By Jim Buckley
When a ship steers off course, the captain might call for an experienced sailor to take the wheel. After the Foresters bumped to a surprising loss Friday night, the call went out for a seasoned hand, and starting pitcher Luke Taggart delivered. The 2019 Foresters pitcher of the year threw six shutout innings, allowing only two hits while walking none and striking out 11. The offense had his back and the ’Sters rolled to a 5-0 win over the San Francisco Seals on Montecito Bank & Trust Night.
Taggart was on target early, striking out two in the first and the side in the third. He shut down the Seals 1-2-3 in four of his six innings of work, allowing only three balls out of the infield. Taggart earned his second win of the season in his third straight strong outing. Ian Churchill and Peyton Pallette continued the string of zeroes in relief, securing only the second shutout by Sters pitching so far.
2B Jace Jung gave Taggart all the runs he needed with a first-inning homer, his third of 2020. Overall, the Foresters were back to their typical relentless offense, adding single runs in the third, fourth, sixth and eighth. With SB up 1-0 in the third, SS Matthew McLain singled, stole second, and—as he has done numerous times this summer—induced an error that sent him to third base, where Jung drove him home. In the third, with Christian Encarnacion on third, Peyton Graham surprised the Seals with a nifty bunt hit that brought in run number three.
DH Bryce Warrecker has done most of his damage from the mound this year, leading the team in strikeouts until Taggart overtook him Saturday, but he put his bat to work Saturday. He had an RBI single in the sixth and a run-scoring double in the eighth.
The Foresters welcome the Santa Maria Pea Soup back for a Sunday matinee starting at 2 pm. Listen to all the action on KCSB.org/sports.