By Matt Mitchell
A chilly night at Pershing Park couldn’t cool off the Foresters bats. Santa Barbara (24-9) knocked off the Pacific Union Financial Capitalists 8-2 in their first of four non-league games this weekend. The victory was the Foresters’ eighth straight, as they remained red-hot at the plate.
“We had some great at-bats tonight,” Foresters manager Bill Pintard said. “We had some great innings. We had hustle doubles. We had some quality two-out hits. Our guys are just taking good at-bats and the offense is going really well.”
Jake McDonald got the start on the mound for the Foresters. McDonald allowed no runs and only one hit, but his five walks got the Foresters into trouble several times, as Capitalist runners reached base in three of his five innings of work. The Capitalists couldn’t capitalize however, as they were held off the scoreboard until the seventh inning.
“[Jake] got into some tough spots,” Pintard said. “When he does get into some trouble he has the tendency to rush things a little bit and he needs to be able to harness that.”
After McDonald worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, the Forester bats rewarded their pitcher, scoring on an error followed by a Jimmy Galusky single to take an early 2-0 lead.
Santa Barbara’s bats exploded in the fourth inning. The Foresters used a 5-run inning to break the game open. Galusky, who got his first start of the summer at first base, started the inning with his second RBI of the game on single. David Hamilton and Hank LaForte followed with one and 2-run RBI singles of their own respectively. Austin Todd kept it going a booming RBI double and the Foresters led 7-0 after four innings.
McDonald pitched one more scoreless inning of work before giving way to the bullpen. The Foresters used four more pitchers for the game, as Kyle Smith, newcomer Braden Pearson, Trey Morris, and Jake Eissler each pitched an inning. The bullpen combined allowed only two runs on four hits and four walks.
The game looked to be out of reach but the Capitalists mounted nascent rallies in the seventh and eighth innings. PUF notched a run on a pair of hits against newcomer Pearson in the seventh, but it could’ve been more, as they left runners on second and third. The Capitalists again scored a run in the eighth but again it could’ve been more, as they left the bases loaded. It was a ‘bend but don’t break’ approach for the Foresters bullpen tonight.
The Foresters’ John McMillon earned an RBI in the bottom of the eighth inning on a bases-loaded walk to make it 8-2. Eissler struck out three after walking two as chilly fans rooted for the end. The Foresters’ 8-2 win ended up being more hard-fought than anticipated.
Santa Barbara will take the Capitalists again tomorrow night at Pershing Park. First pitch will be at 6 p.m.