Foresters’ winning streak ended by Neptune Beach

Jaylin Davis - Santa Barbara Foresters

Santa Barbara’s Jaylin Davis recorded three hits on Sunday and is batting .444 through eight games. (Presidio Sports Photos)


A seven-game winning streak to start the season ended on Sunday for the Santa Barbara Foresters.

The game against the visiting Neptune Beach Pearl came down to the last two innings, with big plays coming from both sides, but the Foresters fell short in a tough-to-take 5-4 defeat.

“It was a hard-fought game,” said Myles Mendez. “We battled back in the later innings, but in [innings] 3-7 we had a lackadaisical attitude about the game. Luckily, are able to battle through any adversity. Overall I’d say we played today.”


Mendez’ home run in the bottom of the eighth was an especially exciting one as it marked his first hit of the season and was the only home run of the day for the Foresters. It also brought the Foresters to within one run of the Pearl.

The Foresters, having given up a run in the top of the ninth, went into their last at-bat down two runs. Jaylin Davis — who led the Foresters with three hits — came to the plate with two men on base. His powerful grounder split Neptune Beach’s third baseman and shortstop and scored a Jason D’Andrea, putting the Foresters in a position to possibly tie or take home the game. The Foresters were unable to capitalize as Neptune Beach got the last two necessary outs.

“We were right there with those guys,” said coach Bill Pintard. “When you are behind in a game and are able to put the winning run at the plate in the late innings, that’s all you can ask for.”

Lucas Benenati - Santa Barbara Foresters

Santa Barbara’s Lucas Benenati pitched an inning of relief on Sunday.


Neptune Beach allowed two runs in the first two innings, both of which were scored off infield errors. Forester Dillon Dobson knocked in Jaylin Davis with a ground ball to the left side of the infield for the first run of the game. D’Andrea scored the first of his two runs in the second inning.

The Pearls were able to battle back offensively as Foresters’ starting pitcher Kit Larson struggled some, giving up three earned runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. Brock Larson replaced Kit when the Pearls took the lead with a line drive shot to the outfield by Jared Gaspard. Neptune Beach used four different pitchers, but maintained a solid defensive effort throughout the latter half of the game.

“They like to steal bases, hit, and run, but our catcher threw out five guys, and that changes an inning,” said Neptune Beach coach Brant Cummings. “We had big two-out hits and just threw strikes. Our team did everything that anyone can ask a baseball team to do.”

The Foresters (7-1) now get ready to play the Santa Paula Halos on Tuesday, where they hope to extend their so-far dominant record.

“We need to grow from this loss,” said Mendez. “Every team is shaped around what they do after they lose a game, especially a close game like this. We need to battle through it and win our next five.”

Neptune Beach pitcher Ian Clark dives to tag out Santa Barbara's David Greer in a rundown between home and third base.

Neptune Beach pitcher Ian Clark dives to tag out Santa Barbara’s David Greer in a rundown between home and third base. The Foresters lost a handful of baserunners on the basepaths.