Foresters no-hit Dodgers in 19-0 blowout

What can you say about a 19-0 victory?

Well, the Santa Barbara Foresters were just too much for the short-handed East L.A. Dodgers on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

The numbers were pretty astounding on the mound for the hosts, who didn’t allow a Dodger hit all day — starter Matt Leonard struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced and the Santa Barbara pitching staff combined for 20 punch-outs on the day. Even right fielder Vinnie St. John got in on the action, throwing nothing but 91-92 mph fastballs en route to striking out a pair and getting out of the eighth inning unscathed.

Offensively it was similarly one-sided, as the Foresters racked up 18 hits and also benefited from five Dodger errors.

“You’ve always gotta come out and play your game,” said Jeremy Rathjen, who fell a homer short of the cycle. “We give it everything we have, and you’ve gotta respect that the other team came out hear and tried as hard as they could. We don’t want to run up the score, we just want to win the game.”

While 19-0 might seem like a score that has been run-up, it wasn’t — evidenced when Davis Duren was held at third base on a wild pitch in the seventh inning. He could have tied his shoes together and still scored, but he stayed put.

There were two very significant things to take from the lopsided victory, which ended a 3-game skid for the defending NBC World Series champs.

The first is health, and that was in question twice in the ball-game. Standout left fielder Andy Workman fouled a ball off of his right knee in the fourth and immediately crumpled to the ground in pain. He was helped off the field and was not able to put any weight on the leg.

Not the kind of thing you want to have happen when you’re up 8-0 and preparing for a title defense in Wichita.

“That was scary. He went down hard and I was very concerned, but it’s just a contusion on his shin and he’s hopefully going to be alright,” said manager Bill Pintard.

Phew.

Another scary moment came when catcher Ryan Hege was plunked right above the ankle late in the game and hobbled down to first base in obvious pain. He eventually trotted off the field, however, and will be just fine.

The most important part of the day was when Associate Head Coach Pat Burns trotted up into the bleachers and presented a piece of paper to the family of batboy Wyatt Taylor, a spunky youngster who is currently battling cancer.

The piece of paper was a $10,000 check on behalf of the Deckers Outdoor Corporation, which manufactures Ugg Boots. The money, presented via the Foresters’ Hugs for Cubs Foundation, will help the Taylors as Wyatt continues his treatment.

The Foresters (36-13) ship out for Wichita on Monday, but first will play a whole new lineup of East L.A. Dodgers in the regular season finale at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. All games are broadcast on AM 1490 KIST and www.sbforesters.org.

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