NEWARK – Aaron Herr belted a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning and added a solo shot in the eighth as Lancaster Barnstormers defeated the Newark Bears 8-2 Thursday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. Newark secured a series victory by taking the first two games.
Josh Hall and Kelvin Villa were locked in a pitcher’s duel over the first five innings. The Bears reached Hall (11-5) for a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Tim Raines, Jr. led off the frame with a double down the left field line and came around to score on a double play groundout. Villa received a huge boost in the top of the third when the Bears turned their first triple play of the season. With runners on first and second, Lloyd Turner attempted a bunt that Bears catcher Isaiah Kaaihue allowed to drop in front of him and alertly threw to third baseman Eric Munson, who continued to second for the second out and on to first to complete the triple play.
Villa (2-7) allowed only two singles over the first five innings, striking out five during that stretch. The Bears had plenty of opportunity to increase their lead over the first few innings, but stranded seven runners over the first five frames. The Bears also grounded into three double plays over the first five innings. The Barnstormers took advantage in the sixth inning. After Turner, who had three hits, singled and Bryant Nelson walked, Herr hit a line drive two-out, three-run shot over the left field wall, giving the Barnstormers the lead for good at 3-1. Lancaster increased the lead with two unearned runs off reliever Greg Reinhard in the seventh. Joe Gaetti walked and Brett Flowers reached on an error, setting the table for Turner, who laced a double to the wall in left-center, scoring both Gaetti and Flowers for a 5-1 lead.
Herr unleashed a bomb of a homer on a deep drive high into the net in left field to push the advantage to five runs. Turner added an RBI double in the ninth inning, his third RBI of the game, off Bears reliever Nick Renault, making his Newark debut. Turner later scored on an error. Kennard Jones had three singles, the third being the 1,000th hit of his professional career. Raines, Jr. continued his fine play with three hits, including a solo homer in the ninth, his seventh of the season, but his first with the Bears.
The Bears head out on the road for seven games and kick-off the trip with three games at the Long Island Ducks. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at Suffolk County Sports Park. Fans can tune into all the action at www.newarkbears.com as David Greenwald provides the play-by-play.
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