By Jim Buckley: Well, it wasn’t pretty, but it was a W. The Foresters beat the Ventura Pirates 6-3 on Friday night despite making six errors and recording only six hits.
“As bad as the defense was, we made two outstanding plays at the plate,” said manager Bill Pintard, always ready to find the positive. He wasn’t kidding. With the Foresters up 1-0 (the score came on a heads-up steal of home in the first by Josh Stinson when the Pirates dozed) in the fifth, Stinson and shortstop Jack Reidel teamed on a perfect relay throw. As a Pirates runner steamed toward home on double by David Reyna (the only extra-base hit of the game), the Foresters defenders pair beamed a pair of lasers. The ball ended up in the mitt of catcher Dylan Leach, who hung in to make the tag.
Proving that defense leads to offense, the Foresters then grabbed a 4-0 lead in the sixth. They scored three runs on one hit, four walks, two wild pitches, a passed and a stolen base. It was not pretty.
After the Pirates put up three in the seventh—thanks to four Foresters errors—Santa Barbara scored a pair in the eighth thanks to a passed ball and a wild pitch.
Starting pitcher Brandon Beckel (pictured) was a bright spot for the Foresters, throwing five scoreless innings and allowing only three hits.
The Foresters return to CCL play on Saturday, with BMW Santa Barbara Hugs for Cubs Day at 6 pm vs the Academy Barons.