By Jim Buckley
Santa Barbara’s Fourth of July fireworks were canceled, so the Foresters decided to light up the rockets on the Second of July instead. Santa Barbara bats started hot and never cooled off, piling up 12 hits, six for extra bases, to cruise to a 16-1 over the Coastal Cubs.
“Offensively we were just kind of relentless,” said manager Bill Pintard. “We took advantage of the walks and errors they gave us. We were just very patient with our at-bats, we weren’t getting in bad habits. It would have been easy to take another approach, but the hitters stuck with their plan.”
Spencer Jones, playing first base and left field after pitching Wednesday, was the big story, driving in six runs on three hits, including a triple and a pair of doubles. Shortstop Matthew McLain hit the first pitch of the game for his first homer of the season and added two more hits while scoring five runs. A 2019 Sters star, Christian Franklin, mashed his first 2020 homer to deep left field for his two RBI.
Along with those hitting heroes, Pintard was pleased to see the depth of his lineup. “We got a lot of guys in the game tonight, which is great. Bryce Warrecker had two hits, Nick Oakley had his first hit after battling in his last at-bat.”
The Foresters deep pitching staff proved more than up to the task, striking out an incredible 21 Cubs hitters. Kyle Luckham started and picked up the win.
“The pitching was really good and we got to see several guys in their first outings,” said Pintard, a former pitcher himself. “Especially Luckham, who showed a big improvement from the intersquad game we played last week. [Peyton] Palette and [Blake] Adams were really good, too. And we saw Jake Harrell strike out the side twice.”
As powerful as the team has looked, outscoring opponents 28-4 in the first two games, Pintard is smiling about what he thinks is coming down the road. “It’s still early, we’re going to get better.”
If a team that wins 16-1 can get better, it’s going to be fireworks for the whole month of July. Santa Barbara continues on Friday with a 6 pm start against the SoCal Halos. Tune in here on KCSB.org/sports.