By Kian Karamdashti
The Foresters bounced back from their frustrating July 4th performance with an explosive 13-1 victory over the MLB Academy Barons Friday evening. Makeshift starter Christian Winston gave the ’Sters three solid innings before conceding to the bullpen, as big offensive nights from Christian Franklin, Nick Bellafronto, and Zach Presno led the way for the ’Sters bats.
Not initially penciled in for the start today, Winston gave the Foresters three quality innings, striking out three and allowing no runs.
“He gave us three big innings of work the other night in SLO when we needed him,” said manager Bill Pintard. “And he did that for us tonight when we needed a start. He set the tone right away from the beginning.”
The ’Sters took an early lead through a Franklin RBI single in the first, while the Barons tied the game in the top of the fourth with their own RBI single. This stalemate remained until the bottom of the sixth, when the Foresters initiated their onslaught on the Barons pitching. In the following sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, the Foresters put up a combined 12 runs on the board. Capitalizing on a Barons bullpen that kept allowing hit after hit, walk after walk, and non-out after non-out.
A defining moment came in the bottom of the seventh when Presno knocked a two run shot into deep center.
“The ball Presno hit, did you even see where it landed?” said Pintard. “That ball was crushed. The center fielder didn’t even move. He maybe took one step. Presno’s been working with the coaching staff and beginning to identify when he’s out of sync.”
The Foresters’ bullpen arsenal of Kevin Larson, Clayton Beeter, Connor Curry, and Hunter Breault dominated the Barons’ lineup. Beeter had a big time performance, with three shutout innings of relief.
“They took care of what they’re supposed to do,” said Pintard. “Beeter and Breault came in and threw absolute gas. 95, 96 MPH out of the bullpen.”
Presno was also happy with his pitching staff.
“With all these guys on the mound, it’s important to learn about them and have fun with it. You don’t get to catch these kind of guys every day.”
The Foresters continue their home stand tomorrow against the SLO Blues at Pershing Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm on AM 1290.