by Nate Loop
The Foresters welcomed the young, upstart California Wahoos, who also ply their trade here in Santa Barbara, to Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. The Wahoos are made up mostly of high school talent from the Southern California and Central Coast areas. The Foresters certainly taught the kids a lesson they won’t soon forget, as they thrashed the Wahoos by a score of 11-1.
The Foresters scratched out a run in the first and second inning each to take a 2-0 lead.In the first, Luke Plucheck singled with one out. Nick Melino then hit a sharp grounder that skipped off the shorstop’s glove, allowing Melino to safely cross first and advance Plucheck to third. Plucheck then came home on a groundout by Ryan O’Hearn.
In the second, Ryan Barnes singled to get on base, advanced to second on a balk by Wahoos starter Phil Bickford, then went to third on a groundout. Taylor Stell was then hit by a pitch to advance to third. With Bickford pitching to Richy Pedroza, Stell broke for second base. The throw by catcher was late, and with all the attention focused on second, Barnes broke for home and was safe easily.
The Foresters broke the game wide open in the bottom of fourth inning, adding three runs to take their tally to five, not to mention finally knocking Wahoos starter Phil Bicford out of the game. Richy Pedroza singled in Tyler Pearson to notch one run, then Bickford walked Nick Melino with the bases loaded for the second run of the inning for his last act on the mound. Ryan O’Hearn then collected his second RBI on the day by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to score Pedroza from third.
In the fifth, the Foresters continued to work the kinks out of their bats, adding two more runs, the highlight play coming in the form of an RBI triple by Taylor Stell, that was about five feet from becoming the Foresters first home run since the Las Vegas series.
The Wahoo batters looked over-matched against the Foresters pitching staff throughout the entire afternoon. The combination of Kirby Bellow, Jose Cardona and Dae Yang Kim had the Wahoos spread out six hits over the course of the afternoon.
The Wahoos put up a modest, unearned run of their own in the top of the eighth inning, with Cole Holloway singling in Jordan Morrison, who had reached on an error by third baseman Shane Hoelscher.
The Foresters kept piling up runs on the scoreboard, netting four more in the bottom of the eighth inning, to take their run total into double digits, with the final score standing at 11-1. The win improved the Foresters record to 14-8 on the season.
Bellow earned the win for the Foresters, his first of the summer for the ‘Sters.
Ryan O’Hearn led the team with 3 RBIs on the day. Pedroza, making his first start of the season for the Foresters, went 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs. Plucheck also stood out, going 3 for 3 and scoring one run.
The Foresters continue the home stand tomorrow afternoon, as they take on the Neptune Beach Pearl for the first game of a two game series. The game will begin at 5:10 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.