Looking for a three-game sweep, the Santa Barbara Foresters kept rolling against the MLB Academy Barons with a comeback 6-5 victory to sweep the weekend series and win three straight for the first time since June 7 to 9.
A walk-off wild pitch sent home Joey Epperson, who reached base thanks to a hit by pitch. He moved up to second after a wild pitch, stole third and scored on another wild pitch as Jerry McClanahan stood at the plate. Epperson finished the game 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
Patrick Weigel slipped up for the first time in the 2013 season, allowing a two-run home to blow the Foresters’ first save of the season. A leadoff single was followed up by a towering homerun for D.J. Wallace to tie it.
The Barons comeback was not the only in the game, as the Foresters themselves had to climb back into it after trailing for most of the night.
After six innings of offensive struggles, the Foresters rallied for four runs to take a 5-3 lead. Entering the seventh down 3-1, the Foresters loaded the bases with just one out. Louie Lechich was hit by a pitch and Garrett Mattlage took a bases loaded walk to tie the game at three.
After the Barons made a switch to Javi Iniguez who was promptly greeted by an Epperson single to drive in two more and take the lead.
Both Andrew Godail for the Foresters and UCSB’s Dillon Tate for the Barons made quick work of the first two innings. Each pitcher ran through 1-2-3 innings in the first and second, before Godail became the first to concede runs.
In the third, Godail allowed a single, double and another single all with two outs to score a pair of runs. The Barons would only get one more hit off of Godail in the game, but he departed in the fifth trailing 3-1.
Santa Barbara immediately responded with a set of base runners, but could not push any runs across. Ben Johnson struck out and Louie Lechich grounded out with the bases loaded and the inning came to an end.
They would add a run in the fourth thanks back-to-back singles by Epperson and Ryan O’Hearn. They both moved up on a wild pitch and Epperson scored on a groundout by Shane Hoelscher.
Godail allowed another run in the fifth, his final inning, after two Forester errors put a man on third. Trent Zaks singled in the run to put the Barons up 3-1.
Willie Kuhl entered into the game in the sixth, promptly setting down all three batters with strikeouts. Blake Fox followed Kuhl to pitch the seventh, working a 1-2-3 inning thanks to a pickoff at first base.
Tejay Antone continued the scoreless pitching for the Forester bullpen, striking out one in the eighth to earn the hold.