Thursday, May 16, 2013

Newark Bears Rally Comes Up Short In Rockland; Drop CanAm Season Opener To Boulders 6-4

From the desk of:   THE BROAD STREET NINE

NEWARK BEARS - The Resilient Urban Species Begins Another Season In A Wild Yet Dwindling Environment.

The 2013 Canadian-American League regular season is open for business.  Welcome to year nine for the old circuit, reorganized in 2005.  Many teams have come in and out of the league, and this year is no different.  The Can-Am League will try to make a full season of it with five teams.  Returning from last season are the Rockland Boulders, New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, and the Newark Bears.  The league welcomed a new expansion team this season - the Trois Rivieres Aigles, which gives the Quebec Capitales a local Canadian rival.  Missing from last year's group are the Worcester Tornadoes.  They similarly went the way of the Pittsfield Colonials and the Brockton Rox  respectively, after the 2011 season.  The Can-Am League will once again play inter-league games against the independent American Association to facilitate a one-hundred game schedule.

The Quebec Capitales have won the last four CanAm championships consecutively.


Garry Templeton - a veteran of sixteen Major League seasons, is famously known as the shortstop traded from St. Louis to the San Diego Padres for Ozzie Smith.  He was the first switch hitter to achieve one hundred hits from each side of the plate in the same season.  He led the National League in triples for three consecutive seasons, and led the circuit in hits once.  This season, Gary Templeton is the new manager of the 2013 Newark Bears.

The Newark Bears opened their season this evening at Provident Bank Park against the Rockland Boulders.  Returning for another season to bolster the Bears rotation, Mike Ness took the mound opposed by Rockland's own veteran hurler, Bobby Blevins.  The visitors gave Mike Ness an early 1-0 lead in the first, when Bears right fielder Carlos Guzman doubled off Blevins, to deliver DAngelo Jimenz with the game's first run.  In the bottom of the frame however, Rockland struck back for a pair.  With two outs, Jerod Edmondson drew a four pitch walk.  The following batter, Chris Edmondson then connected off Ness for a two run home run.

Rockland center fielder Donnie Webb led off the bottom of the third inning with the Boulder's second home run off Ness.  In the fourth, Boulder's DH Johnny Welch led off with yet another home run off Mike Ness, giving Rockland a 4-1 lead.  The Boulders continued with another run in the fifth, on Jerod Edmondson's sac-fly, giving the Boulders a 5-1 lead through five complete.

After allowing Newark's first inning run, Bobby Blevins tamed the Bears over the next four.  Through five innings, he allowed Newark six hits, walked none, and struck out five.  His counter-part, Ness allowed five earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.  Both pitchers continued through the sixth.  The Bears finally mustered another run off Blevins in the top of the seventh.  Designated hitter Brandon Mims and second baseman Brandon Newton struck consecutive one out singles.  Third baseman  DAngelo Jimenez then doubled to deliver Mims from second, to make it a 5-3 game.  In relief of Mike Ness, Coach Templeton tasked Ryan Carr with pitching the bottom of the seventh.

With one out, the Bears put a runner in scoring position in the eighth.  Jamar Walton drew a walk off Rockland reliever Nick Serino, then promptly stole second.  Kyle Lafrenz came through with a clutch base hit to score Walton, making it a 5-4 game.  In the bottom of the frame however, Rockland picked up an unearned run off Newark's veteran pitcher Kyle Morrison.

Newark put the tying runs in scoring position in the top of the ninth after Brandon Mims drew a walk and Brandon Newton doubled.  But that's where they stayed, stranded.  Reliever Kevin Fuqua recovered to retire the next three in order, picking up his first save of the regular season.

Bobby Blevins picked up his first victory.  He pitched 6.2 innings, allowed three earned runs, nine hits, and struck out five Bears batters before exiting.  Mike Ness suffered his first loss.  In six innings of work, he surrendered five runs on six hits, three of which were home runs.  He walked one and fanned five.

Newark's Opening Day is tomorrow, Friday, at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium, where the Rockland Boulders will visit for the next three games of the series.


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