By Jim Buckley
The new Foresters bus made the trip down to Thousand Oaks, but perhaps the bats got a little too shook up in the luggage compartment, because the Foresters were blanked for the second time in three games. The Conejo Oaks won this second game of a three-game series, 5–0.
Conejo chipped away for their runs, while the Foresters were unable to make the most of their chances. The Oaks scored two in the first on an error and a groundout. They added a third on a single by Kalei Hanawahine in the third. A wild pitch and a sac fly gave them their final total.
Meanwhile, Oaks starter Dalton Brown and a pair of relievers frustrated the Foresters all evening. Santa Barbara had runners in scoring position in four innings but couldn’t score. In all, the ’Sters left 10 runners on base.
Foresters starter Nick Paliewicz took his first loss, but pitched pretty well, scattering eight hits over his six innings while walking none. DH Nick Melino was robbed twice by Oaks leftfielder Hanawahine, whose fine plays took a pair of probable extra-base hits and RBI away from Melino. Austin Davidson and Taylor Stell both had a pair of hits, but only Jacob Felts managed another for the Foresters.
Manager Bill Pintard gave his offense a C– during his pregame radio chat, and the grade did not improve Saturday in Thousand Oaks. Not including the stunning 19-run outburst on Friday, the Foresters have scratched out only one unearned run in their last three games.
At 7–4, the Foresters trail the SLO Blues by 2.5 games in the CCL, though Saturday’s late Blues result will change that one way or the other.
The Foresters hope to get the bats back in action when they return home for the final game of the series on Sunday, which is Santa Barbara News-Press Day. Here’s hoping a big hometown crowd will inspired the ’Sters to remember Friday and forget Saturday. Sunday’s game begins at 1 pm at UCSB and live on AM 1290.