By Jim Buckley
It starts from the top! That was the story of the Foresters’ 10-1 win Wednesday over the Texas Express. On the way to taking a 7-1 lead through five, the top four hitters in the Santa Barbara lineup knocked in six of the team’s first runs and eight of the first nine hits. The quartet ended up with a total of 11 hits on the night. (That’s not to say everyone else didn’t contribute; every batter in the starting lineup eventually either scored or got a hit against the Express.) All this offensive firepower backed up a sterling performance starting pitcher Nick Nastrini. The UCLA righty picked up his second win of 2020 while allowing only one run on three hits in five innings and striking out six.
As per the evening’s theme, the scoring started right at the top when Express LF Christian Garcia hit a leadoff homer. In the bottom half of the first, after SS Matthew McLain led off with a triple (the third time he has started a game with an extra-base hit), 2B Jace Jung brought him home to tie the score.
In the second, No. 9 hitter Pat Caulfield started a three-run rally with a two-out single in the second. Then it was back to the top of the order, and the hit parade continued as McLain got a hit—again, and then Jung drove him in—again. (Caulfield scored earlier in that sequence on a wild pitch.) Then No. 3 hitter Brandon Boissiere banged a double to bring in Jung.
In the fourth, the top of the order rolled around again and continued to drive the ’Sters offensive machine. Jung drew a two-out walk and Boissiere singled. Cleanup hitter Ryan Holgate then smacked a three-run homer to make it 7-1 ’Sters.
In the fifth, the rest of the lineup got in on the action. No. 6 hitter DH Spencer Jones hit a one-out triple, and, after No. 7 CF Sean McLain was hit by a pitch, No. 8 C Noah Cardenes hit a ground-rule double to score both of his teammates. Cardenas then came home when Caulfield grounded out as the Foresters reached double digits for the fourth time this season.
Following Nastrini’s six-inning gem, Jack Cunningham made his 2020 ’Sters debut with two scoreless innings, followed by Jake Harrell and Derrek True.
The Foresters have a busy day Thursday with a doubleheader. Game 1 starts at 2 pm, with the second game scheduled for 6 pm (but might start a bit earlier). Tune in to a long and exciting day of baseball at KCSB.org/sports or sign up for Foresters Livestream at the very top of this page.