By Lucas Armstrong
In baseball, they say hitting is contagious. Well, on Saturday night, the Foresters got sick at the plate together. Santa Barbara blasted a trio of home runs on the way to beating the San Luis Blues 11-5. The long balls were supplied Hank LoForte, Blake Brewster, and Chandler Bengston.
The Foresters wasted no time taking it to SLO pitcher Austin Dondeville, putting up six runs in the top of the first. Loforte smacked a one-out triple and scored on a Josh Jung single. David Clawson, Walker Grisanti, and Bengston. Then Brewster smacked a three-run bomb to cap a solid first.
Foresters’ starting pitcher Evan Lee set the tone early with a quick 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first inning. Blues’ bats woke up in the second and third innings, scoring two runs in each. LoForte got two back with his second homer of the season in the second. Lee picked up his third win of the season and allowed four runs, two earned and struck out eight Blues batters.
“Evan is a real competitor, he’s not one of those guys that gets hit all game,” said Foresters manager Bill Pintard. “He made some adjustments and settled in just fine.”
The bullpen duo of Braden Pearson and John McMillan picked up right where Lee left off, allowing only one run total in the remainder of the game. Foresters flamethrower John McMillan closed out the game and struck out three in the last two innings.
“Pearson was great and McMillan just gets better and better,” said Pintard
Loforte was locked in the entire game starting it off with a line-drive triple down the right field line in the bottom of the first inning. With the crowd chanting “Hanky Panky,” LoForte finished the game with three hits, one walk, two RBI, and two runs, coming just a double shy of the cycle.
“Pitch selection is something I’ve been working on, when you swing at the right pitch, you’re gonna get one,” said LoForte.
“LoForte was special tonight,” said Pintard.
LoForte was not alone in his mashing. Along with him and Brewster, Foresters DH Chandler Bengston smacked a two-run shot over the right field wall in the sixth. In all, Foresters bats clobbered the ball all night, pounding the Blues staff for 11 runs and 13 hits.
“My, oh my, the bats came alive tonight,” added Pintard.
The Foresters meet up with the Blues again tomorrow afternoon at 2:00pm in their last home game of the season. That’s right, fans, it’s your last chance to see your heroes on the field in 2017. It’s also Host Family Appreciation Day, so come early to thank the amazing folks who put our Foresters up in their homes all summer long. ‘Ster it up!