Looking to rebound from their Opening Day loss, the Neptune Beach Pearl took on the Bay Area Warriors in a rematch in Marin June 3rd. After falling 11-10 the day before, the Pearl stormed back to a decisive 8-1 victory to even their season record at 1-1.
The Pearl continued to excel at what so far has been their best strength – hitting. “We swung the bats well and when we had opportunities to drive guys in, we were able to come up with some big hits,” Coach Brant Cummings said. The defense also made sure to prevent the Warriors from getting extra opportunities, with center fielder Joe Moroney (Kansas), shortstop Richie Johnson (San Jose State) and catcher Alan Baldwin (Hawaii) all getting their first starts in the lineup. Most importantly, team chemistry had started to build on the field. “The big thing is that we played as a team, right fielder Gary Detwiler (Sonoma State) said. “We’re all playing for the win.”
Detwiler led the team offensively in their dominant victory. He had four hits and three RBIs to help lead the Pearl to their first win of the season. His biggest moment came in the 3rd inning with an RBI single that doubled the Pearl’s lead and kept them decisively in front.
A solid combination of five different pitchers kept the Pearl strong and allowed the team to seize hold of the early lead and never look back. “Our pitchers were dominant,” Detwiler said. “They pounded the zone.” Ryan Millison (Sierra College), Daniel Hancock (South Florida), Matt Evanoff (Cal), Michael Casper (Princeton) and Collin Monagle (Sierra College) combined to allow 10 hits over nine innings, only one run, seven walks and seven strikeouts. Cummings hopes to continue trying out different pitchers to get a chance to let everyone play, one of his main goals of the 2012 summer season.
Resuming play Tuesday June 6th against the San Francisco Seals at Laney College, the team looks to build on their momentum from their first win. Cummings believes they’ll find success as long as the offense and defense remain strong. “It’s just going to be a solid offensive approach,” Cummings said. “I look forward to continue to play good defense and throw strikes, not walk guys and create extra opportunities for the opposition.” With that in mind, the Pearl can continue to win.
Following their home game, the Pearl will then take the road to face the Nor Cal Longhorns at 5 pm on June 6th.
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