Saints Offense Erupts For 11 Runs Against VC Buccaneers, Notch Second Consecutive WinBy Arroyo Seco Saints June 22, 2018 04:39pm
By: Christopher D’Avanzo; Photo: Emily Moran
PASADENA – The Arroyo Seco Saints (4-8, 3-6 CCL) thought it was still batting practice at the start of the game on Thursday. While there were obvious differences on the field, with no overhead covering at home plate and no L-screen in front of the mound, there weren’t any signs from the swings of the Saints’ players that it wasn’t still an early-afternoon warmup.
The Saints scored 11 runs in an 11-7 victory over the Ventura County Buccaneers (), a rematch of their affair from last Thursday afternoon where the Saints scored 6 runs in a loss.
“The team attitude was exactly where it needed to be,“ said Saints’ head coach Sean Buller, “I think it started with yesterday’s win. We definitely needed it. The guys are falling into where things need to be for the season.”
The Saints have played from behind all season, but this game was a total reversal of the script established in the early parts of this year. Arroyo Seco jumped out to a big lead, scoring five in the first and a total of eight runs by the second. It wasn’t until there were already two outs in the ninth inning that the Buccaneers cut their deficit to below five.
The Saints batted around in the first inning. Catcher Bennett McCaskill out of Dartmouth got things going with a two-run single. Then followed up by MidAmerica Nazarenne’s Jacob Jenkins who delivered with an RBI double, the Saints scored McCaskill on a base hit by UC-Davis second baseman Cameron Briggs. The inning was capped off by an RBI groundout by Pacific third baseman Alex LeForestier, who brought home Jenkins. McCaskill and Jenkins delivered with three RBIs, respectively, in the second inning as well.
“Whenever you jump on them, you just gotta keep going,” said Jenkins, “Baseball can sway back and forth.”
Jenkins, along with both McCaskill and LeForestier, lead the team in RBIs with three each in the game. LeForestier added a pair of runs with his only hit, a single in the fourth.
“I think their starting pitcher struggled a little bit and we took advantage of it,“ said Coach Buller. “That’s what you have to do. When a pitcher isn’t throwing strikes consistently, when he does you need to be able to jump on it, and that’s where we were at.”
The Saints lead 10-2 entering the fifth inning as starter Timothy Post from Columbia gave way to the bullpen. Post pitched solidly in the start, going four innings and allowing two runs. Both runs came on a home run to Jake Selko, the lone mistake of Post’s night.
Jenkins earned Player of the Game honors for his efforts and capped off his night by coming in to pitch in the ninth inning. The Buccaneers had chipped away at the deficit and entered the 9th inning trailing 11-6. With runners on the corners, two outs, and a run already across, the tying run was in the on-deck circle for Ventura County. The Saints turned to Jenkins to shut the door and deliver the win. Jenkins did just that, throwing one pitch to retire his man, and end the Buccaneers’ final rally four runs short.
“I’ve been a two-way player my whole life,” Jenkins said, “I’m pretty used to coming in on short notice, having five or six pitches in the bullpen and having to come in [the game].”
The Saints return to play on Saturday to begin a three-game road-trip. First, they will take on the Santa Barbara Foresters in a road two-game series, with first pitch on Saturday at 6:00 PM, then move on take the Academy Barons in Compton on Tuesday afternoon.