Swift Ties Then Walks-off Saints; Foresters, Packers Ride Late-Inning Surges to Win

Updated: July 5, 2019

July 5, 2019
Santa Barbara, CA

Christian Winston (San Diego St), Kevin Larson (Fresno St), Clayton Beeter (Texas Tech), Connor Curry (Nebraska) and Hunter Breault (Oregon) combined for 13 strikeouts and eight shutout innings, Zach Presno (Fresno St) hit a two-run home run and Nick Bellafronto (Stanford) had a game-high three RBI to lead the Santa Barbara Foresters to a 13-1 win over the Academy Barons tonight at Pershing Park. Winston was the starting pitcher tonight for Santa Barbara and threw the first three scoreless innings, allowing four baserunners on three singles and a walk, one of which was erased from the bases on a caught stealing. Larson pitched the fourth, allowing the only Barons run of the game when he walked the leadoff batter and, two outs later, Kendall Pettis (Oklahoma) hit an RBI-triple. Beeter had the most dominant outing from among the five Foresters pitchers tonight, facing the minimum nine batters in his three-inning appearance, striking out six and the only batter to reach base safely against him did so on a dropped third strike only to be thrown out soon thereafter trying to steal second base. Curry and Breault each pitched a one-two-three inning in the eighth and ninth, striking out one and two batters, respectively, to close out the win. In total, the five Foresters pitchers allowed seven baserunners, stranded four and erased three off the bases to face only five over the minimum 27 for the game. Santa Barbara was just as dominant on the offensive side of the game tonight, collecting eleven hits as a team with eight of the nine starting lineup’s hitters getting at least one hit and five batters driving in multiple runs. Christian Franklin (Arkansas) drove in the first run of the game for Santa Barbara, plating Eric Kennedy (Texas) who led off the bottom of the first inning with a single. Those were the only two hits allowed by Barons starting pitcher Elijah Pleasants (Tennessee) who pitched around four walks and a hit batter to throw four scoreless innings with four strikeouts after the first to keep the Academy close. But as soon as Pleasants left the game the Foresters rallied, scoring four runs in the sixth inning on four walks and three hits, including a two-run single by Blake Hall (Oral Roberts); five runs in the seventh on two walks, a pair of Barons’ errors and three hits, including Fresno’s two-run home run, a Kennedy RBI-double and a Quentin Selma (Cal) run-scoring single; and three more in the eighth on a Bellafronto two-run single and Franklin’s second RBI-single of the game.

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Elsewhere around the CCL today:

Healdsburg, CA

Cal Conley (Texas Tech) doubled and hit a grand slam, Travis Turney (Portland) hit a solo home run and the Healdsburg Prune Packers offense scored six runs to break open a 2-2 game in the seventh inning in route to beating the Lincoln Potters 8-2 tonight at Recreation Park. Conley’s slam capped the Packers’ streak of six consecutive batters to each base safely and score before an out was recorded in the seventh inning. The rally gave Healdsburg their first lead in the game after Lincoln scored in their first at bat when leadoff hitter Nolan Young (Illinois St) reached base after being hit by a pitch, advanced on a Zach Arnold (Oregon) and a walk, and scored on a run-producing groundout. Lincoln’s starting pitcher Keith Walker (Yuba JC) held that lead, retiring the first four batters he faced, until one out in the second inning when Turney hit his home run to tie the score. Walker then retired ten of the next eleven batters he faced through the end of the fifth inning, pitching with the lead again after Lorenzo Debrecht (Sierra JC) hit a home run to lead off the fourth. But in the sixth inning, Conley hit a leadoff double, stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie score again. As soon as Walker left the game the Packers pounced, getting their first six batters on base safely on three walks, a single, a hit batter and Conley’s slam to blow the game open. Ian Villers (Cal) started on the mound for Healdsburg and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three. Randy Polonia (UConn) started the sixth inning in relief of Villers and struck out three over two scoreless innings to pick up the win before Michael Clark threw scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth with a pair of strikeouts to close out the win.

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San Luis Obispo, CA

Hunter Swift (Oral Roberts) doubled and scored on an RBI-single by Taison Corio (Delta JC) to tie the score in the eighth and Swift drove in the winning run with a one-out RBI-single in the ninth to lead the San Luis Obispo Blues to a 3-2 walk-off win over the Arroyo Seco Saints tonight at Sinsheimer Park. Swift’s late-inning heroics overshadowed the strong pitching performances of the Saints’ Colin King (Regis) and Alex Cornwell (USC), who had each struck out six over four and three and two-thirds innings of work, respectively, surrendering no earned runs on three singles. But the Blues’ Derek True (Cal Poly) and Kyle Richardson (Texas A&M) were equally strong in their outings, striking out three and seven batters, respectively, and each allowing only one run. Arroyo Seco plated an unearned run off of True in the second inning when the leadoff hitter reached base on an error and eventually scored on a run-producing groundout to take a 1-0 lead. Then, after the Blues scored an unearned run of their own in the third to tie the score, Drew Cowley (Cal Poly Pomona) hit a solo home run with two outs in the fifth inning to again put the Saints up by one. Richardson then pitched the last four innings scoreless, stranding a leadoff double in both the sixth and seventh innings and retiring the side in order in the eighth to set up the Blues comeback. After Swift’s double and Corio’s single tied the score and Richardson retired the Saints in the top of the ninth inning, the first two batters for San Luis walked in the bottom of the ninth to put the winning run in scoring position and, after a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners one base, Swift hit his walk-off to give the Blues the win.

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