By Emma del Sol
The ‘Sters fell short in their third and final game in the Rawlings California Cup to fellow CCL Central division opponent Conejo Oaks 5-2. The Foresters struck first, scoring two runs in the first inning, but the Oaks were able to come back in the seventh for the win. The Oaks are now headed to the championship game tomorrow, where the winner gets an automatic bid to the NBC World Series.
Starting pitcher Dylan Bein left the game after five innings with the lead, but due to some controversial rulings going against the ‘Sters, his effort wasn’t given the result it deserved. Bein struck out five, gave up one run on five hits, and walked one in five innings of work.
Jon Woodcock came in for relief and in one and two third innings of work gave up three runs. Troy Cruz’s streak of giving up no runs was ended today as he gave up one run in one third of an inning’s work. Brandon Quintero and Dalton Brown each pitched an inning of shutout baseball, striking out one batter each. The ‘Sters struck out nine Oaks.
In the first inning the ‘Sters bats were on fire. Colt Atwood stole his 19th and 20th bases of the year. Atwood leads the team with 20 stolen bases. Atwood came home on Jaylin Davis’s double to the gap in center. The next batter, Dillon Dobson had a single to right driving in Davis. Jeremy Montalbano had his team leading eleventh double in the first inning. Those were the only runs the ‘Sters were able to get off Oaks starter from Australia, Andrew Jones.
Jones, a soft-throwing lefty, pitched six innings, giving up two runs and striking out eleven ‘Sters. The ‘Sters did not have a hit after the sixth inning, but did reach base six times because of walks.
Montalbano had two throws to throw out the base runner trying to go back to their base after a pitch, but the umpire called the Oaks runners safe. Both plays were very questionable and manager Bill Pintard stuck up for his catcher and argued the calls. The Oaks were able to take the lead on these calls and didn’t look back.
The ‘Sters looked as if they were going to rally in the bottom of the ninth inning when they had runners on first and second with no outs, but were unable to take advantage of that situation. Bret Boswell and Reggie Southall each worked full-counts into walks. The ‘Sters had the tying run at the plate with no outs, but weren’t able to capitalize on that.
The ‘Sters now have four days off before they are back in action against arch rival SLO Blues at home on Wednesday. Join us 5pm to cheer our boys on!