Local Pitchers To Make Pro Debuts With The Newark Bears

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NEWARK– This week, the Newark Bears signed a pair of Union County pitchers: right-hander Pedro Rivera from Elizabeth and left-hander Luis Fernandez of Union. They will both be making their professional debuts in the Atlantic League debuts in 2010.

“Pitching makes you a better baseball team and we need all the arms we can get,” said manager Tim Raines. “I want to see what these can do out there for us this season.”

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Rivera spent 2009 with Kean University, where he went 5-0 with a 3.12 ERA and a save in 13 appearances, including 6 starts. Prior to Kean, the 23-year-old played two seasons at NJIT, where he recorded five wins, six saves and struck out 60 in 56.1 innings.

Fernandez comes to the Bears after a four-year career at Seton Hall University. The 23-year-old amassed a 4.68 ERA, three career victories and two saves in 66 appearances. He was a two-time Big East Academic All-Star.

The Bears have two other local players on their roster, Old Bridge native Gerard Haran and Union native Matt Melody, who made his professional debut in Newark last season. Newark’s roster is a mix of younger players and veterans. Former Mets stars Armando Benitez and Edgardo Alfonzo are also on the team.

Bears fans will be able to get their first look at the 2010 team on Sunday, when the team plays an exhibition game against the Bridgeport Bluefish. The gates open at 10 a.m. for a 10:30 a.m. start, and admission is free.

The Newark Bears are a member of the eight-team Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.


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