Pearson flirts with no-hitter in win
Thursday, July 21, 2005 - Under a humid overcast sky Thursday night at All Seasons RV Stadium, Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox starting pitcher Tyler Pearson showed the visiting Solano Thunderbirds why he's considered the ace of the pitching staff.
The right-hander from Ukiah by way of Northern Colorado, gave up only back-to-back singles in the seventh inning en route to a complete-game, 3-1 victory for the Gold Sox in a pivotal Horizon Air Summer Series showdown with their rivals from Vacaville.
The win snaps a brief one-game losing streak and propels the Gold Sox back in front of the T-Birds with a record of 24-7 and second place all by themselves in the McCullough Division, a half-game behind the Aloha Knights with ten games left in the Summer Series season.
“This was a emotional game for us,” said manager Brad Peek. “We had a big crowd tonight, but we have come back tomorrow night and do it again.”
With only a half-game separating the two teams in the standings, this one-game series was big for both squads. After losing 8-1 to Solano on Tuesday, the Gold Sox needed someone to step up and get the team back to their winning ways. With Pearson bringing a 6-1 record and an ERA of 2.17 to the mound, Peak felt pretty good about his chances.
“It was a gusty performance by Tyler,” Peek said. “The key was he was getting ahead on batters and finishing them off when he did get in front.”
At one point during the game, Pearson retired 14 straight batters.
“I was able to throw all my pitches well,” said Pearson. “My breaking pitches were getting batters out.”
After leaving two runners on base in the first inning by a walk and error, Pearson allowed just a walk over the next six innings. He struck out four during the stretch.
Meantime, the Gold Sox batters were finding the offerings of Solano starter Eddie Gamboa nearly as difficult. They hit into four double plays while managing just five hits. But they did get the game's first run in the third.
Junior Contreras opened the inning by being hit by a pitch. A perfect sacrifice bunt up the first-base line by Billy Krause sent Contreras to second. Then Matt Vance hit a shot past third base down the left-field line scoring Contreras. Vance later was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a ground ball.
Pearson's no-hitter went into the seventh inning. After hitting the lead-off batter Nevin Ashley, Pearson came back with two strikeouts and was one strike away from getting out of the inning. But Drew Johnson, who Pearson had struck out twice in two appearances, hit a ball to an open gap at second that Jesse Rodgers had vacated when Ashley took off on a steal attempt.
“You always know went you got one going,” Pearson said. “But you still go out there and keep doing your best.”
On the very next pitch, Marcus Artner lined a single into center scoring Ashley to tie the game at 1-1. Then Pearson recorded the final out of the inning on a groundout.
“I just left the ball up,” said Pearson about Artner's hit. “After that, I just refocused myself and was able to get them out the rest of the way.”
Gamboa gave way to reliever Darrell Fisherbaugh in the bottom of the seventh. He promptly walked leadoff batter Doug Thennis. A groundout and wild pitch sent Thennis to third with two outs. A high-chopper from the bat of Contreras went off the glove of third baseman Brian Shoup, scoring Thennis with the eventual game-winning run.
The Gold Sox added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI single by Jason Searle.
A running catch by right fielder Matt Suleski in the top of the ninth prevented a potential disastrous last inning for Pearson. He bounced back with a strikeout and groundout to finish with the second complete game of the year for the Gold Sox. Will Krout threw the other in the first week of the season.
Pearson lowered his ERA to 2.01 on the season and opponents are hitting just .177 off of him