WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Early scoring and a fantastic pitching performance by Vincent Aprea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue) help the University of New Haven baseball team advance in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship with a 6-2 win against the Pace Setters on Friday morning.
New Haven jumped out with three runs in the first and added one in the second before Pace scored in the fourth.The Chargers tallied single runs in the fifth and seventh before the Setters rounded the scoring in the eighth.
Offensively, Nick Perrelli (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) and Andrew Garcia (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue Medford) had two hits while Jack Zagaja (Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic) drove in two runs.
New Haven jumped on top in the first inning with three runs. With one out, Tom Walraven (Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush) reached on an error followed by a walk to Robert Petrillo (Branford, Conn./Branford). Two batters later, Zagaja came through with a triple to left, scoring both runners to make it 2-0. Zagaja then came in on a passed ball to score the final run of the inning.
The Blue and Gold scored again in the second as Garcia led off with a single and moved to third on a sac bunt by James Myers (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) and throwing error by the pitcher. PJ Contreras (Hauppauge, N.Y./Hauppauge) came up next with a sac fly, plating Garcia to make it 4-0.
Pace came up with a run in the top of the fourth before New Haven rallied in the fifth. Petrillo and Perrelli singled to lead off the inning and executed a double steal to put runners on second and third. A walk to Zagaja loaded the bases for Joe Caico (Hopedale, Mass./Worcester (MA)), who also walked, forcing in Petrillo, pushing the lead back to four runs.
The Chargers added a run in the seventh as with the bases loaded, Garcia singled back through the middle to score Walraven, extending the lead.
The runs proved important as the Setters scored in the eighth and were threatening with runners on the corners, but Josh Walker (Otisville, N.Y./Minisink Valley) was able to get a fly out and a strikeout to get out of the inning.
On the mound, Vincent Aprea (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue) turned in one of his best outings of the season, going 6.2 innings allowing one run and striking out six.
With the win, the Chargers advance in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship to play the loser of the second game of the day between Franklin Pierce and Southern New Hampshire. Game time is slated for approximately 3:30 p.m.