By Lauren Naworski
As well as the Foresters have been playing, they knew that getting their fourth straight win over the Blues tonight was going to be tough. With the long-standing rivalry between these two teams and with the fact that the Blues were coming off a 10-1 loss to the Foresters Wednesday night, it was no surprise that the Blues were hungry for a win. However, the Foresters came out as they always seem to do, ready to play.
The Foresters jumped out to a two run lead in the 1st inning, followed by stellar pitching from starting pitcher, Dylan Bein. Bein, in his 1st start for the Foresters, threw three and two thirds outstanding innings, striking out seven, while only walking one and giving up four hits.
Troy Cruz threw one and a third solid innings, weaving his way out of jams as he held onto the Foresters one run lead. Having the bases loaded in consecutive innings, Cruz kept his composure in order to preserve the Forester’s lead.
In the 7th inning, Ford Stainback hit a line drive single, bringing Jake Vickerson in to score. This allowed the ‘Sters to take a comfortable 3-1 lead. The SLO Blues followed with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
Jumping ahead of the hitters with ‘strike one’ was the Forester’s downfall in this game. Following Cruz’s gutsy performance, the ‘Sters next pitchers walked five batters, allowing two runs to come across the plate for the Blues. The Foresters were forced to intentionally walk hitters in the 8th inning to keep the double-play in order. Having done so, the ‘Sters would have left the 8th inning in a tie ball game. With the bases loaded and two outs, the Forester’s fifth pitcher of the night, Brandon Quintero, fell behind with a 3-0 count to the Blue’s number three hitter. Quintero did his part and got the ground ball but the ‘Sters failed to turn the double play on a bang-bang play, thus giving the lead to the rivaled Blues.
The ‘Sters were held hitless in the ninth. In a tense game, the Foresters fell 4-3 to the SLO Blues. The Foresters still maintain a solid 3-1 record against the always competitive Blues. Tonight’s loss takes the ‘Sters to 17-4 in the CCL and 19-4 overall.
The Foresters play the Menlo Park Legends tomorrow at 5:05 at UCSB.