By Sasha Steinberg
The Santa Barbara Foresters (22-4, 20-4) posted their fourth shutout of the season thanks to outstanding pitching by Kyle Kubat, Brandon Quintero, John Williamson and Matt Withrow who combined to strike out 13 batters. The Menlo Park Legends (5-15, 4-10) threatened at times, though never seemed to get anything going as they left nine on base in the Sters 5-0 victory.
After giving up six runs in four innings in his first start, Kubat fared much better in his second outing. He retired his first six batters, striking out eight, and gave up three hits and no runs in six full innings. Quintero, Williamson and Withrow combined to pitch the final three innings, giving up one hit and striking out five.
After being held to one hit through three innings, the Foresters came alive in the fourth when Granger Studdard extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI double scoring David Greer from third to give the Foresters a 1-0 lead. Studdard is averaging .469 during the streak and after picking up two hits on the day, he has now gone 15 for 32 in his past nine games.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Legends tried to respond as they started off with two singles by Dane VandeGuchte and Dylan Cook. After a fly out to center field by Matt Globe, VandeGuchte stole third, putting men on first and third with one out. Kubot then struck out Wesley Hoskins and walked the next batter Cole Loncar loading up the bases for the Legends. Fortunately, the Legends stranded the bases loaded as Kubot forced Kyle Zirbes to ground out to second basemen Reggie Southall.
In the bottom half of the inning following a bunt single by Colt Atwood, Jaylin Davis snapped out of his hitting slump by smashing a two-run home run to deep left field. The Foresters weren’t done scoring as the next batter, Jeremy Montalbano, roped a fly ball to right center field for a double, his seventh of the year. Studdard then got his second RBI of the day hitting a ground ball into right field for a single, scoring Montalbano from second putting the Foresters up 4-0.
Davis’ home run marked his third of the year and puts him in a tie for first place for home runs in the California Coastal League (CCL) with teammate Dillon Dobson and Los Angeles Brewers’ Nick Maguire. Davis also leads the league in batting average (.379), and is second in the league in RBI’s with 18 right behind teammate Dillon Dobson (22).
In his first start since June 22nd, Reggie Southall began the bottom of the seventh with a four-pitch walk and would eventually steal second standing up. After a groundout by Vickerson, Atwood hit a line drive to left for an RBI single scoring Southall and extending the Foresters lead to 5-0. The five runs proved more than enough as the Foresters completed a three game sweep of the Legends.
In total, the Foresters completely dominated the Legends, outscoring them 24-5, and out hitting them 27-12 throughout the three games. With their twentieth league win of the season, the Foresters have now carried their run differential to +103.
Additionally, the Foresters have now won 14 of their last 16 games. They have scored eight or more runs in eight of their last ten games and are averaging 7.8 runs per game this season, far beyond any other team in the CCL. After a day off tomorrow, the Foresters will try to continue their success when they resume play on Tuesday night against the San Francisco Seals at 5:05pm.
The EP Beverage Player of the Game honors go to Kyle Kubat for his impressive outing, and to Jaylin Davis for his mammoth home run in the sixth.