The Santa Barbara Foresters completed a dominating performance at the 86th National Baseball Congress World Series with a 12-3 victory over the Cheney, Kan., Diamond Dawgs for their record eighth championship on Monday night at Wichita State’s Eck Stadium.
Santa Barbara, which received masterful pitching, productive hitting and solid defense in Wichita, went 4-0 in the tournament and outscored its opponents 33-4. The team didn’t commit an error, marking the first time in NBC World Series history a team playing more than three games posted a 1.000 defensive mark.
The title is the team’s eighth in 14 years.
“It is phenomenal,” longtime Foresters manager Bill Pintard told the Wichita Eagle. “We run. We pitch. We play defense. We hit with power. We play all five facets of the game. Incredible.”
Starting pitcher Nick Nastrini threw four innings and allowed four hits and two walks, while striking our four.
Nick Proctor, Bryce Warrecker, Sean Mullen and Blake Adams each pitched a shutout inning of relief.
The Diamond Dawgs avoided the shutout in the bottom of the ninth by getting a three-run homer from Caleb Coleman against Elijah Trest. Trest got the final two outs to end the game.
Santa Barbara scored its 12 runs on 12 hits, including three home runs.
Sean McLain went 3 for 5 with a RBI and three runs scored and his brother Matthew McLain was 2-5 with two RBI and three runs.
Jace Jung, Christian Encarnacion and Pat Caulfield each had two hits. Jung belted a two-run homer during a three-run first inning. Encarnacion scored on a wild pitch for the third run.
Hunter Cullen homered and Encarnacion had a RBI single in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead.
The McLain brothers did the damage in the fifth inning. Sean McLain had a RBI single and Matt McLain smacked a two-run homer to make it 8-0.
Santa Barbara extended the lead to 10-0 on a RBI double by Caulfield and a single by Casey Dykstra.
The Foresters added two more runs in the seventh. Jung knocked drove in Sean McLain with a sacrifice fly and Encarnacion brought in Matthew McLain with a comebacker to the pitcher.
The Foresters’ accomplishment is quite remarkable considering they almost didn’t have a season. They scrambled to put an independent schedule together after their league — California Collegiate League — suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coach Pintard put together one of his best teams and it went out played great baseball.
“This was everything,” Pintard said of winning the World Series. “I explained to the guys the history of this event. I explained how they integrated this tournament 10 years before the major leagues. It’s part of Americana. It’s part of tradition. There is a feeling that it’s going away, and I don’t want that to happen. That’s why I wanted to come and send a statement: I support the NBC. It would have been a perfect year not to come. No chance.”