Santa Barbara loses CCL opener; Fifteen ‘Sters drafted

COMPTON — Everything was going just fine on Tuesday night… Until the bottom of the ninth.

The Santa Barbara Foresters lost a 5-1 lead in the final inning, allowing five runs on five hits and two errors as the Academy Barons rallied to win the California Collegiate League opener for both teams, 6-5.

Santa Barbara (2-2, 0-1) stranded eight runners, six in scoring position.

“We just didn’t get good production with guys in scoring position,” said manager Bill Pintard, who has spent the last two days grinding away during the MLB Draft in his job as a scout for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. A total of 15 current or former Foresters were drafted in the top 30 rounds (see list below).

“I don’t think we put the ball in play enough, and we had too many punch-outs,” he added.

Santa Barbara starter Boone Whiting was drafted in the 18th round by the Cardinals during the bus ride down to Compton. He sat quietly in the dugout before the game, staring straight ahead and trying to keep focused on his start despite the big decision that lies ahead — sign and begin his pro career or continue to pitch for Gonzaga University.

BOX SCORE

His focus was admirable, as he fanned nine Barons and allowed one run on four hits through six solid innings of work.

“When I was younger I would let my emotions get to me, so I’ve really worked on concentrating and keeping my composure,” he said.

He gave way to SBCC’s Kylin Turnbull — picked in the 30th round by the Chicago White Sox — who pitched well in the seventh and eighth before the ninth came around. The Barons led off the inning with a single, which was followed by a Foresters error at third base. Shane Boras then picked up an infield single, which was followed by a two-run single by Alfredo Lopez that made it 5-3 Foresters. After another single, Turnbull recorded a strikeout for the first out of the inning. The Foresters then committed yet another error that loaded the bases and allowed and RBI single to make it 5-4, at which point Turnbull was replaced by Matt Stropoli.

Stropoli used three consecutive fastballs for a strikeout and the second out of the inning, but the Foresters’ second passed ball of the game allowed the tying run to score. Academy catcher Connor Rhoads then picked up the walk-off hit.

Graham Saiko led the Foresters with a double and two singles, driving in two runs. Patric Tolentino, Graham Saiko and James Wharton each had an RBI as well.

“We’re a better club than them, and I think we’ll bounce back tomorrow,” said Pintard.

CURRENT/FORMER FORESTERS DRAFTED ON TUESDAY

Cameron Rupp, C — 3rd round, Philadelphia Phillies

Kevin Keyes, OF — 7th round, Washington Nationals

Davis Duren, 2B — 13th round, Houston Astros

AJ Griffen, RHP — 13th round, Oakland A’s

Drew Maggi, SS — 15th round, Pittsburgh Pirates

Austin Fleet, RHP — 16th round, San Francisco Giants

Boone Whiting, RHP — 18th round, St. Louis Cardinals

Chad Mozingo, OF — 20th round, Washington Nationals

Cody Martin, RHP — 20th round, Minnesota Twins

Michael Liberto, SS — 21st round, Kansas City Royals

James Meador, 1B — 21st round, Detriot Tigers

Michael Ojala, RHP — 25th round, Florida Marlins

Matt Hutchison, RHP — 25th round, Philadelphia Phillies

Chris Joyce, LHP — 29th round, Detroit Tigers

Kylin Turnbull, LHP — 30th round, Chicago White Sox

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