Photo Courtesy of Vic Neuman
By Patrick Hunter
The Santa Barbara Foresters wasted no time reminding the loyal fans of their success so far throughout the 2018 summer season. Sparked by a first inning Luke Ritter home run, the ’Sters clinched a big 4-2 victory over the second-place OC Riptide.
Ritter stepped in as the third batter up for the ’Sters and launched a big fly over the left field wall.
The OC Riptide would respond in the top of the third, tying the game up at one apiece. The run was allowed by starter Jackson Wolf, who otherwise had another great game, totaling six strikeouts through four strong innings of play.
However, the ’Sters made up the lost ground easily, and quickly. In the bottom of the third, Ryan Cash led off the inning in a good way, knocking a leadoff single to put a runner on with no outs. Cash advanced to third after a couple errors by the Riptide, and was promptly driven in by right fielder Logan Allen, pushing the lead back up to one.
In the bottom of the fourth, slugger Chase Illig almost brought in another run via the big fly, but was robbed by OC center fielder Luke Bandy in a spectacular play. The ’Sters wanted it, but would score two more runs in the ball game.
Two innings later, Forester newcomer Cameron Warren introduced himself to Pershing Park, roping a line drive single to bring Luke Ritter home safely. The lead progressed to 3-1, Santa Barbara.
The OC Riptide did not go down without a fight. In the top of the eighth, Luke Bandy hit an RBI single, cutting the lead to one run, and making the game much more interesting with less than two innings of regulation remaining.
In their first game back after a week away, the ’Sters were not ready to let that happen. Left fielder Conor Davis stepped up to bat with Chase Illig waiting on third. With a swing of the bat, the crowd erupted, as he smacked a line drive to right, scoring Illig, and putting the game away for good.
Catch the Foresters in action on Saturday, July 14 at 6pm. The San Diego Reign are coming to Pershing for a game you will not want to miss!