By Emma del Sol
The Foresters bats erupted today against the Santa Barbara Grizzlies, scoring 17 runs on 12 hits in their first game of the Rawlings California Cup. Every starter for the ‘Sters reached base today and the ‘Sters batted through the order in the second and third innings.
In his fourth start of the season, Jon Duplantier won his third game, going six innings giving up one run on three hits and striking out eight batters. Duplantier now leads the team with 36 strikeouts on the season and has only given up three runs in 24 innings of work.
Granger Studdard extended his hitting streak to 13 games when he hit a bases clearing triple in the bottom of the third inning. Jaylin Davis hit his second homerun to center of year and his fourth on the season. Jeremy Montalbano reached base in all four of his at-bats today. He had three doubles, two on the first pitch he saw, and now leads the team with 10 doubles. He also had one of the Foresters six stolen bases of the game. Two stolen bases came from Colt Atwood who leads the ‘Sters with 17 on the season.
Montalbano started off the ‘Sters eight run second inning with a smoking double down the third base line. The Grizzlies then walked the next three Foresters, allowing one run to come home. Colt Atwood had a single, driving in two and stole two bases. Davis then had a monster two-run homerun to center field. Davis is now tied with his Appalachian State teammate Dillon Dobson for the ‘Sters homerun lead with four. Studdard and Montalbano executed the second double steal of the game for the ‘Sters. As Studdard stole second, Montalbano came home on the throw.
The ‘Sters scored six more runs in the third and three runs in the fourth, giving them a 17-0 lead after four innings.
The Grizzlies were able to get one of those runs back in the fifth inning, but after that their bats were silenced and the ‘Sters bullpen only gave up one hit. The ‘Sters bats were also kept quiet after the fifth inning as Grizzlies relief pitcher Zach Torra pitched three shutout innings of relief.
Matt Winthrow, Blake Goins, and Lucas Benenati pitched three shutout innings of relief, striking out six, and only allowing two base runners.
Cole Atelian, a long time batboy for the ‘Sters and bullpen catcher, came into the game in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter. Atelian was added to the roster for today’s game against the Grizzlies. Although he hit a sharp line-drive to right field, he still received the largest ovation of the game from the crowd.
The ‘Sters are back in action tomorrow at 4pm as they take on the South Bay Seals in their second game of the Rawlings Cup Tournament. The ‘Sters will also have a float in tomorrow’s July 4th Parade. If you’re in town, come down to State Street and cheer on your Foresters in the parade!