Foresters, Saints Epic Battle Goes To Santa Barbara in One-Run Slugfest Win

Updated: July 26, 2019

July 26, 2019

Thousand Oaks, CA

Blake Hall (Oral Roberts) doubled and hit a two-run home run, Ryan Cash (Oral Roberts) went three-for-three with three runs scored and two RBI, and Nick Bellafronto (Stanford) and Christian Franklin (Arkansas) each doubled and had multiple-RBI games to lead the Santa Barbara Foresters to a 10-9 win over the Arroyo Seco Saints today at Sparky Anderson Field to claim the 2019 CCL Championship. Hall’s double with one out in the third inning sparked a three-run rally that put Santa Barbara up 7-0, and his home run in the fourth, which came on the heels of a two-run home run by Jayson Gonzales (Vanderbilt) that got Arroyo Seco on the board, seemed to indicate the Foresters would have an answer for anything the Saints threw at them. But Arroyo Seco came back regardless, scoring five times in the fifth inning on five hits, including a two-run double by Drew Cowley (Cal Poly Pomona), RBI-doubles by Thomas Luevano (San Diego) and Evan Russell (Tennessee) and a run-scoring single by Gonzales to get within two, 9-7. Matt Garza (Incarnate Word), who entered the game in relief of Saints’ starting pitcher Trevor Beer (UC Santa Barbara) in the middle of the third inning after the Foresters scored their three runs, held the Foresters scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings, retiring six of the seven batters he faced before starting the seventh down only one run after Luevano and Pete Derkay (Tennessee) hit back-to-back doubles in the top of the inning to make the score 9-8. Cash singled and Eric Kennedy (Texas) bunted for a base hit off Garza to start the Foresters half of the inning and, after Hayden Harris (Georgia Southern) entered the game in relief of Garza, Franklin hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Cash with what would prove to be the game winning run. Elijah Trest (Arkansas), the third reliever to appear in the game for Santa Barbara, struck out three to hold the Saints scoreless in the eighth inning and Hunter Breault (Oregon) came on to pitch the ninth, allowing one run when Derkay hit his second consecutive double and third hit of the game, advanced to third on Gonzales’ third hit of the game and scored on a run-producing groundout that put the potential tying run in scoring position with two outs. Breault struck out the next batter to end the game, however, and secured the championship for Santa Barbara. Beer suffered the loss in today’s game, striking out five over two and two-thirds innings but surrendered nine hits and seven runs, including three in the first inning when Kennedy led of with a single, Bellafronto and Franklin followed with RBI-doubles and, one out later, Ross Cadena (Wichita State) hit an RBI-single. Beer also allowed one run in the second when Cash got the first of his three hits and scored on a Bellafronto two-out single before being charged with all the runs in the Foresters’ three-run third. Ryan Bergert (West Virginia) started on the mound for Santa Barbara and held the Saints hitless until two outs in the fourth inning when Derkay got the first of his three hits in front of Gonzales’ home run. Connor Woods (UNLV) came on to pitch in relief of Bergert after Arroyo Seco scored the first four runs of their rally in the fifth inning and, after allowing Russell’s double that drove in the fifth Saints run of the inning, Woods struck out the last batter to end the rally and turned the pitching duties over to Jake Jackson (Nevada), who pitched around an error to hold the Saints scoreless in the sixth before allowing the Luevano and Derkay doubles in the seventh.

Click here for the boxscore of this game

The CCL State Championship Series begins tomorrow at Sparky Anderson Field with the Foresters taking on the champion of the CCL Affiliates Division Healdsburg Prune Packers in a best-of-three series beginning at noon with a second game to follow at 4pm. A third, if necessary, game is scheduled for Sunday at noon.

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