The Sters offense struggled again and their opponents took advantage with timely hits, dooming the team’s chances of winning a third consecutive national title.
Looking to survive and advance to the semifinals of the 2013 NBC World Series, the Santa Barbara Foresters fell to the El Dorado Broncos 4-1 in their Hap Dumont Super Six matchup. The loss was their second of the Series and ends the season for the Sters, as they finish 36-18-1 and just a few wins short of their goal of dog-piling again in Wichita.
The Sters were coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Seattle Studs the previous evening, a game in which mistakes and bad breaks cost Santa Barbara the victory. Despite not giving up a hit with runners in scoring position the entire game, the Foresters gave up three runs while only scratching across two of their own, leaving a total of ten men on base.
The Sters mission to comeback from last night’s defeat and win their third straight NBC title was slightly delayed due to the earlier game going to extra innings. The Seattle Studs and Clarinda A’s played for 12 innings, pushing S.B. an hour and twenty minutes back from their original start time.
El Dorado reached the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning, getting a timely single from Mikel Mucha with two outs to drive in Patrick Esposito from second. The run was the first given up by Foresters starter Parker French in the tournament.
That run was just about all El Dorado would need to bring Santa Barbara down, as the batters for the Sters failed to put together any sort of rally for most of the game against Eric Scheuermann, the starting pitcher for the Broncos from Bradley University.
The only sign of life shown by the offense in the early part of the game came in the top of the third, as the star from last night Colt Atwood singled with two out and stole second to give the Foresters their first runner in scoring position. Unfortunately, Garrett Mattlage struck out to end the inning.
The Broncos pushed the Sters back further in the fifth inning, as the team from Kansas was rewarded for their patient approach against French. A couple walks and a wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out for El Dorado, and Clayton Taylor took advantage of the opportunity, singling to center to drive in the second run of the game. A wild pitch by French brought in another to make the score 3-0 El Dorado.
After the Broncos scored again in the sixth to make it 4-0, the Foresters put a couple of runners on to start the top of the seventh, as Ryan O’Hearn and Shane Hoelscher hit back to back singles to start the inning. The first legitimate threat for Santa Barbara was then promptly halted as Jacob Felts hit into a double play and Justin Rahn grounded in to a fielder’s choice to end the inning and perhaps the team’s hopes for a comeback.
Santa Barbara put up a fight in the top of the ninth inning, as O’Hearn and Jerry McClanahan singled and walked respectively to put a couple runners on for Steven Reveles. The soon to be Nebraska Cornhusker Reveles hit a clutch single to right to drive in the first and only run for Santa Barbara, as Ben Johnson struck out looking on a questionable call to end the game and the season.
One of the few bright spots for the Foresters came from UCLA product Nick Kern, who faced five batters and struck out four. Kern’s performance gave him ten strikeouts in his last three and two third innings of work.
The Sters held their heads high following the tough defeat, as the players now look forward to their upcoming collegiate seasons.