A delayed arrival for the Atwater Aviators did nothing to assist them in their pursuit of a win against the Santa Barbara Foresters, as they fell 7-1 and the Foresters extended their win-streak to four to open the season.
Another day brought more unique scoring situations for the Foresters, as Ben Johnson led off the bottom of the first with a walk and stole second despite being picked off. He would be picked off again leaving early for a steal of third, but the third baseman for the Aviators misplayed the ball and allowed Johnson to score.
Johnson scored another run in nontraditional fashion, having stolen second and third to place himself 90 feet from scoring. After Steven Reveles walked, Aviators’ pitcher Jhinnosuke Yagi balked both up the bases paths to make the score 2-0 for the Foresters.
Foresters’ starter Keaton Siomkin threw five and 2/3s innings, striking out seven in the process as he earned the win. He left with two on and two out in the sixth inning as Brendon Shoemake relieved him. Shoemake allowed a single and a bases loaded walk as the Aviators chopped the lead in half, 2-1 before Shoemake worked out of the inning.
Not to be outdone, the Foresters responded in the bottom half of the sixth with four runs against pitcher Alex Alivera. Shane Rowland and Shane Crawford walked to start the inning. After Rowland stole third, Keaton Jones laid down a squeeze bunt that ended up as a base hit and brought home Rowland.
The scoring continued as Chris Stroh tripled to the left center gap, scoring two to make it a 5-1 Forester lead. Patrick Weigel, playing first base for the second straight game, drove Stroh home right on an RBI groundout to make the score 6-1.
In the seventh, the Foresters added another run thanks to a Steven Reveles leadoff triple and another sacrifice fly by Rowland.
Lacking depth in the bullpen with players still arriving as their college seasons end, Forester pitching coach Sean Tracey took the mound for seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Tracey held the Aviators scoreless while striking out three and allowing one hit and one walk to finish the game.