On a day that the Foresters honored and remembered their late hitting coach Gary Woods by retiring his number 41, the Foresters bats did honor of their own with an 8-0 shutout of the South Coast Saints that wrapped up a series sweep. The Foresters showed off the depth of their staff by sending out a parade of pitchers led by starter Keaton Siomkin. He and relievers Dylan Hecht, Parker Joe Robinson, Paddy O’Brien, Justin Camp, and Andres Nunez scattered five hits.
Before the game, the Woods family was presented with a framed No. 41 jersey by manager Bill Pintard and members of the 2014 National Champion Foresters. Coach Pintard called Woods, “my best friend, a great coach, and a truly great person.” The Foresters distributed commemorative wristbands to the fans, who made up the largest crowd of the season.
They were treated to the full range of Foresters’ talents. Though Santa Barbara had only seven hits, they came at the right times. The team’s traditionally deep pitching staff proved nearly unhittable. And the defense turned in several sparkling plays, including two more diving catches by rightfielder Michael Smith.
A second-inning Foresters rally provided all the offense the staff would need. The ‘Sters sent 10 batters to the plate, piling up four runs on three hits and four walks. The first run scored on a bases-loaded sac fly from centerfielder Ryan Chandler. After a a double steal, catcher Dylan Paul scored on a wild pitch. With the bases loaded again, left fielder Granger Studdard hit a hard grounder up the middle for a single, bringing in two more runners.
Santa Barbara added to its lead in the fourth when shortstop Matt Henderson drove in Chandler, who had been hit by a pitch and stolen second, one of four Sters steals on the day. Trevor Abrams pinch-hit triple drove in the team’s fifth run in the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, first baseman Lex Kaplan knocked in in two additional runs on a hard-hit single up the middle. Kaplan, after hitting a 3-run homer in Saturday’s game, had a total of 6 RBI this weekend.
After an off day Monday, during which members of the Foresters will visit Cottage Hospital as part of the Hugs for Cubs program, the Foresters will return to the field on Tuesday June 23 at 5:05 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium for game one of a three game series against the Conejo Oaks. Wednesday’s game will be at Conejo, before the two teams return to Santa Barbara on Thursday. —Angelisa Cortez