WEST HAVEN. Conn. – With a pair of wins against Franklin Pierce on Sunday, the University of New Haven baseball team won the Northeast-10 Conference Championship, downing the Ravens 7-3 and 12-1. It is the first conference title since 2013 and will mark New Haven’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament that same year. David Palmer (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.
In the opener, after the Chargers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, Franklin Pierce scored three runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 advantage. New Haven responded with two runs in the sixth to draw even. The Blue and Gold loaded the bases in the seventh before a double by Robert Petrillo (Branford, Conn./Branford) and a single by Nick Perrelli (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) drove in a pair of runs each. For the game, Perrelli drove in four runs for New Haven.
The second game saw the Chargers break open the scoring in a big way, plating seven runs in the fourth. From there New Haven added to the lead scoring twice in the sixth and three times in the ninth with FPU getting their only run in the bottom of the sixth. Once again, pitching dominated as the Blue and Gold got five shutout innings from Joe Caico (Hopedale, Mass./Worcester (MA)).
Will Aldam (Danbury, Conn./Berkshire School) and Connor Moriarty (Branford, Conn./Branford) each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
For their efforts, Palmer, Perrelli and Devon DiMascio (Mansfield, Mass./Xaverian Brothers) were named to the All-Championship Team.
GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS
Scoreless into the fourth, New Haven struck first as Tom Walraven (Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush) singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a balk. After Petrillo sacrificed him to third, Perrelli singled through the left side past a drawn-in infield to plate Walraven for a 1-0 lead.
The Ravens responded, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning to take their first lead of the game.
Walraven and Perrelli teamed up again to account for some offense in the sixth. With one out, Walraven was hit by a pitch and stole second. Two batters later, Perrelli lined a single to left, plating the runner to cut the FPU lead to 3-2. Jack Zagaja (Merrick, N.Y./St. Dominic) came up next and drove a ball to the base of the fence in left, bringing around Perrelli, tying the contest at 3-3.
The Blue and Gold put the game away in the seventh. With one out, James Myers (Saint James, N.Y./Smithtown East) reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a single by PJ Contreras (Hauppauge, N.Y./Hauppauge) before a walk to Matt Chamberlain (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) loaded the bases. After a groundout cut down the lead runner at the plate, Petrillo dropped a double down the left field line to score two runs and put New Haven up 5-3. Perrelli followed with a bounding single through the right side to plate Walraven and Petrillo, extending the lead to 7-3.
David Palmer (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) ran his record to 8-0 with seven innings of work, allowing two earned runs and struck out seven.
GAME TWO HIGHLIGHTS
After neither team cracked the scoreboard in the first three innings, New Haven exploded in the fourth. With the bases loaded, Zagaja singled to drive in the first run before a Joe Caico (Hopedale, Mass./Worcester (MA)) walk forced in the second. Andrew Garcia (Medford, N.Y./Patchogue Medford) followed with a hit to right, scoring Perrelli and Zagaja, making it 4-0. A bases loaded hit batsman to PJ Contreras (Hauppauge, N.Y./Hauppauge) and a walk by Matt Chamberlain (North Branford, Conn./North Branford) forced in a run each, extending the lead to 6-0 before a sac fly by Walraven capped the scoring.
The Chargers added two more runs in the sixth on a single by Perrelli, his fifth hit and RBI of the day, and a double by Zagaja.
The Blue and Gold scored the final three runs in the ninth, keyed by an RBI single from Walraven and a sac fly by Petrillo.
The Chargers will take on Dominican College on Thursday, May 18, at Southern New Hampshire University Field in Manchester, New Hampshire.