By Matthew Landis
Committing five errors in a 7-3 ballgame did not stop the Foresters from sweeping the MLB Academy Barons in a thrilling showdown. The ‘Sters, now perfect on the season, outhit the Barons en route to the win that featured great pitching from the home team and stellar hitting from the top of the lineup.
The ‘Sters continued their hot hitting from a game before, lighting up the Barons for four runs to lead off the game. Center fielder Jaylin Davis hit a double to center and was in to second base, standing up. Grant Davis continued the rally with an infield single. Shortstop Dillon Dobson scored J. Davis with a bloop single. The Foresters added three more runs to their rally, drawing walk after walk from Barons’ starter Adrian Martinez. After one inning, the ‘Sters led the Barons 4-0.
The ‘Sters bolstered their lead in the fourth inning, making the lead 6-0. Martinez had control problems, walking ‘Ster after ‘Ster. Right fielder Jason D’Andrea was hit by a pitch and Reggie Southall drew a walk from Martinez, putting them on base. With two runners on, Davis continued his hot night, hitting a towering single deep to right center. D’Andrea later scored on a fielders’ choice, adding two runs for the Foresters in the fourth.
Designated hitter Dave Graybill scored Montalbano on a deep sacrifice fly to right field in the fifth inning putting the Foresters up 7-0.
The Barons showed some life in the seventh inning. Catcher Lester Salcedo hit a double down the left field line, giving the Barons’ a runner in scoring position. The ‘Sters quelled the rally however by picking him off at second base.
Showing a pulse once again, the Barons roared back into the ballgame in the ninth. With singles by Juan Avena and DJ Wallace sparked the Barons’ rally. The ‘Sters helped the Barons out, committing two errors that cost them two runs. First basemen Aaron Cisneros added to the fray with a RBI double of his own, making the score 7-3. The Foresters held off the Barons’ late rally however and clinched the victory.
In the first inning, Foresters’ pitcher Brandon Quintero took a line drive off of his wrist, forcing him to exit the game. Cody Van Aken came in for the early relief appearance, striking out nine through six and two thirds innings of work. Van Aken gained the honor of the EP 19 Beverage Player of the Game with his solid relief outing. Next up the Foresters take on the Neptune Beach Pearl continuing conference play.