The Santa Barbara Foresters won their third straight NBC World Series title after a dominating 12-1 win over the Hays Larks in the championship game on Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.
The championship game was the record-tying 12th that the Foresters had been to and their 10th victory in program history, also the all-time lead.
The Foresters came out on a mission, plating six runs in the first two innings to grab a lead they would never let go of. NBC Top Hitter Award Winner Nick McLain got the scoring started with an RBI single, and he was driven in by Gavin Kash, winner of NBC Top Prospect, to take the 2-0 lead after one.
In the second, Gianni Horvat drove in two with a single, followed up by a Miguel Santos run-scoring knock. Santos was then brought home on an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Nate Rombach, who won the NBC Home Run Award, making it 6-0 after two innings.
After two scoreless innings, the Larks finally got on board with a run in the fifth. However, the Foresters were unphased as they exploded once again for five runs in the sixth inning.
Horvat, Santos, Kash and Blayne Jones each drove in runs to distance Santa Barbara from the Larks plenty. For good measure, the Foresters tacked on one more run in the eighth to bring the score to 12-1.
On the pitching side, starter Parker Smith cruised to his second win in Wichita, as he allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five in six innings of work.
Behind Smith, Kyle Robinson, Nick Griffin and Chase Webster shut down the Larks for the remainder of the night.
The Foresters dominated on both sides of the ball at the World Series, as they led the tournament with an impressive .376 team batting average while also holding a 1.31 ERA as a pitching staff, earning them the Top Pitching Award.
This Santa Barbara squad took some time to get on a roll, but once they got going they were unstoppable. After back-to-back losses on July 6-7 and dropping three of four, the Foresters turned it on by winning 17 of their last 19 games, outscoring opponents 160-57.
That dominance carried over the NBC World Series, where they went an undefeated 6-0 while outscoring opponents 61-11.
“The work ethic of this team was tremendous,” manager Bill Pintard said. “They were disciplined, focused and committed. We had some bumps there, but they stuck with it, worked hard and came through. We finished strong.”