The Essex County Executive's Cup Challenge
The Inaugural Series is tied 1-1.
Game Three ~ Tomorrow
June 1, 2011
NEWARK BEARS: N.J. Jackals Take Game Two In This New Rivalry Between Neighbors.
New Jersey 7
I listened to a very entertaining game tonight on web-cast as Newark made their first ever trip into their new rival's park; Yogi Berra Stadium; home of the New Jersey Jackals, for game two of the Essex County Series. Game one was played in, and won by Newark last Sunday. After an off day yesterday, the newly christened rivalry series made it's debut in Little Falls as part of a home-and-home.
I'm sure the end result of tonight's game wasn't quite what the Bears had in mind. But like I said, it was an absolute good listen even though it snapped a short two game win streak for Newark. The Bears record now stands at 2-3 for the young season.
The Bears and Jackals traded first inning runs. Then Newark broke out with four more in the top of the second inning. An error, a wild pitch, and three Newark hits, including a Tim Raines Jr. double, had the Jackals down 5-1 early.
New Jersey immediately started chipping away at that lead. They got a run back in the bottom of the second inning. After two more New Jersey runs in the third, and another run in the sixth inning, we had a tie game.
Then came the decisive eighth inning. Newark's Billy Alvino singled to lead off the Bear's eighth. The Bears regained the lead 6-5, when Tim Raines Jr. stepped in again and tripled home Alvino.
On a side note, after going hitless on the first two games of the season, Tim Raines Jr. has been a hitter possessed. He had another four hits tonight (4 for 5) to go along with two RBI. Tonight's effort raised his batting average to a lofty .429 and climbing.
But the Jackals had something else in mind this evening other than losing a second straight game to the Bears and marveling at Raines. A double by Jeremy Slayden and a two run home run by Chris White gave New Jersey their first lead of the night in late dramatic fashion. The Jackals bullpen put the Bears to rest in the top of the ninth by striking out two batters to finish this game off; a game which the Bears seemed in control of for most of the night but still sensed it slipping with every home run New Jersey clubbed out tonight (three to be exact).
Alex Smith started this game for Newark and to his detriment, allowed New Jersey to hang around in those first few innings. But he pitched five innings and was staked to a 5-4 lead when Newark turned to their bullpen. Andrew Pluta relieved Smith and had an outing he'd much sooner forget. In three innings work, he gave up five hits and three runs; and more importantly the lead. He was tabbed with tonight's loss. For Alex Smith, a drab no decision.
Newark and New Jersey finish this three game series tomorrow, Wednesday, at Yogi Berra Stadium with an 11:05AM start time.