By Kyle Howie
Two sizeable 4th and 7th innings from the Foresters were enough to put them on top of the Oaks 7-4 and clinch first place in the CCL South Division. The offense spread the wealth as five different Foresters had two hits and Will Rogers had two crucial RBIs, one in the 4th and one in the 7th. The pitching also held their own as Sean Youngerman threw 5 and ⅔ innings only allowing one run. Thursday night’s arms, including Youngerman, Michael Lombardi, and Greg Pace, combined for 11 strikeouts and 2 earned runs.
The Oaks jumped out in front first in the 2nd inning thanks to Nick Leehey’s fielder’s choice that scored Brendan Durfee for a 1-0 lead. The Oaks would need more than that to take down the resilient Foresters. The ‘Sters big 4th inning kicked off with a Rogers’ RBI single to score Jalin Flores from third base. A wild pitch from Cole Fisher allowed the Foresters to take a 2-1 lead as Max Belyeu was able to cross home plate. Ryan Blacked tacked on another and scored Rogers with an RBI single.
In the visitor’s half of the 6th inning, the Oaks tied the game up with two runs of their own. Durfee bounced and high chopper to Black at second base who was unable to secure the ball. Zach Daudet was given the chance to race home on the error to cut the deficit to one run. Drew Smith, the next batter, laced a ball to the outfield wall for an RBI double. Durfee’s score made it a 3-3 ballgame.
The game was then opened up by the Foresters with four runs in the bottom of the 7th. Lombardi scored on a wild pitch for a 4-3 lead and Rogers’ RBI, sacrifice fly gave Pace a chance to tag up from third. Daniel Patterson then joined in with a 2 RBI single for a 7-3 ‘Sters’ lead. Two more runs from the Oaks in the 9th inning would complete the scoring at 7-4.
With the NBC World Series just days away, the Foresters look more like themselves than ever. The pitching and hitting are both consistently complimenting each other and the energy in the dugout is sky high. Although the CCL South Division is won, the Foresters have not lost sight of their main goal, another World Series Championship. The Forsters will look to stay hot as they travel to Thousand Oaks and continue their series against the rival Oaks. The game will start at 4:30 p.m. on Friday night and the game can be heard live on AM 1290 radio; or listen online or stream live via the Foresters’ website, www.sbforesters.org.