By Kian Karamdashti
A streak of two one-run losses was snapped Friday evening, as the Foresters scraped out a 2-1 win over the Conejo Oaks behind a strong start from pitcher Garrett Clarke. Returning home to Pershing Park proved to be good medicine as the Foresters moved to 5-2 on the season.
“We’ve been having trouble sustaining rallies, stringing at bats together in league play,” said manager Bill Pintard. “However, today our strikeouts were down to only four. We talked about it before the game, we had guys come in early and we are going to get better. A lot of balls were hit hard, they just ended up being hit at guys. All we want them to do this summer is to get quality at bats, crack down on our swings and misses, and hit the ball hard.”
It wasn’t the most ideal start for the Foresters as a second inning miscommunication in the outfield led to a double by the Oaks’ Ryne Yamshiro, who advanced to third and scored on a fielder’s choice.
Even down by a run, though, Clark settled down and went five strong innings. “It wasn’t feeling too good in the bullpen before the game,” said Clarke. “But in those later innings I was able to find my slider, which was my biggest pitch for me today in getting a lot of ground balls. I just had to keep that same mentality and attack hitters after that second inning, and it wasn’t too big of a deal for me.
The Foresters weren’t down for long as Ross Cadena hit a solo shot to left in the bottom of the second to tie the game. The bomb to left also marked Cadena’s second home game in a row with a home run.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the seventh, when third baseman Connor Mckenna legged out an infield single, stole third, and then scored on a groundout by Ryan Cash.
“This is the best game [McKenna] has had,” said Pintard. “He had three quality at bats where he battled.
The bullpen continued to be lights out, especially Conner Woods, who got the save with a 1-2-3 final frame
The Foresters continue their homestand against the Arroyo Seco Saints tomorrow at Pershing Park, first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm on AM 1290.