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New Haven Athletics | March 7, 2014

Buckley homers twice in New Haven's season-opening win

Brendon Buckley

YAPHANK, N.Y. -- Brendon Buckley hit two home runs Friday, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs to lead the University of New Haven baseball team to a season-opening 12-6 win vs. Pace.

Buckley, who went 4-for-5, is the first Charger to hit two home runs in a game since Kyle Cullen hit a pair at Southern Connecticut State on April 16, 2013. The third baseman also accumulated 10 total bases, the most for a New Haven batter since David Anderson had 10 courtesy of a home run and two triples against Molloy on April 25, 2007.

Cullen also had a solid day at the plate against the Setters. He went 4-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored in addition to an assist from left field. First baseman Zach Collett added three this with two RBI and two runs scored, and TJ Riccio had a double and two RBI as the starter behind the dish.

Leadoff hitter Brendan O'Reilly set the table for the Chargers' offense with a 2-for-3 performance. The centerfielder also worked two walks en route to three runs scored, a run batted in and a stolen base. Chris DeMorais added a two-hit day that included a double, and Nick Nunziato had a single with a run scored to round out New Haven's 17 hits.

Pat Simone earned the win on the hill with five innings of work. The Chargers' southpaw held Pace to one earned run on six hits over the first five frames as New Haven build its sizeable advantage. He struck out two batters and did not issue a walk. John Melville followed with three innings of hitless relief. George Dummar got the final three outs in his Chargers' debut.

Jonathan Chudy started and took the loss for Pace. New Haven is 1-0, while Pace drops to 0-1.

The Chargers and Setters will meet three times as a part of the Northeast-10 Southwest Division schedule later this spring. New Haven and Pace split the regular season division title last season with New Haven advancing to win the Northeast-10 Championship. Both clubs qualified for the NCAA Division II East Region Championship to conclude the 2013 slate.