Foresters head to Wichita winners of nine straight

UCSB pitcher Andrew Vasquez started for the Foresters on Sunday.

Not too long ago, it looked like the San Luis Obispo Blues were a lock for their first ever outright California Collegiate League title.

But the Santa Barbara Foresters closed out their season with nine straight wins – the last a 5-3 victory on Sunday at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium – to catch the Blues on the final day of the regular season for a share of the league title.

Santa Barbara’s Richy Pedroza makes a tough throw to first base in the first inning but couldn’t beat the baserunner.

The same two teams shared the title last year, although the Foresters now have 19 league championships to SLO’s two.

The league championship was in doubt as late as the eighth inning on Sunday, as Team Las Vegas held a 3-2 advantage until the Foresters took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the frame.

Shane Hoelscher drove in the go-ahead run and Hunter Lemke came in to record the save in the ninth inning. It was Lemke’s 12th save of the season, a new Forester franchise record and tops in the CCL this summer.

Just a few hours after the game was completed, the Foresters’ bus was scheduled to embark for Wichita, Kansas, where Santa Barbara will head to defend its NBC World Series title.

The Foresters finish their regular season with a record of 33-14, 20-10. The Blues are 33-16, 20-10 while Team Las Vegas ends its season with a record of 27-20, 12-18.

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