By Jim Buckley: It was only fitting that when the Foresters headed south to play the Conejo Oaks on Tuesday, they brought the lumber. Big hits paced the offensive onslaught as the Foresters moved to 2-0 in CCL play with an 11-4 win.
Santa Barbara started hot, with a two-run homer by third baseman Andrew Kachel in the first. Jack Reidel broke the game open with a grand slam in the third, part of a seven-run inning that left Conejo chasing for the rest of the afternoon. Reidel ended up with 5 RBI on the night, while Kachel nearly matched him with 3. Kade Higgins and Jashia Morrissey had the team’s other RBI.
For the first time, a Foresters starting pitcher struggled a bit, but Carson Lambert bulled through four innings, allowing three runs, two earned, while his teammates more than backed him up. Peyton Cole took over for Lambert and held the Oaks at bay, and Brett Gregory posted a scoreless three-inning save.
It was a good thing the pitchers kept the score down, as the Foresters bats left early. They had only three hits after their early-game outburst, as the Oaks bullpen settled them down.
On the basepaths, it was more outright thievery, as the Foresters continued their season-long running ways, with a season-high nine steals . . . on nine attempts. Foresters catchers Jared Thomas and Nathan Rombach threw out two Oaks trying to emulate the ’Ster s. If there was a downside to the win, it was an uncharacteristic five errors by the normally sure-handed Foresters, two of which led to Oaks runs early in the contest.
It’s another roadie for the Foresters on Wednesday, as they head to Great Park in Irvine to take on the powerful OC Riptide in another key early CCL game. Tune in to all the action starting at 5:50 pm on AM 1290 KZSB.