For their first road trip of the 2012 season, the Neptune Beach Pearl started out by heading up north to face the Redding Colt 45’s June 21st in a doubleheader. The Pearl took the first game 6-5, while the 45’s struck back in the second half of the day to win 8-1. The June 22nd game saw the Pearl fall behind in the eighth and they were unable to recover as the 45’s won 3-2 to take the series.
Next up for the Pearl was a trip to Medford, OR, to face league rivals Southern Oregon Riverdawgs. After weather delays prevented the game from starting at the scheduled time thanks to heavy rain, the Pearl began play in a doubleheader June 24th, winning game one 8-6, before falling to the Riverdawgs in game 2 with a close 6-5 loss that split the series for the two teams.
The Pearl then headed down south to take on non-conference rivals Santa Barbara Foresters, who are ranked 6th in the nation. Falling 2-0 in the first game on June 27, the Pearl were unable to come back, losing 6-1 on the 28th. Following that series was a double header against the North County Indians, where the Pearl split the series, losing the first 8-3 before coming back to win the second 8-6. After that was their last stop down south, as the Pearl challenged the San Luis Obispo Blues July 1st and 2nd, falling 10-5 and 5-2 to come back winless against the 19th ranked team in the country.
While the trip down south may not have been a success in terms of picking up wins, the Pearl got to face two of the top ranked teams in the country, providing them valuable experience as their own season continues. This opportunity, Coach Brant Cummings believes, is a priceless one that can help the team grow throughout the rest of the summer.
Before they returned home to resume Far West League action, the Pearl went to Sacramento Legends July 5th, where they picked up another victory on the road, this time winning 9-5. “We scored nine runs with runners in scoring position, which is something we don’t normally do very well,” Cummings said. “We just outplayed them.” The Pearl’s first roadtrip finished with a 4-8 record, going 1-1 in league play.