The Santa Barbara Foresters used four strong arms on the pitcher’s mound and another in right field to hold off Santa Maria Pea Soup Andersen’s for a 3-1, summer collegiate baseball victory at Pershing Park on Thursday night.
The game ended when right fielder Ryan Holgate threw out Santa Maria’s Connor Gurnik as he tried to run from first base to third on Alex Crosby’s single. Gurnik represented the tying run since Sam Dexter would’ve scored Pea Soup’s second run ahead of him.
The Foresters (18-3) have now beaten Santa Maria in seven of their eight meetings, with three of the victories coming by two runs or less.
Santa Barbara starter Kyle Luckham of Cal State Fullerton pitched a one-hitter in his six innings of work. He walked none and struck out four. He left with no decision, however, after getting matched by Sean Johnson for four innings and Chase Walter for the next two.
Santa Maria threatened to take the lead in the top of the seventh when reliever Casey Dykstra gave up a walk to Alex Bash and a single to Nate Gatewood with one out. But Dykstra fielded Crosby’s comebacker to start an inning-ending double play.
The Foresters, who were held to just four hits through the first six innings, rallied for all three of their runs in the bottom of the seventh to get Dykstra the pitching win.
Graham led off with a single, took third on Branden Boissiere’s hit and scored on a sacrifice fly by Noah Cardenas. One out later, Sean McLain and Bryce Warrecker rapped consecutive, RBI singles.
Matthew McLain led the Foresters’ nine-hit attack, although his 2-for-4 day actually dropped his team-leading batting average from .516 to .515. His two hits included his team-best eighth double of the season. It was the only extra-base hit of the game for either team.
Cal teammates Steven Zobac and Nick Proctor, both of whom were added to Santa Barbara’s roster this week, closed out the game by pitching an inning apiece.
Pea Soup rallied in the ninth when Jackson Smith led off with an eight-pitch walk. Pinch runner Travis Welker took second when Dexter reached safely on an infield error. After a strikeout, Gurnik’s single scored Welker and moved Dexter to second.
Dexter, however, had yet to cross home plate by the time Gurnik was tagged out at third base on Crosby’s two-hit single to right.
The Foresters will return to Pershing Park tonight at 6 o’clock to play the So Cal Giants. Santa Maria will return to town for games at 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Spectators are not allowed, however, because of COVID-19 restrictions.