The Santa Barbara Foresters travelled down to Los Angeles Wednesday to square off against the Brewers and battled their way for a 5-2 win to begin the three game series.
Santa Barbara faced some early struggles getting on base against the pesky LA Brewers’ pitching but by the late innings they were able to break through with well-timed hitting and a great pitching performance by Garett King. King threw for seven innings only allowing a pair of unearned runs off four hits while fanning eight batters and giving one free pass.
The Brewers chalked up their two runs in the bottom half of the second. Their leadoff batter got on base through a liner that snuck between John Holland’s legs and moved over on a balk. A ball slapped into right field and right in front of Michael Smith was enough to bring home the runner. With runners on the corners, a groundout to third scored in the second run.
The 2-0 score held as the ‘Sters scratched away for hits but stayed behind the Brewers. Santa Barbara was finally triumphant in the seventh inning with Michael Smith starting the tables. Smith laced a base knock to left center and then Kaleb Denny drew a walk. Both runners moved over with a sac bunt by Ryan Chandler and brought Holland to the plate. Holland came through with the much needed hit as Smith scored. Denny also crossed home after an errant throw from right field, which was followed up by another bad toss from the pitcher that allowed to Holland be the tie-breaking run.
Santa Barbara built on their lead in the ninth when Jeremy Montalbano crushed a two-run homer over left field, making it a 5-2 game. With a three-run advantage, Troy Cruz came in to deny the Brewers’ chance of a walk-off. After hitting the first batter he saw, Cruz put down the remaining batters in order, helping himself on a 1-6-3 double play.
The Foresters and Brewers start their second game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m at Cypress College.