A pinch hit home run by Robby Massar in the bottom of the eighth inning that put the game away for good highlighted another impressive offensive performance by the Foresters, as they beat the St. Joe’s Mustangs 10-3, improving their record to 2-0 in the NBC World Series tournament. Massar, an assistant coach added to the team roster due to injuries to other players, is a former outfielder for the Foresters who had to miss his team’s 2011 NBC appearance with an injury. His surprise return trip was capped by the two-run shot that brought the whole Foresters team bursting out of the dugout in celebration.
But timely and costly hitting was the theme of the day, as every Foresters starter had at least a hit or a run and seven different players drove in runs.
The Foresters drew blood in the first inning on a Granger Studdard groundout that cashed in Matt Henderson from third. The Foresters continued their hot offense by adding single runs in both the second and third, jumping to an early 3-1 lead.
The Mustangs would not go quietly as they punched back in the top half of the fourth cutting the lead in half and later tied the game in the sixth at 3-3. However, the red hot Forester offense took over in the later innings. A three run sixth inning for Santa Barbara, highlighted by a red hot John Brontsema double—one of his three hits on the night and five so far in Wichita—put the Foresters up 6-3, and they would not look back. Massar’s homer put the game away for good.
Four Foresters combined for nine hits with John Brontsema leading the way with three, while Tyler Neslony, Michael Smith, and Matt Henderson each had triples. Studdard increased his RBI count totaling a team-high 40 on the season. Tylor Megill picked up his third win of the season in relief of starter Glenn Otto—who struck out seven in 4 1/3—and Cody Crouse lowered his ERA to an impressive 2.37, before Eliot Surrey closed it out by striking out the side in the ninth.
The Foresters continue their defense of their National Championship Tuesday evening in the third round against the Valley Center Diamond Dawgs from upstate New York s they look to defend their turf as National Champions.