Josh Pernetti made a name for himself while playing for the North Carolina-based Edenton Steamers summer collegiate baseball team.
The 2020 Ceres High School grad/soon-to-be sophomore at San Joaquin Delta College hit six home runs as the Steamers compiled a 19-18 overall record and finished in second place with a 12-11 mark in the Premier Collegiate League (PCL) East Division standings.
Pernetti logged playing time at first base and catcher on defense.
“I think I put myself on the radar more,” he said. “I’m hoping good things come from it. I’m keeping my options open. I’d like to get drafted.”
Pernetti’s production earned him a spot on the PCL All-Star Team. The East All-Stars secured a 7-2 victory over the West on July 23.
“That was one of the highlights of the summer,” he said.
Pernetti also earned an invitation to participate in the league’s Home Run Derby Contest. He bested three other players on his way to a first-place finish. Pernetti topped Greenbrier Knights’ Jose Cazorla, 6-5, in the finals. He bested Fuquay-Varina Twins’ Nate Slocum and Xander Hamilton by identical scores of 2-1 in the second and first rounds, respectively.
“I was a little nervous at first,” he said. “After the first-round win, I settled in. It’s basically just batting practice. I just tried to hit bombs.”
Pernetti’s most-clutch hit of the regular season came against the Tarboro River Bandits on July 14.
He blasted a walk-off, two-out grand slam over the scoreboard in right field at Hicks Field to propel the Steamers to a thrilling 8-4 win. Pernetti was mobbed at home plate by his teammates.
“That’s one of the coolest things I’ve done,” he said. “The guy threw me a fastball up and in and I crushed it.”
Pernetti batted .333 with four homers and 11 RBIs during the month of July.
“I don’t think I played as good as I should have,” Pernetti said while assessing his overall performance. “I had a lot of RBIs and home runs so I’m not disappointed. I faced some pretty decent pitchers. I developed my approach at the plate. I learned a lot more about the game.”
The Steamers closed out the season with a 3-2 loss in extra innings to the Tarboro River Bandits in the PCL East Division Playoff Tournament’s elimination game on Aug. 2.
“It was baseball and rainouts,” Pernetti said. “That’s it. Our games were always packed. We would travel all over. We had a lot of road trips. It was fun to play out there.”
Pernetti lived with a host family in North Carolina for two-and-a-half months.
“I learned a lot about myself,” he said. “I made a lot of friends. I had a good time.”
Pernetti will return home to Ceres this weekend.
He’ll begin his sophomore year at Stockton’s Delta College on Aug. 23.
The 2021 baseball season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m excited to be back,” he said.
Pernetti was a key member of Ceres High’s baseball program for three seasons.