By Matthew Landis
The Foresters opened up their two game series against the Santa Paula Halos with a 16-8 rout. The ‘Sters’ bats came alive following a Monday loss, hitting two home runs and recording 15 hits. The Foresters offense stayed hot all game led by Jaylin Davis and Dillon Dobson. The ‘Sters held their own on the mound with Jon Woodcock solid through seven innings of play. The Halos attempted a comeback late in the ballgame but it was not enough to overcome the offensive surge of the home team.
Jon Woodcock pitched seven solid innings of two hit ball for the Foresters, striking out eight. He was followed by both Jeremy Montalbano and Jaylin Davis in relief, who each pitched one inning, giving up seven runs collectively. The Halos went through four pitchers in the ballgame, the starter, Richie McWilliams getting the loss.
The Foresters started off strong against the Santa Paula Halos, scoring three runs in the first inning. Leadoff batter Jaylin Davis got on board with a fielding error by the pitcher and counterpart Grant Davis followed him on base with another fielding error by the shortstop. Shortstop Dillon Dobson came up with two runners on and no outs and hit a screaming line drive down the right field line, scoring two. Dobson then scampered over to third base on a wild pitch from Halos’ pitcher McWilliams. Left fielder Granger Studdard grounded to second base, scoring Dobson and giving the ‘Sters three runs.
The ‘Sters added another run to their campaign in the second inning, making it 4-0. First basemen Vance Vizcaino drew a walk from McWilliams, who seemed to have trouble early controlling his pitches. Leadoff batter Davis came up again and grounded a ball to the third basemen, who then booted the ball. Vizcaino rounded third and scurried home, lengthening the lead.
The ‘Sters scored in their third consecutive inning, adding another run in the third. Dave Graybill lead off the inning with a bunt single and advanced to third off of a single by David Greer. The bases were juiced, when Bret Boswell drew a walk from McWilliams. Vizcaino knocked in a run, 5-0, scoring Graybill from third with a groundout to shortstop.
In the fourth inning, the Foresters added another run to their offensive output. Jaylin Davis continued his hot game with a single up the middle. Grand Davis followed with a single of his own, giving the ‘Sters runners on first and second with no outs. Both Davis’ then took off and slid into second and third on a double steal. Graybill recorded an RBI with a groundout, making it 6-0.
The Halos recorded their first hit of the ballgame in the fifth inning with a single by center fielder William Barring. The Foresters answered back with another two runs. Greer and Boswell both singled and Vizcaino drew a walk to load the bases. Davis came up and knocked in Greer with an RBI single. Reggie Southall, replacing Grant Davis, scored Boswell putting the ball in play for a fielder’s choice. The ‘Sters extended their lead, 8-0.
The Halos were finally on the board in the sixth inning, scoring a lone run. Shortstop Cody Phillips hit a double for the Halos’ second hit of the game. Leadoff man, Austin Rodriguez scored him with an RBI groundout after Phillips advanced to third on a wild pitch.
In an absolute rout of the Halos, the Foresters scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. The bats came alive for the ‘Sters led by Davis, Dobson, Studdard and Colin Yelich. Graybill singled and scored off of Studdard’s triple. After drawing three walks in a row, Yelich cleared the bases with a towering triple to right. Davis came up to bat and hit a deep double to straight center, sending Yelich home. Dobson, Davis’ counterpart from Appalachian State scored Davis off of his soaring home run to right field. The score heading into the seventh inning stretch was 16-1.
The Halos came alive in the eighth inning, putting five runs on the scoreboard. Left fielder Kevin Torres hit a single to center. Phillips followed him on base, drawing a walk from Jeremy Montalbano. Pinch hitter Eli Kashi lined a single to load up the bases. Montalbano walked the next batter, Brandon Evans for the first run of the inning. With the bases still juiced, first basemen Jordan Brower hit a grand slam to right field, making the score 16-6.The Halos had another rally in the ninth inning but it was not enough to overcome the offensive firepower of the Foresters. Connor Sabonesh from Ohio State lead off the inning with a triple deep to center, starting off the rally. Pinch hitter Carl Witkowski came up next and doubled in a run for the Halos. Kashi continued the rally with an RBI single. Though scoring two runs in the top of the ninth, the ‘Sters held on to the 16-8 victory.
EP 19 Beverage Player of the Game was shortstop Dillon Dobson, who went 2-6 with a home run and two RBI’s. Head coach Bill Pintard commented on the victory, “We hit the ball really well, 8-9 runners in scoring position on execution, 2-2 on hit and runs, and we took extra bases. It was a good day; we were firing on all cylinders. We didn’t have a great offensive performance the other day, but that’s called bouncing back.”
The Foresters finish up the series with the Santa Paula Halos tomorrow at 5:05pm.