NORFOLK – Grand Island pitcher Javier Cruz found his groove early and never left, striking out 12 Norfolk batters and just missing out on a perfect game as the Islanders beat the Panthers 3-0 on Saturday.
Cruz took a perfect game into the 7th inning, but Norfolk’s Parker Hansen singled to lead off the inning, providing Norfolk’s only base-runner of the game.
Cruz struck out 12 batters overall, and only three Norfolk batters got to three balls in their count.
The Islanders got their first run on a wild pitch in the third, and added two on back-to-back sacrifice flies in the 5th.
The win is Grand Island’s 36th straight over Norfolk, a streak that dates back to April of 2005.