By Jim Buckley
Baseball has a way of evening things out. On Saturday evening, Foresters shortstop Miguel Santos (pictured in college action) proved that old adage to be true as he made up for an earlier game-changing error with a two-run single in the ninth inning to complete the Foresters’ comeback win over the San Luis Blues, 7-6. Trailing 6-2, the ’Sters rallied with three in the eighth and two in the ninth, and got another save from Nick Proctor to record their 12th win of the season.
Earlier, the ’Sters had struck first, scoring two in their first hacks, as Griffin Everitt and Kevin Bazzell each had RBI singles to give starter Graham Osman a 2-0 lead to work with, which held until the sixth.
Santa Barbara got a stellar starting performance from Osman that almost stood up until his defense let him down in the sixth. Osman threw six innings, allowing only four hits and two walks. The only runs he allowed were unearned when the Blues tied it up 2-2 in the sixth, on that error by shortstop Santos, who overthrew Kade Higgins at first to let two baserunners score.
Luke Harrison came on to pitch the seventh for Santa Barbara, but the Blues had his number, stringing together four hits and two walks to score four runs to take a 6-2 lead.
In the eighth, the heretofore silent Foresters offense erupted. A triple by hot-hitting Bazzell—he’s hitting .450 and had three hits Saturday—scored Santos and Gavin Kash; Bazzell then scored on a wild pitch to bring the Foresters to within one at 6-5.
In the ninth, Will Pendergrass and Hunter Ensley led off with singles, and Rylan Charles reached on an error that could have been a game-ending double play. With the reprieve, Santos banged a single to left to score two and take the lead for good. In the bottom of the inning, closer Proctor came through with this fourth save of the season to send Blues fans home disappointed. The Foresters return home to Pershing Park on Sunday for a 2 pm game vs. the Conejo Oaks.