By Jim Buckley:
Santa Barbara opened 2021 CCL play Sunday with a convincing 11-1 victory over the MLB Academy Barons in Compton. The Foresters showed the type of offensive depth and focus on pitching that has made them perennial champs.
Nick Nastrini (pictured), winner of the 2020 EP 19 Award as pitcher of the year, returned to the mound for his first 2021 start, and picked up where he left off. Nastrini did create his own challenges by allowing the first two Barons to reach base in each of the first two innings, but then got three strikeouts to end both threats. Foresters relievers Christian Delashmit, Steven Zobac, Nick Proctor, and Gabe Starks picked up from there, allowing only a run and a hit in six innings. In all Foresters pitcher recorded 16 strikeouts, led by Nastrini’s seven.
Offensively, the Foresters continued to show that they have weapons up and down the lineup. Catcher Zachary Leach provided the big blows of the game, capping his five-RBI afternoon with a three-run homer in the ninth that provided the team’s final runs. He also had a two-run single in the sixth inning.
Leach was not alone in helping the Foresters’ cause. Sean McLain’s infield grounder scored the first run in the first, and then Jack Reidel hit his first homer of the summer, a solo shot in the third. In the seventh, Nathan Rombach cracked a two-run double. Reidel got another RBI in the eighth on a double of his own.
The Foresters enjoy a day off Monday and then have road CCL games on Tuesday at Conejo at 4:30 and Wednesday at the OC Riptide at 6 pm. Listen to all the action on AM 1290 KZSB.
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