By Jim Buckley (Kylie Koeper photo)
The Foresters gave the 2020 season at Pershing a rousing sendoff with a come-from-behind 7-5 win over the SoCal Giants on BMW Santa Barbara Hugs for Cubs night. Special guest Hugs for Cubs Kid Henry Miller delivered the game ball after a cheer-filled ride around the diamond. The Foresters and Giants both saluted the young man. The Foresters added to the salute with a pair of homers, including a first-pitch-of-the-game shot to left by SS Matthew McLain.
McLain’s homer was the best news the ’Sters had in the first five innings, as the Giants scored two in the fifth to take the lead. They added three more in the sixth, including a pair of homers of their own. Perhaps they were for Henry, too
Down 5-1, the Foresters battled like they hope to inspire Henry to battle. In the sixth, a Ryan Holgate double and a groundout RBI by Noah Cardenas cut the lead. Then up stepped the Foresters’ big bat of 2020. 1B Christian Encarnacion (pictured) mashed a booming two-run homer to dead center that tied the score.
In the seventh, it was “that man again,” as they used to say. This time there were two outs and two on when Encarnacion ripped a double to right centerfield to provide the winning margin. He had a total of four RBI on the night.
Derrek True struck out eight in his five innings, but left trailing 2-1. In relief, Titus Groenweg pitched bravely and nearly closed out the game, but he got help on the final two outs from Jackson Cunningham as the two benches engaged in a spirited discussion all the while.
The Foresters play in San Bernardino on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the games are at 2:30 and 6 pm. The games will NOT be on KCSB, unfortunately, but you can follow the action on our iScore page (CLICK HERE). If we get info about Best of the West livestreams, we will post that information as well.
Game 1 of the NBC World Series is scheduled for 6:30 pm SB time on Tuesday, August 4. Again, stay tuned here and on our Facebook page for how you can watch and listen.