NEWARK – Left-hander Paul Fagan scattered three hits and allowed just one earned run in his first start of the season and Kennard Jones had four hits, drove in a run and had three stolen bases, leading the Newark Bears to a 6-2 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers in the opening game of a twilight doubleheader Wednesday at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The Barnstormers took the nightcap, 11-3, thanks to a big game from Joe Gaetti, the son of former Minnesota Twins slugger Gary Gaetti. The younger Gaetti had two hits, including a three-run homer, and four RBI for Lancaster (3-2), spearheading a 12-hit attack.
In the opener, Fagan was masterful in his first start for the Bears (3-2), allowing the Barnstormers to score just two runs in the top of the fourth.
Former Milwaukee Brewer reliever Joe Winkelsas pitched the seventh and final inning of Game 1 for the Bears, setting Lancaster down in order.
Jones continued his torrid hitting to start the season, collecting three singles and a double for the winners. Jones had two doubles and scored twice in the nightcap, so he was 6-for-7 with three runs scored on the day.
Daryle Ward had a long solo homer in the second inning against Lancaster starter and loser Jose Sanchez put the Bears in front for good. They scored twice in the third inning, one coming in on a bases loaded walk by Scott Spiezio and added three more in the home third on RBI singles from Jones and Fernando Seguinol, who had two more hits for the Bears.
In the nightcap, the Barnstormers got to starter and loser Pedro Rivera, the former Kean University standout, for four runs in the first, three coming on Gaetti’s three-run blast. Lancaster added three more runs in the second inning, with Brett Harper driving in a run with a sacrifice fly and Vic Gutierrez plating a run with a bases-loaded walk.
Former NJIT pitcher Matt Melody limited the damage for the Bears with 2 1/3 innings in relief, allowing just one earned run and striking out two.
The Bears will complete the series with Lancaster Thursday night, with first pitch slated for 6:35 p.m. It’s also the final game of the season-opening home stand for the Bears, who head to Camden to begin a series with the Riversharks on Friday night.
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