From the desk of: THE BRICK CITY NINE
NEWARK BEARS: Brick City's Ace Starter; Mike Ness.
Sixty games are in the books. Forty remain. The Bears are currently playing a series against the circuit leading Quebec Capitales, in which they have dropped the first two games so far by a combined 26-8 score. Two weekend games remain for the Bears to try and gain a split in the series.
The Bears and Worcester Tornadoes have been taking turns holding up the pack, as both have fallen on very rough times this season. The Bears are currently taking their turn in last place with a 17-43 record. The former cellar dwelling Worcester club is a fraction better with a 17-42 record. Both teams are losers of their last eight games, and nine of their last ten.
On a better note, Bears' starter Mike Ness, is coming off being named Pitcher of the Week ending July 15th. The soon to be twenty-five year old became the second Bears' pitcher to be recognized as such. Earlier in the season, closer Jorge Vasquez was awarded the distinction.
Mike Ness is indeed enjoying a good campaign. In twelve starts this season he has logged eighty-two innings, for a 6.2 innings per game average. He has forty-nine strikeouts, while walking twenty-one. His 3.73 ERA goes along with a 6-2 record. His six wins are just three off the league leader pitching for Quebec. Mike has earned four wins in his last six starts.
But on July 11th in a Wednesday matinee game, he no doubt pitched the game of his career. In front of a robust home crowd at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, that exceeded four figure attendance, Mike Ness faced thirty-one Quebec Capitales. In pitching nine full innings against the first place team from Canada, he allowed no runs, walked one batter, struck out eight, and most significantly, surrendered no hits; not one. Mike Ness did indeed pitch a nine inning no-hit victory over Quebec. While he did allow one walk, six Newark errors in the field would ensure this would not be a perfect game. He threw 123 pitches; 85 for strikes. Eric McGee hit his fifth home run of the season to support the effort.
In his next and latest start against Rockland on July 17th, he earned a no-decision after tossing another seven innings of shut-out ball. In that game, he limited the Boulders to three scattered hits. So in his last sixteen innings pitched, he has allowed a stingy three hits and no runs.