From the desk of: THE BRICK CITY NINE
NEWARK BEARS: With Bear Claws Losing Their Grip, Newark Is Losing Ground.
An early 1-0 Bears' lead turned into a four run deficit in the fifth inning. Newark's starting pitcher; Casey Gaynor made his second start of the season and kept Pittsfield honest over his first four innings pitched. But in the fifth, the Colonials hit him hard and often; capping off a big inning with the long ball.
Coach Raines stuck it out with Gaynor throughout the fifth inning though. He's trying to squeeze at least that much out of his starting rotation. He hasn't had a choice but to let a starter go too long on occasion. Coach is having to utilize his bullpen for three and four innings per game because his starting pitching can't give him length. As a staff, they are running into Brick walls entering the fifth innings of games.
But the bullpen has held up under the necessary work load. They've done a great job keeping Newark in just about every game they've played. And three innings into their nightly routine, it seemed like all systems were a go again. But Wednesday's ninth inning is probably one they'd want to forget. It's just a game you can't lay blame with the bullpen for blowing. Their heavy usage almost warranted it.
The Bears clawed back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth and another pair in the sixth to tie the game at five. Leading the offense, the bottom of the line-up came through with three RBI tonight.
Then, the Bears went into the top of the ninth inning and crumbled like a house of cards. Chris Rollins and Mike Pontius combined to yield four runs to the Pittsfield Colonials. And in failing to score any runs in the bottom of the inning, the Bears lost their sixth game in a row.
At 16-16, they have fallen down to the .500 level. After tasting second place when they were still cruising with a 16-10 record, they found themselves precariously in fifth place even before Wednesday's game started. The Bears are now looking up at Quebec; New Jersey; Pittsfield; and Brockton in that order.
There's two games left in this series.