by Nate Loop
You just can’t win every baseball game, no matter how routinely the victories seem to pile up. There are simply too many factors to control. Fatigue, a sore arm, a mental mistake, and all of a sudden the seams split and things unravel just a bit.
Rivalry games, like the one that took place today between the top teams in the California Collegiate League, magnify every mistake, every triumph. The ballpark was crackling with energy, as summer starts to pick up heat, and all the Foresters 4-1 loss to the San Luis Obispo Blues means that a winning streak is over, but a new one can begin tomorrow.
The Foresters were riding a seven game winning streak, and coming off an arduous three game series out in Las Vegas, so perhaps fatigue was a factor after three days spent in the desert heat and a grueling eight hour bus ride back home on Monday.
If the players were fatigued, that was in contrast to the gameday atmosphere, which was full of energy. The attendance was great, as the ‘Sters were having “Scouts Day”, where they hosted some local Boy Scouts at the ballpark. The kids weren’t the only scouts in attendance, as there were several major league scouts in attendance to observe the talented players at hand.
Big Tom Lemke took the mound to start the game for the ‘Sters. In the first, he gave up a triple to Bryan Peters, who then scored on a groundout by Ryan Walker. Lemke was tagged for another run in the second inning, as Austin Grisham reached first on a throwing error by shortstop Cal Vogelsang. Grisham then stole second and came around to score on a single by Cody Dufrene, and the ‘Sters were down 2-0 early.
Lemke, who has had issues with his shoulder in the past, came out of the game after the fourth inning, and was replaced by Cody Dickson of Sam Houston State, who made his first appearance of the summer for the ‘Sters.
The Foresters struggled at the plate against Blues starter John Tiedemann. The bespectacled pitcher showed great control of his stuff, and allowed just three hits and no runs over his five innings of work.
The Blues tacked on two runs in the top of seventh inning to go up 4-0. Matt Shortall singled to begin the inning, but Dickson bore down and got the next two batters out. However, the Blues managed two hits with two outs in the inning, and the deuces were wild as the second hit was a double by Dufrene that brought around Shortall and Grisham to score.
The Foresters got their only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Foresters loaded the bases with one out. Taylor Stell struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Blues pitcher Chase Greene walked Arby Fields on four pitches, allowing Jacob Felts to stroll home from third.
That would be the only real blunder of the game for the Blues, as they got Plucheck to strike out to ended the threat, and the final score was a sobering 4-1 loss for the Sters.
The Foresters play their next game against the Blues tomorrow afternoon at 5:10 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaks stadium.