Wells leads the charge over AIC

New+Haven+plays+defense+against+AIC%2C+West+Haven%2C+April+22%2C+2022.

Photo courtesy of Chris Elwell.

New Haven plays defense against AIC, West Haven, April 22, 2022.

Chris Elwell, Contributing Writer

The New Haven baseball team got off to a hot start during their weekend series against American International College, taking the first game by a score of 12-3.

Starting on the mound for New Haven was junior Bryan Pazulski, who cruised through the first three innings, not allowing a hit. He would stay in command for the rest of the game, and finished with seven innings, three runs allowed, and seven strikeouts. He found himself in some trouble during the middle innings, but he was able to keep their lineup under control to limit the damage.

Junior outfielder Tyler Wells led off the game with a triple, which would be the start of his incredible day at the plate. Wells would finish the game 5-5 with three home runs, a triple, and a single. He came around to score on a double by center fielder Robert Taylor, which gave the Chargers an early 1-0 lead. Taylor would also score on a triple by first baseman Andrew Bianco, giving New Haven a 2 run lead after the first inning.

The bottom of the second went about the same as the first. After a single by designated hitter Brett Reedy, third baseman Hunter Boag hit a long home run to left-center field to make it a 4-0 game. Shortstop Kenneth Franquiz followed Boag with a single to right field, bringing Wells back up to the plate. Wells then hit his first home run to put the Chargers up 6-0.

The score would stand at a six-run game until the top of the fourth inning when Dalton Quinn of AIC connected on a two-run home run to get the Yellow Jackets their first points of the game. This was the first hit of the game for AIC, which was followed by a single, but Pazulski was able to work around it to end the inning and keep it a four run game.

AIC went down quietly in the top of the fifth, bringing up senior Andrew Cain to lead off the bottom of the fifth for the Chargers. He was able to reach on an error and then stole second, his first of two stolen bases on the day. Catcher Josh Lester singled, setting up a first and third situation with one out. Reedy followed up Lester, also reaching on an error by the shortstop, which allowed Cain to score, extending the Chargers’ 7-2 game.

AIC was able to respond, scratching a run across to cut the lead down to four. Quinn led the inning off with a single and was able to take second on a passed ball. A single by Michael Cruz scored Quinn, but Pazulski settled down and was able to get out of the inning and keep the Chargers up 7-3.

Wells would continue his productive day at the plate, hitting his second home run of the game to right field to make it 8-3.

In the seventh inning, Pazulski was able to get two quick outs but gave up a single to AIC catcher Michael Nazzaro. However, he was picked off at first to end the inning, ending Pazulski’s day after seven strong innings. He was unaffected, navigating base runners all game and holding AIC to three runs and six hits.

The Chargers were able to pick up where they left off in the bottom of the seventh, when Cain started with another leadoff hit. He would then pick up his second stolen base of the day, which set up another prime scoring chance with a runner on second and one out. Lester worked a walk and, following a flyout by Reedy, third baseman Boag continued his hot day at the plate with a two-run double to break the game open to 10-3.

Freshman Matt Minio would come on the mound in relief of Pazulski. Minio fired a scoreless inning with two strikeouts and was able to work around a double, stranding the runner on third following his second strikeout, and kept the Chargers lead at seven.

Wells would come up again to lead off the bottom of the eighth. He hit his third and final home run of the day over the right field fence. At this point, the Chargers were not finished, however; after two quick outs, Andrew Cain stepped up to the plate and delivered his third hit of the day. First baseman Andrew Bianco followed up Cain with his second triple of the game, bringing Cain around to score, bringing the score to 12-3.

After a Lester flyout to end the inning, freshman Henry Iuzzolino would come in to finish off AIC. He was able to work all the way back to get his first strikeout of the inning. Iuzzolino made quick work in the ninth, setting AIC down 1-2-3 to end the game.

With the win, New Haven improved to 19-14 (4-9 NE10) and American International fell to 8-26 overall (2-13 NE10).

More information can be found at newhavenchargers.com.