by Nate Loop
Right off the bat, a wave of unease swept over the stadium as the Halos, who struggled to knock the ball out of the infield on Wednesday, put up runs with efficiency to start the game. It felt like it might be one of those games for the ‘Sters, where recent success crumbles and gives way to a let-down game. But the home team had other ideas. The game turned out to be a “laugher”, as the Foresters will be coasting into Las Vegas this weekend on some good vibrations as they up their winning streak to four by trouncing the Halos 14-3.
The Halos got to starting pitcher Kirby Bellow right away, tallying up three hits in the first inning, one more than their entire output for the previous game. They cashed in on those hits (plus an error) to score three runs, pitting the Foresters in an early 3-0 hole.
The ‘Sters were undeterred, and responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game. Two more runs in the fourth inning gave them all the lead they would need, but the Foresters had not even begun to show how well they can play together
Bellow, spurred on by his teammates performance at the plate, refocused and went into lockdown mode for the next three innings, just giving up two walks after his forgettable first frame of pitching.
The fourth inning was where things went from merely good to outright fantastic for the ‘Sters. They lit up the scoreboard with nine runs in the inning, the undeniable highlight a three-run home run by Taylor Stell, his first of the summer for the ‘Sters.
Murphy’s Law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And the long arm of that particular law had its grip on the Halos today. The 14 runs the ‘Sters put up over three innings were compiled with just eight hits, a rare sight on a scoreboard in any league.
After the apocalyptic middle innings (if your a Halos fan), both teams seemed to go on cruise control, as the Foresters had said all they needed to in the first four innings.
Brendon Shoemake pitched the fifth and six innings, allowing just one hit, as the Foresters pitchers got back to there austere ways. John Beck, Michael Kwan, and Dae Yang Kim each pitched an inning to close out the game, and didn’t allow a man to reach base.
Beck, from the University of Texas, looked particularly sharp. His fastball would give the California Highway Patrol fits, as it routinely touched 92 mph.
Shane Hoelscher led the way for the ‘Sters, going 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs, and 2 runs scored himself.
Cal Vogelsang continued his hot start to the summer by going 2 for 3, scoring 2 runs, and reaching twice more by drawing the walk.
The Foresters play three important games this weekend against California Collegiate League opponents Team Vegas.