Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Boggs excites with bid for perfect game

Palm Beach pitcher Mitchell Boggs sure knows how to impress the brass.

The Cardinals starter carried a perfect game into the ninth inning before settling for a complete-game one-hit shutout as Palm Beach defeated Jupiter 4-0 in Florida State League action.

Boggs reached near perfection infront of many top Cardinals officials, including general manager Walt Jocketty.

Boggs was in total command all night. He struck out 11 and allowed few hard hit balls.

Jupiter's J.T. Restko led off the ninth with a bloop single to center to end Boggs' bid for a perfect game. Boggs struck out the final three batters he faced to give the Cardinals the victory.

I was in the Jupiter broadcast booth for the final innings of the game and I must say it was one of the most exciting baseball nights I've witnessed. Jupiter broadcaster Jeff Grant could barely contain himself in the late innings. And as deflating as it was to see the perfect game slip away, the Palm Beach clubhouse was hopping after the game.

Boggs, who said the closest he's ever come to a perfect game before Wednesday night was a no-hitter when he was 9, didn't give much thought to having Jocketty present for his performance. He did, however, think about his parents, who were in town from Duluth, Ga., to see the game.

Congrats to Boggs and keep an eye on Palm Beach. The Cardinals were left for dead when they fell six games back with two weeks remaining in the first half of the season. Wednesday's win and St. Lucie's loss to Vero Beach left the Cardinals two back with four games remaining in the first half. Stay tuned…

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