By Matt Mitchell
The Santa Barbara Foresters (3-2) used dominant pitching to defeat the Long Beach Legends 7-0 Saturday night at Pershing Park. It was Foresters’ second straight win and first shutout of the young season.
The Foresters got six strong innings of shutout ball from starter Daniel Vasquez (Tennessee). Vasquez allowed just four hits and struck out four in his first start of the season.
“I really liked Daniel Vasquez tonight,” Foresters Manager Bill Pintard said. “He’s been mostly a reliever, though he has started a few times, and he stepped up big tonight. We needed him to extend himself and he pitched very effectively.”
With Vasquez’ day done and Santa Barbara leading 4-0, reliever Colton Follett entered the game to start the seventh inning and the Legends never reached base again. Follett tossed three perfect innings with four strikeouts to seal the win for the Foresters.
“I just fed off of him [Vasquez],” Follett said. “He was just dealing all night. I didn’t know if I was going to get into the game because he was feeling really good out there. That’s why I knew when I got in there I had to be perfect.”
The final line for Foresters pitching: zero runs, four hits, eight strikeouts and no walks. The Legends’ pitching staff, meanwhile, walked nine Foresters hitters, and Santa Barbara was able to capitalize.
For the second night in a row, the Foresters used a big fifth inning to pull away from the opposition. Three of the Foresters’ nine walks were drawn in that inning, and from there Santa Barbara was able to create havoc on the basepaths by way of three stolen bases, two wild pitches, and a hit-by-pitch. When it was all said and done, four runs crossed home plate to give Santa Barbara a 4-0 lead and it would cruise to another victory from there.
The Foresters will finish their first homestand of 2017 with a 2 p.m. matchup against the Ventura Pirates Sunday at Pershing Park.