By Kian Karamdashti
The Foresters put on a show on Host Family Appreciation Day, slugging their way to a 15-2 win over the MLB Academy Barons. Starter Brooks Fuller provided five shutout innings, while the offense did more than enough to support their pitcher, with every starter finding their way on base at least once. Blake Hall, Zach Presno, and Jacob Katzvey drove in three runs each.
In a game where much of the offense stood out for ’Sters, the most shining part may have been the ’Sters two-out hitting. The first 10 runs of the game, all in the first three innings, came with two outs already on the board.
“We have a saying that two-out hits win championships,” said manager Bill Pintard. “We talked about effort due to last night’s loss and man, we were locked in today.”
Just as in the previous game, solid pitching set the tone for the ’Sters as Fuller offset his fastball with dynamic offspeed pitches. A combined bullpen performance from Cole Quintanilla, Drake Greenwood, and Brock Helverson ensured the win.
“That was Fuller’s longest start all year and I thought he pitched well. He got himself into some trouble but always got out of it. That was Quintanilla’s first relief performance and he came in and did great.”
Standout performances came from up and down the order. Ryan Cash and Christian Franklin each provided three hits, Nick Bellafronto came through with a booming solo home run to left, and Spencer Jones continued his hot week with an RBI single. Jones is 9 for 16, with two home runs and seven RBI since Tuesday.
An incoming freshman at Vanderbilt, Jones came into the summer with little experience facing college-level pitching. By the end of the summer, he has made the right adjustments in order to find success.
“I noticed early on that they were feeding me fastballs inside early, so I changed my swing a bit to pounce on that and it’s really helped me,” said Jones.
Pintard seemed to agree on Jones’ progress.
“He’s really matured this summer. As a high school guy who had great success he never really had an approach,” said Pintard. “He’s a sponge, he talks to the other hitters, he talks to the coaching staff, he always wants to listen. Some of the older guys have took him under their wing and it’s paying off.”
“This summer’s been awesome,” said Jones. “I didn’t really know what to expect since this is all new to me. Getting out here, meeting the guys, realizing that life is bigger than seeing and hitting the baseball. This is a summer I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
The Foresters look to end the season on a high note tomorrow at the Arroyo Seco Saints in Glendale. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm on AM 1290.