10-Time National Baseball Congress World Series Champions

Foresters lose late lead against Oaks, game delayed until Sunday afternoon

Player sliding into base

Returning to Thousand Oaks to face the Conejo Oaks, the Santa Barbara Foresters blew a three-run lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and forced Friday night’s game to be delayed until Sunday afternoon when the Oaks head to Santa Barbara for the originally schedule 5 p.m.

Keaton Siomkin looked terrific in his first start since July 9, allowing just one hit through the first four and two thirds innings pitched until a ground ball flew over Keaton Jones at shortstop to a single. Following the fluke single, Siomkin returned to sending Oaks back to their dugout empty handed and finished the day with seven scoreless innings pitched. Siomkin’s excellent outing prevented the Oaks from putting a man on third through his seven innings, as he totaled eight strikeouts.

With Siomkin inducing grounders and missed swings all night, the Forester offense backed him with two runs in the second inning to take a lead they would hold until the ninth inning. After Jerry McClanahan singled to lead off the inning, the Foresters rallied with two outs to put two on the board. Ben Johnson hit a grounder deep in the hole to shortstop, beating out a double clutched throw for an infield single. After Johnson stole second, Joseph Epperson blooped a single over the shortstop’s head and both McClanahan and Johnson came home.

Santa Barbara added another run in the fifth thanks to a leadoff double for Steven Reveles, who moved to third on a bunt single for Austin Darby. Darby stole second in front of Johnson, but the Texas outfielder grounded hard to third and trapped Reveles from moving up on the play. Epperson stepped in, looking to add to his two RBIs from earlier in the game, but took a walk to load the based. Ryan O’Hearn, who had struck out in his previous two at-bats, grounded to shortstop and beat out the turn to keep the inning alive, allowing another run to score.

The Foresters chased Oaks’ starter Avery Ortiz in the sixth after putting men on second and third with one out. Kyle Ferramola entered for the Oaks and immediately allowed Shane Hoelscher to score from third thanks to a wild pitch, pushing the score to 4-0, before striking out Reveles and Darby to end the inning. The score became 5-0 thanks to a wild seventh inning of pitching from the Oaks. Epperson was hit by a pitch, O’Hearn walked, Hoelscher walked and Jones walked to force a run across.

Patrick Weigel replaced Siomkin in the eighth with a five run lead, but allowed a run on a sacrifice fly after walking two and hitting a man to load the bases. Another came home on a single for Tommy Pluschkell, but Louie Lechich threw out Brent Barbier at third and the inning came to an end.

Hunter Lemke entered looking for his seventh save of the season, but instead blew his first of the year. The Texas State right-hander allowed three straight two-out singles to concede his first run of the season.

After another run came home on a passed ball to score a man from third, before Mitchell Tolman doubled in the tying run.

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