Wichita, Kansas Like the boys from Spinal Tap, the Foresters went “one louder” and amped up their offense on Wednesday, scoring 11 runs in the second inning on their way to a 12-2 win over the Park City Rangers from Kansas. They only had to play about half a game, too, as the NBC World Series “mercy rule” was invoked when the Foresters led by 10 runs after five innings.
The win sends the Foresters one step further in the double-elimination tournament. Though playing like winners, they’re in the “loser’s bracket” due to a loss last Sunday. They play Thursday at 5:30 p.m. California time (broadcast in S.B. on AM 1340) against the Plaza Tire Capahas, a team from Cape Giradeau, Missouri.
Back to the win over the Rangers, though, which challenged the pencils of scorekeepers throughout Wichita’s Lawrence Dumont Stadium. After giving up a run in the top of the second, the Foresters quickly got two men on with only one out in the bottom of the inning. Beginning with a Steve Susdorf RBI single, the next nine Foresters reached base. By the time the dust had cleared, seven runs were in, they had batted around, and the bases were still loaded. Carlos Ramirez had a two-RBI double and Michael Torre, Devin Sheperd, and Rebel Ridling all had RBI singles.
Up stepped Kyle Russell, who had struck out earlier in the inning. On a full-count pitch, he slugged a grand slam over the left-centerfield wall for what he later said was his first grand salami ever. (He’s pictured above, coming home.) When the inning was mercifully over, all nine Foresters in the batting order had reached base and scored at least once and six had driven in at least one run, led by Russell’s quartet.
Benefitting from all this firepower was starting pitcher Chris Bodishbaugh, who allowed only four hits and one unearned run in his short five-inning stint. The win was huge, of course, as it’s “win or go home” time for Santa Barbara, but getting two straight complete games from their starters sets the team up very well for upcoming games. Ace lefty Anthony Capra is ready to go on Thursday, while all the bullpen arm are well-rested.
Tune in to www.sbforesters.org and AM 1340 for continuing coverage of the Sters quest to repeat their 2007 NBC World Series title.