Bristol, Falcons down Foresthill

Bristol throws 11 strikeouts in 5-inning victory
By: Justin A. Lawson Journal Sports Writer
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LAKE OF THE PINES – The Foresthill High baseball team was amped for its first game of the season Friday against league rival Forest Lake Christian. The only problem was the Falcons were already five games into their season and coming off a no-hitter in their last game. The Wildfires’ slumbering bats were no match for hurler Robert Bristol, who dominated with his fastball on his way to an 11-strikeout performance and an 11-1 victory in five innings. “I was feeling really good,” said Bristol, who threw two innings of a 3-1, no-hit win Wednesday against Vacaville Christian. “My command was there, I knew I could get it across the plate today. From warm-up to starting on the mound, it was just kind of happening for me.” Bristol struck out at least one batter in every inning and faced just two batters over the minimum. He struck out the side in the top of the fifth and the only run against the senior came in the top of the fourth off of a walk by Wildfires shortstop Aaron Arnett, who stole second and was singled home by Donnie Ferrel. The Falcons’ offense gave Bristol an early lead when Shane Soria blasted a 1-2 fastball in the net in right field to leadoff the game off Wildfires pitcher Ian Sykes, his teammate in American Legion ball. Sykes gave up one more in the inning on a Hunter Phillips’ RBI single but rebounded when he sat the Falcons down in order in the bottom of the second. Things came undone in the bottom of the third when the Wildfires committed two errors and opened the floodgates for the Falcons to score four runs on four hits. “I thought he was throwing well but he threw a couple ground balls that I think our defense kind of just let him down,” said Foresthill assistant coach Bryan Arnett, who subbed in for head coach Ed Whistett who is out indefinitely with a medical condition. The Falcons hit three consecutive doubles in the bottom of the fifth to push the lead to 8-1 with only one out. Soria hit an RBI single to drive in Josh Hengel and knock Sykes out of the game. He was relieved by Arnett but the Falcons needed just one more run to send the Wildfires home early and Kyle Soria delivered with a the fourth double of the inning to bring home is older brother. Shane Soria went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, a home run and two singles, while teammate McGrew Michael went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double. “This team is such a good hitting team and they’ll take advantage of (errors) almost every time,” Forest Lake coach Ron Phillips said. “That’s a sign of a good team and I was just telling them in the huddle that you’ve got to take advantage of that stuff and they did. Those are the things in the past years that we haven’t done and we’ve ended up losing the game.”