The Santa Barbara Foresters built a 7-0 lead and then held off the Arroyo Seco Saints for a 10-9 baseball victory that gave them the California Collegiate League Championship on Friday at Cal Lutheran.
“It was a great game, but it’s never easy,” Foresters manager Bill Pintard told foresters.org. “We came out like gangbusters, and I thought that was the best game (starter) Ryan Bergert has thrown for us, but we probably left him in a bit long. It was a great team win.”
The Foresters provided Bergert with a 7-0 lead. Nick Bellafronto had a RBI double and single, Christian Franklin smacked a run-scoring double, Ross Cadena drove in a run with a single and Ryan Cash had a two-run single and scored on a bases-loaded walk.
Arroyo Seco got its first hit off Bergert in the fourth and that was followed by a Jayson Gonzalez homer.
The Foresters answered in the fifth with a two-run homer by Blake Hall to make it 9-2.
The Saints got to Bergert in the sixth and narrowed the score to 9-7.
Back-to-back doubles in the seventh pulled the Saints to within a run, 9-8.
Santa Barbara came back in the eighth as Franklin drove in Cash on a long fly out to center for a 10-8 lead.
The Saints scored a run in the ninth before Hunter Breault finished off the game.
The Foresters will now play in the State Championship Series against the Healdsburg Prune Packers at Cal Lutheran. The best-of-three series starts with two games on Saturday. A third game would be Sunday, if necessary.