Gress, Dukes Guide Bears To 12-5 Win

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Elijah Dukes (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

CENTRAL ISLIP – The Newark Bears defeated the Long Island Ducks 12-5 in the series finale on Wednesday night at Suffolk County Sports Park in Central Islip, New York.

For the second-straight night, Elijah Dukes gave the Bears an early advantage with home run. Duke drilled a solo shot over the hitter’s eye in center just batters into the game and it was 1-0. The Ducks, in similar fashion to the prior game, used a big inning to push ahead. A Robinson Cancel RBI single and a Javier Colina sacrifice fly gave Long Island a 2-1 lead. Cancel proceeded to steal second and third and an errant throw into left brought him home and the host held a two-run cushion.

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Newark went back ahead against starter Randy Leek in the third as Gabe Suarez singled to start the frame and Randy Gress, who went 4-for-5, brought him in with a RBI double. Kennard Jones grounded out and plated Gress to tie the game at 3. Brian Barton reached on a fielder’s choice and Manny Mejia plated him two batters later to put Newark back on top. Long Island continued the back-and-forth scoring in the fourth as Cancel ripped a two-run single off Matt Smith to go ahead 5-4.

The Bears moved in front for good in the visitor’s fifth. With Jones and Dukes aboard, Barton laid down a bunt that Leek fielded and threw away to bring home Jones. Carl Everett’s RBI groundout and Isaiah Kaaihue’s RBI single scored Dukes and Barton and Newark was up 6-5. Dukes, who finished 3-for-3, picked up his second RBI in the eighth on a sacrifice fly to push the lead to three runs. The Bears batted around in the ninth and plated four more runs on five hits, including Gress’ RBI triple and RBI doubles by Barton and Edgardo Alfonzo.

Smith (6-8) got the win, surrendering five runs and eight hits, with three strikeouts over five innings of work. Leek (9-5) took the loss, tossing six innings, allowing seven runs and 11 hits, with four strikeouts. Shane Youman made his Bears’ debut and fired three scoreless innings in relief, scattering two hits with three strikeouts. Michael Nix worked a scoreless ninth with a strikeout.

Newark is back at the “Den” on Thursday night, July 22 when they welcome cross-state rivals Somerset. Game time is set for 6:35 p.m., with the gates of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opening at 5:35 p.m.


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