NEWARK – Former major leaguer Daryle Ward had a huge game, collecting three hits, including two homers, and driving in seven, and Kearny native Matt Smith pitched six scoreless innings in his seasonal debut, leading the Newark Bears to an easy 13-3 rout of the Camden Riversharks Saturday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
Ward hit three-run homers in each of the sixth and seventh innings for the Bears (2-1) and had a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the third inning. Ward, who last played for the Chicago Cubs two years ago, now has 10 RBI now in the first three games of the season.
Smith, the minor league veteran who has spent parts of the last three seasons with the Bears, was masterful in his first start of the season. The left-handed Smith scattered five hits, walked four and struck out seven, leaving the game with a 9-0 lead.
The Bears got on the scoreboard first by scoring two runs in the home third inning against Camden starter and loser Steve Hammond (0-1). Anthony Manuel, the son of Mets manager Jerry Manuel, who also had several stellar defensive plays in the field at second base, started the rally with a single and scored on an RBI single by former major leaguer Fernando Seguinol, who had three hits. Kennard Jones scored on Ward’s fielder’s choice for the 2-0 Newark lead.
Newark scored twice in the fifth inning, when Ward scored on a wild pitch and former World Series hero Scott Spiezio plated a run with a single, pushing the lead to 4-0.
The Bears broke the game open with a five-run sixth inning, a frame that saw Newark hit long balls three times. Former Washington Nationals outfielder Nook Logan got it started with a solo homer and Jones then followed with another solo homer, giving the Bears a 6-0 lead.
Ward then hit the first of his two homers, increasing the Bears’ lead to 9-0.
In the seventh inning, the Bears scored four more times, with former Pirates backstop J.R. House (3-for-5) drove in a run with a single and Ward belted his second three-run blast to put the game out of reach. Jason Botts had three hits in vain for Camden (1-2).
The Bears are back in action on Wednesday night, with a doubleheader against the Lancaster Barnstormers beginning at 5:05 p.m. at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
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