By Taylor Jennings
The Foresters notched their fifth consecutive win Wednesday evening with a 3-1 victory over the host San Luis Obispo Blues at Sinsheimer Park. Jake Jackson picked up the win on the mound for the ’Sters with six effective innings of work. Offensively, it was a collective effort for SB as eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit. Ross Cadena led the charge. The Foresters catcher launched a pair of doubles and reached safely three times to ignite the offense. Recent Forester addition Quentin Selma chipped in with a single, a walk, and two of the team’s three runs.
Jackson’s line may have looked clean, but he ran into trouble quickly in the bottom of the first. On his way to a three-hit night, Blues leadoff man Ryan Cole cracked a blistering line drive off of Jackson’s glove. Cole promptly stole second and reached third when Cadena’s throw caromed into center. Two pitches later, runners were at the corners after Hunter Swift coaxed a walk. Unfazed, Jackson calmly mowed down the heart of the Blues order, retiring three straight to end the inning and the threat.
In the second, the Foresters had a chance to bust it open when Cadena led off with a booming double to left, but the Blues held serve thanks in large part to Ford Sherrington. The Blues left fielder did his best Superman impression on a spectacular diving catch, robbing Spencer Jones of extra bases and an RBI.
Sherrington quickly went from hero to zero, however, when a Ryan Cash fly ball spun him around for another leadoff double in the third. Two batters later, Blake Hall picked up his Oral Roberts teammate when he scorched a single to left. Cash’s run gave the Foresters an early 1-0 lead. Santa Barbara doubled their lead an inning later when Tommy Holguin ripped a clutch two-out single to push across Selma.
Jackson retired 9 of his next 10 after the first, but the Nevada Wolfpack starter eventually ran into trouble in the fifth. After recording two quick outs, Cole reached safely on a bunt single. Another stolen base and and a second Cadena throwing error put Cole at third, from where he trotted home on a Swift double to put the Blues on the board.
In the seventh, the Foresters preserve their 2–1 lead with the play of the game. Cole lined a ball off of reliever Brock Helverson’s glove. With no chance to record the out at first, Holguin alertly threw behind Ryan McCarty the runner at third. The Blues’ catcher had visions of tying the ball game had Holguin thrown to first, but McCarty’s aggressive turn at third cost the Blues a chance at a second run.
The Blues managed a last gasp in the eighth after Cadena extended the lead for the ’Sters in the top half with yet another double. When two of the first Blues reached, manager Bill Pintard went into his very deep bullpen. Southpaw Brad Demco relieved Nico O’Donnell and coaxed a pair of fly outs to center to escape the threat unscathed. Conner Woods notched the save with a dominant ninth.
The Foresters return to Sinsheimer Park in San Luis Obispo tomorrow for the third and final game of their midweek series against the Blues. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00. Tune into AM 1290 for all of the exciting action.