By: Jack Kennedy
It only took 2 innings for the Foresters to blow open the game on Sunday, leading to a dominant 13-2 win over the SLO Blues to tie their weekend mini series. The Blues made it easy on them as they threw wild pitch after wild pitch; combined with the aggressive Foresters baserunning, that caused chaos on the basepaths, which helped Santa Barbara pile up the runs.
After just one inning, Blues starter Chase Dabbs had allowed three runs, two of which came by the wild pitch. Dabbs issued a hit by pitch and a walk to Griffin Everitt and Nate Rombach respectively. He needed some help from Jake Beaird, who proceeded to allow Bazzell, Everitt, and Rombach to reach on the free pass. Tennessee’s Hunter Ensley punished Beaird with a three-run triple that just stayed inside the line; Ensley then scored himself on scored on a wild pitch, and it was 9-2 after two.
Foresters starter David Shaw had some command issues himself, walking the first three batters he faced in the second inning, but settled down to allow only weak contact that let two runners reach. That inning would prove to be the only inning of trouble Shaw had on the night as he settled in to finish the night with four innings pitched and five strikeouts.
The Blues’ command issues benefitted Foresters left fielder Tanner O’Tremba, who needed four trips to the dish to record an official AB. After abusing the wild pitch for three innings and tallying 10 runs, the ‘Sters pulled their foot off the gas and let the notoriously dominant bullpen handle the rest of the game. Firs baseman Jack Hollman felt the ‘Sters could use a little more support and hit his first “Jack” of the season for two runs in the eighth.
The bullpen had a strong showing as Payton Cole, Grant Stevens, and Chase Webster combined for five innings of shutout baseball, collecting 5 Ks to carry the Foresters to their 9th win of the year. The ‘Sters now sit 9-6 for first place in the CCL South.
The Foresters get an off day Monday but on Tuesday will be at Sparky Anderson to play the Oaks and look to widen their lead in first place. Tune in to the action at 4:30 on AM 1290 and FM 96.9 KZSB.