitting and making the plays when it counts.

On Monday, Zack Graveline threw six innings of two-hit ball against Torrington. He struck out five in the 13-2 win. Matt Hicks came on to pitch a scoreless seventh inning, striking out one.

Graveline added a double, a home run and drove in two runs. Colby Linnell had three hits and two RBI with Matt Szturma and Mike Szturma both adding a hit and two RBI.

“The thing I’m seeing is when things don’t go their way they don’t get down and continue to play hard,” Woodland head coach Mike Kingsley said. “Zack set us up for the week by throwing six strong innings for us. The more they play the more confidence they get. No one wants to play four games in five days, but we have enough guys who can throw innings. It’s not all on one guy.”

The Hawks scored a come-from-behind 7-5 win over Watertown last Wednesday. Linnell (two hits, 3 RBI) delivered the go-ahead runs. Zack Bedryczuk toiled 4 1/3 innings on the hill, scattering seven hits and striking out four.

Bedryczuk helped out the offense with a single and two RBI. Justin Butterworth earned the win going 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing three hits and striking out one. He added two hits, a run and an RBI at the plate.

Last Thursday, the young Hawks showed they belonged with the top teams in the NVL when they rode the complete-game effort of Matt Szturma to a 7-3 win over Wolcott.

Szturma helped his own cause by driving in two runs. Graveline belted a two-run home run to spark the Woodland attack. Butterworth made sure that Szturma had enough run support to work with as he drove in a run on two hits.

Jason Claiborn added a two-run double for good measure, and the Woodland defense made all the plays but none finer than the one in right field when Brendan Rowley busted through the fence to rob Wolcott of a home run.

Woodland will visit Oxford (6-0) on Wednesday and Seymour (3-1) on Friday.