Sometimes, it’s as simple as the numbers telling the story.
The Ventura Halos struck out eleven times, getting only two runners in scoring position in a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Santa Barbara Foresters Tuesday evening at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Joseph Moran (Oklahoma Baptist) went 1-2 in his Halos debut, picking up the lone RBI of the game for Ventura (6-3, 4-3) in the top of the eighth inning. The Halos managed just three hits, and had five players reach base for the game, while the defense committed a pair of costly errors.
Santa Barbara (5-4, 3-4) starter Connor Mays threw six innings of one hit ball, with eight strikeouts and no walks, and retired sixteen straight Ventura batters after Matt Waldren’s (Tennessee) two out single in the top of the first inning. Patrick Britt (Binghamton) had the other Halo hit.
Ventura’s run came against Forester reliever Sean Chandler, with Mike Volaski (Rider) working a leadoff walk, then Cody Phillips (Princeton) drawing another free pass with one out. Moran laced a two-out hit to right field to score Volaski, but was thrown out by catcher Steven Coe trying to advance to second after the play at the plate.
Santa Barbara took the lead in the bottom of the second, with Bryndan Arredondo leading off with a double. Halo starter Drew Van Winkle (Lamar) got the next two batters out, but Connor McManigal cracked an RBI single to score Arredondo, and Wesley Ghan-Gibson followed up with another base knock. Colby Barrick brought them both home with a double before a fly out ended the inning.
Van Winkle allowed the three runs on seven hits over four innings, with two walks. Aaron Hamilton (Nothern Colorado) came on in the bottom of the fifth, and allowed a pair of unearned runs on two hits and a walk, then pitched a one-two-three sixth.
Trevor Abrams’ fielder’s choice and Coe reaching on a throwing error by Dustin Demeter (Hawaii) put two men aboard with one out, then former Halo Colton Waltner walked to load the bases. Reagan Todd hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Abrams, but Britt got crossed up making the catch at the warning track. His throw to the infield handcuffed Volaski, bouncing off the second baseman’s glove and allowing Coe to score as well.
Ventura saw fine defensive plays from Devan Peterson (Harvard) and Waldren. Peterson was quick to get out of his catcher’s crouch and made a sliding catch in foul territory for the first out of the bottom of the sixth on a failed bunt attempt by Barrick. Waldren erased a potential hit by Coe in the bottom of the seventh with a head-first diving catch in left field.
Carlos Soto (CSU-Stanislaus) pitched the seventh inning for the Halos, allowing just a leadoff walk that never reached scoring position thanks to a fielder’s choice. The eighth saw Brandon Ward induce a double-play on an Forester hit-and-run, as McManigal’s leadoff single was rubbed out when he was caught too far up the base path on Ghan-Gibson’s sharp fly out to Britt in right field. Ward allowed two hits, but held Santa Barbara scoreless.
Ventura continues their three game set against the Foresters today at Ventura College at 5PM.