10-Time National Baseball Congress World Series Champions
Santa Barbara Foresters

Splitsville: Next Stop, Wichita

Player running bases



Before the Foresters split (for Wichita), they split. On a getaway Saturday, Santa Barbara split a doubleheader in action at the Best in the West Tournament in San Bernardino. The ’Sters won the first 5-1 over the OC Bucs, and lost the second 6-5 as the IV Pirates won in walk-off style.

The biggest news from the first game was that the ’Sters batted first! For the first time in 2020, Santa Barbara was the visiting team. The other big news was that they were held to only six hits, among the lows for the summer, but the final big news is that that was more than enough to win 5-1 over the OC Bucs.

RF Ryan Holgate (pictured) had two RBI—the first on a double to deep left that rattled around in the corner so that 3B Christian Encarnacion could score the go-ahead run; the second came on a single to left to score pinch-runner Nick Oakley as the ’Sters padded their lead in the eighth. Three straight walks by Bucs pitchers to lead off that last inning helped the Foresters cause.

Kyle Luckham and Blake Adams pitched first for the Sters; Adams gave up the lone run to the Bucs, but the duo combined to strike out 8 in five innings. After that it was all zeroes thanks to a parade of ’Sters relievers. Ian Churchill, Steven Zobac, Sean Mullen, and Nick Proctor set ’em up and knocked ’em down, allowing no hits and only two walks while striking out four in four scoreless relief innings.

In game 2, a four-run fourth for the Pirates, keyed by an unfortunate Foresters error, erased a 3-0 lead that the Foresters had provided starter Luke Taggart. After falling behind 5-3, the Sters rallied to tie the game at 5-5 with runs in the eighth and ninth. Steven Zobac first drove in Christian Encarnacion, then Jace Jung plated Oakley with the tying run.

In the bottom of the ninth, however, the Pirates loaded the bases on a single and a pair of walks and won on a one-out single through a five-man infield.

Even with the loss, the Foresters wrapped up one of the finest records in their history, concluding the regular season with a 26-4 record. First game in Wichita at the NBC World Series is Tuesday; scheduled start time is 6:30 pm. ’Ster it up!

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