By Matt Mitchell
Riding high on an eight-game winning streak, the Foresters entered Saturday and Sunday with a chance to separate themselves from the pack.
Instead, they fell flat.
The Santa Barbara Foresters (12-6) dropped back-to-back games to rivals Conejo (Saturday) and San Luis (Sunday) by scores of 6-4 and 5-2. A common theme for Foresters over the weekend was stranding runners in scoring position; the Sters left 17 on base in the two games.
“We had some swings and misses, a few times with runners in scoring position,” Foresters manager Bill Pintard said. “I tried to give some guys some rest today [Sunday], but we just didn’t get it done.”
Sloppy play mired the Foresters’ efforts Saturday. Four errors contributed to a come-from-behind win for Oaks. Conejo scored three runs in the eighth inning to take a 5-4 lead after the Foresters had the lead for virtually the entire night.
Sunday’s game was a different story. Both the Foresters and the Blues played mostly clean baseball. Santa Barbra starter Blair Henley gave the team seven innings of work, but one pitch in third inning was all it took for things to come undone for the Foresters. Henley threw a pitch to the Blues’ Adam Fogel that just missed the mark, and Fogel made him pay by sending it over the fence for a grand slam to put the Blues ahead for good.
“[Blair] Henley is a good pitcher, but he hung a slider and you have to tip your hat to their guy,” Pintard said.
Santa Barbara will get its shot a payback against the Blues later this week, as they travel to San Luis for back-to-back road games Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We need to get our bats going this week,” Pintard said. “Except for that one explosion [Friday’s second win over Long Beach], our bats haven’t been good for the past three or four games now.”
Tune in to AM 1290 KZSB to hear the offensive explosion starting at 5:50 pm Tuesday and Wednesday. The Foresters return to Pershing Park Thursday for a 6 pm showdown with the Ventura Halos on Santa Barbara Independent Night.