Former San Marcos High and SBCC standout Ryan Guardino hit a solo homer to snap a tie in the top of the 10th inning and give the Santa Maria Pea Soup Baseball Club a 7-6 victory over the Santa Barbara Foresters on Sunday at Pershing Park.
The result snapped six-game winning streak for the Foresters, who are now 10-2 on the season.
In a match-up of former Channel League crosstown rivals, the ex-Royal Guardino faced former Santa Barbara High standout Derek True of Cal Poly in the 10th. Guardino hit True’s first pitch of the inning over the center-field fence.
Guardino, who signed with Wofford University, also had a double and scored a run in the seventh, when Pea Soup scored three times to begin its comeback from a 6-0 deficit.
Santa Maria added two more runs in the eighth on a single by Justin Lamazares and a groundout by McClain O’Connor.
The Foresters were ahead 6-5 and had a chance to wrap up the game in the ninth, but they were unable to complete a double play to end the inning. With Jay Prather and Ray Jones of Pea Soup at third and first, respectively, a ground ball was hit up the middle. The Foresters erased Jones at second, but the throw to first was fumbled, allowing Prather to score the tying run.
“If we make that play, we’re already cleaned up and out of here right now,” Foresters manager Bill Pintard told SBForesters.org. “Instead, we gave them life. We just didn’t make plays tonight, walked too many guys, kind of kicked the game away. We got just sloppy enough at the end of the game to give it away.”
Jace Jung gave the Foresters a 1-0 lead in the first. He walked, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and hustled home on a Bradon Boissiere groundout to the pitcher.
Jung scored again in the third, when Santa Maria dropped Ryan Holgate’s fly to center. Christian Encarnacion smashed a three-run homer to left, his team-leading fourth of the season, to make the score 5-0.
The Foresters made it 6-0 in the fourth, when Pat Caufield walked, stole two bases and scored on Jung’s groundout to second. Noah Cardenas was hit by a pitch and Boissiere hit a ground-rule double to put runners at third and second. But Kevin Grendell of Santa Maria got Peyton Graham to line out to shortstop to end the inning.
Foresters starting pitcher Blake Adams threw four scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing three hits. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first.
“We got a solid four innings out of Blake tonight, which was really nice to see,” Pintard said. “He hasn’t started yet, so we got to see him in that role. But the rest of the pitchers gave up way too many walks and we let the leadoff man on base way too often.”
It was the second one-run game of the five-game series. The Foresters won Saturday’s game 3-2.
The Foresters are off on Monday and face Pea Soup again on Tuesday at Pershing Park.