SEMIPRO BASEBALL: CAUGHT LOOKING
Bill Pintard is about as happy-go-lucky as baseball managers come, always the first to offer perspective and a laugh.
He wasn’t in the mood for either on Friday evening, not after watching his Santa Barbara Foresters “go through the motions” in a 4-3 non-league loss to the visiting Ventura Pirates.
“I tell you what, the guys that are fighting during their at-bats, they are going to be in the lineup moving forward,” Pintard said. “We didn’t have good at-bats tonight. We pitched more than well enough to win.”
Pintard pointed to 11 strikeouts, including five looking — a sign of possibly trying to be too perfect with the approach at the plate.
“Their guy was tough to hit because his fastball was in the low 80s and then the offspeed stuff was in the low 60s,” Pintard said. “But you make an adjustment and go the other way. We just didn’t do it.”
Pintard was referring to Ventura right-hander Deandrey Carter, who retired 15 of the final 16 Foresters, with six strikeouts, one walk and no hits surrendered.
“You have to give them credit, they did a good job keeping us off-balance tonight,” Forester infielder Ryan Cash said.
After falling behind 4-2 through three innings, the Foresters looked to be on the cusp of taking control of the game after loading the bases with no outs.
But Spencer Jones grounded into a double play to second base to plate a run, followed by a groundout by Isaac Coffey to end the threat.
Nick Bellafronto’s single to open the inning was one of two hits by the Foresters on the evening, the other a single by Christian Franklin.
A veteran of three summers, Cash pointed to short-term memory loss as a coping mechanism.
“What’s nice about being out here is that we are playing every day,” Cash said. “We get another shot at it tomorrow, just have to be better.”
But after a stretch that has seen the team go 3-3 after a seven-game winning streak, Pintard wants his guys to know there is more to being a champion than just showing up.
“We have a pitching staff that can take us a long way,” Pintard said. “But we have to fight harder at the plate. We have to want it more. We were flat.
“Sure, we had a big day yesterday. We scored eight runs, had a bunch of hits. So what? That’s yesterday. We have to show up every day.”
The Forester pitching staff continues to shine, particularly the bullpen. On Friday, Larson Kindreich had six strikeouts over three innings of relief, while Kevin Larson had three over two innings.
“Both those guys were outstanding tonight,” Pintard said. “Our bullpen all summer has been great. We’ve had one bad night over 19 games in the bullpen. That’s outstanding.”
Brett Walker took the loss after giving up four runs over four innings.
The Foresters fall to 14-5 overall and will return to California Collegiate League play at 6 p.m. today against the Academy Barons, the first of a home-and-home series. Catch all the action on AM1290 or via newspress.com.