A back-and-forth affair that saw four lead changes and three ties ended in a thrilling Bears victory as Newark held off the Rockland Boulders 8-7, giving new manager Chuck Stewart his first victory in his debut as skipper.
The Bears were led by huge afternoons for Quentin Davis (3-for-5, 2 RBI), John Patrick Reardon (3-for-4, 2 RBI) and Mike Richard (2-for-5, RBI) as Brick City pounded out 13 hits.
Trailing 3-0 in top of the third inning, the Bears started to turn the game around when shortstop Mike Richard’s double brought home designated hitter Tucker Nathans to make it 3-1 Rockland. After Richard stole third, center fielder Quentin Davis drove him in with a single.
Finally, Reardon drove in Davis with a single to tie the game at three.
Newark took the lead in the fourth when catcher Dan Coury doubled to put the Bears ahead, 4-3. The Bears would tack on another run in the fifth on a solo homerun by Davis.
However, Rockland came back to tie the game in the bottom half of the fifth. Ryan Mollica led off with a double, and came around to score on a triple by Cole Kraft to cut the Bears lead to 5-4. Kraft would later score on a sacrifice by Billy Alvino to tie it.
Rockland would then jump back out in front on a solo home run by Qualon Millender.
But the Bears would not be deterred. Newark took the lead right back on an RBI double by Reardon, and an RBI single by left fielder James Roche to make it 7-6.
The Boulders answered quickly as pinch-hitter Chris Valencia drove in Ryan Scoma to tie the game again.
Finally, in the eighth inning the Bears grabbed the lead for good, when Mike Richard came around to score on an errant throw by Rockland’s Kraft.
There was still plenty of drama in the ninth. Bears’ closer Jorge Vasquez struck out the first two batters to face him, but proceeded to walk both Billy Alvino and Valencia. Vasquez went to a full count on Millender before striking him out looking to close out the victory.
The Bears will wrap up their five-game series in Rockland tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Provident Bank Park in Pomona, N.Y.