BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The Bridgeport Bluefish and Newark Bears played two at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Tuesday night. Bridgeport took game one 9-2 and walked off in the nightcap 5-4 in eight innings.
In game one, the ‘Fish edged ahead in the home first for the second straight game. Adam Greenberg and Steve Moss drew back-to-back walks off Willie Banks to start the frame. Two batters later, Willy Mo Pena started a string of three-straight RBI singles to make it an early 3-0 Bridgeport lead. Todd Jennings brought home another run with a RBI fielder’s choice to extend the lead to four runs.
Bridgeport added two more in the third on RBI doubles by Luis Lopez and Luis Rodriguez and it was 6-0 ‘Fish. The Bears cracked the scoreboard in the fourth as they loaded the bases against starter Denny Stark. James Cooper singled up the middle to plate Brian Barton and make it a 6-1 game. The Bluefish responded with three more runs in the home half on a RBI double by Moss and RBI singles off the bats of Pena and Josh Phelps. With the bases loaded in the seventh, reliever Antonio Alfonseca balked home Shawn Williams, but the Bears got no closer.
Stark (3-1) earned the win, tossing six innings, scattering six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Banks (1-3) was dealt the loss, allowing nine runs on 10 hits, with four walks and four strikeouts in four innings of work. Michael Mehlich worked two scoreless innings in relief with a pair of strikeouts for Newark.
The Bears took an early advantage in game two off Dan Serafini, making his first start of the season. Manny Mejia ripped a one-out double in the second followed by a Victor Rodriguez single. Mejia came home on a wild pitch and Tom Pennino drove one deep enough to bring in Rodriguez on a RBI sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Newark. Kennard Jones belted his league-best 10th triple with one out in the third and Barton plated him on RBI double and pushed the lead to three runs.
Mike Loree kept the Bluefish bats at bay, surrendering just four hits, while striking out four through three innings. A single, a walk and an error loaded the bases with one out in the home fourth for the Bluefish. Tim Johnson cleared the bases with a grand slam to right to put Bridgeport ahead, 4-3. Newark tied the game in the fifth as Matt Smith, who played two innings in left, reached on a two-out error to the shortstop and brought in Jones. The score remained the same and sent the game to extra innings. In the home eighth, after Pena reached on an error, Lopez sacrificed him over to second. An errant throw by Daryle Ward rolled into centerfield and brought Pena around to score the game winner.
Serafini tossed five innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits, with four strikeouts and two walks. Loree yielded four runs, three earned, on seven hits, and collected seven strikeouts in six innings. Neither starter factored in the decision. Alfonseca (1-2) got the win as he pitched a scoreless eighth. Michael Nix (1-0) took the loss, allowing the unearned run, while striking out three in relief.
The series concludes between Newark and Bridgeport Wednesday night. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. Fans can tune into all the action on www.newarkbears.com with David Greenwald providing the play-by-play.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!