Nick Oakley’s push-bunt single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning gave the Santa Barbara Foresters a 5-4, walk-off victory over Santa Maria Pea Soup Andersen’s in a summer collegiate baseball game at Pershing Park.
Oakley bunted up the first-base line and beat Santa Maria first baseman Jamey Smart to the bag to score Noah Cardenas and give the Foresters their 11th-straight victory.
Santa Barbara (24-3) will play its final home game tonight at 6 p.m. against the So Cal Giants. Spectators are not allowed because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Foresters, who’ve belted 31 home runs and 92 extra-base hits in 27 contests, used small ball to end a game which had been stuck at 4-4 since the fifth inning.
Cardenas hit a one-out single, tagged up and took second base on a fly out to left field by Christian Encarnacion, stole third base after a walk to Sean McLain, and scored on Oakley’s bunt.
Cardenas and Oakley, a recent Santa Barbara High graduate who has signed to play for UCSB, both went 3-for-5 to lead the Foresters’ 13-hit attack. The McLain brothers, Sean and Matthew, added two hits apiece.
The victory was Santa Barbara’s 11th in 12 games against Santa Maria this summer, although eight of those 11 wins were decided by three runs or less.
Santa Maria jumped ahead in the third when Jay Prather singled with one out, took second on a walk to Travis Welker, advanced to third on Hunter Cullen’s single and scored on an infield error. Welker followed him home on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead. Welker and teammate Ray Jones each went 2-for-4.
Pea Soup added a run in the fourth on Jackson Smith’s suicide squeeze bunt after consecutive singles by Jones and Justin Lamazares.
Oakley ignited the Foresters’ comeback in the bottom of the fourth when he singled home Cardenas, with Sean McLain following him home on an error.
Santa Maria answered in the next inning with a pair of ground-rule doubles by Smart and Alex Crosby for a 4-2 lead.
Matthew McLain triggered a game-tying rally in the bottom of the fifth when he blasted a leadoff triple and continued home on a fielding error. Bryce Warrecker singled one out later, took second on a hit batter and scored on a single by Cardenas.
Five Forester relievers allowed just two hits over the last five innings. Nick Proctor, Elijah Trest, and Jackson Cunningham retired the Santa Maria side in each of the last three innings.