What was almost a close game Friday afternoon ended up as a blowout as the Santa Barbara Foresters routed the Menlo Park Legends thanks to a six-run eighth inning. The Foresters won 11-4. Dillon Paul and Trevor Abrams homered and Granger Studdard had three RBI as part of the Foresters’ 11-hit attack that was backed up by seven stolen bases, including a steal of home.
Menlo Park struck immediately in the first by taking advantage of starting pitcher Gary Cornish’s only walk of the game. A steal and sac bunt ensuing would put their man on third and be brought in with a base knock for the early 1-0 edge.
The Foresters would respond in the third plating three runs of their own. On the first pitch he saw, Dylan Paul rocketed a ball over the scoreboard in left field for a home run to tie the game up. A couple of batters later Matt Henderson singled to score Ryan Chandler and went all the way to third after an error sent the ball into the Foresters’ dugout. Granger Studdard would follow up with his first RBI of the afternoon to make it a 4-1 score.
In the fourth, the Foresters added a run after a base hit by John Brontsema and walk to Chandler put two speedy runners on base, which would be costly for the Legends. A double steal was successful and Brontsema would come in as a result of an errant throw by the catcher.
Menlo Park made the game close when it bagged two runs off a double and a pair of base hits to close the gap to a 5-3 deficit in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the inning, however, Santa Barbara blew the game wide open.The Sters raked in six runs as ten men went to the plate.
Troy Conyers started it off with a single and then Trevor Abrams blasted a two-run homer to dead center that extended to four runs again. The bases later filled with Foresters and Matt Henderson’s walk force in another run. With Studdard in the batter’s box, Brontsema pulled off a dramatic steal of home as Legends pitcher Nick Gagnon was slow to react to the quick-footed second baseman. Studdard capped off the frame’s offensive onslaught by dropping the ball into right center and allowing Kaleb Denny and Henderson to score.
Menlo Park got their last run in the ninth off a pair of doubles off Dalton Brown.
Santa Barbara and Menlo Park continue action on Saturday. It’s Cottage Health System Day, with a 5 pm first pitch.