by Nate Loop
Some days it’s tough to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The Foresters tallied five hits but couldn’t cross home plate, while their opponents, the San Diego Force, assembled a few big innings to back up a virtuoso pitching performance. The final score was 9-0 today in favor of the Force.
It was a duel between southpaws to start the game, with the Foresters trotting out Kirby Bellow against Elliot Smith. The Force started the scoring in the first inning, with a two-run double by shortstop David Whiteside putting the Foresters in an early 2-0 deficit.
Bellow may have started off shakily, but he found a right-hand (or make that right-gloved) man in center fielder Cal Vogelsang of Cal State Northridge, making his Foresters debut.
Vogelsang had just barely gotten off the 101 before being called into action, robbing the Force of two base hits in the 2nd and 3rd innings, each one a sensational combination of speed and concentration to make sure the ball hit leather instead of grass.
After four innings of solid work, Bellow made way for righthander Willie Kuhl, who struggled on the mound.
The Force added four more runs in the fifth inning. Fleet-footed center fielder Tim Williams doubled and came around to score eventually on a wild pitch to add a run. Then, with two runners on, Force first baseman Shane Riley sent a pitch flying over the fence in left field, the ball caroming off the scoreboard as three more runs were put up to make the score 6-0.
Brandon Shoemake stopped the bleeding for the Sters, pitching the 6th and 7th innings without allowing a hit and striking out three. However, the Force kept on trucking and put up three runs in the top of the 8th inning against Casey Rodriguez (two of them earned) to go up 9-0.
Elliot Smith took center stage for the Force and never let go of the spotlight, finishing with a complete-game shutout. He allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out five. Smith looked in complete control for entire afternoon.
Vogelsang showed he was just as good with a bat in his hands as he was with a glove, going 2 for 4 at the plate.
Williams was a constant menace to the ‘Sters pitching staff, going 4 for 5, scoring a run and collecting an RBI.
The Foresters look to get revenge against the Force tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. on the UCSB campus.