Baseball is all about numbers. On Thursday, the Foresters used up most of them.
9: Number of Foresters with a hit
5: Hits in 5 at-bats by Lex Kaplan alone
2: Number of baserunners allowed by Foresters relievers in four innings
And unfortunately, 12: Number of Foresters left on base
Add them all up and you get a 10-4 Foresters victory over the Conejo Oaks to win the three-game series. And here’s another number: 16—number of wins in the Foresters’ first 19 games.
The LOB number was nearly the story of the day; at one point the Sters had only 5 runs on 15 hits. However, a big seventh inning—highlighted by Kaplan’s fifth hit of the day and Granger Studdard’s second and third RBI—doubled the Foresters score, turning a 5-4 naibiter into a 10-4 win.
Santa Barbara was hot early and late. They scored five runs in the first two innings to take a 5-1 lead. Troy Conyers had a two-RBI single in the first and Kaplan’s RBI. The right fielder, who also made a diving catch in the first, had four singles and a double and scored three times. Two more scores came in the second on a David Greer double and Tyler Neslony single.
Santa Barbara (16-3) (8-3) picked up the series win against the visiting Conejo Oaks as starter Willy Amador picked up his third win of the season. Tylor Megill and Dalton Brown combined to pitch four scoreless innings preserving the victory for the Sters.
Santa Barbara sent nine men to the plate in the seventh. Kaplan drove in a run with the bases loaded, which the Foresters had failed to do twice in the fourth. The Sters had left men on base in each of the third through sixth innings. The sixth had included a bizarre double rundown as Studdard and Greer each avoided being tagged out on the bases even though both were in a pickle twice on the same play.
In the end the numbers added up to a big win. Every Foresters starter had at least one hit and six had a pair, while the team also stole six bases.
The Sters will look to carry their red hot offense into Friday’s game as they play host to the Walnut Creek Crawdads. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.