Baseball comes away with a weekend series win over Adelphi


Photo Courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Tyler Rodriguez.

The Chargers celebrate after the weekend, West Haven, March 26, 2023.

Teams are tested during conference play to see who can play their best baseball during a long season and make a run for the playoffs. Rivalries come to fruition as players learn what’s at stake and the level of play a team needs to hold themselves to in order to come out on top.

The first matchup of the season against a conference opponent always carries a higher significance than most games as teams want to start strong and show that they are not just able to win regular season games, but also win in the playoffs where every moment is magnified and one play can change the outcome of the game.

The New Haven baseball team opened conference play with a huge series win over Adelphi University, taking three of four games to add to their incredible start to the season. Coming out of the opening games of the season in which the Chargers finished with a 12-3 record, they continued their hot start at the plate with nearly seven runs per game in the series with timely hits and big innings to carry them to victory.

New Haven swept the first doubleheader on Friday with a big 9-2 win in game one and a 4-1 win in game two to take control of the series. In game one, the Chargers’ potent offense struck first with a two-run single by shortstop Kenneth Franquiz in the bottom of the second inning, bringing catcher Josh Lester and right fielder Tyler Wells around to score.

Adelphi third baseman Albert Ramos started the top of the fifth with a triple to right-center field and later came around to score on a groundout by left fielder Kyle Olson.

New Haven answered right back in the bottom of the inning as second baseman Noah Budzik lined a lead-off single to left field. First baseman Andrew Bianco followed with a bunt single, allowing both runners to advance on a throwing error. Designated hitter Cole Maucere then knocked them both in with a double down the left-field line that gave the Chargers a three-run lead. Third baseman Andrew Cain tripled to keep the inning going and scored on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Owen Pincince to cap off the big four-run frame.

Olson knocked in Adelphi’s second run of the game with a single up the middle to make it a four-run game in the top of the seventh.

It stayed a four-run game until the bottom of the eighth when Bianco launched a long three-run home run to left field, making it a 9-2 game and adding insurance runs onto their already sizable lead. Relief pitcher Bryan Pazulski fired four innings out of the bullpen to close out the game and give New Haven their first conference win of the season.

In game two, New Haven picked up right where they left off, scoring three runs in the first inning. This proved to be all they needed as right-handed pitcher Thomas Eletto picked up his fourth win of the season with four innings of work, allowing only two hits and striking out five.

Maucere started off the inning with a one-out double to the left-center field fence and then scored on a single to left field by Pincince. Center fielder Robert Taylor brought in the second run with a groundout, followed by a single to left field by Lester that plated Pincince.

Eletto made quick work of Adelphi in the first two innings, facing the minimum six batters and striking out shortstop Jack Wishner to start the third before allowing a home run to catcher Jose Matos to make it a two-run game.

New Haven answered right back in the bottom of the inning as Cain hit a solo home run to right-center field to stretch their lead to three, a lead which would hold for the rest of the game.

The bullpen dominated Adelphi’s lineup behind Eletto as relief pitcher Michael Gatti fired two scoreless innings, getting himself out of a prime scoring chance for the Panthers with runners on second and third with one out by striking out two consecutive batters to eliminate the threat. He then fired a quick sixth inning to set the game up for closing pitcher Drew Silverman, who did not allow a baserunner and closed out their 4-1 win and sweep of the doubleheader.

Adelphi looked to split the series in Sunday’s doubleheader as they shut down New Haven’s lineup in game one with a 5-0 shutout victory. Catcher Alec Maag broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run to left-center field that would prove to be all of the offense they would need. First baseman Michael Draskin knocked in a key insurance run with a double to right-center field and later came around to score on a single by Maag, stretching the Panthers’ lead to three.

Third baseman Albert Ramos added the final touch in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run to left field as Adelphi achieved their first conference win of the season in a five-hit shutout.

New Haven’s offense got right back on track in game two as Pincince singled to lead off the bottom of the second, followed by a single from Taylor who would both scored on a double to right center to take a 2-0 lead.

New Haven followed up their two-run inning with a huge third inning, scoring five runs with two outs capped off by a three-run home run by Franquiz to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

Adelphi fought right back with a two-run home run by right fielder Tim Feliz in the top of the fourth, followed by two home runs in the fifth from Draskin and Maag to make it a two-run game. Olson tacked on a single to right field in the sixth to cut New Haven’s lead in half.

New Haven’s offense exploded in the bottom of the sixth as Bianco crushed a two-run home run off the batting cages beyond the left field fence. Maucere followed the home run with a double and scored on a double from Pincince, who later scored on a double by Taylor down the right field line. Lester capped off the five-run inning with an RBI single to center field.

They added two more runs in the seventh, taking a 14-7 lead as Gatti and relief pitcher Matt Minio closed out the game with two scoreless innings to clinch the series win for New Haven.

The Chargers will now go on the road for a non-conference matchup in Staten Island, N.Y. against Alliance University on Wednesday, March 29. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. as the Chargers look to continue their hot streak at the plate before their first conference road series of the season.