Healdsburg, Santa Barbara Split First Two, Championship Showdown Game Tomorrow!

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Updated: July 27, 2019

July 27, 2019

Thousand Oaks, CA

The Healdsburg Prune Packers and the Santa Barbara Foresters spilt the firs two games of the best-of-three CCL Championship Series at Sparky Anderson Field, Santa Barbara winning the first game 8-5 and Healdsburg winning the second 9-5, to setup a winner-take-all championship game tomorrow at noon.

Luke Taggert (Incarnate Word) pitched five scoreless innings, Jacob Katzfey (Wichita State) hit a two-run single, Blake Hall (Oral Roberts) stole home and drove in a run and Spencer Jones (Vanderbilt) had two hits and scored once to lead the Foresters to the first game win. Taggert was the starting pitcher in this game for Santa Barbara and retired the first eight batters he faced in order before an error and a single put the first two runners on base for Healdsburg with two outs in the third. Taggert stranded those runners by inducing a groundball out to end the third inning, pitched around another error and another single to leadoff the fourth by striking out one batter and getting a groundball double-play to end that inning, and retired the side again in the fifth to hold the Packers scoreless through five. By this time the Foresters had built a 4-0 lead, scoring three times in their first at bat when Nick Bellafronto (Stanford) singled and Christian Franklin (Arkansas) walked with one out and, after another out was recorded, an error allowed Bellafronto to score and put two runners on board in front of Katsfey’s single. Santa Barbara took advantage of another error in the third inning which allowed Hall to reach base safely who, after advancing to second on Jones’ first hit of the game and then stealing third, stole home on the pitch safely with the fourth Foresters run. All four runs were charged to Healdsburg’s starting pitcher Kenny Haus (UConn) who gave up three hits and walked three in three innings of work. Andrew Hansen (St. Mary’s) retired the first six batters he faced to pitch the fourth and fifth innings scoreless and started the sixth with the lead after the Packers rallied for five runs in the top of the sixth, scoring once on Taggert who surrendered a leadoff home run to Cal Conley (Texas Tech) and a single before Cole Quintanilla (Texas) took over the pitching duties. Quintanilla, pitching with a runner on and no outs, recorded outs against the first two batters he faced before Travis Turney (Portland) singled to get a second runner on base, David Langer (UConn) hit an RBI-single and John Lagatutta (Cal) hit a three-run home run to give the Packers their first lead 5-4, a lead it would turn out would not last very long. After Quintanilla struck out the last batter he faced to end the top of the sixth inning the Foresters rallied against Hansen in the bottom of the sixth, getting their first two batters on base when Jones singled and the next batter was hit by a pitch, and took back the lead when Hansen fielded a sacrifice bunt and threw the attempted force out at third base out in the left field corner that allowed both runners to score and the batter to get all the way to third base with no outs. Ian Villers (Cal) entered the game at this point in relief of Hansen and, after issuing two walks that loaded the bases and striking out one batter, Franklin hit an RBI-single and Hall hit a sacrifice fly to put Santa Barbara up 8-5. Jacob Burton (Arkansas) pitched the seventh inning scoreless for the Foresters, retiring three of the four batters he faced, Clayton Beeter (Texas Tech) threw a scoreless eighth, pitching around the second hits of the game for Cam Blake (Texas A&M) and Langer, and a walk that loaded the bases with one out by striking out one batter and getting the third out on a flyball to escape unscathed, and Elijah Trest (Arkansas) retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to close the Foresters win. Spencer Hynes (Houston) finished the first game on the mound for Healdsburg, striking out two in a scoreless eighth.

Click here for the boxscore of this game

Bryan Sturges (UT San Antonio) hit an RBI-single and David Langer (UConn) and Connor Mack (Cal) followed with a two-run double and an RBI-single, respectively, in a four-run eighth inning rally that broke a 5-5 tie and propelled Healdsburg to a third and decisive championship game tomorrow. Sturges’ hit that broke the tie was setup when Joe Lampe (UC Davis) and Bryson Hill (Houston) both singled to lead off the inning and a fielder’s choice put runners on first and third with one out. Sturges hit a hard groundball into left field to put the Packers up by one and runners on first and second. Then, after the second out of the inning was recorded, Langer hit his double and Mack singled in the fourth run. Santa Barbara led briefly in this game, scoring once in the second inning when Quentin Selma (Cal) singled and two batters walked in front of an Eric Kennedy (Texas) sacrifice fly. But Healdsburg answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second, scoring after Mack and Lampe hit their first of two singles of the game and three walks forced in two to give the Packers the lead. They added to their lead in their next at bat, again taking advantage of three walks, all of whom scored when a hit batter forced in one run and Jason Dicochea (Santa Clara) hit the second of his three hits in the game to drive in two and give Healdsburg a 5-1 lead. All five runs were charged to Foresters’ starting pitcher Brooks Fuller (Auburn) who struggled to find the strike zone consistently, walking seven and hitting one batter over two and third innings, while striking out three. Healdsburg’s starting pitcher Elijah Birdsong (Pacific) had mixed results early as well, walking three in his first two innings of work, but he righted things and ended up striking out eight over five and third innings. The Foresters did score off of Birdsong, however, scoring once in the fourth inning when Tevin Tucker (West Virginia) and Ryan Cash (Oral Roberts) hit one-out singles and Nick Bellafronto (Stanford) hit a two-out RBI-single, and twice in the sixth when Birdsong surrendered a leadoff double to Selma and a one-out RBI-double to Cash before Michael Clark (Cal Poly) entered the game in relief and retired the two batters he faced in the inning, but allowed the second run score on a wild pitch to get the Foresters within one, 5-4. Clark retired the side in order in the seventh before Spencer Jones (Vanderbilt) singled to lead off the eighth, advanced to second base on a passed ball and scored when the next batter, Selma, singled for his third hit of the game to tie the score and put the potential go-ahead run on base with no outs. After a sacrifice advanced the runner into scoring position, an error put runners on first and third but Clark got a pop-out to short centerfield that was not deep enough to score the runner from third and retired the last hitter on another fly-out to centerfield to limit the damage and setup the four-run Healdsburg rally in their next at bat. Devin Kirby pitched around a two-out error and struck out one to close out the win with a scoreless ninth inning. Christian Winston (San Diego State) was the first reliever utilized in this game for the Foresters, entering the game with the bases loaded and one out in third inning in relief of Fuller and, after striking out the first batter he faced, surrendered Dicochea’s single that plated two runs that were charged to Fuller. Winston went on to retired ten of the next twelve batters he faced and struck out five over three and two-thirds innings before Connor Woods (UNLV) took over to start the seventh and struck two of the three batters he faced in the inning before giving up the four Packers runs in the eighth. Caden Monke (Arkansas) got the final out of the eighth inning in relief of Woods, but not before surrendering Mack’s single that plated the fourth run charged to Woods.

Click here for the boxscore of this game

The CCL State Championship Game begins tomorrow at Sparky Anderson Field at noon.

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