Two-out hits win championships, manager Bill Pintard is fond of saying, and his catcher came through with a big one Saturday night in front of a big crowd on Montecito Bank & Trust Night. Brian Bussey pulled a single through the left side in the sixth, scoring Tyler Adkison with what proved to be the game-winning run. Santa Barbara took advantage of late wildness by the Capitalists to put up a seven-spot in the eighth, leading to the 12-4 final.
Breaking what had become a bit of a habit, Santa Barbara did a fantastic job of getting hits with men on base. In the game in such situations, they were an impressive 7 for 13, or .538 on the day.
At the beginning, it seemed like it would be a Foresters’ blowout. Starter Zach Esquivel struck out the first six Capitalists to come to the plate; he ended his six-inning stint with 9 punchouts. Behind him, Santa Barbara put together a four-run third inning, courtesy of a pair of walks, a Lex Kaplan single, and a Tyler Adkison two-run home run over the left-center wall.
However, Pacific Union put up two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, to tie the game 4-4. In the sixth, Adkison doubled for his second extra-base hit and moved to third on a sac fly by Travis Moniot. Then Bussey came through with the game-winner.
In the eighth, Santa Barbara used five walks, a hit batter, and a trio of hits to put up seven runs. Adkison and Bussey had their second RBI of the game in the inning. Austin Schnabel and Steven Wells combined to allow only three hits and no earned runs in the final four innings for the ’Sters.
Santa Barbara looks to make it three in a row tomorrow as they play game two against Pacific Union at 1:30 pm.—Matthew Selman