By Will Bashur
It took 12 innings and nearly four hours, but the Foresters pulled out a 2-1 win over the Blues and completed a three-game series sweep. The ‘Sters bullpen shined, providing nine innings of stellar one-run ball in relief of starter Larson Kindreich. It was the Foresters’ sixth win in a row.
Santa Barbara opened the scoring in the second when Zach Presno hit a towering double to left center. Nick Bellafronto followed with a single for his first Foresters hit, and Spencer Jones pushed Presno across the plate when he grounded into a double play.
The Blues didn’t score until the fifth, when Taison Corrio smoked a single up the middle to score catcher Brady Lindsly, knotting the game at 1-1.
From there, both teams entered an hours-long scoring drought. Drake Greenwood, Hunter Breault, Connor Curry, Christian Winston, and Ryan Bergert combined for seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out five. The Blues’ bullpen was nearly as overpowering, as they struck out 12 Foresters over seven innings of shutout ball.
Santa Barbara finally broke the scoring curse in the twelfth when pinch-hitter Eric Kennedy started a rally by getting hit by a Kai Janowicz fastball. The speedy Kennedy then swiped second, and Conor McKenna and Tevin Tucker followed with a walk and a single to load the bases for Jacob Katzfey. Katzfey then hit the first pitch he saw toward second base, allowing Kennedy to score safely on the RBI groundout and putting the ‘Sters on top 2-1.
The Blues’ hopes of a walk-off victory were immediately crushed when Ryan Bergert strode out from the bullpen. He struck out the side with an electrifying fastball.
The Foresters will return home Friday to face the Academy Barons at Pershing Park at 6 PM. Tune in to AM 1290 to hear all the action.