NEWARK – Shaun Cumberland had three hits and had three RBI, pacing a 12-hit attack, as the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs defeated the Newark Bears, 9-5, in a special matinee contest Tuesday at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The Blue Crabs took a 2-0 lead off Bears starter and loser Hector Carrasco in the top of the second inning on a two-run double from Cumberland. Newark responded and tied the game at 2-2 in the home second on a two-run homer from Edgardo Alfonzo. It was the first homer with the Bears for the former New York Mets All-Star second baseman.
Southern Maryland took back the lead in the fourth inning on three straight singles, the last coming from Casey Benjamin, whose single scored Christian Lopez to make it 3-2. The Blue Crabs then broke the game open by scoring three runs in the top of the fifth inning, with Cumberland’s RBI single capping the rally. Lopez then hit a solo homer to left in the top of the seventh, pushing the lead to 7-2.
Newark drew closer by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh, all coming home on Scott Spiezio’s three-run homer, the second round tripper for the former World Series hero, cutting the lead to 7-5. Jeremy Owens, though extended the lead to 9-5 with a two-run homer in the eighth off Armando Benitez. The runs against Benitez, the former Mets All-Star closer, were unearned.
Connor Robertson (2-0) pitched five innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out a season-high seven batters to earn the win for the Blue Crabs. Five Blue Crab relievers finished up. Carrasco (1-4) surrendered six runs, five of which were earned, in 4 2/3 innings for the Bears.
Daryle Ward had three hits to pace the Bears. Cumberland’s three hits paced the Blue Crabs. Lopez and Kody Kirkland had two hits each for the winners.
Newark and Southern Maryland will square-off in game three of the four game series on Wednesday. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m., with the gates of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opening at 5:35 p.m. Wednesday is “Kids Eat Free”, presented by Dr. Thomas Haveron. Kids 12 and under (with a paid adult) get to eat for free at all concession stands throughout the ballpark.
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