Arby Fields drove in the tying run in the sixth inning and the winning run in the tenth for the Santa Barbara Foresters on Wednesday, as the ‘Sters won their NBC World Series opener 2-1 over the Austin Gold Sox in Wichita, Kansas.
The starting pitchers for both teams were electric, each lasting eight innings. Nick Palewicz gave up three hits and a walk while striking out four batters. Austin’s run in the fourth inning was unearned.
Austin’s Jordan Stewart allowed just one hit and struck out three.
Santa Barbara scored its first run without the benefit of a hit. Shane Hoelscher walked and advanced to third base on a stolen base and groundout. Fields then drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
The two starters left the game with the score tied 1-1 after eight innings.
Besides Fields, Austin Davidson and Richard Sanguinetti recorded hits for Santa Barbara.
The game-winner came in the top of the tenth, started by Robert Vickers’ walk. Newly acquired speedster Weston Hall pinch ran and promptly stole second base on his first pitch in a Foresters uniform. After Hoelscher sacrificed Hall to third, Fields beat out an infield hit that scored Hall, giving the Foresters their first lead of the game.
Hunter Lemke closed the door on Austin in the bottom half of the 10th inning for his 13th save of the season.
The Foresters won the NBC World Series last season by winning seven straight games. Their next game is scheduled for Friday against the Casa Grande Cotton Kings.