The Guardino brothers proved to be too much for the Santa Barbara Foresters on Sunday.
Andrew Guardino pitched two scoreless innings and Ryan Guardino supplied the game winning hit with a lead-off home run in the 10th to give the Santa Maria Pea Soup a 7-6 victory at Pershing Park.
Adding to the sting of the loss for Foresters manager Bill Pintard was that his team had a 6-0 lead before Santa Maria chipped away with three runs in the seventh, two in the eighth, one in the ninth and one in the 10th. What’s more, Santa Barbara had a chance to end the game in the ninth and walk away victorious, but the Foresters couldn’t turn a taylor-made double play, which allowed Santa Maria to score the tying run.
“We got just sloppy enough at the end of the game to give them the game,” Pintard said. “We had a double-play ball at the end of the game, and we kicked that. If we make two plays (at the end of the game) the field is already cleaned up and we’re out of here.
“But we didn’t make them, and so we gave them life.”
Ryan Guardino, a former standout at San Marcos High, launched the first pitch he saw from former Santa Barbara High star and incoming Cal Poly Mustang Derreck True over the center-field fence in the 10th for what turned out to be the game winning hit. Current UCSB shortstop McClain O’Connor also had a solid day for Santa Maria with a single, two runs batted in and a run scored.
It was just the Foresters second loss of the season, and one that followed a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Santa Maria on Saturday night.
“”I don’t feel we got beat, we lost, because we didn’t make plays when we had to,” Pintard added. “I didn’t think our bullpen was very strong, I think we walked to many guys. We kind of kicked the game away.”
Santa Barbara was cruising through the first six innings thanks to a solid start on the mound by Blake Adams and a booming home run by incoming Oklahoma State Cowboy Christian Encarnacion.
Adams delivered four shout-out innings. He allowed three hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Encarnacion belted his team-leading fourth home run of the season in the third inning — a three-run shot that cleared the center-field barrier. The Foresters escaped trouble in the first when Santa Maria had the bases loaded with no outs, and failed to score. Santa Barbara faced another jam when Santa Maria had runners at second and third with one out in the third. But the visitors failed to score in that inning, as well.
While Santa Maria failed to capitalize on scoring chances early in the game, it took full advantage late. Forester pitchers allowed the lead-off batter to reach base in each of the final six innings, something that, in the end, proved costly.
“We’ve been playing very (well). We haven’t been putting the ball on the ground very much, but we did today, and it came back to beat us,” Pintard said. “Plain and simple, we didn’t make plays when we had to, and our pitching wasn’t crisp.”
The Foresters have today off before they host Santa Maria again on Tuesday night at Pershing Park at 6 p.m. No spectators are allowed.