Meanwhile, in our own backyard, the Santa Barbara Foresters had five games with Santa Maria teams. On Wednesday they downed the Santa Maria Stars 10-4 thanks to homeruns by Marc Wipf, Tyler Ferrer and Ryan Moskau, improving their California Coastal Collegiate League record to 3-0. Then on Friday they continued their Northern Conquest by crushing the independent Santa Maria Indians, winners of the last several National Baseball Congress state tournaments. The game was called on the mercy rule after six innings with the 'Sters up 10-0, thanks to two homers by Morgan Ensberg and another dinger from Chris Koeper. Chris Tessman threw the shutout for his first decision of the season.
The opening-night humilation at Elks Field seemed to shake the Indians out of their slumber, as they swept Saturday's doubleheader and rolled into the final twin-bill at Santa Barbara's C&ae;sar Uyesaka Stadium yesterday. A crowd of around 350 people watched the Indians prevail 5-3 in the opener despite solo shots by Wipf and Moskau for the home team. The final game of the weekend seesawed back and forth until the Indians rallied for three runs on four singles and a walk to go up 8-5. Santa Maria's Bryant Fick struck out the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, then surrendered two walks, which brought on Paul Sanchez in relief. Koeper drove in a run with a single, then Gaby Halcovich reached on Indian shortstop Marc Mirizzi's error, bringing home another run. Wipf then walked to load the bases, bringing up Ensberg with two outs in an 8-7 game. The count ran full, and in one of those on-the-cusp moments that only baseball can deliver, with only a solid single needed to snatch victory for the home side, Ensberg flied out to end the game.
Hell of a time for me to develop a work ethic.
After their dissapointing weekend dropped their overall record to 6-5, the Foresters look to rebound against league opponents. Tuesday afternoon they travel to Moorpark to take on the Southern California Condors, then they return to Caesar Uyeasaka for afternoon games, 4:30 Wedensday against the Stars and 5:05 Friday with the Condors. The real test will come over the weekend, though, as Santa Barbara plays a three-game series at the San Luis Blues, last year's CCPL runners-up.
And be sure to check out the Dutchmen and Foresters web sites at http://www.physics.ucsb.edu/people/john_whelan/baseball.html; I just added the Dutchmen logo.