Foresters Slip By Saints, 4-3, In Weekend Series FinaleBy Arroyo Seco Saints June 24, 2018 10:12pm
SANTA BARBARA, CA – Arroyo Seco played very well on both sides of the diamond, but a pair of errors ultimately proved too costly to overcome as the first place Foresters overcame a 3-0 deficit to take down the visiting Saints 4-3 in a CCL matchup on Sunday afternoon at Pershing Park.
With the Saints (4-10, 3-8 CCL) down to their final three outs, Christian Moya led off by drawing a pinch-hit walk, and Cooper Williams added another walk to put the go-ahead run on base with no outs, chasing the Foresters’ closer from the game. Arroyo Seco loaded the bases with only one out two batters later when John Thomas was hit by a pitch, but the Saints grounded into a double play to end the game.
In the eight inning, with the Saints holding a 3-2 lead, the Foresters (14-0, 12-0 CCL) rallied for two runs on a ball hit to center that barely escaped the glove of a diving Jack Smith, resulting in a triple that scored a run to tie the game at 3. The relay throw to third was wide and went to the dugout fence, allowing the go-ahead run to score and give the Foresters their first lead of the game at 4-3.
After being shutout over the first five innings, Santa Barbara would finally break through in the sixth inning with two runs against reliever Jacob Jenkins to make it a one-run game, but Wyatt Kelly came in and fanned a pair to go with a groundout to short, keeping the Saints up 3-2. The next inning Kelly faced a bases-loaded jam with two outs, but first baseman John Thomas made a diving snag, taking away a surefire go-ahead base hit and ending the inning with Arroyo Seco still up 3-2.
Cooper Williams sparked the scoring for the Saints in the second inning with a leadoff triple off the wall in center field, setting the stage for the very next batter, Brennan McKenzie. McKenzie followed up with an RBI single that bounced up the middle and into center field, giving the Saints an early 1-0 lead. Arroyo Seco added some much needed insurance runs over the next two innings. The speedy Jack Smith led off the very next inning with a single and stole second before racing home during a rundown between first and second to put Arroyo Seco up 2-0, and in the fifth inning with runners on the corners, Gabe Chavez lofted a sacrifice fly to center field plating Colin Shepherd and giving the Saints the 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, on the mound, Arroyo Seco starter Blake Beers was superb. Beers worked out of an early runners-on-the-corners with no outs jam in the second, getting the fly out to right fielder Brennan McKenzie for the first out. McKenzie threw back to first to double up the runner for the second out, and the very next batter smoked a ball to third that was snagged by Colin Shepherd to end the inning and preserve the Saints lead. Beers later worked out of a bases loaded jam without giving up any runs, and finished his outing holding the Foresters scoreless over five shutout innings.
HE SAID IT
Head Coach Sean Buller:
“He [Starter Blake Beers] wants the ball. Anytime trouble happens to arise he always rises above it, and he showed why he’s going to be successful in the rest of his career. He commanded the zone and had his pitches going and he knew he had what it took to win today.”
“It is pointing it out and reminding the guys of the successes they are making. We had a lot of individual successes today, and unfortunately we didn’t have it for nine innings. We are just that close, and that’s what I told the guys. We are on that pinnacle of going down the roller coaster into a really good streak, and I like our chances for this week.”
Starting Pitcher Blake Beers:
“I was going out there and able to get first pitch fastballs a lot of the time, was able to float in some curveballs early on in counts. Just like I try to do every start, I was trying to attack hitters at the beginning of counts.”
“You hit that extra gear, lock in, focus in. Usually that starts because you aren’t really focused. Just trust yourself, trust your pitches, and trust your defense.”
“The energy we have been bringing has been different. We have seen an increased level of energy throughout the games and I think we are really close. They are a really good ball club but so are we. We should be beating them and I think we will, we just need to keep bringing the energy.
The Saints continue their road trip after a travel day on Monday when they head to Compton to take on the MLB Academy Barons in a CCL matchup for single game before returning back to Brookside Park to host the Ventura County Buccaneers in a non-leauge tilt.