The Pittsburg Mettle baseball team's season got underway last week, and while the team stumbled out of the gate with a 1-4 record, there were reasons to be excited for what's in store for its three-month season.
The Mettle picked up its first win on June 6, beating the San Rafael Pacifics 8-3 behind a gutty pitching performance from manager/player Wayne Franklin, who threw 150 pitches through 6.1 innings.
Franklin, who pitched in 143 regular season games over a seven-year major league career, was part of a pitching effort that stranded 19 Pacifics baserunners.
In the fourth inning, with the game tied 1-1, San Rafael's Johnny Woodard had seemingly hit a three-run homer. But after the umpires convened, the home run was overturned and ruled a ground-rule double. Franklin was able to work his way out of the jam, surrendering only two runs.
Pittsburg broke the game open in the seventh inning, scoring four runs on three singles, a hit by pitch, and an intentional walk. Pittsburg added another run in the ninth in route to its first franchise win. Franklin, who spent the 2004 season with the Giants, picked up the victory.
This is the first season for the Mettle in the four-team Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs, an independent league based in Northern California that began in 2013.
Former Antioch High star Aaron Miles, who played 932 regular season games in the big leagues over nine years, is the team's bench coach. Other members of the Mettle with major league experience include pitcher Rob Ellis and outfielder Tony Torcato, with most other players on the current roster with some professional experience, either with affiliated teams or independent teams.
Pittsburg continues its season this weekend with games at San Rafael June 13-15, then plays its home opener at City Park in Pittsburg on June 17 against the Sonoma Stompers.
The Mettle play 12 straight games at home, with the first six coming against Sonoma, three against San Rafael and three against the Vallejo Admirals.