By Ryan Greenberg
The San Luis Obispo Blues turned Monday night’s tables and played spoiler by defeating the Santa Barbara Foresters 5-3 in ten innings on a Fourth of July showdown, one night after the Foresters defeated the Blues by two runs after ten innings. The Foresters are sure to be ruing their costly unforced errors late in the game which allowed the Blues to steal a win.
The Foresters, eager to score after Monday’s nine shutout innings, got on the board in the first inning when Max Belyeu’s sacrifice fly to center field drove in Daniel Patterson. The Foresters doubled their lead in the fourth inning when Rocco Garza-Gongora’s ground ball was sent into the dugout when fielded by the Blues, which advanced John Newman home for the second run of the game.
The Blues scratched off one run in the fifth inning when Matt Masciangelo’s double drove in Jacob Galloway from third base. The Foresters promptly responded in the bottom of the inning, though, as Gianni Horvat crushed a solo home run over the left field fence to regain a two-run lead, making the score 3-1.
The Blues wrestled back control of the game in the eighth inning, scoring two to tie it. The Blues scored their first run of the inning after Jalin Flores made a great play to field a ground ball hit by Masciangelo, but rushed the throw and sent it into the Blues’ dugout, allowing Zachary Tallerman to score all the way from second base. Masciangelo then scored on a wild pitch to tie the game.
The Blues opportunistically found a way to score two runs in the top of the tenth inning, just as the Foresters did the night prior. T.J. Adams, the Blues’ ghost runner, advanced to third on pass ball and then scored the lead run on a balk. The Blues then tacked on an insurance run when Masciangelo drove in Galloway on a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-3. The Foresters would fail to score in their at-bats in the bottom frame of the tenth inning.
Robert Cranz started the game on the mound for the Foresters, going five innings and surrendering just one earned run. Sam Garewal also contributed one scoreless inning pitched, and Hunter Watkins pitched in as well with three scoreless innings. Zach Yates got the call to the mound in the tenth inning, but surrendered two runs, one of which was earned, and was charged with the loss. Boston Warkentin earned the win for the Blues after pitching three scoreless innings to close out the game.
The Foresters return to Pershing Park Thursday for the rubber match of the series against the Blues, with the first pitch scheduled 6:00 p.m. All Foresters games can be heard live on 1290 AM radio; listen online or stream live via the Foresters’ website, www.sbforesters.org.