by Nate Loop
The Foresters, having lost five of their last six games, including three in a row to the San Luis Obispo Blues, who took control of first place in the CCL, were in need of a feel-good game to bounce back and finish the season strong. The Sters did just that, walloping the Los Angeles Brewers by the score of 12-3 in the first of a three game series in San Juan Capistrano.
Pitching and defense have been the hallmark of the Foresters this summer, but those strenghts were nowhere to be found against the Blues, as the Foresters gave up 23 runs in just three games. It was unfortunate timing, because the Sters hitters were finally getting into a groove, as they put up 19 runs of their own.
However, the Sters were firing on all cylinders in this game. Cody Dickson got the start for the Sters, and the lefthander put in a solid outing, giving up just three runs, all of which came in the fouth inning, in his five innings of work.
The Sters hitters got to Brewers starter Philip Ferragamo early, with three runs of their own in the top of the second inning. Arby Fields, Shane Hoelscher, and Robert Vickers each notched RBI singles in the inning.
With the score tied at 3-3 after four innings, the Sters broke through in the top of the fourth and never looked back. Luke Plucheck singled then stole second, and then was driven in by an RBI single from Richard Sanguinetti, who has been scorching hot since his return last week from an ankle injury.
The Foresters added two runs in the top of the sixth inning and another run in the seventh to go up by a comfortable 7-3 margin.
Dae Yang Kim pitched three innings in relief of Dickson, and looked excellent in his longest single outing of the season, allowing just two Brewers to reach base in his stint on the mound.
The Foresters broke the game wide open with five runs in the 8th inning. The ‘Sters, who are no strangers to unusual innings this summer, really outdid themselves, as they scored all five of those runs with just two hits. Of course, the Brewers may have had more control over that fact than the Sters.
Lefty reliever Greg Terhune was the unfortunate hurler on the mound in the nightmare inning, and yet just one of his five runs that inning was earned, as his defense committed two errors behind him. Terhune also let Fields score on a wild pitch.
So with the game easily in hand, Brendon Shoemake came in to get some work on the mound for the Sters, and struck out two batters on his way to delivering the Sters their first victory since Sunday evening.
Arby Fields led the Sters in hitting, going 2 for 5 with three RBIs. In fact, every Foresters starter collected a hit during the game, perhaps their most balanced offensive outpouring of the summer.
Cody Dickson picked up just his second victory of the summer, moving his record to 2-1 overall.
The Foresters look to continue the success tomorrow evening at 7p.m. as they chase the San Luis Obispo Blues for the CCL crown.The Foresters moved up to just 1.5 games behind the Blues wit their victory.