Joyce, Foresters complete sweep of Rattlers

Fourth-year Santa Barbara Forester Chris Joyce was on-target in Sunday’s series finale against the San Luis Obispo Rattlers, striking out six and giving up just one hit through five innings as the Foresters won 8-0 to seal the sweep.

Joyce, a Dos Pueblos High grad, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers a few weeks ago, and the team had a scout in attendance to watch him. He was also following up two remarkable performances in the series by fellow starters Sam Stafford (six innings, one hit, 12 strikeouts) and Carson Smith (five innings, no hits, 11 strikeouts).


“I don’t think about any of that, because I just wanted to go out there and help the team get a win today,” said Joyce.

The Foresters took advantage of back-to-back errors and a dropped foul ball in the second inning top put up three runs — two on an RBI double by Michael Ratterree and another on a fly ball by Nick Melino.

“We took advantage of every error they made. We made them pay for every error,” said manager Bill Pintard. “Joyce pitched really well. That’s the best he’s been.”

Ratterree was plunked with the bases loaded in the fourth to make it 4-0, and Melino added another RBI on a fly ball to center field. Walker Moore then hit a two-run double to left that put Santa Barbara up 7-0. He stole third and came home on a fly ball by Jeremy Rathjen to end the day’s scoring.

The Santa Barbara pitchers now have an astounding 229 strikeouts in just 176 innings pitched, as the idea of matching last year’s stellar staff.

“It’s as good as last year’s, if not better. We’ve got a lot of guys that throw hard and just no how to get guys out,” said Joyce.

The Foresters are now 15-5 overall and 9-3 in the California Collegiate League, while the Rattlers fall to 8-13, 2-12. Santa Barbara hosts the Santa Maria Packers on Tuesday at 5 p.m. All games are broadcast on and AM 1490.