From the desk of: THE BRICK CITY NINE
NEWARK BEARS: Brick City Jumps Out to an Early Circuit Lead.
* Friday night's game in Newark versus the Quebec Capitales was postponed.
As of - Thursday, May 24, 2012:
For the second consecutive night, Newark needed two runs in the top of the ninth inning in order to gain victory over Rockland in the rubber game of a three game set.
In his second start this season, Brian Parker pitched into the seventh inning for a second consecutive time. He allowed Rockland three scattered runs off six hits. He walked three and struck out five before giving way to Anthony Pluta. With a run in the sixth however, the Boulders relegated Parker's effort to no-decision status.
Newark held the early lead with a run in the first after Daryle Ward connected on his second home run this season. After Rockland tied the game in their next at-bat, the Bears picked up two more in the third. Billy Alvino reached first on an E-6, and later came around to score on a fielder's choice. A Juan Martinez single drove in Matt Tomczyk with the second unearned run of the inning.
Rockland tied the game in the sixth at three. And it stayed that way till the ninth. In the visitor's half, Eric McGee led off with a double. Billy Alvino then came through with a clutch two out base hit to deliver McGee from second. Alvino eventually scored on another two out single by Matt Tomczyk.
After having pitched a scoreless eighth, with two strikeouts, Anthony Pluta was the beneficiary of Newark's effort in the ninth. He gained his second relief win this season. Then Jorge Vasquez was summoned to close out the ninth inning for Newark. He did so in grand fashion by striking out the side.
...And behold, the Newark Bears are a first place club. With Thursday's win, the Bears affixed themselves to a firm one game lead atop the circuit over the Quebec Capitales. The Bears are the first team to five wins. Along with timely hitting, the Bears have been able to do so behind quality pitching that's getting deep into games. But it's relief pitchers Anthony Pluta and Matt Fitton who lead the league so far in wins with two apiece. Brian Parker is second in the league with twelve strikeouts.
Offensively, Bryce Lane has the early lead in RBI with nine.
The Bears and Quebec Capitales will make up Friday's game with a double-header on Saturday, at 'ol Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium.