by Nate Loop
After riding through the desert on a bus with no name, the Foresters found themselves in Las Vegas, the gleaming oasis in the vast desert of the southwestern United States. Las Vegas may be known for its numerous distractions, but the Foresters proved to be all business in their first game against the Las Vegas Baseball Club (Team Vegas), and recorded a solid 6-3 victory, where only a shaky final frame threatened the ‘Sters victory.
Team Vegas struck first in the bottom of the third inning. Ethan Ferreira came up and smacked a double into left field. Ferreira then advanced to third on a wild pitch? And finally came around to score on a groundout by Michael Martin.
Brandon Pierce got the start for the Foresters and had a solid outing, although he did allow a few baserunners, only one came around to score.
Pierce tight-roped his way through the fourth and fifth innings. He had runners on second and third with two outs, but battled to notch a strikeout with a full count to end the inning..
He allowed two baserunners in the fifth inning as well, but once again recorded a strikeout to preserve the ‘Sters advantage.
The ‘Sters had their crucial big inning in the top of the fifth. as they posted up four runs to surge past Team Vegas. Two errors by Vegas shortstop Sam Lind allowed Shane Hoelscher and Luke Plucheck to reach base. Arby Fields, who plays at LSU and made his Foresters debut today, made his only hit of the evening count by lacing a single into left that scored Hoelscher. Another Vegas error allowed two more runs to come across. Fields then crossed home on an attempted steal of second by Cal Vogelsang, making the score 4-1 to the ‘Sters.
The Foresters took advantage of more sloppy play from Team Vegas in the sixth. Plucheck and Taylor Stell were both hit by errant pitches from Vegas starter Chipper Smith. They both eventually came around to score on a two out single by substitute Kaeo Aliviado to stretch the ‘Sters advantage to five runs.
Unlike the Sters, who took advantage of errors and hits whenever possible, Team Vegas showed an inability to cash in runs all night. They outhit the ‘Sters 12-5 on the night, and left a total of 10 runners on base.
This fact was evident in the nerve-wracking ninth inning. Albert Minnis, who had come in for Pierce in the sixth inning, allowed Team Vegas to score two runs to make the score 6-3. With three outs still left to go, Manager Bill Pintard turned to Willie Kuhl to close out the game. It turned out to be a brilliant move, as Kuhl notched two strikeouts and a groundout that held the runner at third to end the ballgame and secure the Foresters fifth win in a row.
The victory moves the Sters up to an 8-5 record on the year, and 3-1 in the CCL. Their next game is Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. against Team Vegas. You can listen to the radio call by Gerry Fall or follow the game scorecast by clicking the links at the top of the homepage.