Great beginnings turned into a great ending. The Foresters’ bats got off to a hot start, scoring in each of the first two innings, while starter Connor Mayes started strong and stayed that way through six innings of five-hit, no-walk work. Put it all together, and the Foresters beat the Conejo Oaks, 8-1, to re-open a two-game lead on their rivals in the CCL’s Central Division.
In front of a big crowd on Santa Barbara Community Bank Day (a group of fans that was still buzzing from a great National Anthem by teen star Hunter Hawkins), Kyle Isbel began the game for the ’Sters with a walk and came around to score on Hunter Williams’ bloop double. In the second, Tyler Adkison reached base on a single and Steven Coe drove him in with a double. Those two runs were more than enough for Mayes, who allowed only one Oaks runner to reach third in his six innings. Cody Crouse earned a save for three innings of excellent relief, striking out three.
Matt Henderson, normally a shortstop but playing center after minor injury to Evan Castalotto, drove in Travis Moniot in the fourth. Santa Barbara broke it open in the fourth, scoring three runs with two outs. Bret Boswell drove in Hank LoForte, who hit a single and stole second (one of four steals in the game for SB). Moniot then hit a long double to right centerfield that scored Boswell and Adkison, who had reached with his second hit of the game. Williams and Lex Kaplan added RBI in the sixth for the final total for the Foresters.
The Foresters enjoy a day off tomorrow, highlighted by their annual Hugs for Cubs trip to Angel Stadium. After that, it’s the Ventura Halos on Tuesday on the road. Listen to that game on AM1290! —J.B