Baseball loses 3 of 4 in series against crosstown rival SCSU


Photo courtesy of Charger Bulletin/Charlotte Bassett.

Baseball plays SCSU, West Haven, April 16, 2023.

In a long season, both high and low points are inevitable, as every team sees flashes of successes and losses. Teams are always subject to the rollercoaster of emotions that come with a long season, but the best teams always find a way to slow the game down and get back on track before losing key games late in the season.

Amid an impressive season reaching the number 13 ranked team in the country, the New Haven baseball team dropped their first series of the season, losing three of four games against crosstown rival Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). The top two teams in the Southwest Division of the Northeast-10 (NE-10) squared off in a crucial four-game weekend series as SCSU sealed the series win in a one-run game that put New Haven two games back of the division lead.

New Haven got on the board early in game one on Friday with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, started by a leadoff double from first baseman Andrew Bianco who advanced to third after a stolen base. After a walk to designated hitter Tyler Wells, Bianco came around to score on an error to give the Chargers an early 1-0 lead.

Left fielder Owen Pincince continued his impressive freshman campaign with a single to right-center field that scored Wells, creating another scoring chance after stealing second base and advancing to third on a wild throw. Right fielder Shaun Callahan lined a double to right field to cap off the three-run inning and add to their early lead.

Graduate right-hander Izaiya Mestre got the start in game one for the Chargers, firing two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. Shortstop Chad Fedeli led the inning off with a double down the right-field line before Mestre got two quick outs with an opportunity to strand Fedeli in scoring position.

A single by right fielder Colin Mason kept the inning alive before a big blow came off the bat of center fielder Andrew Eng who doubled into left-center field and scored on an errant throw that went out of play while tying the game at three.

The game stayed tied at three until the top of the fifth when designated hitter Mike Ferrett broke the game open with a grand slam to give SCSU a four-run lead which proved to be all of the offense they would need to take game one.

New Haven chipped away at the lead with a run in each of the fifth, seventh and ninth innings to make it a one-run game, but could not manage to get the tying run across to complete the comeback.

SCSU took a commanding 2-0 series lead in game one of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, coming away with a 7-2 win that marked New Haven’s third consecutive loss. The Owls’ offense was alive and well in game one with 11 hits on the game that kept the Chargers’ powerful offense quiet.

First baseman Jack Drewry got SCSU on the board in the second with a two-out, two-run home run to right field that gave them an early 2-0 lead. Left fielder Connor Goggin launched a two-run home run of his own in the fourth to make it a four-run game.

SCSU then came up to bat in the top of the fifth with the opportunity to add on after a single through the left side by catcher Billy Sullivan. A groundout moved Sullivan to second and Ferrett continued his hot start to the series at the plate with a double to right-center field that scored Sullivan and gave the Owls a five-run lead.

New Haven got on the board in the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back doubles from Bianco and Wells that made it a 5-1 game. Center fielder Robert Taylor plated Wells with a single through the left side and advanced to second on the throw to make it a three-run game, but the threat ended there, as two quick outs ended the inning and the Chargers’ rally.

SCSU added two more runs in the seventh on a double from Ferrett and sealed the deal in the bottom of the inning to take game one of the doubleheader and the first two games of the series.

Left-hander Tyler Sausville got the start for New Haven in game two and earned his third win of the season with a dominant six-inning performance, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out two.
Ferret got SCSU on the board first once again with a sacrifice fly to left field that scored Sullivan for an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Their lead did not last as the Chargers responded with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

After a single and two walks to lead off the inning, Taylor lined a ground-rule double to right-center field that scored two and kept two runners in scoring position. Catcher Josh Lester knocked in the third run with a sacrifice fly to center to cap off the inning and give Sausville the lead going into the second.

The Chargers tacked on another run in the second on a single to left field by Bianco that plated Franquiz as their offense found their way back to scoring runs early and often.

The score stayed at 4-1 until the bottom of the sixth when New Haven added three more runs to go ahead by six. Taylor scored the first run on a wild pitch before second baseman Noah Budzik lined a single up the middle for the second run of the inning. Budzik advanced to second on another wild pitch before Bianco drove him in with another single.

Closing pitcher Drew Silverman sealed the deal for New Haven with a scoreless seventh, taking game two of the doubleheader and setting up a potential series split in the finale on Sunday.

New Haven got on the board first in the series finale with a leadoff triple by Bianco to start the threat. Wells hit a ground ball to third which third baseman Derrick Jagello couldn’t handle and allowed Bianco to score and take an early 1-0 lead.

SCSU responded with runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings to take a 4-1 lead as their lineup continued to drive in timely runs. After the fourth, the Owls were shut down by New Haven left-hander Liam Carroll, who fired 6.1 innings out of the bullpen, striking out seven and giving the Chargers a chance to spark a comeback and split the series.

New Haven scored two on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Cole Maucere, as a throwing error sailed over first base and allowed Lester and Taylor to score to make it a one-run game.

The Chargers could not manage to get any more runs across as they dropped the series finale and lost three of four in a crucial weekend series. With losses in four of their last five games, New Haven will look to get back on track in their next matchup with Saint Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) on Wednesday, April 19. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. as the Chargers kick off a five-game stretch against STAC. More information can be found at