Joe Gannon throws first no-hitter in Bears history
BRIDGEWATER, NJ, August 17 Â— Joe Gannon threw the first no-hitter in franchise history, and only the second in the history of the Atlantic League, as the Newark Bears shut out the Somerset Patriots, 6-0, Tuesday night at Commerce Bank Ballpark.
Gannon (4-2) allowed only four base runners the entire game, the first three on walks and the fourth on a ninth inning error by shortstop Jerson Perez. In the ninth inning Gannon got the first two batters to fly out to Rickey Henderson in left field before Victor Rodriguez reached on PerezÂ’ two-base error deep in the hole between third base and shortstop. SomersetÂ’s Edgard Clemente then lifted a fly ball to left that Henderson put away for the final out of the no-hitter.
The knuckleball-throwing Gannon struck out five batters in the game. He received solid defensive support, including a pair of stellar catches by Henderson, one in the eighth inning on a ball hit by Norm Hutchins and one in the ninth on a fly ball off the bat of Jhonny Perez. GannonÂ’s no-hitter comes less than two weeks after teammate Brent Billingsley took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Pennsylvania in a game played in Newark on August 7th. Billingsley lost the no-hitter with three outs to go in the game and finished with a two-hit shutout.
In its seven-year history the Bears have recorded three one-hitters and nine two-hitters, including three this season.
The Bears nursed a 2-0 lead into the 7th inning until Michael Coleman blew the game open with a grand slam home run off of losing pitcher Rich Kelley (4-1). The blast was ColemanÂ’s league-leading 24th of the season. It was the fifth grand slam hit by the Bears this year.
The only other no-hitter thrown in Atlantic League history took place on May 25, 2001 when Long IslandÂ’s Rod Henderson tossed one in a 3-0 victory over the Atlantic City Surf.
The Bears and Patriots meet again on Wednesday night in the middle game of their series. Left-hander Brent Billingsley (3-0) will get the dubious honor of trying to follow up GannonÂ’s gem and will make the start for Newark.
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Atlantic League Stories from August 18, 2004
- Bluefish hold off Ducks, 10-8 - Bridgeport Bluefish
- Bears feast on Patriots with 9-4 victory - Somerset Patriots
- Deja vu all over again, Surf 9th leads to win - Atlantic City Surf
- Riversharks edge Pride, 2-0 - American Defenders of New Hampshire
- Joe Gannon throws first no-hitter in Bears history - Newark Bears
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