By Jim Buckley in SB (photos by Kylie Koeper): The Foresters’ second victory at the NBC World Series, a rain-delayed 9-4 win over the Wichita Sluggers, was a tale of two games. The first was the four innings on Saturday night, during which the Foresters cruised to a 4-0 lead. The second came Sunday morning when the two teams picked up the action—on an entirely different ballfield. Things were a bit shakier, with the Foresters “winning” that part 5-4 for the 9-4 total win, thanks in large part to a five-run eighth.
On Monday at either 5 or 6:30 Santa Barbara time TBD, the team plays the Hays Larks in the next round with both teams 2-0 in the tournament.
In the Sluggers game, Ben Abram started and was nails as usual. As lightning crackled in the distance beyond the outfield walls, he had five strikeouts in the first three innings, and completed four innings by allowing no runs.
His teammates gave him support in the third. Josh Stinson led off with a walk and Andrew Kachel got an infield single. Steven Zobac worked a one-out walk. After a strikeout, the Foresters’ rally cry of “two-out hits win championships” came through as Tanner O’Tremba cleared the bases with a triple to the rightfield corner. New pickup Jamie Smart grounded a ball into right field to score O’Tremba.
Then came the rain, a drenching monsoon-like downpour, punctuated by lightning and high winds. The whipping air defeated the grounds crew trying to lay down the tarp and the field had to be abandoned for the evening.
The break forced manager Bill Pintard to go to his bullpen when the game re-started on Sunday morning. Unfortunately, the Foresters’ defense was not fully awake, perhaps, and an error—along with five walks—helped the Sluggers score four unearned runs in sixth. A game that had re-started once . . . started again at 4-4.
As usual, back came the Foresters. In the eighth inning. O’Tremba got his second hit of the game and scored, again thanks to Smart, who hit a double, giving the Foresters the lead again. After Seth Stevenson reached base, Ryan Wrobleski’s pinch-hit sac fly scored Smart, while Josh Stinson’s triple brought in Stevenson. Dylan Campbell added a solo homer to wrap up the five-run inning.
After that shaky sixth, the bullpen closed the door on the Sluggers and the team could finally get some sleep. Watch this space for time and more details of the Foresters’ big game Monday evening.