Four Santa Barbara pitchers combined to hold the OC Riptide to one run on five hits as the Foresters bounced back from a rare loss Saturday night to secure a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon.
Brooks Fuller arrived in Santa Barbara yesterday, fresh off a run to College World Series with the Auburn Tigers. He found out he would be starting about two hours before game time, but still delivered three solid innings, surrendering just one run on three hits.
“Our starter Cole Quintanilla was sick so he was an emergency starter,” said Foresters head coach Bill Pintard of Fuller. “Usually you know days in advance that you’re starting. He didn’t know he was starting until we asked, ‘who can start?’ and everybody was raising their hands.
“He knew literally two hours before the start of that game so I thought he did really well with that.”
The Riptide struck first in top of the second inning. Michael Peabody sent a single to left field that brought home Connor Aoki. Fuller got out of the jam when the next batter, Connor Aube, grounded into a double play.
The one run was all the Riptide could muster and the Foresters took control of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Quentin Selma led off with a single through to right field. Nick Bellafronto followed with a double off the center field fence to put runners on second and third with no outs.
The next batter, Zach Presno, sent a hard-hit ground ball off the pitchers leg. He reached base, but the other runners were unable to advance. With the bases loaded and no outs Jacob Katzfey grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought home Selma to even the score at 1-1.
It appeared the Riptide would escape the inning when Conor McKenna sent a sharp groundball to the second basemen that appeared to set up an easy double play, but the ball skipped through the second basemen’s legs bringing home Bellafronto increasing the Foresters lead to 2-1.
With two outs in the inning Ryan Cash broke the game open with a ground ball that ricochet off the first basemen’s glove driving in McKenna and Katzfey and extending the Foresters lead to 4-1.
“We’re a good team and we’ve got a lot of good hitters,” Bellafront said. “We’re kind of waiting for everybody to finally get comfortable, settle in and start hitting like we know we can.”
The Forester’s bullpen shut the door once the lead was secured. Connor Woods, who earned the three-inning save and finished with three strikeouts, led the relief effort.
Santa Barbara improved to 12-3 overall and 10-3 in the CCL with the victory.