A pair of Sam Houston State Bearkats carried the Santa Barbara Foresters to the 2013 Rawlings California Cup title, as tournament MVP Ryan O’Hearn scored both runs and Andrew Godail threw seven scoreless innings in the 2-0 win over the San Luis Obispo Blues.
With an automatic bid to the National Baseball Congress World Series on the line, the Foresters hosted the rival Blues in a pitching battle backed by perfect defense on each side.
Godail, the Foresters starter, found a small bit of trouble early in the game with Blues on first and second with two outs in the first inning. However, Godail got fellow 2013 Rawlings Cup All-Tournament team member Kyle Johnson to strike out swinging to end the threat.
Santa Barbara jumped out to an early lead thanks to Godail’s Sam Houston State teammate, first baseman O’Hearn. On the first pitch he saw in the game from Blues pitcher Grayson Long, O’Hearn smacked a solo shot well over the right field fence to give the Foresters a 1-0 lead.
O’Hearn’s offensive heroics did not end there, as he tripled to lead off the seventh inning against incoming Blues pitcher Drake Owenby. Shane Hoelscher immediately capitalized on the RBI opportunity with a double to score O’Hearn.
Godail absolutely stumped the Blues through the fifth following the early trouble. After allowing a leadoff single in the sixth, Godail recorded a strikeout, snagged a comebacker and induced a flyout to set the Blues down.
The lefty again maintained his control after struggling early in the season, only walking two in his seven innings of work. He left after seven, shutting out out the Blues and striking out seven on just 85 pitches.
Rice’s Jordan Stephens entered the game in the eighth with a 2-0 lead, but allowed a pair of singles to put men at first and second with one out.
However, Blues right fielder Will Maddox inexplicably began running to third before Stephens began his move to the plate. Trapped on the basepaths after Stephens stepped off, Maddox became the second out and Stephens struck out Aaron Attaway to work his way out of the inning.
Lefthander Justin Rahn entered to face lefty Michael Pritchard, retiring him on the first pitch he threw. Hunter Lemke then entered to close out the game, striking out Jimmy Allen to end the game and earn the championship.