10-Time National Baseball Congress World Series Champions

’Sters Blow Out Bears, Win 17-0

Player pitching

BOX SCORE

Photo by Vic Neumann

By Will Bashur

While the fans had to wait an extra hour to see some Saturday night baseball, the ‘Sters wasted no time in taking out the Valley Bears, as Santa Barbara walloped them 17-0. The opponent originally scheduled, the San Diego Reign, was unable to make it for the game Saturday, so the Valley Bears opted to face the Foresters. The Bears had just played a doubleheader in Los Angeles a few hours prior to the game, and their fatigue clearly showed on the field.

Santa Barbara starter Caleb Sloan set the tone early by throwing four scoreless innings. Sloan struck out three Bears and only surrendered two hits. The TCU Horned Frog was aggressive and attacked the strike zone, needing a minuscule 45 pitches to get through his outing. Sloan’s scoreless effort reduced his ERA even more, giving him a stellar 1.19 figure on the year.

Although the Foresters’ pitching was excellent as always, it was their bats that stole the show. Just two days removed from putting up 18 runs and 20 hits against the OC Riptide, the ‘Sters clearly still had some offense left over for the home crowd.

Santa Barbara scored five runs in the second off of Valley starter Kyle Laramie behind an error, three walks, and two hits. Utah Jones plated three of the five runs with a bases-clearing triple that bounced against the base of the left field fence.

The Foresters were off to a quick start in the third when John Jensen and Michael Neustifter reached on back-to-back errors. Tyler Hardman then drew a four-pitch walk pitch to a load the bases. Chowder batter Turner Gauntt was unable to drive in any runs when he flew out to left field. Luckily, his fellow Texas Longhorn Kamron Fields was there to pick him up. Fields delivered with his biggest hit of the summer, smacking a bases-clearing double into the left-center gap. With Fields’s double, the Foresters split the game wide open, taking an 8-0 lead.

The ‘Sters put up two more crooked numbers on the scoreboard in the next two innings with a little help from the Bears.

With the bases loaded in the fourth, Bears first baseman Paul Fierro booted a Tyler Hardman ground ball, allowing Cameron Warren to score. The error was Fierro’s second of the night, and already the fourth overall for the Bears.

In the fifth, the Foresters put up another four runs, starting with Conor Davis’s two-run single. Hardman drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk, and another run scored when Bears shortstop Derek Perez failed to corral a Gauntt ground ball.

It was an immensely frustrating start for Laramie, who gave up eleven runs, only one of which was earned.

Santa Barbara reliever Conner Woods entered the game in the fifth, and picked up right where Sloan had left off. Woods pitched three shutout innings while striking out six Valley Bears. Woods was also in command of the zone, as he gave up just one walk.

The Foresters’ tank was still far from empty, as they put up another four runs in the eighth. Evan Kling made his presence felt in his Foresters debut, as he drove in Fields with a double down the left field line. Jensen picked up his first RBI of the night with a line drive single, and Hardman drew his second bases-loaded walk to gain his second RBI. Gauntt joined the hit parade with his own RBI single, giving him four RBI for the summer.

Miles Sandum relieved Woods to pitch the final two innings and put an end to the rout. Sandum replicated the performances of his teammates, throwing two scoreless innings to secure the shutout and give Santa Barbara its 29th victory of the summer.

The Foresters will wrap up the weekend with a Sunday matinee tomorrow at 2 PM. Be sure to tune into 1290 AM for full coverage of the game.

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