NEWARK — Former major leaguer Daryle Ward had three hits, including belting two long home runs and driving in five runs, leading the Newark Bears to a 7-5 victory over the Lancaster Barnstormers Thursday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
Ward, who played for six teams in the big leagues, the last being the Chicago Cubs two years ago, hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning and a two-run shot in the fifth. Ward’s first homer of the night enabled the Bears (4-2) to tie the game at 3-3 and his second blast gave the Bears a 6-3 lead.
Ward now has five homers and 16 RBI in just six games this season. Ward is also hitting .600 for the season. Kearny native Matt Smith (2-0) had his second strong outing of the young season. The lefty surrendered just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out five while walking two.
The Bears fell behind 3-0 in the second inning, victimized by three errors. Matt Watson delivered two runs with a double for the Barnstormers (3-3). But Ward drew the Bears even with one swing of the bat and the Bears took the 4-3 lead later in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Chris Vasami, scoring former major leaguer Scott Spiezio.
Ward’s second homer off former St. Louis Cardinals hurler and Lancaster losing pitcher Jason Simontacchi (0-1) pushed the lead to 6-3 in the fifth inning. Kennard Jones singled and scored on Ward’s homer. The Bears then needed help from four relievers, namely Jersey City native and former major leaguer Willie Banks, Joe Winkelsas, Michael Nix and former major league All-Star closer Armando Benitez, who pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.
Spiezio delivered a clutch RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Ward, who had doubled. John-Ford Griffin, the former Yankees first round draft pick, had two hits for the winners, as did shortstop Fernando Cortez.
The Bears hit the road for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday at Camden. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. at Campbell’s Field. Fans can tune into all the action live via streaming webcast at www.newarkbears.com with David Greenwald providing the play-by-play.
Newark returns to Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium on Wednesday, May 5 and welcome the Long Island Ducks in for a three-game series. The teams will play a doubleheader with game time is set for 5:05 p.m., and the Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium gates opening at 4:05 p.m.
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