By Matt Mitchell
Brody Weiss’ first hit of the season was a loud one.
Entering the game 0-for-9 to start his Foresters season, the third baseman from Westmont crushed an 0-1 pitch over the fence in deep center field, giving Santa Barbara an early 3-0 lead it would not surrender.
The Foresters (4-3) defeated the Southern California Catch 9-5 Tuesday night, avenging their season-opening loss from a week ago. Playing their second game of the season at Eagles Diamond at Biola University, the ’Sters used the long ball to secure the win.
Weiss’ three-run blast in the second inning got the Foresters on the board early against Southern California starting pitcher Zac Whittaker. Weiss finished the game 3-for-4 for with four RBI, breaking out of his early-season slump in a big way. Whittaker went five innings for the Catch, but left the game with his team in a 4-1 hole.
Leading 6-1, it seemed the Foresters were heading toward an easy victory, but Southern California mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs off reliever Kyle Wade to cut the deficit to 6-5. Santa Barbara answered, however, by adding three more runs, including a Luke Ritter two-run shot in the eighth inning, to put the game out of reach. All three Santa Barbara home runs this season have come at Eagles Diamond.
Foresters starting pitcher Ty Wiest was dominant in the win. Wiest pitched five innings and struck out a season-high nine batters while allowing only a single hit and no earned runs. Aiding Wiest were the Foresters hitters, who tallied a season-high 13 hits. Three Foresters, Weiss, center fielder Joey Fiske, and newcomer Evan Lee, had multi-hit efforts for Santa Barbara. Also of note was right fielder Ashton Easley, who was hit by a pitch in three consecutive at–bats.
The Foresters resume play Thursday after an off day Wednesday, when they take on the Conejo Oaks at Sparky Anderson Field. First pitch on AM 1290 will be 5 pm.