With the temperatures well above 100 degrees, the Neptune Beach Pearl took on the Sacramento Spikes June 16th, looking to earn their third straight victory.
The Pearl struck early, taking a 3-1 lead in the third off the bats of catcher Casey Watkins (Cal State Fullerton) who had a 2 RBI triple and right fielder Gary Detwiler (Sonoma State) who had a RBI sacrifice fly to bring in a run. The game settled down until the fifth inning when the Pearl scored six runs. “We broke the thing open,” Coach Brant Cummings said. “We were just able to hit the ball well and hit it over guys’ heads and in the right spots.” Watkins had a 2 RBI single to keep up his streak of big hits, eventually finishing the day going 3 for 4 with two singles, a triple, four RBIs and two runs scored. Third baseman Bob Cruikshank (University of San Francisco) also had a strong day, going 4 for 5, one RBI and one run scored. The Pearl continues to be able to swing the bats well, and perhaps most importantly today, do so with runners in scoring position, according to Cummings.
After a shaky start in which he walked three batters and gave up a run in the first, Chris Garrison (University of Kentucky) settled down and pitched six innings, striking out five, and only giving up three hits. Right hander Ryan Millison (Sierra College) came in to pitch the seventh and closed out the game.
Next up for the Pearl is a doubleheader June 17th at home against the Alameda Merchants. They have a few days off before beginning a road trip from the 20th through the 24th.