By Jim Buckley
The Foresters celebrated a Walk-off Wednesday at Pershing Park, winning a back-and-forth game 8-7 in 10 innings over a very game Santa Maria Pea Soup team. SS Matthew McLain drove a one-out line drive down the left-field line to score LF Pat Caulfield from first on a perfectly executed hit-and-run that secured the victory and cued the celebration. It was the speedy Caulfield’s fourth run of the game; he also stole two bases.
Before the late excitement, the Foresters controlled the first half of the game. Up 1-0 in the fifth, Santa Barbara scored four runs to break things open. Caulfield led off with a double and McLain walked. After a double-steal and a walk to 2B Jace Jung loaded the bases, back-to-back passed balls scored two. DH Christian Encarnacion singled in a run, and then 1B Branden Boissiere came around to score on the front end of a double-steal.
Then, as they had on Sunday, the ’Sters let the Pea Soup leak back into the game, matching the four-spot with one of their own in the top of the sixth to pull within one. After Encarnacion singled in another run in the seventh, Ryan Guardino of the Soup tied the game at 6-6 with a two-run homer in the eighth. The Foresters responded right away, scoring the go-ahead run on an error in left field on a ball hit by Boissiere.
In the ninth, back came Santa Maria, as they tied the score 7-7 on a one-out double by Nick Gatewood to set up the Wednesday Walk-off excitement in the tenth.
The fun continues on Thursday with the final game of this five-game set with the Pea Soup. First pitch is at 6 pm on KCSB.org/sports.