The Santa Barbara Foresters beat the South Bay Saints 4-1 on Friday, behind another great outing by starting pitcher Gary Cornish (pictured in an earlier start), who picked up his third win.
Behind Cornish and four innings of perfect relief by Elliot Surrey, Cody Crouse, and Troy Cruz, the Santa Barbara defense backed him up with a host of fine plays, including diving catches in the first by outfielders Michael Smith and Ryan Chandler. Cornish threw five shutout innings, striking out five.
“I was throwing strikes with multiple pitches but overall wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be on the mound,” said Cornish.
After Santa Barbara opened the scoring in the first when Chandler tripled and scored on a balk, timely hits became the theme. In the third, 2014 Forester Bret Boswell made his 2015 debut a nice one, singling to move Granger Studdard to third. Shortstop Matt Henderson fouled off numerous pitches before lining a two-out single to center to double the score to 2-0.
Boswell made several key plays at third and is happy to be back in California for the summer. “I’m a little rusty at the plate because I’ve had a couple of weeks off, but it’s great to be back,” he said.
After Smith led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to center, he stole second and went to third on the play when the catcher’s throw sailed into center. Chandler’s sac fly to right brought Smith in. Lex Kaplan drove in the Foresters’ fourth run in the seventh with a seeing-eye single up the middle.
Foresters fans enjoyed seeing 2014 pitcher Troy Cruz come on in the ninth to record the save. Cruze was the winning pitcher in the 2014 NBC World Series Championship Game.
The Foresters continue their series against the Saints on Saturday at 5 PM and Sunday at 1 PM. Come out and support the Foresters and help them honor Doug Reeves on Saturday and Gary Woods on Sunday at UCSB’s Uyesaka Stadium. —Amber Treybig and Jim Buckley