By Kyle Howie
The Santa Barbara Foresters were unable to overcome a massive 7th inning from the San Luis Obispo Blues, and fell by a slim margin of 5-3. The ball game featured a pitcher’s duel until the Blues broke the game open in the bottom of the 7th.
Pitcher Kolby Kmetko of the Foresters was lights out, tossing four shutout innings with four strikeouts. Blues pitcher Robbie Lardner was also impressive, going five innings with five strikeouts and only allowing four hits. With help from the defense, Lardner faced the minimum of fifteen Foresters through his five innings.
The Foresters posed a threat in the top half of the 7th inning with back-to-back walks from Will Rogers and Max Belyeu, but were unable to break through and stranded a runner in scoring position. The Blues took advantage and put up 5 runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Luke Pemberton and T.J. Adams both recorded 2 RBI knocks to take a 4-0 lead. Jeriah Lewis also tacked on an insurance run, driving in Nin Burns II with a single to stretch the lead to 5-0.
The Foresters responded immediately in the top of the 8th inning thanks to a clutch Gianni Horvat double to the gap in left field. The hit scored P.K. Walsh and cut the Blues’ lead to 5-1. Daniel Patterson then grounded out to shortstop allowing Daniel Herose to score from third. Ryan Black also helped chip away at the Foresters’ deficit with an RBI single to center field.
Zachary Yates held the Blues’ lead at 5-3, sending the Blues’ hitters three up and three down. Belyeu and Rocco Garza-Gongora both got aboard in the 9th, and Herose loaded the bases with a one-out walk. The Foresters were unable to cash in, however, as the Blues got two final outs to take the victory.
The Foresters split the two-game series with the Blues and will travel to take on the Arroyo Seco Saints on Tuesday, June 13th. The first pitch will be tossed at 6:05 p.m. at Jackie Robinson Memorial Field. All Forester’s games can be heard live on AM 1290 radio; or listen online or stream live via the Foresters’ website, www.sbforesters.org.