By Jim Buckley
The Foresters stretched their 2019 string of zeroes to 18 thanks to a dominating pitching performance that included 16 strikeouts and only a single hit. Santa Barbara completed a two-game shutout sweep of the San Diego Waves with a 10-0 victory on Saturday. Starter Luke Taggart made the most of his Foresters debut, racking up 7 Ks in five hitless innings while allowing only a walk. He was followed by Larson Kindreich, who got strikeouts for five of the six outs he recorded. Returning ’Ster Nico O’Donnell cleaned up with four more Ks in his two innings of work.
Taggart was masterful, using a power fastball and effective breaking pitch to keep Waves hitter guessing. He had at least one strikeout in each of his five innings of work.
In support of this great work on the mound, the Foresters bats, which scored only one run Friday, woke up to help out. Catcher Zach Presno highlighted the offense, with a pair of doubles that led to a team-high 3 RBI. Jacob Katzfey, Spencer Jones, Brett Borgono, and Eric Kennedy each scored a pair of runs, while TJ Foreman added two RBI.
Hitting was only part of the story of the ’Sters offense. The team combined for seven stolen bases, helped along by a slew of wild pitches and passed balls by the Waves’ batteries.
Jones scored first, on a Foreman groundout in the second inning. In the third, Santa Barbara put up a three-spot. Tommy Holguin busted home from third on a wild pitch that barely eluded the Waves catcher; the SBCC star’s dusty slide ignited the crowd and the Foresters bench. Borgogno scored on another wild pitch two batters later, and Presno completed the three-run inning with a double.
Presno, from Fresno, was in the middle of another three-run inning in the fifth. His second double provided two more runs in a frame that saw the ’Sters steal three bases.
In the eighth, Santa Barbara added two more on groundout RBIs that sandwiched a key double by Diego Harris, who had just moments before provided the defensive highlight of the night on a diving catch to end an inning.
The Foresters open California Collegiate League play on Sunday at 2 pm against the rival Conejo Oaks at Pershing Park.