Eric Ireland Throws The First
St. Petersburg Devil Rays Nine-Inning Perfect Game In Organizational History

Kissimmee Cobras 5 St. Petersburg Devil Rays 0

June 24, 1999

Kissimmee Cobras

2000 Grandstand Texas
League Top Prospects Unnumbered
As pictured in the Kissimmee
the following Friday

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This

By Ken Jackson
News-Gazette Staff Writer

    The old baseball cliche goes like this: you're only as good as your last start.
    If that's true, until Monday you can't get any better than Kissimmee Cobras' pitcher Eric Ireland
Ireland continued his stellar season by tossing a perfect game Wednesday against the St. Petersburg Devil Rays. The 5-0 win was just the fourth perfect game in the Florida State League's 69-year history and the first in 24 years. It was the first one [sic] in Houston organization history.
    "That's obviously one of the best games I've ever pitched," said Ireland, who threw a no-hitter as a sophomore at Millikan High School in his hometown of Long Beach, Calif.
    Ireland was tidy. He threw just 95 pitches, 69 for strikes, and according to his catcher, Mike Rose, he faced just two three-ball counts and fell behind three batters. Only four balls cleared the infield.
    Manager Manny Acta said there were no close plays in the field, and the only thing that could have put a stop to perfection was a 19-minute power outage in the seventh inning.
    Ireland said he didn't feel any different early on, but was aware he'd allowed no runs.

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