As a scout for the New York Yankees, it’s Bill Pintard’s job to search the greater Southern California area for prospects.
As the manager of the Santa Barbara Foresters, Pintard doesn’t have to look too far past his own dugout this summer to see some of the hottest talent in the country. That talent pool was on display again on Sunday, as the Foresters beat the Santa Maria Pea Soup, 10-7, at Pershing Park.
It was Santa Barbara’s fifth win in six games against Santa Maria this summer.
“There’s a lot of talent on this team,” Pintard said. “There are a lot of kids on this team who are going to play professional baseball. We’re pretty deep.
“Position player-wise, we’ve got a lot of depth. There’s work to do in our bullpen, but at least the ingredients are there.”
Blake Adams set the tone on the mound for the Foresters with a solid effort.
Adams allowed four runs in the first inning, but they were all unearned because of an error. He settled in to toss four innings, during which he allowed no earned runs while striking out seven and walking one. At the plate, UCLA shortstop Matt McLain had another outstanding game. McLain, who turned down the Arizona Diamondbacks first-round offer out of high school to go to UCLA, delivered a first inning home run — his third of the season — and drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning with a base hit. Pintard continues to be impressed by McLain.
“He’s better than advertised,” Santa Barbara’s manager said. “We’ve had great shortstops here who have gone on to play in the major leagues, and that kid is right there with them. He’s one of the best we’ve had, and we’ve had some great ones.”
Santa Barbara trailed, 4-2, before scoring five runs in the fourth inning.
The Foresters (15-3) loaded the bases with no outs and went to work on Santa Maria reliever Coleman Huntley, who was charged with the five runs in the inning.
“This is probably the most proficient offense we’ve ever had, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” Pintard said. “They tie us up (7-7 in the sixth inning) and Matt McLain does what he does (with the go-ahead single) with two outs.
“You can never count us out, even if we give up runs. We’re giving up more runs than we typically do, pitching-wise, but this offense can really respond.”
Former Santa Barbara High standout and incoming Cal Poly Mustang Bryce Warrecker picked up the win with two innings in relief. Warrecker allowed one run, which was the first run he has surrendered as a Forester.
Pintard said one of his few disappointments this season is that fans can’t attend the games because of COVID-19 protocols. But Pintard said he totally understands the restriction placed on the team by the city of Santa Barbara.
“It’s really too bad that our fans don’t get to see these guys play because of the restrictions, but we get it,” Pintard said. “We understand. We have bigger fish to fry in this country than to get spectators to a ball game.
“I wish they could see them, though.”