(Note: Pictured is Friday’s starting pitcher, Tanner Lawson)
By Matt Mitchell
They had a lead, and then it was gone.
The Santa Barbara Foresters fell 9-3 to the Orange County Riptide Thursday in the first game of a home-and-home series. The Foresters (1-2) had their chances early and often against Orange Country starting pitcher Tanner Murphy. Thanks to a wild top of the sixth inning that saw runs scored on a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by second baseman Preston Gittelson, Santa Barbara captured its first lead of the game at 3-1. And then it all unraveled.
Starting pitcher Dylan Bein, the former Texas State Wildcat and New Mexico JC Thunderbird, had a strong outing for the Foresters. Bein was dominant through five innings, striking out seven with no walks and only one run allowed. Manager Bill Pintard elected to send Bein back out for the sixth inning after being given a two-run cushion, but Bein could not record an out and soon gave way to reliever Jake Keily.
“I was just going in and out on guys and keeping the ball low,” Bein said. “My changeup was working to lefties and it was a good day.”
Bein, who last pitched for Santa Barbara prior to this season in 2015, made his first and what will be his only start for the Foresters this season.
“It was great to be back,” Bein said. “Playing for Bill [Pintard] is awesome and I embrace it.”
Once Keily, who had pitched well so far this season for the Foresters, entered the game, things seemed to come undone. The Riptide had several hard-hit balls and by the end of the inning five more runs were on the scoreboard. The damage continued in the seventh, as Orange County tacked on three more runs to put the game out of reach for the Foresters.
The Foresters will look to avenge the loss Friday, as they take on Orange County again in the second game of their home-and-home series. The game will be Santa Barbara’s home opener and first action at Pershing Park. The game begins at 6 pm.