The summer collegiate baseball season has turned into an intrasquad contest for the Santa Barbara Foresters: The real battles are the ones between teammates.
Jace Jung, who is just behind Matthew McLain for the team batting lead (.516 to .500), hit his fourth home run of the season to ignite a 12-4 victory over Santa Maria Pea Soup Andersen’s Wednesday at Pershing Park.
Of Santa Barbara’s 17 victories, 14 have been by a margin of five or more and 11 have been by at least eight runs. The Foresters (17-3) have outscored their competition 219-68.
The four homers tie Jung with McLain and Ryan Holgate for second on the team. Christian Encarnacion leads with five.
Forester starting pitcher Nick Nastrini (3-0) didn’t allow a hit until Pea Soup rapped four in a row with one out to trigger a four-run fifth. Jay Prather’s bases-loaded single scored Santa Maria’s first two runs. A sacrifice fly by Ray Jones and an infield single by Jamey Smart chased home the next two. Nick Gatewood went 3-for-5 to lead Pea Soup.
Elijah Trest, Santa Barbara’s sixth pitcher, closed out the game by striking out the Santa Maria side in the ninth.
Peyton Graham went 3-for-5 to lead Santa Barbara’s 14-hit attack. Holgate had a pair of doubles while Noah Cardenas added a double and a single.
The Foresters stole seven bases to increase their season total to 95, with Pat Caulfield and Encarnacion swiping two apiece. Caulfield, who leads the team with 21, stole home plate in the seventh.