By Jim Buckley
On a night that the Foresters did what they have done all season—put together outstanding performances in all phases of the game—all that they needed was an exclamation point. Ryan Holgate provided that with a massive solo homer to deep right field that made the final score 14-1 over the Express.
Holgate was one of eight Foresters with RBI on the night, led by DH Christian Encarnacion with three on three hits. Matthew McLain hit his second homer of the season to right-centerfield, and his brother Sean had a big two-out hit to drive in a pair in the third inning.
For the second night in a row, the pitching staff piled up the Ks. Caleb Sloan started and went five scoreless innings, the longest stint for a Sters starter yet. He struck out ten with three hits and walked only two.
“It’s been two or three years since I threw that many pitches,” said Sloan, a 2018 Forester who will head to Oregon this fall after missing more than a year with injuries. “I was happy to be out there and compete. The last inning sort of hit me, especially in my legs. But it was a good end to get that last batter. It’s good to be back here. I wouldn’t want to play anywhere else in the summer than for Coach Pintard.”
For his part, Pintard is happy Sloan returned. “Caleb was outstanding. He ran out of a little juice at the end, but he got through that last inning with a tremendous effort. He set a real tone. He showed how dominant he can be.”
The Foresters did most of their damage in the middle innings, highlighted by a four-run fourth that featured a two-run RBI single by Branden Boissiere. McLain’s homer helped the ’Sters put up three in the fifth. Holgate’s mammoth bomb was his third round-tripper of the season.
The Foresters outscored the Express 54-7 while winning five straight in the series. On Saturday at 6 pm, Santa Barbara welcomes the Santa Maria Pea Soup for the first of more than a dozen scheduled games this month. Tune in on KCSB.org/sports.