Simone, Cullen Lead Chargers to Opening Day Split at Molloy

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Southpaw Pat Simone (Branford, Conn./Branford) fired six innings of two-hit, shutout ball in the nightcap and Kyle Cullen (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) had four hits in the doubleheader as the University of New Haven baseball team split a season-opening twin bill at Molloy, 4-6 and 2-0.

Photo provided by Charger Athletics

Cullen led the Chargers (1-1) with a 4-for-6 afternoon, including a double, triple and three runs scored. #Brendan O’Reilly# had three hits, and Joe Romanelli (Baldwin, N.Y./Holy Trinity) hit a pair of singles. JP Koulotouros (Bayside, N.Y./Bayside) and Brendon Buckley (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) each doubled, while Jason Lewicki (Milford, Conn./Foran) and Nick Nunziato (Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville) each had a base-knock.

New Haven’s five RBI on the day came courtesy of Cullen, O’Reilly, Koulotouros, Romanelli and Stephen Clout (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern). Clout and Andrew Johnson (Branford, Conn./Branford) were held hitless but each swiped a bag in the twin bill.

Simone scattered two singles in six scoreless innings with four strikeouts and no walks to earn the win in Game 2. Peter Jay (Shelton, Conn./Shelton) got the last three outs of the seven-inning affair to record the save.

Right-hander John Melville (Ulster Park, N.Y./Kingston) got the ball in Game 1, allowing four earned runs in 3+ innings of work. Henry Hirsch tossed four innings in relief of Melville, and Connor Moriarty hurled a scoreless frame in his collegiate debut.

Molloy (2-8) did not have an extra-base hit in the doubleheader but got two strong starting pitching performances and base-knocks from six different players.

Game 1

The Chargers got on the board first without the benefit of a base-hit. Clout worked a walk to lead off the game and promptly stole second and moved to third on a throwing error. Following another free pass issued to O’Reilly, Romanelli plated the runner with an RBI groundout to second base to stake New Haven with an early 1-0 lead.

Both pitchers worked in-and-out of trouble in the third inning. After Schonfeld pitched around back-to-back one-out singles from O’Reilly and Romanelli in the top of the frame, Melville got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the inning to preserve the Chargers’ 1-0 cushion.

Melville would be unable to get out of a jam in the next inning, as he loaded the bases with none out and walked in a run before exiting the game in favor of Hirsch. The junior right-hander would not allow another base hit, but a wild pitch, fielder’s choice and a two-run error pushed four more runs across to give Molloy a 5-1 advantage.

The Charger took a run back in the top of the fifth inning, as Cullen led off the frame with a triple and raced the final 90 feet on an RBI groundout off the bat of Clout. Hirsch remained in the game and worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the stanza to maintain the 5-2 deficit.

After Molloy tacked on an insurance run, New Haven made a final push in the top of the ninth inning. Nunziato worked a one-out walk to start up the offense and came all the way around to score on a two-bagger in the gap by Cullen. O’Reilly then plated Cullen with a single, but the rally would stall there as Molloy hung on for a 6-4 win.

Max Schonfeld allowed one earned run in six innings to get the win for the Lions.

Game 2

New Haven scored two early runs in the nightcap and rode a combined three-hitter from Simone and Jay to a 2-0 victory.

The Chargers’ first run came in the second inning on back-to-back, two-out doubles from Buckley and Koulotouros. The Blue and Gold would manufacture a second run in the third frame. Cullen worked a leadoff walk, moved to second base on a Clout groundball, took third on a wild pitch and raced home on a passed ball.

Simone retired the first 11 and last six batters that he faced to preserve the shutout. Jay struck out the last two batters – both of whom represented the tying run – to lock down the Chargers’ first victory of 2013.

Alex Miden took the hard-luck loss for Molloy, ceding one earned run in six innings of work.

 

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