By Nick Masuda (photos by Kylie Koeper):
Henry Miller arrived in style, with BMW Santa Barbara providing the sweet ride around Pershing Park before the Santa Barbara Foresters took on the visiting Academy Barons. Then the Hugs for Cubs youngster fired the opening pitch from the regulation bump, sending the Forester dugout into a tizzy.
That momentum would carry over immediately, with the Foresters scoring three runs apiece in the first and second innings, adding in two more in the third to take a commanding 8-0 lead. The Foresters ended up winning 10-4 to move to 17-7 on the summer.
It was the Foresters’ third consecutive win, riding three RBIs from Texas Tech’s Nathan Rombach and two apiece from Fresno State’s Andrew Kachel and Dylan Campbell of Texas.
Justin Eckhardt, a junior at Texas, picked up his first win of the summer, striking out eight over five innings.
The Santa Barbara pitching staff had 15 strikeouts as a unit—Maxwell Flame of Ventura Collage had three punchouts over two innings while Chase Webster of Texas Tech K’d four over the final two innings.
Rombach set the tone early with a bases-clearing double to score Kendall Pettis, Tanner O’Tremba, and Kachel.
Santa Barbara will head out on a three-game road trip starting Sunday with a game at the Academy Barons, with a Tuesday tilt at the Conejo Oaks and Wednesday evening game in San Luis Obispo against the Blues.
The Foresters will return to Pershing Park on July 22 against the Ventura Pirates before the OC Riptide (July 23), Arroyo Seco Saints (July 24) and Oaks (July 25) come to town.