Kaplan’s hot bat sparks Foresters to 10-4 win

Lex Kaplan had a monster day at the plate Thursday night, going a perfect 5-for-5 with 3 runs and 2 RBI, leading the Foresters to a 10-4 win over the Conejo Oaks at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

“This was a huge win for us coming off yesterday’s loss. It’s all about who shows up in this game and today we were the better team and it showed on the field,” said Kaplan. “I don’t think I’ve ever had 5 hits before. It was just a good day at the plate and I was seeing the ball really well.”

The Oaks scored off Foresters starter Willy Amador in the first inning as Corey Pool singled in a run.

Santa Barbara was quick to answer back, with 2 runs off 3 hits against Conejo starter Ralph Ramirez. Granger Studdard and Tyler Neslony drove in the runs. Studdard finished the night 3-5 with 3 RBIs to boost his season total to 20,  best on the team.

The Oaks made one last push in the top of 5th with a two-run homer to left from Zack Gibbons off Amador, cutting the Foresters lead to 5-4.

The Foresters blew the game wide open with a five runs in the bottom of the 7th.

Kaplan and Studdard combined for 3 RBIs in the inning, with Neslony giving Santa Barbara its 10th run with a blooper to right.

Neslony was also a major contributor with a nice diving catch in the 5th to complement his 2-5 at the plate with 2 RBIs.

Texas Tech righty Dalton Brown came in to close in the ninth for the ‘Sters to get the decisive series win.

Tyler Megill, the 6-7 righty out of LMU,  helped the Foresters effort on the mound, giving up just one hit with three strikeouts over three solid innings in relief of Amador.

Amador earned the win to improve to a team-best 4-0. Conejo starter Ralph Ramirez took the loss, giving up 10 hits, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs over 3 innings of work.

The Foresters now improve to 16-3 on the year and 8-3 in California Collegiate League play.

Santa Barbara will look keep the bats hot as they face the Walnut Creek Crawdads at Uyesaka Stadium on Friday at 5 p.m.