The Santa Barbara Foresters extended their winning streak to 13 games Saturday afternoon, though dropped the second game of a doubleheader in the Best of the West Tournament in San Bernardino.
The Foresters defeated the Orange County Buccaneers, 5-1, in Game One before falling to the Inland Valley Pirates, 6-5, on a walk-off single.
Ryan Holgate paced Santa Barbara (26-4) in Game One with two hits and two RBIs, while Christian Encarnacion and Noah Cardenas each registered a sacrifice fly.
The Foresters deployed six pitchers to shut down the Bucs offense. Kyle Luckham started the game and pitched three innings, allowing two hits and striking out four. Blake Adams picked up the victory, tossing two innings while allowing one run and striking out four.
Ian Churchill, Steven Zobac, Sean Mullen and Nick Proctor each pitched scoreless innings in relief.
Santa Barbara took a 3-0 lead in the third inning of Game Two. Encarnacion drove in one with a single before Holgate plated two runners with a single of his own. The Pirates scored four in the bottom of the fourth, culminating with a two-out, two-run double by Connor Burns off Santa Barbara starter Luke Taggert.
Taggert went four innings, allowing six hits, four runs, three earned, and registering two strikeouts.
The Pirates’ Tyrese Turner drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the sixth to add on to the lead.
The Foresters struck for a run in the bottom of the eighth with a two-out RBI single by Steven Zobac. They added another run in the top of the ninth to tie it. Former Santa Barbara High star and future UCSB Gaucho Nick Oakley singled with one out and advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Jace Jung singled to tie the game at 5.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth with no outs. Peyton Pallette allowed a single, issued a walk and another single. He struck out Hayden Winters before Jared Thomas won it with a walk-off single.
The Foresters will be back in action Tuesday in Wichita for the 86th National Baseball Congress World Series. Their first game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. local time Aug. 4. They will take on the winner of the Rose Hill Sluggers out of Kansas and the Denver Cougars.