NEWARK– The Newark Bears and Bridgeport Bluefish split a doubleheader on Wednesday night at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. The Bears, behind Kearny native Matt Smith, sunk the ‘Fish 4-3. Bridgeport took the nightcap 8-2 for the split.
The Bears scored two runs in the third inning to give Smith a lead that he would not relinquish. Catcher Brian Shubsda had a leadoff triple and scored on a Scott Spiezio sacrifice fly. Nook Logan, who was hit by a pitch, came around to score on a wild pitch by Bridgeport starter Marc Kaiser.
Newark pushed the lead to 4-0 with two runs in the home fourth. Fernando Cortez singled and came around to score on an error. Shubsda walked and scored on Spiezio’s single. Bridgeport answered back against Smith, scoring three runs in the fifth inning. Joe Jiannetti delivered a run with a single and former Newark Bear Charlton Jimerson smacked a double and scored.
Smith (3-2) grabbed the win, surrendering only one earned run on seven hits, with four walks and three strikeouts in six innings of work. Kaiser (1-2) was dealt the loss, tossing four and two-third innings, allowing four runs, two earned on three hits and five strikeouts. Armando Benitez pitched a scoreless inning to earn his third save.
In the nightcap, the Bluefish reached previously undefeated lefty Paul Fagan early and often. Bridgeport took an early lead on a two-run triple by Steve Moss, then pushed the lead to 4-0 in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly from Luis Lopez and a RBI single by Todd Jennings, who had three hits in the second game.
With a five-run lead, the Bluefish put the game away in the fourth when Jimerson hit a long homer to left field and it was 7-0. A RBI single by Brandon Chaves in the fifth extended the lead to eight runs. Logan broke up starter Paul Oseguera’s shutout bid with a solo homer in the sixth inning for his second homer of the season. Recently acquired Tom Pennino hit a solo shot for the Bears, his first of the season, but Newark drew no closer.
Oseguera (3-1) went the distance, scattering just seven hits with two earned runs, while striking out 10 to earn his third win in four decisions. Fagan (3-1) took the loss, tossing four innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits, with two strikeouts.
The Bears and Bluefish will play their second straight doubleheader to close out the series on Thursday. The teams will play two, seven-inning games. Game one is slated to begin at 5:05 p.m., with the gates of Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium opening at 4:05 p.m. Game two will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one. Thursday night is also “Thirsty Thursday”, presented by Pepsi and Budweiser.
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