From the desk of: THE BRICK CITY NINE
NEWARK BEARS: New Names Contribute To Snap 6-Game Losing Streak.
Desperate times call for measures. Or in the Bears' case, just playing with a sense of desperation will do. They did that tonight. But that's not to say Newark hasn't been playing hard. Under Tim Raines Sr., they have. But GM Mike Torrez decided this week changes were in order. He made a flurry of signings while in the midst of a six game losing streak.
The Bears are looking for some stability at catcher. Billy Alvino was behind the dish the last two games including today. Recently signed Bobby Dombrowski; was Tuesday night's catcher. And of course, Eric McGee has caught for the Bears this season.
Thursday, Tim Raines Jr. was moved into the infield again to play second base. Mike Torrez just signed a 22 year old outfielder named Pat Biserta. He started in center field in Raines' place. Two infielders; Ryan Walsh and Brandon Young were also signed by Mike Torrez and have been inserted into the line-up this week at third and shortstop respectively.
With changes to the roster, the Bears' needed a change in fortune next.
The Bears brushed away a 1-0 Pittsfield lead in the top half of the first inning and scored four times in the bottom half. Pittsfield starter; Eric Katzman; didn't last very long. After a lead-off single by Brandon Watson, Eric Katzman walked three of the next four batters to force home a run. Then newly acquired Pat Biserta cleared the bases with a three run double giving the Bears a 4-1 lead.
Pittsfield scored their second run of the game in the top of the second. Newark brushed that off also and reciprocated with three more runs in the bottom of the frame. Another lead-off single by newly signed Ryan Walsh and two more walks by Pittfield's Eric Katzman loaded up the bases with Bears again. Tim Raines Jr. grounded into a 4-6-3 double play but Ryan Walsh scored on the play. Daryle Ward then doubled home Brandon Watson. Danny Santiesteban followed with a single to score Daryle Ward.
In the fifth, Danny Santiesteban doubled and stole third. He scored the Bears' eighth run on a fielder's choice.
Today's starting pitcher for the Bears; Chris Vasami; whom played for the Bears previously, was also resigned this week and made his first start of the season today against Pittsfield. Over his first five innings, he gave up eight hits; two earned runs; one walk; and struck out one batter.
But how would he fare in the sixth inning which has become Newark's starting pitcher kryptonite this season?
Answer - He gave up a lead-off single and walked the next batter. He got his first out on a fly to center. Another single advanced everyone one base, but an error by Tim Raines Jr. at second base allowed the lead runner to score. And that was the end of Chris Vasami's day. It was off to the bullpen for Coach Raines again.
Another recent acquisition; Matt Fitton; was summoned by Coach Raines to douse Pittsfield in the sixth. And he did. But the seventh was a different story. Fitton got himself into trouble by loading the bases. So in came the Bears' third pitcher of the game; Anthony Pluta. He got the third out of the inning via strikeout to prevent Newark's 9-3 lead from caving in on them.
Mikey Mehlich pitched the ninth inning and wrapped up Newark's first win in their last seven tries. They finally attained their seventeenth victory of the season versus sixteen losses. Most importantly, they avoided dropping under the .500 mark.
Gone from Newark's roster are OF-Kyle LaMotta; 3B- Todd Gossage; and OF- Burt Reynolds; all released this week by GM Mike Torrez.
The Bears will try and salvage a split of this four game series against Pittsfield tomorrow; Friday.