The Santa Barbara Foresters beat the Seattle Studs 6-2 in the championship game of the National Baseball Congress World Series this weekend. The Foresters became the first team to repeat as NBC World Series champions since Kenai of the Alaska League in 1993-94.
For a while, the Foresters looked like they were going to steamroll their way to the title, entering the tournament on a nine-game winning streak (including six straight wins at the end of the California Collegaite League schedule to tie for the league title), and then winning their first five games in Wichita. But a loss to the Hays Larks last week put Santa Barbara's back up against the wall, and the Foresters responded.
"It was fun, and it was a grind," Santa Barbara coach Bill Pintard said. "Until we lost to Hayes on Thursday night, we had won 14 straight. Now we're on a two-game winning streak—but that's all we need."
The Foresters turned to ace Cody Dickson in the semifinals against El Dorado, and he turned in five strong innings, allowing just one unearned run. A Ryan O'Hearn RBI groundout put Santa Barbara up 2-1 in the sixth inning, and reliever T.J. McGreevy escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam later to preserve the 2-1 win.
In the championship game, John Beck struck out 10 and allowed just one unearned run in 6.2 innings, turning in what Pintard called his best outing of the summer when it mattered most. Tournament MVP Zach Fish led the offense, going 3-for-4 with a home run. Seattle also lost to Santa Barbara in the 2008 championship.
This title was extra-special for Pintard.
"We won this championship on grit and determination," Pintard said. "Ten days in that heat—we're not used to it. So it was a grind, but it was a great run."
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