By Jim Buckley (photo by Kylie Koeper): Turns out the All-Star break put the brakes on the “broken.” Well, not broken exactly, but Santa Barbara was certainly not firing on all cylinders. The Foresters took a big step forward toward righting the ship with an emphatic 11-4 win over the San Luis Blues on Thursday night, urged on by the biggest crowd of the season (so far!) on Santa Barbara Independent Night.
“We came out on all cylinders,” said manager Bill Pintard. “We have something to prove here, we’re not liking what was going on in the first half [note: 8-7 in CCL entering Thursday’s game]. So we want to come back and keep it rolling. We had it all tonight, one of our most complete ballgames of the season.”
He was not exaggerating. The pitching was outstanding, striking out 17 while allowing only three earned runs. After Christian Delashmit put together five solid innings, four reliever buttoned up a strong Blues attack, allowing only a single run in the final four innings.
They were backed up by an 11-hit attack led by DH Steven Zobac, who was a triple shy of the cycle, and Andrew Kachel, who had a pair of run-scoring hits. Santa Barbara ran wild on the bases, too, stealing eight bases without being caught once.
The Foresters also showed grit, coming back from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the second on a solo homer by Ryan Wrobleski. A Zobac double gave them a 3-2 lead. After the Blues tied it, here came the ’Sters again, scoring three in the eighth. Dylan Campbell drove in the go-ahead run wth a double and Zobac put a nail in the inning with a two-run homer to center.
The hits kept coming for the Foresters in the sixth, when Kendall Pettis and Kachel scored, while also stealing three bases between them. Campbell was in the middle of a two-run eighth, leading off with a long triple and scoring on a wild pitch. Zobac was then hit by a pitch and came around to score on a passed ball.
All in all, it was the kind of complete performance the Foresters expect, and the kind they’ll need as they make a run at the CCL South lead in the coming days and weeks. After a non-league game on Friday vs the Ventura Pirates at 6 pm at Pershing, they have a home-and-away series with the Academy Barons, including a 6 pm Saturday contest at home.