Photo by Vic Neuman
By Patrick Hunter
The Santa Barbara Foresters barely even gave their opponent a chance. After losing a heartbreaker in extra innings on Thursday night, the ’Sters took out their frustration on the Academy Barons, jumping out to a six-run lead in the first inning before cruising to a 9-2 win.
The Foresters did most of their damage in a short time, as they eliminated any hope the Barons had in the bottom of the first.
They kicked off the inning with a sequence that you will not see everyday in baseball. With Utah Jones and Logan Allen on first and third, respectively, Jones stole second. With the whole field focusing on Jones’ attempt, Allen was able to safely come home.
The next at-bat, Conor Davis knocked in Jones with a single. John Jensen followed up with an RBI single of his own, extending the early lead to 3-0, but the ’Sters were far from done. Tyler Hardman, who has come back strong from an early-season ankle injury, smacked a hard-hit double to bring Jensen home. To cap off a strong first, Kamron Fields grounded out to score a run, and Brandon Zaragoza brought in the final run of the inning, putting Santa Barbara up 6-0 early.
The Barons reduced the deficit to four runs with a strong fifth inning, but still found themselves trailing by a significant margin and running out of time.
If the Barons thought they had a chance after the first, the Foresters wiped any remaining hope from their minds after another big inning.
Later in the game, the Forester offense lit up Barons pitching for another strong offensive inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, catcher Chase Illig brought Ryan Cash safely home with a double. Jones followed shortly after, cruising home on an Academy error that pushed the needle to 8-2. Fields topped off the scoring for the ’Sters, recording his second RBI on a sacrifice fly to center.
As is normal at Pershing Park, Forester pitching was solid, and never allowed the Barons a chance to get back into the game.
The Foresters end their home stand on Saturday, July 7, where they will face off against the Academy Barons for the second straight game.
’Ster it Up!