Gold Sox pitching staff stifles Mudcats
Tyler Pearson hasn't embarked on his professional baseball career just yet.
The Gold Sox's pitcher was drafted Tuesday by the Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball's amateur draft and is scheduled to pitch in the Alaska League before joining a minor league affiliate.
However, travel delays have set his departure date back, and the recent University of Northern Colorado right-hander wanted to put some more work in on the mound before leaving Marysville.
Pearson (2-0), who took on a relief roll this summer after becoming the staff ace last season, pitched two perfect innings on Sunday, striking out three and earning the win as five Gold Sox pitchers combined for a 2-0 no-hit victory over the Solano Mudcats in the a single non-series game.
It was the Gold Sox's second no-hitter in collegiate team history and their first at All Seasons RV Stadium. Nick Waechter threw a no-hitter at Salinas in 2004 in a 2-0 win.
“Because it's Sunday and we don't play again until Thursday, we wanted to let everyone get some work in,” Gold Sox manager Brad Peek said.
The Gold Sox (11-1, 9-1) have never lost a game to the Mudcats since the teams began facing off in 2003, running their record against Solano to 11-0. This was their only meeting this season and Yuba-Sutter was absolutely dominating.
Pearson was hitting in the upper-90s with his velocity, peeking at 96, and completely fooled the Mudcats lineup, keeping a perfect game going through six innings.
“I feel awesome because I've never been part of a no-hitter before,” Pearson said. “I was just hitting my spots and throwing strikes.”
Josh Roberts earned his team-leading fourth save in two innings. He struck out three and walked one.
“Roberts was a guy I was looking at last year and he's one of the first on my radar this year,” Peek said. “He has a ton of confidence and wants to pitch everyday.”
Yuba City High and Yuba College product Ryan Zaft got the start and worked three perfect innings. He struck out two and gave way to left-handed newcomer Michael Hall in the fourth. Hall, a recent graduate from Red Bluff High and a soon-to-be freshman at Shasta College, pitched a perfect fourth.
Pearson then relieved Hall, and Matt Collins came on in the seventh, walking the first batter he faced to end the perfect game. He walked one more before getting out of the inning unharmed. Roberts then finished things off.
“Zaft was a little tender so we wanted him to go three and get the lefty in for an inning and get his feet wet,” Peek said.
“(Pearson) knew he was only pitching two innings so he really cut loose. He looks so much better than last year and he's picked up 4 mph on his fastball.”
B.J. Collom's first double of the season, a sinking line drive that got under the glove of diving left fielder Vic Davis, brought home two runs in the fifth inning to break up the shutout and give Chondell Jones the tough-luck loss.
“He has got a lot of tools and does everything well,” Peek said of Collom. “He runs above average, hits for average and he does have some power. He's a gamer and you can tell he comes ready to play.”
Jones pitched eight strong innings, scattering seven hits, including a double from A.J. Valentine in the second, and two singles each from Bret Nightingale and Jeff Horn. Horn broke out of a 0-for-18 slump with his hit in the third inning.
Jones struck out 10 with a nasty variety of pitches to keep the Gold Sox off balance. He walked one.
“He was good,” Peek said. “Obviously he knew how to pitch. I think he had a split-finger or a short curve and it would drop the last few feet before it got to the plate.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Justin Miller can be reached at 749-4796. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org