By Ryan Greenberg
The Foresters suffered from an uncharacteristic off-night Monday night, struggling on both sides of the ball in a 7-3 loss on the road to the San Luis Obispo Blues. The difference tonight was how opportune the Blues were with runners on base, particularly with their baserunning itself, while the Foresters struggled to punish Blues pitchers with traffic on the basepaths.
Hunter Watkins was called upon for his second start on the mound of the season, but unfortunately struggled in his three innings, yielding four earned runs. After Jacob Ruley singled in the first inning, he found himself on third base after a steal and a balk. Ruley was then driven in on Matt Masciangelo’s single for the first run of the game. The Blues would tack on two more runs in the first inning thanks to Jason Hanson, whose single drove in both Masciangelo and Jake Bold to jump out to a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Masciangelo picked up his second RBI of the contest in the second inning, driving in Jeriah Lewis from third on a single to right field. The Blues attempted to squeeze an extra run out of Masciangelo’s single as Ruley rounded third for the plate, but was gunned down from right field by Max Belyeu as the tag was applied by Rylan Galvan to end the inning with a score of 4-0.
The Blues then rallied to put up another crooked number in the fifth inning to expand their lead to 7-0. JT Rican’s single scored Raley, Bold’s single scored Masciangelo, and a bases-loaded walk to Kody Darcy pushed Rican across the plate.
The Foresters began to scratch away at the Blues’ lead through the rest of the game, but failed to mount a comeback. Will Rogers smoked a home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning, and Jalin Flores’ double scored both Rogers and Anthony Silva in the eighth inning. That inning was cut short, however, when Rican robbed Rylan Galvan at third base with an acrobatic and elegant diving catch on a roped line drive.
Justin Feld started the game on the mound for the Blues, throwing four scoreless innings and earning the win. Watkins was charged with Monday night’s loss, with Zach Erdman, Jacob Hughes, Zac Colletti, and Greg Pace – yes, Greg Pace – making appearances in the loss. Pace threw one shutout inning in the bottom of the eighth.
After the CCL Showcase Game on Wednesday, the Foresters return to action on Thursday at Pershing Park to take on the MLB Academy Barons, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:00 p.m. All Foresters games can be heard live on 1290 AM radio; listen online or stream live via the Foresters’ website, www.sbforesters.org.