From the desk of: THE BROAD STREET NINE
NEWARK BEARS - I'm Sure Someone Advised Coach Garry Templeton That Life In The Den Is Never Easy.
The Newark Bears kicked off their sixteenth season Thursday night in Rockland, New York, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Boulders. This evening, the Bears opened the gates on their fifteenth campaign at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, this time hosting the Rockland Boulders for the next three games.
Bears starter Brian Parker had the distinction of making this year's Opening Day start, opposed by Rockland's Pat Moran. The Boulders wasted no time, scoring a pair off Parker in the first on a two run home run struck by Chris Edmondson. Brian Parker also needed to pitch his way out of big trouble in the third inning. After allowing Rockland a third run, he worked out of a one out bases loaded situation by striking out the last two batters. In the bottom of the third, the Bears got a run back on Brandon Mims' first home run of the season, to make it a 3-1 game.
Brian Parker lasted six full innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked one batter and struck out three before exiting the game. Reliever Sergio Espinosa was summoned from the bullpen to take over in the seventh and pitched a scoreless frame. Rockland's Pat Moran pitched 6.1 very effective innings, allowing the Bears one run on just three hits. He walked no batters and struck out nine before departing.
Bears reliever Ryan Fennell turned in a scoreless inning for Newark in the top of the eighth, in what was still a 3-1 game. In the bottom of the eighth, the Bears faced Rockland's Alex Kreis, pitching his second inning of relief, and went down quietly. Ryan Fennell again turned the Boulders back in the top of the ninth, setting up last licks for Newark with their numbers three, four and five hitters due up against Rockland's closer, Kevin Fuqua. Center fielder JJ Sherrill led off for the Bears and struck out swinging. Next up, left fielder Jamar Walton reached safely with a single. With right fielder Carlos Guzman up, Walton advanced to second base on a passed ball. That mattered little as Guzman worked out a base on balls. Kyle Lafrenz was next in the order, and struck out on five pitches for out number two. First baseman Matt Huggins then stepped in, and worked a 3-0 count before Kevin Fuqua ran the count full. After fouling off a pitch, Huggins grounded to second base for the last out of the game.
Rockland defeated the Newark Bears for the second night in a row, this evening by a 3-1 final. Newark's Brian Parker suffered his first loss of the season. Rockland's Kevin Fuqua earned his second save in consecutive nights. Starter Pat Moran rightfully gets credit for his first victory after a fine performance over the Bears.
The teams will meet again Saturday evening in the third match of a four game set.