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Foresters season ends in 6-3 loss
By Lucas Armstrong
The Foresters lost their hopes of winning back to back NBC World Series Championships Friday as they lost to the Everett Merchants 6-3 in the Quarter Finals.
The Foresters handed the ball to starting pitcher Evan Lee tonight. Lee struggled to settle in during the game and was chased out after only 2.2 innings. Lee allowed six hits, three runs, walked two, but struck out five Merchant batters.
Hank LoForte and Luke Ritter stayed hot as they each added two hits to their NBC series totals. LoForte finished 2-4 with a double and a sac bunt while Ritter had two doubles, and two RBI’s. Foresters third baseman Spencer Steer had a great last game of the season getting on base in four of his five plate appearances and finished with a single, three walks, and a stolen base.
The Foresters did not score until the fifth inning when they put up two runs thanks to a two RBI double by Josh Jung. Jung tacked on two more RBI’s to his season total as he led the ‘Sters in RBI’s for the season.
The Foresters bullpen had a strong outing tonight led by Daniel Vasquez, Kyle Smith, and Robby Medel but it was futile as the Foresters bats could never claw their way back and they lost 6-3.
“This one stings, but hey, we won as a team and we lost as a team,” said Foresters manager Bill Pintard. “The sun is still going to come up tomorrow.”
Sadly, tonight the Foresters season came to a close. They put up a good fight but ultimately fell short and will have to try again next season. They were not able to win it all but the Foresters still did remarkably, once again they captured the CCL Title and finished the season with 34 wins and only 13 losses. This was the first season in the Foresters lovely new home Pershing Park and they will return to Pershing for many years to come. We hope to see you all back at the Persh next summer as the Foresters look to capture their seventh NBC World Series Championship. Ster it up!
Foresters take Sox to cleaners in 6-2 win
By Lucas Armstrong
When the Foresters needed an RBI they went with the team’s RBI leader Josh Jung which opened the door to further scoring giving the Foresters a comfortable 6-2 win. The Foresters had squandered several run scoring opportunities throughout the game but would not let that happen in the top of the sixth when they broke the game open with four runs. Foresters middle infield duo of Hank LoForte and David Hamilton started off the inning with back to back singles. Foresters third baseman Josh Jung cashed in on that opportunity with a line drive single scoring LoForte.
Jung opened the flood gates for the Foresters as he was followed by a SAC fly from Luke Ritter and singles from David Clawson and Spencer Steer that plated three more runs giving the Foresters a 4-0 lead. The Foresters added to their lead in the very next inning putting up two more runs in the seventh thanks to a two RBI double by right fielder Luke Ritter. Despite coming into the game in the fifth inning, Ritter finished the game with three RBIs and a stolen base.
“Our plan going in was to bring Ritter in for Lee so Lee could get some work in the bullpen and Ritter did a great job,” said Foresters manager Bill Pintard.
The Foresters have been fantastic this postseason in making up for their defensive mistakes. Several days ago Spencer Steer had a couple clutch hits after his error and today David Hamilton showed off his standing vert making an outstanding catch that was lined well above him that surely would have got down and moved a runner to third.
Foresters second baseman Hank LoForte continued his great World Series adding two more hits, a run, and made several good defensive plays. He is certainly making a case for MVP of the tournament.
“I’m just trying to have fun, that’s all,” said LoForte.
Jake McDonald got the nod tonight on the mound and he did all that was asked of him. McDonald pitched three strong innings allowing zero runs. The Foresters bullpen was a carousel tonight as they used a bevy of relief pitchers tonight consisting of: Kyle Smith, Corey Herndon, Nathan Wiles, Braden Pearson, Ty Wiest, and the newest Foresters pitcher, Robby Medel. The ‘Sters pen was lights out, limiting the Sox to only two runs and six hits on six innings. Medel had an eye-opening debut in his ‘Sters uniform, coming into an eighth inning first and third jam and escaping with no runs allowed; Medel closed out the game in 1.1 scoreless innings giving the Foresters a 6-2 win. Foresters reliver Corey Herndon earned his second win of the season today.
“We wanted to work in all of our guys that hadn’t thrown yet, get them used to that mound, we got three big games left and we need them to be comfortable on that mound” said Pintard, “McDonald was pitching well but in order to use all the guys we wanted to, we couldn’t let him go another inning.”
With this victory the Foresters improve to 3-0 in Wichita and have secured a place in the Quarter Finals on Friday night.
“We just gotta keep playing our game; If we stay together through this thing I really like our chances,” said Pintard.
Foresters manager Bill Pintard got showered with Gatorade after the win tonight as he secured his 100th career NBC World Series Victory.
“I’ve been really fortunate to wear this jersey and coach these young players over the years,” said Pintard. “Besides Dad, Coach might be the finest thing I’ve ever been called. I’ve been called a lot of things in life and Coach is one of the best ones,” said Pintard.
Today the Foresters carried on their long standing tradition of visiting the children staying at the Via Christie hospital here in Wichita. Foresters players got to hang out and play with the kids and provided some much needed comfort to the families in there time of need.
Later in the day the Foresters held a practice to prepare for their third game of the NBC World Series versus the Colorado Sox tomorrow at 1:30pm PDT. After practice Foresters P/OF John McMillon was invited to participate in the Adidas Home Run Derby held here in Wichita. McMillon led all participants swatting ten home runs in the three minutes allotted. His performance advances him to the next round of the derby tomorrow night.
‘Sters sharp in shutout victory
By Lucas Armstrong
The force was with the Foresters tonight as they made quick work of the San Diego Force in only an hour and forty minutes beating them 4-0.
The Foresters pounced on the Force early scoring one run in the first inning on three consecutive two out singles by Josh Jung, Luke Ritter, and Evan Lee. Foresters second baseman Hank LoForte helped the Foresters cause, crossing home plate because of a Luke Ritter SAC fly in the bottom of the third.
Later in the third inning Foresters DH David Clawson flexed his muscles, launching a home run deep into the Kansas night sky, plating himself and left fielder Evan Lee. This was Clawson’s team leading fourth home run of the season and first Foresters home run in Wichita. Clawson gave the Foresters a 4-0 lead and the team never looked back. For the second straight night, Foresters bats put up four runs within the first three innings of the game
“I was looking for a fastball to hit through and got the barrel on it,” said Clawson.
This early run production allowed Foresters starting pitcher Blair Henly to settle in and dominate. Blair looked cool as a cucumber tonight, racking up seven strikeouts on seven shutout innings only allowing four base runners. He picked up his fourth win of the season, improving to 4-1.
“Henly was really clean tonight,” said Foresters Manager Bill Pintard.
The Foresters were smooth as butter all night, playing stellar defense spearheaded by second baseman Hank LoForte. The ‘Sters defense committed no errors and turned a crucial double play in the top of the fourth inning, killing any Force hopes of a rally after their leadoff man had started the inning with a base hit. Hank LoForte flashed leather all game, he had eight assists and was involved in making eleven total outs.
“The defense played really well and LoForte just seems to keep playing at a higher and higher level,” said Pintard.
Foresters relief pitchers Kyle Smith, Nathan Wiles, and Daniel Vasquez finished off the Force giving the Foresters the win. The Foresters pitchers have been frustrating hitters all season, they have k’d up eight or more batters in twenty-seven consecutive games.
The Foresters improve to 2-0 in Wichita and now have control of the pool as they look to take down the Colorado Sox on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30pm central, 1:30pm pacific.
“I tip my hat to you guys [The Foresters] you played awesome tonight,” said Pintard.
Foresters put Twins to sleep in late night thriller
By Lucas Armstrong
No Rest for the Wicked as Foresters play into the wee hours of the morning picking up a 6-4 victory over the Derby Twins.
The Derby Twins were in business early (and by early I mean not until the 11:35 pm start time) by taking advantage of a first inning error by third baseman Spencer Steer allowing Twins CF Noah Bland to get to third base. Bland was knocked in by a hard ground ball to first by Twins DH Anthony Dominguez. Foresters first baseman Joshua Jung did a fantastic job limiting the damage in this inning, making a diving stop to his left preventing Dominguez from getting on base, likely with extra bases.
Foresters Starting Pitcher Evan Lee was unfazed by the unearned first inning run sending down eight of the next nine batters after the error. Evan Lee picked up his fourth win of the season and first win of the tourney. Lee finished with 5.2 innings, allowed two runs, one earned, and struck out five.
When the clock struck midnight, Foresters bats broke the game open putting up three runs in the second and another in the third. Spencer Steer made up for his first inning error by starting a rally with a one out base hit. The Foresters followed suit rattling off three consecutive hits: a Jimmy Galusky double and RBI singles by Steven Coe and Joey Fiske. Steer struck again in the third with a sac fly scoring Foresters first baseman Josh Jung giving the Foresters a 4-1 lead.
Twins batters however, refused to quit as they put up a sixth inning run off of Evan Lee and two in the eighth off Foresters reliever Tanner Lawson. But that was all as Garrett Gayle and John McMillon finished off the Twins in the remainder of the eighth and ninth innings. McMillon picked up his first save of the year while Gayle picked up a hold. The Foresters bullpen tonight consisting of Jake Eissler, Tanner Lawson, Garrett Gayle, and John McMillon held off a stout Twins lineup in the last few innings giving the Foresters a 6-4 victory.
“The Twins acted like an annoying party guest and simply wouldn’t go away,” said Foresters radio broadcaster John Martony.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh the Foresters got some late game insurance thanks to the dynamic duo of Hank LoForte and Josh Jung. Loforte started the two out magic by drawing a five pitch walk and was knocked in by a bullet triple down the right field line by Josh Jung. Jung and LoForte were locked in all night; LoForte finished the night 3-3 with one walk, two runs, and two stolen bases while Jung finished the night 1-2 with one run, one triple, one RBI, and two walks. The two combined were on base in seven of their eight plate appearances.
The Foresters picked up the win 6-4 to improve to 1-0 in Wichita this year and will face the San Diego Force on Monday and look to advance to 2-0 in pool play.
“We hit well and we pitched well,” said Foresters second baseman Hank LoForte, “That’s what we try to do day-by-day and it’s our approach the rest of the tournament.”
The Foresters next game will be Monday versus the San Diego Force at 9:30pm central time, 7:30pm pacific.
Box score for above game under “Schedule/Results” page.
(7/29) Opening Night
The Foresters were greeted with a complimentary breakfast thanks to the lovely “Hotel at the Water Walk” to start the day as they awaited their first game. The Foresters were invited to participate in the “Champions Parade” which features every team in the tournament representing their hometown and players (pictured below). The Foresters game was delayed several hours as they would have to wait until 11:35pm for their first game of the tournament vs the Derby Twins.
(7/28) Foresters arrive in Wichita
On the eve of their first game in Wichita, Foresters players strolled into Kansas one by one. They came by car, plane, and even the Foresters team bus which trekked across the country all the way from Pershing Park. An arduous twenty-six hour drive. Manager Bill Pintard rallied the team together for a late night practice at Wichita State University to sharpen up the team the night before the tournament. After practice the team traveled to “Two Brothers BBQ” a Kansas Proud, family barbecue. After they ate, the players retired to their rooms to prepare for the day to come against the Derby Twins.
(7/24) First NBC World Series Game Set!
The Foresters will arrive in Wichita on late Thursday. Their first game is set for Saturday, July 29 against a familiar foe: The Derby (KS) Twins. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 pm PDT, but stay tuned to AM1290, as games sometimes start late in Wichita!
(7/24) Final Regular Season Game: The Foresters beat the Conejo Oaks in the final regular-season game of 2017. Sters pitchers gave up 12 hits, but were able to work out of jams. Zach Humphreys had two RBI, while Chandler Bengston added another. A fourth run scored on a bases-loaded balk in the ninth.
Sters Beat Oaks, 3-2
By Lucas Armstrong
They say, “Patience is a virtue.” On Monday in Thousand Oaks, the Foresters were extra virtuous, walking their way into Wichita on a 4-2 victory over the Conejo Oaks.
The Foresters manufactured the first run of the day in the top of the third inning thanks to right fielder Blake Brewster and catcher Zach Humphreys. Brewster took a walk after a seven-pitch at-bat, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a line drive single by Zach Humphreys.
Conejo wasted no time answering back, leading off the bottom of the third with back-to back-hits, scoring a run in the inning, and tying the game 1-1. Foresters starting pitcher Ty Wiest limited the damage, inducing a ground-ball double play, killing the Oaks’ rally.
The Foresters took the lead again in the top of the fourth inning after taking advantage of more sloppy play by the Oaks. After Brewster reached on error by Oaks center fielder DJ Miller, Forester outfielder Walker Grisanti hit a line drive single to move Brewster to third. Brewster was knocked in by a fielder’s choice from Zach Humphreys, his second RBI of the day. Chandler Bengston added to this lead in the sixth inning, lining a two-out, two-strike RBI single up the middle, giving the Foresters a 3-1 lead.
“That Bengston hit was huge,” said manager Bill Pintard. “He’s a guy that could hit it out of the ballpark, but he shortened up and punched it up the middle when we really needed it.”
The Foresters tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when a balk followed three straight walks.
Wiest picked up his fifth win of the season after pitching five full innings, striking out five, allowing five hits, and walking only one batter.
“The slider and cutter were both working well tonight so we just kept pounding those, Zach [Humphreys] and I talked about it and decided to keep with what was working,” Wiest said.
The Foresters played stellar defense tonight, limiting the Oaks to two runs and turning several double plays. Their defense was highlighted by diving stops made by both third baseman Spencer Steer and second baseman Brody Weiss as well as nice running catches by left fielder Luke Ritter and Grisanti.
“The defense was very good—that diving play by Steer stopped their momentum and really let Ty settle in and pitch a good game,” said Pintard.
The Foresters drew an astounding eleven walks as well as getting plunked twice. “Overall tonight our plate discipline was tremendous,” said Pintard.
The Foresters hope to continue their winning ways onto Wichita as they look to become back to back NBC World Series Champions.
“We’re ready for Wichita, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Pintard.