The Santa Barbara Foresters would like to extend a special thank you to our Opening Day 2014 sponsor, Montecito Bank and Trust, for supporting the ‘Sters and Javier Quezada for throwing out the ceremonial first pitch!
After a moment of silence honoring the victims of the tragic shooting in Isla Vista recently, the Foresters kicked off their 2014 season at 4:30 PM against the Oceanside Waves. Led by Head Coach Bill Pintard, the Foresters won their season opener by a score of 2 – 1. Left Handed Pitcher, Cameron Cuneo (1-0) from UCSB started on the mound for the Foresters and pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 run and striking out 8 batters on his way towards the win.
After beaning leadoff Waves batter, Balkan, Cuneo rebounded, stranding a runner on third base after a flyout by Outfielder, Andrew McWilliam. In the bottom of the 1st inning, the Foresters drew first blood. Leadoff batter, J. Davis singled and advanced to second base after an error by the Wave’s second baseman. Shortstop Dillon Dobson from Appalachian State, doubled to left center field scoring Davis and putting up one run on the scoreboard.
After a shaky start to the game, Waves Pitcher Bob Kraft from New Mexico State retired ten straight batters after sitting down three batters in the 4th, only allowing 2 hits through five innings despite trailing the Foresters. The season opener quickly turned into a pitching duel between Cuneo and Kraft, with each pitcher dealing very quickly and efficiently.
With a solo home run over the Left Fielder’s head, Catcher Jeremy Montalbano added another run to the Forester’s offensive campaign and put another blemish on Kraft’s outing in the bottom of the 5th inning.
Following a double play in the top of the 6th, Waves Outfielder Steven Fischer doubled in the right center gap, sparking a two out rally. Catcher Kevin Carswell singled and scored Fischer. Through six innings, the Foresters continue to lead the Waves, despite being outhit by them.
After a solid outing by Lefty Cuneo, Right Hander Cody Evans replaced him in the top of the 7th inning. Evans quickly gave up two hits to Waves leadoff man, Brett Balkan and Pinch Hitter, Roberto Martinez. The Waves then decided to sacrifice bunt with Pinch Hitter, Jarret Kitaoka from the University of Hawaii., moving the two base runners over to second and third base. Evans bounced back with a strikeout, coming in clutch for the Foresters and then Right Fielder, Dave Graybill ended the inning and the Waves rally with a spectacular backhanded sliding catch!
Evans continued pitching strongly following Cuneo, striking out two in the 8th inning. For the Waves, Pitcher Bob Kraft kept on pounding the strike zone, staying on the mound until being replaced with 2 outs in the 8th inning.
With two outs in the 8th, Shortstop Dobson doubled down the Left Field line and continued to third base with the first stolen base of the game. Kraft then gave a free pass to Dave Graybill, which now gave the Foresters runners on the corners. After a stolen base from Graybill, Vance Vizcaino struck out looking for the third out.
Foresters Pitcher Cody Evans laid down the Oceanside Waves in succession in the 9th inning, striking out the last batter en route to his first save of the season.
The EP 19 Player of the Game presented by Pacific Beverage is Pitcher Cameron Cuneo, who effectively mowed down the Waves with eight strikeouts and one earned run.
Result: Santa Barbara Foresters-2 Oceanside Waves-1
Head Coach Bill Pintard, on the Forester’s close victory against the Waves, “We started off with line drives in the first, I thought we would keep rolling, but we kept playing Forester baseball, stressing pitching and defense, which led us to our first victory on the season.”