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Santa Barbara Foresters

Foresters drop first game of CCL championship series 3-0

Player pitching

A complete lack of offense by the Santa Barbara Foresters put them in a hole in the California Collegiate League Championship Series, falling 3-0 to the Los Angeles Brewers in San Juan Capistrano Saturday night.

For game one of the championship series, the Foresters turned to staff ace Drew Van Orden. While Van Orden missed the Brewer bats early on, balls put in play proved to be a problem for the defense behind him for the second consecutive start.

In the second inning, the Duke right-hander struck out the first two batters before a ground ball to shortstop Keaton Jones was misplayed for an error. The Brewers immediately cashed in the free base runner, as Nico Garbella hit a low liner that right fielder Ben Johnson slid and missed the ball.

From there on, Van Orden simply avoided allowing LA to put anything into play. After striking out the last man, and effectively the side in the third, he struck out two more in each the third and fourth.

However, a leadoff walk to Pierce Bily and an infield single for Zach Nehrir put two men on, with Bily reaching third thanks to an error by Ryan O’Hearn. With no outs and men on the corners, Van Orden struck out one before the run scored on a groundout by Caleb Whalen.

With Van Orden and the defense facing their own bit of struggles, the Forester offense struggled to put any support behind them.

The closest chance came in the top of the fifth inning, as Shane Hoelscher hit an infield single to begin the inning and Michael Aquino doubled to right field with no outs. Hoelscher found himself stuck running through third base and elected to run home after stopping in the middle of the basepaths, but the relay throw beat him home.

With another jam in the sixth inning, Van Orden departed for Willie Kuhl after striking out Garbella. Unfortunately, Kuhl entered with men on second and third and a wild pitch scored the third run against Van Orden before striking out Bily to end the inning.

Van Orden finished his day with 10 strikeouts, bringing him to within 10? of the Foresters single-season record, while pitching five and two-thirds innings. The Brewers walked twice and recorded six hits off of Van Orden, who wound up with his second loss of the season.

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