Despite falling behind early on Tuesday to their CCL rival, the Conejo Oaks, the Foresters battled back with a couple of late runs to pull out a hard-fought 4-2 victory.
The Foresters were handcuffed for most of the game by Oaks starter Angel Rodriguez, who was staked to a 2-0 lead. But fhe Foresters were finally able to break through in the fifth. John Holland got things going with a single, part of a three-hit day. He moved to second on a wild pitch and then came home to score on a booming triple to right-center by David Greer. Granger Studdard found himself at the plate with yet another runner in scoring position and delivered a game-tying RBI single.
The Foresters scored the winning runs in the seventh off reliever Dante Bosnic. After Holland and Ryan Chandler reached base on singles, Oaks catcher Thomas Rowan attempted a pick off throw behind Holland at second, but the ball skipped past the shortstop, allowing the runners to advance to second and third. A walk to David Greer set up another matchup with RBI machine Granger Studdard, who delivered once again. His deep sac fly brought Holland in with the go-ahead run. The Sters added an insurance run on the eighth when Tyler Neslony drove in Lex Kaplan, who had singled and stolen second.
Garret King started for Santa Barbara and pitched well, allowing two runs in 4 2/3. Cody Crouse came in and muffled the Oaks’s bats, striking out five in his 3 1/3 innings of scoreless one-hit relief. Troy Cruz escaped a second-and third-situation in the ninth to pick up the save and secure the win for Crouse and the Foresters.
The Foresters will continue their series with the Oaks tomorrow on the road (5 pm on AM 1290) before returning home to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Thursday at 5 PM. —Ryan Riffenburgh