By Jim Buckley
What a walk-off! In a back-and-forth battle of game, it was the Foresters who had the final word. Trailing 6-5 and down to their last strike in the bottom of the ninth, the Foresters came through in the clutch when 1B Gavin Kash delivered a two-run RBI single that set off a water-spouting celebration! The Foresters beat the OC Riptide 7-6 to run their record to 2-1 and show that the 2022 Foresters have really come to play.
Kash’s heroic hit was set up when RF Pat Caulfield singled with two outs. Then Ty Hodge also singled, moving up to second when the throw from the outfield failed to nab the speedy Caulfield at third. Then proving the famous Bill Pintard dictum that “two-out hits win championships,” Kash smacked a single to center. Caulfield scored easily and Hodge, running on contact, sped around third to come across with the game-winner. Let the celebration begin.
Of course, the Foresters had set up the drama with two errors in the eighth to let the Riptide sneak ahead 6-5. But Nick Proctor (pictured) shut down any further threat to give his his teammates a chance to work their magic an inning later.
The Foresters had taken a 4-1 lead after four innings. Caulfield had a two-run single of his own in the third. In the fourth, Hodge scored on a wild pitch after a double steal by the ’Sters. Josh Stinson then drove in C Jack Holman for the fourth run.
A bit of wildness by Foresters pitching allowed the Riptide to tie the game with three runs in the fifth. But the Foresters rallied with a go-ahead run in the seventh thanks to a Nate Rombach sac fly.
Foresters starter Graham Osman had a solid outing, allowing only a run in four inning. Bullpen aces Chase Webster and Proctor were let down only by the defense, as they allowed just one hit and three walks, along with no earned runs, in five innings.
Though the game featured five errors and 14 walks, fans enjoyed a lot of drama on the base paths and runs on the scoreboard. And of course they thrilled at the exciting ending.
Find out what other excitement the Foresters have in store, on the road tomorrow at the Riptide. Tune in a 4:30 to AM 1290 KZSB to catch all the action.