Foresters fall, then rise in a big way

LAS VEGAS — The Santa Barbara Foresters shook off a 6-2 seven-inning defeat to roar back and set a team record for hits, racking up 28 knocks in a 22-8 blowout at the back end of a Wednesday doubleheader against Team Vegas at Morse Stadium.

Michael Ratterree had a second-inning grand slam for the Foresters, who scored five runs in the fourth and four in four other innings, never stepping off the accelerator.

GAME ONE BOXGAME TWO BOX

“This felt really good after the loss earlier in the day. We were really crushing the ball in that second game and it was a good way to respond,” said Wichita State’s Ryan Hege, who had a pair of hits and a run scored in the nightcap.

Patric Tolentino reached base all five times he came up, and James Wharton had four singles in his first five at-bats. Matthew Reckling was solid out of the bullpen in two innings of work, and Cody Martin struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings.

With the second matchup going nearly three-and-a-half hours, it was a lot of baseball to end a nine-game road stretch.

“It’s a pretty long day, but pretty standard in baseball — just another full day at the park hanging out with the boys,” said Martin, a hurler for Gonzaga University. “It was just one of those games where we were up by a lot, so we just attacked the strike zone and made sure to get ahead of the batters.”

Kyle Kubitza had two doubles, a single, a walk and three runs scored and Nick Melino also went deep for Santa Barbara (8-4, 6-3 CCL).

In the first game, Team Vegas slugger Billy Bob Ward hit a grand slam in the third and the Foresters were never able to fully come back, as the hosts added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. In the second game, Santa Barbara faced highly-touted flamethrower Kevin Gausman — a sixth-round pick by the Dodgers — and batted around in the first. Gausman, who can touch 96 MPH with his fastball, left after an inning and a third.

Kris Bryant hit a homer in the second inning of the second game as Team Vegas (3-3 CCL) rallied back from a 9-1 deficit to close it to 9-5, but Santa Barbara kept pounding the ball the rest of the way. Reckling, who just finished his sophomore year at Rice, picked up the win.

Santa Barbara begins a homestand against the OC Pioneers on Friday at 5 p.m. at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium. All games are broadcast on AM 1490 and www.sbforesters.org.

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