The Newark Bears overcame a seven-run deficit to take down the New Jersey Jackals on Tuesday night and take home one of their most memorable victories of the season, 11-9.
The Jackals jumped out to an early lead after scoring three runs in the first inning with the help of a defensive miscue on from the Bears. Bryan Sabatella had an RBI single to make it 4-0 Jackals in the second inning.
An RBI single from Newark third baseman D’Angelo Jimenez in the third and a home run from second baseman Juan Martinez in the fourth inning helped the Bears cut the lead in the half and make it 4-2.
A five-run inning by New Jersey gave the Jackals a seven-run lead in the fifth inning, seemingly putting the game out of reach.
The Bears’ offense had other ideas, though. A seven-run inning in the top of the sixth evened the game up, 9-9, helping Newark overcome the 9-2 hole.
Center fielder James Roche singled to lead off the inning. Second baseman Juan Martinez was hit by pitch and John Patrick Reardon loaded the bases with a walk. Catcher Orlando Mercado got the first run home with a sacrifice fly. A single by designated Tucker Nathans plated Martinez. Richard then loaded the bases with a single. Reardon would score on a wild pitch for the third run of the inning. Jimenez cleared and the bases and pulled Newark to within one run with a three-run double to make it 9-8. Right fielder Ryde Rodriguez singled home Jimenez to tie the game. Martinez would be hit by a pitch for the second time in the inning. He would leave the game and would be pinch run for by Glen Johnson. Both Johnson and Rodriguez would be stranded to end the inning.
Relief pitcher Caleb Cuevas, pitched 1.2 scoreless innings to allow Newark the chance at the comeback. He gave up just one hit and struck out three batters.
Righty Anthony Pluta pitched around one hit in the seventh inning to keep the game tied.
Jimenez was once again in the middle of a rally in the eighth inning. He singled for his fourth hit of the day, and stole second base before Roche drove him home to put Newark in front, 10-9.
Pluta used a double play to get out of the eighth inning and hand the one-run lead to closer Jorge Vasquez.
Richard plated Reardon on a fielder’s choice in the top of the ninth to extend the Bears’ lead to 11-9.
Vasquez pitched a perfect ninth inning for his league-leading 21st save of the season. Pluta earned the victory.
Jimenez finished the day going 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI.
The Bears and Jackals play the second game of a three-game set on Thursday at 7:05 p.m.