Needing to win two of three games against the San Luis Obispo Blues, the Santa Barbara Foresters headed north and lost the series opener 6-1.
Shane Hoelscher’s first home run of the season tied the otherwise uneventful offensive matchup in the eighth inning before the Blues tacked five on the board in the bottom of the eighth to win the game.
Parker French, who had stumped the Blues twice earlier this season, took the mound Tuesday night for the Foresters. In two earlier appearances this season, the Texas right-hander had thrown nine innings with nine strikeouts and only one run allowed.
With a pair of base runners on first and second and two out, French allowed an RBI single by Cody Jones to open the night’s scoring in the first inning.
However, that would be it for the Blues against French. In the second inning, French found some trouble after hitting the first two batters of the inning, but managed to work out of the inning unscathed thanks to two weak infield pop ups and a groundout.
French maintained order from there on, pitching six innings with five strikeouts and the only run coming home in the first.
Willie Kuhl took the mound to pitch the seventh, hitting the first batter he faced. After a sacrifice moved the runner to second, Kuhl struck out the next two to work out of the inning.
Unfortunately the Forester offense could get nothing going other than Hoelscher’s solo homerun over the left field wall.
Kuhl returned in the eighth, but allowed a leadoff single and the second batter of the inning was awarded first base due to catcher interference on Jerry McClanahan. With a tie game, two on and no out, the Foresters turned to Patrick Weigel.
Weigel hit Aaron Attaway upon entering the game, loading the bases with no one out. After striking out the next batter, Weigel walked in the go-ahead run as the Foresters fell behind 2-1. A hard grounder to Hoelscher could not be contained and another runner came across to make it 3-1.
After another walk to force in another run, Weigel was lifted for Tejay Antone who gave up a two-run single as the Blues broke open the game with a 6-1 lead before Nick Kern entered and worked out of the inning.