Kicking off the Rawlings California Cup, the Santa Barbara Foresters faced off with this past weekend’s foe, the MLB Academy Barons, winning their opener with a 6-3 score Thursday afternoon.
Blake Fox took the mound for his first start of the season for the Foresters. In three appearances so far this season, Fox had thrown three innings coming into the game. In Thursday’s start, Fox immediately made an impression with two strikeouts in the first inning. The Rice lefty finished with five innings pitched, striking out eight, in line for the victory.
A two-out rally in the second gave the Foresters a 4-0 lead, one they would not give up. Louie Lechich singled to extend the inning, and after stealing second Hunter Kopycinski and Keaton Jones walked to load the bases.
Ben Johnson launched a triple over the center fielder’s head, clearing the bases to score three runs. Steven Reveles tripled into the right field corner on the next pitch and the Foresters took a 4-0 lead.
The Barons finally began to record some hits off of Fox in the fifth inning, giving up a homerun to right field for Juan Avena. William Oullette followed up with a double and moved to third on an Elliott Barzilli.
Justin Broussard hit a deep fly to right, allowing Oullette to score. Barzilli moved to second on the throw and then third on a throwing error for Hunter Kopycinski who tried to throw him out at second. From there Fox worked out of the inning, still leading 4-2.
After Shane Hoelscher was hit by a pitch, Lechich drilled a home run over the right field fence to put the Foresters ahead 6-2 in the sixth inning. Lechich now has 18 RBIs to lead the team along with his team-high four home runs.
Austen Williams entered for his first relief appearance of the season in the sixth inning, striking out the first man he faced. Williams pitched in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Williams wrapped up his outing with five strikeouts, while allowing no hits or walks.
Patrick Weigel entered in the ninth to wrap up the game, allowing a run on three hits and striking out one.
Tomorrow afternoon the Foresters will face off with Tri-Valley Bercovich, who lost their tournament opener to the Conejo Oaks 11-1.