Blues 8-Sters 7
by Nate Loop
The Foresters found themselves with just 20 minutes to re-group from defeat in the 13th inning of game two before they faced the first pitch from Blues starter Will Cox. The delayed 13th inning was a continuation of the five-hour, 12 inning heavyweight bout the two CCL titans engaged in the previous evening. Under these unusual circumstances, the Foresters were unable to avoid their first series sweep of the season, and lost to the Blues by a final score of 8-7.
The Foresters had gone through nine pitchers in the previous game, but if there is one thing the Sters have in abundance, it is quality pitchers. Brandon Pierce got the call for the Sters, but was knocked out after four innings, giving up five runs (four earned).
Cox didn’t fare much better against the Sters, who despite the recent spate of losses are starting to put strong innings together more consistently.
After the Blues jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning, courtesy of a 2-run single by Taylor Anderson, the Foresters came back to put up three runs in the top of the fourth all of them with two outs.
Arby Fields singled in Ryan O’Hearn to open the Sters scoring account. After Cox walked Tyler Pearson, the Blues brought in Kory Delange, who promptly walked Austin Davidson with the bases loaded to score another run. Delange then threw a wild pitch to Kaeo Aliviado that allowed Fields to score the go-ahead run, but did get Aliviado to fly out to end the inning.
The Blues retook the lead in the bottom of the inning with three runs of their own, as Pierce ran into some bad luck, with two of the coming on an error and the other a scoring groundout by Austin Grisham.
The teams traded off two-run innings in the fifth as well, and the Blues remained ahead 7-5.
The Foresters cut the lead to 7-6 on a wild play in the top of the 6th inning. Davidson and Aliviado, standing on first and second, respectively, executed a double steal perfectly at the expense of Delange. Quintanilla’s throw down towards third sailed into the outfield, and Davidson raced home to score.
The Foresters finally tied up the game at seven in the top of the 8th inning, with Davidson once again taking advantage of a Blues mistake, racing home from third on a wild pitch by Thomas Cortese.
The tie would be short lived, as the Blues responded in the bottom of the 8th inning. Willie Kuhl came into pitch, and hit Quintanilla to give him a free pass to first. A sacrifice bunt by Keegan Dale moved Quintanilla to second, and Kuhl got a second out by getting Tanner Witt to ground out weakly to short. However, Grisham came up and smacked a two-out triple that easily scored Quintanilla, and the Blues were back on top 8-7, the sixth lead change of the game.
There would be no Foresters comeback in the 9th inning, as Chad Girodo struck out Jacob Felts with two men on for the final out of the ball game.
The Foresters, having lost five out of their last six games and dropping down to second place in the CCL (2.5 games back), will look to turn their fortunes around against the Los Angeles Brewers.
The Sters will play three games against the Brewers at Junipero Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California. You can listen to all the games on KZSB radio, with Gerry Fall and Dave Soto on the call.