The Santa Barbara Foresters clinched their 15th California Collegiate League baseball championship by defeating the Urban Youth Academy Barons 5-2 in the second game of a Sunday doubleheader at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
After dropping the opener to the visitors by a 7-4 score, the Foresters had just a one-game lead in the standings over the San Luis Obispo Rattlers. They fell behind 2-0 in the nightcap but rallied for three runs in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Austin Fleet retired 15 consecutive batters after the first inning, and Bryan Suarez and Joey Cutler finished the job on the mound.
Kevin Keyes, an outfielder from Texas, came through with an RBI double to trigger the winning rally. Keyes scored the go-ahead run on a single by UCSB’s Steve Cook. Another Texan, catcher Cameron Rupp, drove Keyes home with an insurance run in the sixth.
The second-place Rattlers will visit the Foresters in the regular-season finale Tuesday (5 p.m. at UCSB), but the league title is safely in Santa Barbara’s hands.
The Foresters have won 20 of 24 games in July to improve their record to 32-16. They will make their 16th consecutive appearance in the National Baseball Congress World Series at Wichita, Kansas, in August.