Strange things tend to happen on Friday the 13th and today was no different.
Friday’s game between the Santa Barbara Foresters and the Los Angeles Brewers – an affiliate of the O.C. Pioneers – isn’t over. The game, which will pick up where it left off on Saturday at 3:30 pm, is currently tied at 1-1.
After three and a half hours and twelve grueling innings, the umpires stopped the game due to a lack of visibility on a field with no stadium lights. Caesar Uyesaka Stadium does not have stadium lights although UC Santa Barbara’s “Campaign for Gaucho Park” hopes to add lighting to not only allow for night games, but also to prevent rare situations like this.
This is the first time this season for both the Foresters and the Brewers that a game has been called under these circumstances.
Although both teams only managed to score 1 run each, the Brewers – who are in the midst of a 13-game winning streak – threatened to score early and often in the game. After errors by the Foresters’ Richy Pedroza and Shane Hoelscher and a line drive single by the Brewers Travis Clark loaded up the bases, Dylan Fitzgerald blooped a ball into shallow left field which required a great diving catch from LF Arby Fields to prevent multiple runs from scoring.
After the Foresters went three up, three down to end the first inning, the Brewers responded again immediately. Bradley Hartong led off the inning with a walk and eventually scored on Josh Fuentes line drive single.
Through the Foresters’ opportune pitching and clutch fielding – even though four errors gave the Brewers more than enough chances to capitalize – the Brewers were shut out for the next ten innings.
The problem was that the Foresters squandered run-scoring opportunities of their own.
“We left a lot of guys on base. We had chances to win but we didn’t get the two out hits tonight and we didn’t really get clutch hits,” head coach Bill Pintard said. “We had opportunities to win but they had 11 hits and 1 run. We were sloppy early in the game and then we picked it up and made some plays. We gave them a run though.”
The one run the Foresters did manage came immediately after the Brewers run in the second inning.
After Fields walked to lead off the inning, he advanced to third on an error through an error by Brewers shortstop Michael Hill which allowed Austin Davidson to reach first. Cal Vogelsang’s grounder to shortstop allowed Fields to score.
As it stands however, both teams will have to deal with the difficult situation caused by the postponement. Both coaches will have to decide which pitchers will take the mound tomorrow to finish the game before scrambling to put another team together for the scheduled game after. Teams will maybe have twenty minutes to warm-up in between games.
“Well we have to figure out who’s going to finish this game and then after this game is finished then we have 20 minutes to get the next pitcher warm,” Pintard said.
Brewers Head Coach Jameson Wicks reiterated the same concerns.
“We’re trying to figure out how to prepare as much as possible,” Wicks said. “It’s a little tough to say right now because we want to protect our pitchers arms but normally we don’t have guys go back to back throughout the week.”
The Foresters will resume the 1-1 game against the Brewers at 3:30 pm before playing their game that was originally scheduled for 5pm.
The Foresters remain 23-9 overall and 13-5 in the California Collegiate League.