Perfection doesn’t normally occur right off the bat but don’t tell that to El Dorado starting pitcher Mike Green who tossed a perfect game against Golden Sierra in both teams’ 2014 season opener Tuesday.
Behind Green and plenty of offense, the home Cougars rolled through the Grizzlies 12-0 in an intra-county, mercy rule-shortened affair.
Green faced 15 batters, threw 60 pitches and recorded six strikeouts.
“He threw a perfect game, no hits, no errors, no walks,” El Dorado coach Rusty McDonald noted. “I don’t care how long you play — that doesn’t happen very often.”
El Dorado had a big start, scoring eight runs in the first inning. Matt Smith and Ryan Rodriguez had two RBIs apiece, while Alex Pereira added another, and three errors accounted for the additional scores.
In the third, Zach Culp singled and scored on a base hit from Smith. Rodriguez and Owen Mackendrick walked and a Pereira single scored Rodriguez, pushing the score to 10-0.
A sacrifice fly from Smith and a balk meant two more runs in the fourth frame.
Cameron Stephens, Alex Vargas and Tony Ceirante all saw time on the mound for Golden Sierra, and despite their rough outings, head coach Greg Thompson felt positive.
“We had two freshman pitch for us and we talked about how the other pitcher (Green) was ahead in the count, while our guys were behind all game,” Thompson said. “The good news is we have good, young pitchers.”
Golden Sierra missed the playoffs last season but Thompson is more optimistic for this year, purporting that strong, senior leadership will be a plus.
“Our expectations are that we should be in the playoffs and should be contending for a league championship this season,” he added.
El Dorado placed second in the Sierra Valley Conference last year, but was ousted in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. McDonald said that pitching and defense would again be a tenet in his plan to return to the playoffs.
“That is what we always preach here, and is always our first priority,” he said. “Half our team is seniors and we have more team speed that we have had in the past.”