Christian Franklin hasn’t seen much of Santa Barbara as of yet.
But Santa Barbara is loving what they’re seeing from Christian Franklin.
The speedy outfielder pummeled a home run in his first at-bat as a Santa Barbara Forester, setting the tone for an 8-0 California Collegiate League drubbing of the visiting San Luis Obispo Blues at Pershing Park Thursday evening.
“That was a pretty special way to start the summer with the Foresters,” Franklin said.
“I’m going to text his coach (at Arkansas) and thank him for getting him here,” Forester manager Bill Pintard said.
The leadoff home run seemed to wake up the Forester bats, with the team collecting nine hits.
The biggest hit came off the bat of Conor McKenna, as he smacked a two-run home run well over the left-field fence to give the Foresters a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning.
McKenna is excited to see the Forester offense matching the productivity of what has been a stellar Forester pitching staff.
“It’s incredible to play behind those guys,” McKenna said. “So, for the bats to get going and for us to put up some runs, that’s a good sign. You can see that we are starting to hit the ball better, feed off one another.”
McKenna had three hits on the day, while Franklin and Blake Hall each had two.
Pintard also pointed to Ryan Cash for having quality at-bats, which included a two-run single in a four-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach — considering Santa Barbara’s pitching staff.
A closer thus far this summer, Ryan Bergert made his first start of the season, working four innings and striking out six for the win.
And then Pintard went to a trio of Arkansas Razorbacks in the fifth, sixth and seventh — all three just two days removed from arriving in Santa Barbara.
Elijah Trest, Caden Monke and Jacob Burton all worked an inning apiece, each notching a strikeout.
Brock Helverson tossed the final two innings, picking up four strikeouts — helping tally 13 for the staff.
The Foresters (14-4 overall, 12-4 in league) will stay home today for a 6 p.m. game against the Ventura Pirates, before hosting the Academy Barons Saturday at the same time. Catch all the action on AM1290 or via newspress.com.