Lynn Holds On for 5-4 Decision in Chargers’ Florida Finale

Charger Athletics

BOCA RATON, Fla. – The University of New Haven baseball team ended its six-game road trip through Florida with a 5-4 loss at Lynn University on Wednesday afternoon. Three Chargers had two-hit games against the Fighting Knights.

New Haven (6-4) had the tying run 90 feet away and the go-ahead run on first base in the ninth inning, but was unable to bring either baserunner around to score. The Chargers left 12 men on base in total in the only true road game of their six-game swing in the Sunshine State.

Brendon Buckley (Monroe, Conn./Masuk), Joe Romanelli (Baldwin, N.Y./Holy Trinity) and Zach Collett (Westbrook, Maine/Westbrook) each had two hits, with Collett also working a pair of walks. Nick Nunziato (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) drove in a pair of runs with a triple and Andrew Johnson (Branford, Conn./Branford / Wheaton) roped a ninth-inning base hit to cut the deficit to 5-4. Buckley also stole a base against the Fighting Knights, while Kyle Cullen (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) added a base hit and dropped down the sacrifice bunt that led to the Chargers’ first run of the day.

Derek Drag (South Meriden, Conn./O.H. Platt / Manchester C.C.) started on the mound allowed one earned run in 4.1 innings of work. Connor Moriarty (Branford, Conn./Branford) (0-2) took the loss in relief, with Brian Caselli (Stratford, Conn./Stratford), Luke Foster (Stonington, Conn./Stonington) and Jason Lewicki (Milford, Conn./Foran) combining to finish the game.

After Lynn started the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the second inning, the Chargers got on the board in their next trip to the plate. Stephen Clout (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Cullen. After taking third on an errant pick-off attempt, Clout was injured and replaced by Tim Geer (Derby, Conn./Derby), who raced home to score on a wild pitch.

The Chargers tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Collett walked to start the offense and an error extended the inning by allowing JP Koulotouros to reach safely. The miscue proved costly for Lynn, as Nunziato blasted a triple over the centerfielder’s head to score both runners.

Lynn broke the deadlock with a solo home run in the sixth inning and added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth stanza to extend the margin to 5-3 entering the ninth inning.

Again, it was a two-out rally that nearly brought the Chargers back. Buckley singled to start the run and Romanelli followed with a base-hit to keep the game alive and put runners on the corners. Johnson cashed in on the RBI chance with a single up the middle to cut the deficit to 5-4, but left-hander Kyle Butcher pitched out the jam to complete the rocky save – his first of the spring – and lock down the victory for the home team.

AJ Falleta (3-0) got the relief win to improve the Fighting Knights to 17-9. The right-hander allowed two hits and one walk while striking out four Chargers in 2.1 scoreless innings out of the Lynn bullpen.