#6 Ty Hodge scores the game-winning run in the Foresters 7-6 walk off vicory. | Credit: Victor Bryant

Gavin Kash roped a line drive to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning that brought home Ty Hodge and Pat Caulfield to clinch the Foresters’ 7-6 walk-off victory over the OC Riptide on Saturday night.

Kash arrived at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara from The University of Texas just minutes before first pitch and delivered the clutch hit in his first game as a Forester.

“Getting here late and missing a couple days kind of sucks, but I’m glad I got to pull the win out from the team,” Kash said. “I knew that I was kind of lunging forward a little bit, so I spread out just a little bit more to give myself more on my back leg, and it helped me hit the ball better.”

The University of Texas baseball team is currently competing in Super Regionals against Eastern Carolina University, but the decision was made for Kash to get a jump-start on summer ball, and he’s off to an incredible start.

“It’s been hard not being able to be there with the guys,” Kash said. “At the end of the day, I have to do what’s best and keep moving on. I’m going to play for Texas next year. That’s my goal, so I’m just glad I can get some at-bats in.”

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Graham Osman got the start for Santa Barbara and was solid in his four innings on the mound as he surrendered just one run on five hits. 

The Foresters put up two runs apiece in the third and fourth innings. Caulfield notched a two-out single in the fourth inning that allowed Josh Stinson and Will Pendergrass to score and put the Foresters ahead 2-1.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Hodge scored on a wild pitch, and Stinson drove in Jack Holman with a single that increased the Foresters’ lead to 4-1.

The Riptide responded with three runs in the fifth inning and two in the eighth to take a 6-5 lead.

The Foresters were down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth inning when Caulfield was hit by a pitch. The next batter, Hodge, singled to right center to put runners on first and third. Caulfield was able to advance to second base, setting the stage for Kash’s heroics.

With the victory, the Foresters improve to 2-1 on the season. Santa Barbara will be on the road at the OC Riptide on Sunday, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

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