NEWARK – Ben Fritz retired the first 17 batters he faced en route to firing a five-hit shutout and Joe Gaetti continued his hot hitting with a three-run homer, highlighting a five-run second inning, leading the Lancaster Barnstormers to a 6-0 victory over the Newark Bears, completing a four-game sweep of the Bears in the process.
Fritz (1-4), who entered the game with the league’s fourth-best ERA at 3.13 despite not having a win, was masterful throughout, limiting the Bears to just five hits, striking out nine without issuing a walk. He had a perfect game going until two outs in the sixth, when Paddy Matera singled to centerfield.
The Barnstormers reached Bears starter Vince Perkins (0-4) for five runs in the top of the second, after Perkins had retired the side in order in the first. Lancaster had 10 men come to the plate in the inning, with Gaetti delivering the big blow, a three-run homer, his second homer in as many days. Reggie Taylor also had an RBI single in the second inning.
Perkins then settled down and didn’t allow another run until the seventh, when Bryant Nelson smacked a solo homer to right field, pushing the lead to 6-0.
The Bears had only one scoring threat when Daryle Ward doubled in the seventh and Carl Everett followed with a single, but Ward was thrown out at the plate by Barnstormer left fielder Michael Woods. Adam Witter had three hits, two singles and a double, for the winners.
Newark heads out on the road for six games in seven days, beginning with a three-game set at Somerset on Friday. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at TD Bank Park. Fans can tune into the action as Chase Kressel provides play-by-play.
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