Spencer Jones did his job as the clean-up hitter, blasting two doubles and a triple and driving in six runs to power the Santa Barbara Foresters to a 16-1 win over the Santa Barbara Grizzlies Baseball Club at Pershing Park on Thursday.
The 6-foot-7 Jones, who played in left field after pitching in Wednesday’s season opener, was hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning for his first RBI of the night. The versatile player out of Vanderbilt doubled in Peyton Graham in the fourth, ripped a two-run triple in the seventh and finished his big offensive night with a two-run double in the eighth.
Foresters shortstop and lead-off hitter Matt McLain opened the game with a solo homer off Grizzlies’ starting pitcher Ian Churchill of Arizona, a former San Marcos High and SBCC standout. McLain, an All-American at UCLA, went 3-4 and scored five runs.
The first five batters in the Foresters’ lineup accounted for 15 runs.
“Offensively we were just kind ofrelentless,” manager Bill Pintard told SBForesters.org. “We took advantage of the walks and errors they gave us. We were just very patient with our at-bats, we weren’t getting in bad habits. It would have been easy to take another approach, but the hitters stuck with their plan.”
Christian Franklin belted a two-run homer, Sean McLain (Matt’s brother) had two RBI and recent Santa Barbara High graduates Bryce Warrecker and Nick Oakley collected their first hits as Foresters. Warrecker had two hits and picked up his first RBI.
After leading off the eighth inning with a single, Oakley advanced to third on a steal and a passed ball and came around to score his first run on Peyton Graham’s fielder’s choice.
The Grizzlies, a collection of college and high school players from the area, scored their lone run in the fourth off Casey Dykstra, who replaced Foresters’ starter Kyle Luckman. Phil Quartararo and David Martinez drew walks off Dykstra and Kyle Gonzalez singled with one out to load the bases. Brandon Lawrence walked to force Quartararo home to make it a 5-1 game.
Dykstra found his groove after the run, striking out Dominic Roderick and Frank Gamberdella to end the inning.
Five Forester pitchers combined for 21 strikeouts. Jake Harrell, the third pitcher of the night, led the way with six, while Luckham and Dykstra each had five.
Gonzalez had two hits for the Grizzlies.
The Foresters (2-0) host the Santa Paula Halos on Friday at 6 p.m. No fans are allowed at the games.