The Santa Barbara Foresters looked lethargic for the second and final game of the California Collegiate League Championship Series, falling 6-1 to the Los Angeles Brewers. The win gives the Brewcrew their first CCL title in the first ever CCL Championship Series, sweeping the Sters 2-0 in San Juan Capistrano at J. Serra High School.
The Foresters batters were only able to muster one run against Brewers starting pitcher Phillip Ferragamo, who went seven innings with seven strikeouts, before being shut down by the Los Angeles bullpen combo of Austin Boyle and Blake Bass. Four Sters errors and timely hitting from Nico Garbella allowed the Brewers to score six runs, an insurmountable number for Santa Barbara to overcome.
The trouble started early for the Foresters due in part to defensive miscues, just as the night before in Game 1. Santa Barbara starter Andrew Godial worked around an error in the top of the first inning, but in the second a dropped throw to first base allowed Nico Garbella to come to the plate with a man on and two outs. On a 1-1 pitch, Garbella nailed a belt high fastball over the short porch in left field to put the Brewers ahead 2-0, a lead they never relinquished.
Over the next three innings Godial was able to keep L.A.’s hot bats at bay, but the Sters struggling offense failed to propel the team back in to the game. The Foresters biggest threat over that span came in the bottom of the fourth, as Ryan O’Hearn and Austin Darby both singled to give S.B. a couple of base runners, but with two outs Jacob Felts was unable to do any damage, striking out to end the inning.
The Brewers struck again in the sixth inning, as Robert Fonseca and Blake Davey singled and doubled respectively to score another run and drive Godial out of the game. Willie Kuhl, Santa Barbara’s usual reliever for jam situations, was unable to stop the bleeding, walking Austin O’Neal before giving up a RBI infield single to Garbella, making the deficit four.
The Sters only run of the game came in the bottom half of the sixth thanks to a two out single by Shane Hoelscher and a RBI double by Darby down the left field line. Darby’s performance was one of the few bright spots for the Foresters, as he finished the game going 3-4 with the double and his RBI.
Los Angeles delivered the final knockout blow in the eighth, as Garbella continued to be a thorn in the Sters side with a bloop double to right to drive in two runs off of Patrick Weigel. Garbella finished his masterful performance 3-4 with a home run, double, and five RBIs.
Nick “the Kernel” Kern restored some order in his two innings of work, striking out the side in both the eighth and ninth innings, popping the catcher’s glove repeatedly for a total of six K’s.
Santa Barbara will have to respond quickly if they hope to complete a three-peat as National Champions, returning to action this Friday at 8:00 PM PT against the Northwest Honkers in their first game of the 2013 NBC World Series.