Foresters win home finale, now head to Kansas

It’s Wichita or bust.

The Santa Barbara Foresters completed their regular season on Sunday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, cruising past the East L.A. Dodgers 6-1 to finish 37-13 with a seventh straight California Collegiate League title to boot.

Next up is a 26-hour bus ride to Wichita, KS, where the team will try to defend its title at the National Baseball Congress World Series.

Brandon Loy is one of the players who will hop on the bus instead of flying or driving seperately, which about half the team is going to do. Loy made sure to finish on a good note before the trip, going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. His first run came when he became the third Forester to steal home of the season.

PHOTO GALLERY

“It was cool. I didn’t get a great jump on the pitcher but he was kind of slow to the plate and luckily for me the catcher bobbled the ball,” said the University of Texas shortstop.

And as for the looming interstate trek?

“I’m dreading how long it takes to get there, but I’m also looking forward to being with the guys and being with coach. We’ll have a good time,” he said.

BOX SCORE

James Meador had a good time Sunday, blasting a two-run homer to left field in the third inning. The University of San Diego star drove in three runs on the day.

“Loy’s a great player in the two-hole and Meador’s got it going. I think your gonna see our bats go off a little bit back there,” said Pintard, who also said that we might see some more thefts of home plate because “that’s what we like do.”

Tyler Blanford, who just joined the Foresters a couple of weeks ago, made his first start and picked up a win by striking out seven in just three innings of work. His fastball hit a jaw-dropping 96 mph on the radar gun, according to Pintard.

There was a bit of sorrow lingering in the stadium after the final pitch, as the team began to move out of its summer home. The two national championship flags were taken down from atop the pressbox and the team had an extra-long huddle out in left field.

Hugs For Cubs kid Wyatt Taylor was the batboy for the day and hung around the dugout with a big grin, but Pintard became emotional when he talked about Trent Gerke, the team’s other Hugs For Cubs hero. Trent is hoping to make it to Wichita but was unable to attend Sunday’s game due to ongoing treatment in the hospital.

“The fact that he can’t be here because he’s in the hospital makes me emotional, because I really love the guy and wish he was here,” Pintard said, also pointing out that the fans showed up in impressive numbers all season, including Sunday’s finale.

The Foresters will open up on Thursday against Wichita’s own Team Elite Kings, with a time to be determined. All Forester games at the tournament will be broadcast live on AM 1490 and www.sbforesters.org.

Keep checking PresidioSports.com for exclusive coverage of the ride to Wichita as well as every Forester game at the tournament.

 

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