By Jim Buckley (photo by Kylie Koeper): The bats came alive in Pasadena, as the Foresters pounded out 16 hits, capped off by a ninth-inning grand slam by Josh Stinson (pictured), leading the way to a 12-6 win over CCL South rival Arroyo Seco. The W moved Santa Barbara three games ahead of the Saints with just five CCL games remaining.
Every Foresters starter but one had at least one hit, with Tanner O’Tremba and Kendall Pettis each notching three. The 12 runs tied a season high for Santa Barbara (not counting two opening-game routs of non-league teams).
Both teams wasted little time, doing a lot of damage in the second inning. In the top of the frame, O’Tremba led off with his second summer homer. Jared Thomas hit a one-out double and scored on Pettis’s long triple. Stinson brought Pettis home on a groundout. (Secret stats note: The box score provided by the Saints and linked above is incorrect; Stinson should get credit for 5 RBI. Wow!)
Up 3-0, the Foresters let the Saints right back in the game in the bottom of the inning. The Saints scored four on only two hits—they got help from a pair of walks and a crucial Foresters error.
Back came the ’Sters in the fifth. Three straight hits were capped by a Nate Rombach double to score Andrew Kachel and Dylan Campbell with the tying and go-ahead runs. Rombach stole third and the ball got away, and he scored run No. 6.
In the sixth, Pettis came around to score on a wild pitch after his single started a sequence that saw the Foresters load the bases.
In the seventh, the runs parade continued. O’Tremba led off, Thomas walked, and Pettis had an infield single, his third hit of the night. A passed ball sent O’Tremba home with his third run to make it 8-4 Sters.
The Saints did not go quietly. In their half of the seventh, Drew Cowley reached on an error and scored three batters later to pull within three. Then Stinson smashed his back-breaking slam with one out in the ninth, his second longball of the summer.
Santa Barbara starter Gabe Starks struggled a bit, walking four and giving up four runs in his three innings. Bullpen star Ian Churchill then stormed through 3.1 innings, allowing only an unearned run and picking up his first 2021 win. Connor Roberts and Nick Proctor handled the final two innings with little trouble.
The Foresters will try to make it 12 in a row with a 4:30 game on Wednesday at the OC Riptide.
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