Foresters sweep series in front of big crowd

Santa Barbara Bank & Trust showed up in full force for its day at the ballpark Sunday, packing nearly every seat at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium with employees and members of non-profits that the bank supports.

The Santa Barbara Foresters paid the bank by posting a 5-1 victory over the Santa Maria Packers to complete a sweep of the 3-game series.

“What a great day. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust was tremendous today, and the guys really appreciate being able to play in front of a big crowd,” said manager Bill Pintard.

Sam Spangler proved he’s capable of dominating on the same level as the staff’s aces, pitching five innings of shutout ball, striking out six and allowing just one hit and one walk.

Three of the Foresters’ regular starters — A.J. Griffin, Tim Kelley and Matt Leonard — have ERAs below one on the summer and the staff has a cumulative mark of 1.74, which ranks first in the nation.

“Playing with these guys is a big driving force for me. I work out with A.J. every day and he’s definitely a workhorse. I can’t keep up with him but it makes me work harder,” said Spangler, a standout at the University of Hawaii.

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Two new relievers — Matt Thomson and Tyler Blanford — also debuted for the team, and each struck out the side in his respective inning while throwing fastballs in the low 90s.

Offensively, Ryan Goetz blasted his second home run of the season while Brandon Loy, Andy Workman and James Meador each had a pair of hits.

SBBT even brought gifts for the team, including some deluxe, customized Forester chairs and a Foresters canopy tent to provide some shade to staff and fans. Randy Weiss, the head of community relations for SBBT, threw out the first pitch just a few weeks after donating a kidney to co-worker Katherine Pinedo. Both are doing well.

The Foresters (34-10, 17-4 CCL) play in Thousand Oaks against the Conejo Oaks on Tuesday. All games are broadcast on AM 1490 KIST and www.sbforesters.org.

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