Controversial Home Run Call Leads To Bears Loss

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NEWARK – Greg Porter made the most of his debut for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, collecting two hits, including an RBI single in the top of the seventh that snapped a 5-5 tie, giving the Blue Crabs a 6-5 win over the Newark Bears Thursday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

The Blue Crabs scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh, when Matt Craig singled with one out. That hit ended the night for Bears starter Kelvin Villa (3-9), who pitched six and one-third innings, striking out nine during that stretch. Bears reliever Nick Renault got the first batter he faced to ground out to shortstop, but then Porter, who was added to the team’s roster right before the game and started at first base, drove a single up the middle to score Craig with the game-winning run. The run enabled reliever Ryan Speier (3-3), the third of six Southern Maryland pitchers, to earn the victory. Jim Ed Warden pitched the ninth to earn his Atlantic League-leading 29th save of the season.


The Bears certainly had their chances all night, but left 14 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded without scoring in both the fifth and sixth innings. The second inning was definitely a bizarre one and lasted for just a little under an hour. It started with the Blue Crabs scoring four runs off Villa on a highly controversial call. With the bases loaded, Southern Maryland catcher Christian Lopez lifted a high fly to left that cleared the wall and went over the foul pole. Home plate umpire Dan Merzel initially called it foul, but Blue Crabs manager Butch Hobson vehemently objected about the call and Merzel met with the other two umpires. The call was then overturned and Lopez was awarded a grand slam, giving the Blue Crabs a 4-0 lead.

In the aftermath of the call, Bears second baseman Tim Raines, Jr. was ejected by crew chief Dan Wilson. The Bears then erupted for five runs in the bottom of the second, a frame that saw Blue Crabs starter Joe Newby leave the game with an undisclosed injury. Sandy Madera had the big hit in the inning for the Bears, a bases-clearing double that gave the Bears a 5-4 lead. Kennard Jones drove in one run in the inning with a bases-loaded walk and the other run scored via a passed ball. The Blue Crabs tied the game at 5-5 in the third inning on a RBI single by Travis Garcia, scoring Patrick Osborn, who doubled. The Bears received two hits and three RBI from Madera. Brian Barton and Randy Gress also had two hits each for the Bears. The Blue Crabs also received two hits and an RBI from Garcia.

Newark begins the final home series of 2010 as they welcome the Camden Riversharks. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m., with the gates of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opening at 6:05 p.m.

The Bears also welcome “Ed Randall’s Bat for the Cure” Tour to Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. “Bat For The Cure” was founded in 2002 after the charity’s founder, Ed Randall, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After treatment at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, Ed’s cancer went into, and remains, in remission. Ed Randall is the host of Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball on Sirius/XM Radio Channel 175 and WFAN Radio in New York. The charity is dedicated to the twin propositions of spreading the gospel of prostate cancer awareness and education

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