Just hours after picking up a must-need win to stay alive in the Far West League playoffs, the Neptune Beach Pearl took the field tonight to face off against the Menlo Park Legends, knowing that a W would mean fighting for the championship, and an L would send them home.
The Legends got ahead early, knocking in a run in the first inning, but the Pearl would rebound quickly. Center fielder Clay Williamson (Cal State Fullerton), the hero of the playoffs for the Pearl offensively, hit a 2 RBI triple before coming home on a wild pitch to make the score 3-1 in the second. Menlo Park battled back to pick up another run in the fourth, but first baseman Blake Bass (Texas Tech) hit a 2 RBI single to give the Pearl a 5-2 lead in the fifth. The bottom half of the inning saw the Legends take advantage of a double and a throwing error to score another run, making it 5-3. Right fielder Roger Boulden (Chico State) hit an RBI sacrifice fly and the Pearl added another run to make it 7-3. Solid pitching from starter Jake Chutney (Seattle University) and reliever Matt Evanoff (Berkeley) sealed the final score as a 7-3 Neptune Beach win, knocking the Legends out of the playoffs and keeping the Pearl alive for another day.
The Pearl will face off against the Humboldt Crabs tomorrow at noon, and if they are victorious, they take on the Crabs one last time at 4 pm to fight for the Far West League championship.