By Matthew Landis
The ‘Sters won a walk off thriller, racking up eleven hits against the Southern California Catch. Both teams started off slow but the game ended in an offensive explosion. Foresters’ pitcher Cameron Cuneo threw seven and a third innings of solid baseball, striking out nine batters.
In the fourth inning, the Catch scored first to lead the Foresters. Shortstop Jordan Aboites lead off the inning with a single to right field. Cuneo proceeded to strike out the next two batters, but Aboites still remained on base. Aboites took off from first and stole second base. A few pitches later, he stole third and scored the only run of the inning due to a throwing error from ‘Sters’ catcher newcomer Cody Walker.
The Foresters answered back in the bottom of the inning behind the hot bats of Jaylin Davis and Granger Studdard. The ‘Sters scored their first run of the inning off of an RBI double by Studdard. Davis lead off the inning with a double down the left field line and then promptly advanced to third on a wild pitch. Studdard took the delivery from Beach pitcher Josh DeGraaf and slammed it over the left fielders head, walking into second base easily.
Taking the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, the ‘Ster’s bats finally came alive. Second basemen Grant Davis hit a screaming triple down the right field line, sliding into third with authority. Cole Atwood singled him home, and the ‘Sters’ take the lead 2-1. Advancing to second on a groundout by newcomer Jake Vickerson from Mississippi State, Atwood was in scoring position. Jaylin Davis continued his stellar game, driving in Atwood with a deep triple to right center field, making the score 3-1. Davis was our EP 19 Beverage Player of the Game going 3-4 with an RBI.
The Catch sparked a late rally in the eighth inning, their bats catching afire. Joey Bergandi lead off with a single and teammate Scott Gillespie followed with a single of his own. With two runners on, second basemen Cooper Esmay walked into the batters box. Esmay took a fastball from Cuneo over the left field fence, and the Catch took the lead 4-3 off of the homerun.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, the Foresters answered back. Studdard lead off with a single and advanced to second, tagging on a sacrifice fly to center field. Walker drew a walk and the ‘Sters’ had two runners aboard. They both then advanced a base thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Reggie Southall. Grant Davis came up and scored both runners with an RBI single, giving the Foresters a 5-4 lead.
Cooper Esmay continued his hot game for the Catch, racking up six RBI’s in two plate appearances. With two outs in the top of the ninth, Esmay hit a towering two run home run, and his second of the game. The Catch went up 7-5 with that firework filled inning.
The Foresters won in the bottom of the ninth in a thriller. Pinch hitter Jeremy Montalbano drew a walk and Graybill singled. Studdard filled the bases, drawing another walk. Boswell walked as well, and Montalbano scored the first run of the inning. Pinch hitter Dillon Dobson hit a two run walk off single giving the ‘Sters the 8-7 victory.