By Jim Buckley (photo by Kylie Koeper): That loud clanging sound you heard about eight p.m. on Friday evening was the alarm clock awaking the Foresters’ slumbering bats. The offense finally came to life, breaking up a tight pitcher’s duel in the seventh when the Foresters scored four runs, leading to a 5-1 win over the OC Riptide, the ’Sters eighth in a row.
Until that big inning, the game had been a rare low-scoring battle for the Foresters. The Riptide had only five hits through seven innings, finding a single run amid them, while the Foresters also got a run on only two hits.
The Riptide had scored with a bases-loaded walk in the second. Santa Barbara starter Christian Delashmit (pictured) pitched into the fifth, striking out six, but also walked six and was probably fortunate to only give up a run.
The old baseball saying goes “it just takes one.” In the fifth inning, one was indeed enough for the Foresters to get back in this game. Down a run after being hitless for four innings, the ’Sters had first-and-third (including their first hit by Kade Higgins) with two outs. Seth Stephenson’s two-out grounder was mishandled on the infield and Higgins came in to score the tying run.
Two innings later came the game-busting seventh, which opened with the game’s first extra-base hit, a leadoff double by Stephen Zobac. Jared Thomas tripled him home, then Higgins got his second hit and first RBI of the night to make it 3-1. Josh Stinson and Stephenson followed with singles and stolen bases before Andrew Kachel drove both runners in with a two-out single to right.
Cooper Randall followed Delashmit and kept the Riptide from getting back in the game, before Connor Roberts shut the door in the ninth.
The Foresters will welcome the Arroyo Seco Saints, battling for first place in the CCL, on Saturday, Montecito Bank & Trust Night at Pershing Park. First pitch there and on AM 1290 is 6 pm.