Saints Back in Win Column With 5-1 Win Against ForestersBy Arroyo Seco Saints July 19, 2023 03:20pm
PASADENA, CA – Winning four of their five games after the CCL Showcase game, the Arroyo Seco Saints continue to trend in the right direction heading towards the playoffs. Taking on the Santa Barbara Foresters, the top team in the CCL South standings, a win at home continued to build momentum for the team.
The most significant difference in this game was pitching. For the second time in three games, the Saints elected only to throw two pitchers in a winning effort. Gilbert Lopez (Biola) made his first start of the season Tuesday night.
Taking another decent-sized gap between his outings, Lopez stepped onto the mound for the first time since July ninth. In that outing on the ninth, the right-hander from Biola kept the Saints alive in a tight matchup. In Tuesday night’s matchup, Lopez was equally as successful.
In four innings of work, Lopez allowed only three hits and one run. The one run he allowed came in the second inning, giving the Foresters an early 1-0 lead.
The Saints would find the board in the third. After a lead-off single by Julian Alvarez (Cal Baptist), three straight walks would bring him around to score. With the bases still loaded, Max Blessinger (Belmont) then scored on a wild pitch, giving the Saints their first lead of the game.
The team would score one more run in the inning, as Jordan Rodgers (Wichita State) would score on an error by the Foresters’ third basemen. After three, the Saints were leading 3-1.
After Lopez’s final three outs on the mound in the fourth, the Saints extended their lead in the bottom half of the inning. Julian Alvarez would start things off once again with a single, but this time would score on an extra-base hit. Connor Bradshaw (Pepperdine) would continue his hot streak of driving in runs for the Saints with a double off the centerfield fence.
Since joining the team on July fifth, Bradshaw has driven in a run in eight of ten games played, including six straight games. The outfielder has consistently been the Saints’ lead-off hitter in this hot streak, batting .308 with five doubles and 16 RBIs; the outfielder has more than produced for Arroyo Seco.
The Saints would add their fifth run of the ballgame in the bottom of the fifth. Raider Tello (Iowa) led things off with a double and then stole third. With one out in the inning, facing an 0-2 count, Mason Hammonds (Tarleton State) drove a ball deep into centerfield, good enough to bring Tello in with a sacrifice fly.
While he entered the game in the top half of the fifth inning, Jacob Henderson (Iowa) did what he has been doing all Summer for the team: dominate.
After the fifth, neither team mustered a run the rest of the way. Henderson pitched the final five innings of this matchup, allowing no runs, no hits, no walks, and struck out eight batters. Saints’ fans have genuinely become spoiled with the right-hander’s production out of the pen.
In seven appearances this season, the Iowa Hawkeye has pitched 16 innings, allowed no runs, only one hit, two walks, and struck out 25 batters.
“I just fill up the zone; that’s all I’m trying to do,” said Henderson regarding his success this season. “I just let my defense work. At that point, the ball is already out of your hand, so there is nothing else you can do but fill up the zone.”
With a final score of 5-1 in the Saints’ favor, the season series between the two is now even. Henderson knows that his work in this game gave his team a chance to win the series Thursday in Santa Barbara.
“It’s always a good game against them; they’re a tough team,” said Henderson. “To even out a series, even take the series, that’s all we’re looking to do; just win every day.”
The Saints are back in action Thursday night in Santa Barbara as they look to take that season series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. PST.
Tune into the matchup live on our Youtube Channel!
- Saints Reporter Bennett Snyder (Ohio University)
- Saints Photographer Sonny Tapia (Cal State Long Beach)