by Nate Loop
The Foresters are in no mood to take it easy heading into the NBC World Series. Even though they already have their tickets punched and the hotel rooms booked, they continue to play like a team on a mission. Unfortunately for Team Vegas, they are the ballclub standing in the way of Manger Bill Pintard’s juggernaut. In a game that had the tense, angry atmosphere of a big heavyweight fight, the Foresters landed the majority of the blows in a 13-4 victory.
The biggest moment of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning. The two teams had exchanged plenty of words all game, and when Austin Davidson was hit by a pitch from Vegas reliever Devin Chavez in the fifth inning, the tempers nearly reached a boiling point.
Zach Fish decided to let his bat do all the talking, as he hit an absolutely titanic solo home run that got his teammates spilling out of the dugout and the fans going wild. Fish showed plenty of emotion, raising his arms and screaming as he came across home plate, and the Foresters had a 6-2 lead on the scoreboard.
Brandon Pierce was the beneficiary of this offensive outburst, and got the win with a solid five innings of work, giving up just two earned runs in his outing.
Fish wasn’t the only Forester carrying an impact bat. Richard Sanguinetti and Ryan O’Hearn, the three and four hitters in the lineup, put in their usual solid shifts at the plate. Sanguinetti was responsible for the go ahead run in the bottom of the third inning, hitting a single that scored Arby Fields from third base and gave the Foresters a 2-1 lead.
O’Hearn, not to be outdone, smacked an RBI triple- which was about two feet short of being a home-run to dead centerfield- in that same inning, and then scored on a wild pitch from Vegas starter Jarrett Porter.
The only time the Foresters looked like they might lose control of the game was in the seventh inning. Team Vegas loaded the bases on Hursh without recording an out, and that 6-2 lead looked like it might be on life support with the tying run at the plate.
But Hursh bore down and struck out Josh Sewald on five pitches, then got Kyle Bilbrey to ground out into a slick double play turned by shortstop Richy Pedroza, who gathered the ball and took it second himself for the first out, then pirouetted and threw down to first to get Bilbrey by a half-step.
Vegas first baseman Marvin Campbell was ejected in the seventh inning for some unsavory comments he made to the first base umpire, just another example of the tense atmosphere hanging over the field throughout the game.
With the game seemingly in hand, the Sters didn’t let up, putting up three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and then four more in the bottom of the eighth.
Sanguinetti finished 3 for 5 with an RBI. Tyler Pearson and Shane Hoelscher each collected a pair of RBIs down at the bottom of the lineup.
The Sters play their final game of the regular season tomorrow afternoon at 1:00pm. Come out to the ballpark to witness the final home game of the 2012 edition of the Foresters!