By Jim Buckley
Santa Barbara has won most of its games so far on the young season with their bats, crushing homers and clearing the bases with extra-base hits. In an 8-2 win over the Texas Express, speed was the story of the day, led by CF Pat Caulfield. The No. 9 batter was No. 1, as he stole an amazing five bases and scored three runs, while also smacking a team-high three hits. Overall, five Santa Barbara runners stole an impressive 11 bags on the night.
Santa Barbara first ran its way to the scoreboard in the third. Caulfield singled and stole second and then third. When the Express threw down to second to try to nab SS Matthew McLain on his own steal attempt, Caulfield stole home! McLain followed him a few pitches later when a wild pitch spun past the catcher.
After the Express scored twice in the top of the fifth, the Foresters reclaimed the lead with a pair in the bottom. Once again, Caulfield was in the middle of the action. He singled and (gee, surprise) stole second, advancing to third on a McLain sac fly. After Jace Jung walked, a pickoff attempt got past the first baseman and Caulfield trotted home. Jung sped around to third base where he, too, later scored on a wild pitch.
Santa Barbara padded the lead in the sixth. That man again, Caulfield, led off with a double. And (all together now) he stole third. With one out Jung walked and then Branden Boissiere smacked a two-run double to deep right center field.
Two more Foresters runs came across in the eighth. Ryan Holgate scored on a McLain sac fly, his second of the game, and C Noah Cardenas scored the game’s final run on a Jung single.
All this speed and offense came behind another great pitching performance by the Santa Barbara staff. Justin Campbell started and allowed no runs and just one hit in four innings. After Charlie Adamson was touched up for the two runs, Blake Adams, Bryce Warrecker, and Sean Mullen derailed the Express. Sters pitchers allowed only three hits overall while striking out 10.
Santa Barbara continues the series against the Express on Wednesday at 6 pm. Catch all the action on KCSB.org/sports or via the Foresters Livestream.