By Jim Buckley
Photo by Ed Bailey
With a berth in the quarterfinals assured, the Foresters took advantage and nearly emptied their bench while also using eight pitchers about one inning each on the way to a 11-4 win over a scrappy Sandlot Tulsa squad at the NBC World Series in Wichita. Foresters hitters rapped out a tournament-high 16 hits, and every starter had at least one hit. The pitching parade scattered seven hits and struck out eight. Santa Barbara will play Thursday at 1 pm Santa Barbara time in the quarterfinals against the Denver Cougars.
The Sandlots were a pesky bunch, and actually scored first, plating a run in the second. But the Foresters quickly punched back with three in the bottom half. Eamonn Lance had his second triple of the tournament. Daniel Patterson drove him in with a single, and Nathan Voss had another RBI single before Ryan Black’s infield out made it 3-1.
The hit parade continued in the third, when the Foresters scored five more to built a comfortable 8-1 lead. Greg Pace, Jalin Flores (pictured tagging out a baserunner), and Miguel Santos had back-to-back-to-back singles, with the last driving in Pace. Galvan’s infield single scored Flores. Nate Voss then drove in two more with a single and Galvan came in on a balk.
Two more came in during the fourth inning, when it looked like the ’Sters might invoke the mercy rule. But Tulsa added runs in the fifth and seventh. Meanwhile, in the SB fifth, new Foresters OF Kenneth Dutka led off with a hit in his first SB AB, and Max Balyeu drove him in with a single to right. He came around to score later on a bases-loaded walk to Galvan. Black’s single in the seventh drove in Patterson to complete the scoring.
Among the Foresters busy pitching staff, Jackson Cloud’s two innings of scoreless work stand out, along with the return to the Foresters mound of previous seasons’ heroes Nick Proctor and Cole Reeves. Welcome back, guys!
Next game: Thursday, time and opponent TBD. Watch on the NBC World Series YouTube Channel and listen to AM 1290 / FM 96.9 or online. Make sure to follow the ’Sters on Instagram and Facebook, too!