By Lucas Armstrong
The age-old question, “Will youth conquer experience?” was answered tonight as a veteran Foresters squad pounded an all-freshman PUF Caps lineup for the second straight night. Santa Barbara (25-9) finished off a two-game sweep of the PUF Caps with an 8-1 victory Friday night, pushing their season-best winning streak to nine games.
Brody Weiss knocked in the first run of the game on an RBI single to center field, scoring Jimmy Galusky from second. That was only the beginning for Weiss, who reached base three more times on a double, a triple, and another single. Weiss finished the game 4-4 with two RBIs. Galusky and Weiss then struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning on back-to-back hits, giving the Foresters a 2-0 lead.
“Great game, 4-for-4” Foresters manager Bill Pintard said. “Weiss was the player of the game for sure.”
In the fifth, Foresters’ starter Tanner Lawson found himself in a bases loaded jam after most Foresters fans thought the inning was over on a pickoff. The umpires ruled otherwise and the PUF Caps nearly took advantage, loading the bases. But Lawson responded with a beautiful curveball that froze Donta Williams to end the threat and get the Foresters got out of the inning unscathed. Lawson (5-0) kept his perfect record for the his Foresters career intact, earning the W after five shutout innings, with four strikeouts.
“He gets in trouble and he gets out of trouble,” Pintard said. “He’s a bulldog, he’s a tough guy, and really sets the tone for the rest of the staff.”
The Foresters executed well on offense several times throughout the game, taking advantage of Caps’ errors with good baserunning and getting runners into scoring position. The Foresters scored two runs in the fifth and two runs in the seventh on throwing errors by the Caps followed by sac flies from David Clawson and Jake Pavletich. Santa Barbara’s offensive onslaught continued with two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on consecutive singles by Brody Weiss, David Hamilton, Austin Todd, and Ryan Cash, as the Foresters took an 8-1 lead into the ninth.
“We played on all eight cylinders tonight,” Pintard said. “I’m really pleased with these guys.”
The Foresters bullpen never let the Caps back in it. Caps hitters only managed to score a single run on the Foresters bullpen in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings pitched by Corey Herndon, Nathan Wiles, and John McMillon, respectively. Garret Gayle and his blazing fastball then shut down the Caps in the top of the ninth.
“We had no walks tonight [after giving up 9 on Thursday],” Pintard said. “We were clean and we were aggressive.”
The Foresters will look to keep their winning streak going tomorrow at 6 p.m. as they take on the San Francisco Seals at Pershing Park. This game will be BMW/Hugs for Cubs Night at which we will honor the family of the late Noah Scott. We hope lots of Foresters fans can come and be part of this special evening.