Led by what might end up as a baker’s dozen of returning 2021 National Champions, the 2022 Foresters boast, as usual, a roster of some of the top college talent in the nation. Meet them all here and return to our 2022 Roster Tab on the website for updated information.
Manager Bill Pintard and his coaching staff will have a big leg up on their quest for national title No. 10 and a threepeat after winning in both 2020 and 2021. This is perhaps the biggest returning group of players in team history. They’ll bring not only the talent that took them to the top, but also the intangibles that often set the Foresters apart from the competition.
“We have some really good people coming back, guys who were leaders last year that I can lean on,” says Pintard. That starts with the EP 19 Pitcher of the Year, Ben Abram (pictured above), and Pintard also mentions other returning hurlers and leaders like Ian Churchill, Nick Proctor, and Brandon Beckel. “They know us, they know the league, how we go about doing things.”
The list also includes slugging infielder Dylan Campbell, the 2021 hitting leader, speedy Josh Stinson, and powerhouse hitter Tanner O’Tremba. “There is nobody tougher than Tanner,” Pintard adds.
Abram and Beckel anchor a typically strong Foresters rotation. Pintard looks for big things from Beckel, especially, who was very good in 2021 but could be even better this summer. Yet another starting pitcher could come from the returning ranks—Peyton Cole, who started and relieved in ’21. Newcomer Luke Harrison from Texas could join this crew. “We also might see ASU’s Graham Osmond or Kyle Robinson from Texas Tech get some starts,” says Pintard, starting his 28th season running the most successful summer-ball team in the country. “It’s a plethora of riches!”
As always, Foresters pitchers will bring the heat. Among the newcomers, Pintard is especially excited to see the gas from Jack Faherty, as well as Harrison, Osmond, and Robinson. Matthew Magre got into one game in 2021, but has become a fireballing sidearmer for Arkansas (under the tutelage of former Foresters legendary pitching coach Matt Hobbs).
“I see our bullpen being really strong this year,” said Pintard, discussing his favorite thing—pitching. He’ll look to Proctor to close out games as he did so effectively in 2021 with five saves. Churchill and Magre provide power arms from the left side. Another returning pitcher, Chase Webster didn’t even allow a run in 2021, and he’ll join Proctor at the back.
Catching that impressive staff will be lefthanded hitting Jack Holman from UCLA, along with veteran backstop Griffin Everitt. A young catching tandem from Texas Tech, Kevin Bazzell and Hudson White, will also see action behind the plate.
The infield is potentially a huge source of power and skill for Santa Barbara. “We have the starting shortstop from Tennessee, the No. 1 team in the nation, in Courtland Lawson,” says Pintard. “He’s a rangy guy who has started every game for Tennessee, who ran away with the SEC.”
In the second-base mix is Miguel Santos from Dallas Baptist, a classic leadoff hitter but one with power as well as speed. He’s already being called “Miggy Pop.” Campbell can play third or second, and hit .343 in 2021. He added outfield to his arsenal this past season with the Texas Longhorns. Another Longhorn, Gavin Kash, will also see infield time.
The outfield combines a ton of power and lots of speed. Pintard calls centerfield the No Fly Zone, patrolled by Stinson, backed up by speedy Rylan Charles, a newcomer from UNLV. O’Tremba can mash, as can Kyle Casper and Hunter Ensley. Kade Higgins is another returner and one of the best defensive players on the 2021 team.
“All in all,” says Pintard with a smile, “we look pretty good on paper.”