Greg Pace scores the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning. | Credit: Victor Bryant

The sun was shining on Pershing Park on Friday and the Santa Barbara Foresters continued their hot streak.

A late-inning rally boosted the Foresters to an 11-4 victory over the Ventura Pirates and extended their winning streak to five games. 

“We weren’t executing early. They threw a lot of soft guys and we’re not used to that,” said Foresters head coach Bill Pintard. “We weren’t executing the way we should and then we got it going.”

Westmont’s Daniel Patterson sparked the Foresters offensive explosion. He went 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, including a single through to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning that scored Gregory Pace and Kevin Michaels, giving the Foresters a 6-4 lead that they would not relinquish.

“We had runners on second and third there and I was just trying to put a good barrel on the ball and most of it  would take care of itself as long as I squared it up and did my job,” said Patterson of his key hit that put the Foresters ahead. “I was just doing it for the team.”

Patterson is coming off an NAIA National Championship at Westmont, but is positioned for an increased role next season as the Warriors move to NCAA Division 2.

“This year I had a lot of great guys ahead of me at Westmont so I’m just trying to get reps and work for the future since we’re going D-2 now,” Patterson said. “I’m trying to be a new leader for the team.”

The Foresters received a solid performance from starting pitcher Ben Bybee from the University of Arkansas, who went five innings and surrendered two earned runs with four strikeouts, but did not factor into the decision. 

Bybee’s lone mistake was a hanging breaking ball that Ventura’s Sean Mann smashed over the left field fence for a two-run homer. The Foresters trailed 2-1 when Jacob Hughes came on to replace Bybee to start the top of the sixth inning.

Back-to-back doubles by Ryan Black and Eammon Lance in the bottom of the sixth inning helped the Foresters even the score at 2-2. Lance was caught stealing third base to take some steam out of what could have been a bigger inning.

The Pirates went back ahead 4-2 in the top of the seventh inning on a single to left field by Dan Laughery that scored Brody Brown and Jackson Bennatar, However the Foresters immediately responded with five runs in the bottom of the seventh highlighted by Patterson’s go-ahead hit. 

The Foresters capitalized on control issues from the Ventura pitching staff to tack on four runs in the bottom of the eighth, increasing their lead to 11-4. Santa Barbara accumulated ten walks over the course of the game.

Taber Fast and Zachary Yates combined to pitch 2.1 scoreless innings in relief as the Foresters secured the victory.

Santa Barbara will host the Inland Valley Pirates today at 6 p.m. in a non-league game.


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