Saturday: Somerset Squeaks Past Newark

(PR) Newark, NJ – Another wild contest took place at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Saturday night but this time it was the Somerset Patriots withstanding a late surge to pick up an 8-7 win over the Newark Bears.

The Bears scored three runs in the final frame and had the tying run at third against Ben Grezlovski but the submariner got Daryle Ward to ground to end the game, securing the win and Grezlovski’s second save this year. Trailing 8-4 into the bottom of the 9th, the first four Bears tallied base hits, scoring two runs against Ryan Houston who failed to record an out for the first time this year. Grezlovski came on to face Pablo Ozuna who attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt with two on but ended up reaching safely to load the bases. James Cooper sent a fly ball to right field that Noah Hall tracked down. Randy Gress came in to score the third Newark run of the frame and Kennard Jones advanced to third, but Ozuna took off for second and was cut down by Hall for the second out, setting up the Ward groundout.

The Patriots got a pair of monster insurance runs in the top of the 9th against James O’Donnell. The Newark all-star was into his fourth inning of relief when he gave up a bloop single to Tim Raines Jr. and walked Wayne Lydon. Both were sacrificed over by Joe Burke, pushing O’Donnell out in favor of Greg Reinhard. After Jeff Nettles struck out, Josh Pressley banged a two-strike single back up the middle to score two, giving Somerset an 8-4 lead.

The Patriots scored six unanswered runs in the middle innings and maintained a 6-1 lead until Brian Barton smacked his second homer of the game in the 8th. Barton had homered in the 2nd inning to give Newark the early advantage until Somerset’s offense dominated through the 6th. Barton came up with Ozuna and Ward on base against Casey Cahill who was in his fifth inning of relief. Cahill (2-4) entered the game in the 4th and danced in and out of trouble, putting runners on in every inning but inducing three double play balls to wiggle out of jams. Barton had hit into two double plays in his previous two trips to the plate, but this time went the other way, just barely clearing the wall in right-center field to bring the Bears within three at 6-4. Barton was the last man that Cahill faced after 4.2 innings of relief, allowing six hits and three runs, walking three but inducing three twin-killings.

A pair of hurlers made their respective club debuts as Bill Pulsipher made his first Patriot start and Bob Zimmermann took the ball for Newark after coming over in a trade earlier in the week from York. Pulsipher tossed the first 3.0 innings, yielding just the Barton solo shot and Kennard Jones single. Zimmermann (7-2) surrendered just two hits in the first three innings but dealt a walk to Hall to start the 4th. Hall advanced two bases on two wild pitches and Pete LaForest drove him home on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. But Elliott Ayala, Raines, and Lydon belted two-out base hits to bring home two more tallies. Hall came back up with Nettles on base in the 5th and launched his second homer in as many nights, giving Somerset a 5-1 lead. Zimmermann left after 5.0 innings, giving up seven hits, walking two and striking out using 96 pitches. Lydon served a two-out homer to right field off O’Donnell in the 6th, giving Somerset it’s largest lead at five.

Somerset (6-10, 42-44) looks for a series win against Newark (7-9, 28-58) on Sunday when Josh Miller (7-6, 3.52) takes the ball for the Patriots. Mike Loree (3-7, 6.20) makes his second start this year against Somerset when coverage begins at 5:55 pm on 1450 WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com.

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