Santa Barbara wins ninth NBC World Series title

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Lonestar Baseball first baseman Max Puls takes a pickoff throw as Cheney Diamond Dawg Jaxson Syring slides back to base. Puls plays for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

WICHITA — The Santa Barbara Foresters won the National Baseball Congress for the ninth time, stopping Lonestar Baseball of Austin, Texas, 14-2 in the championship game Saturday at Riverfront Stadium.

The Foresters win the tourney for the seventh time in the last 11 years.

The Foresters used a 10-run fifth inning to break the game open.

Seth Stephenson, Kendall Pettis, Andrew Kachel, Zachary Leach and Nate Rombach each drove in two runs for the Foresters. Stephenson, Kachel and Leach each hit a home run. Leach finished the game three for five hitting. Stephenson, Pettis and Rombach each had two hits.

Santa Barbara used five pitchers with Ben Abram throwing five innings for the win. Abram allowed a run on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. Chase Webster struck out two of the three batters he faced. Brandon Beckel, Gabriel Starks and Nick Proctor each struck out one batter.

Davis Luikart took the loss for Lonetar, allowing five earned runs on seven hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Braden Shields struck out four batters in two innings.

Justin Dunlap and Kyle Cronk each went two for four hitting for Lonestar. Andre Jackson and Max Puls each drove in a run.

FRIDAY'S GAME — Lonestar Baseball pitcher Nathan Medrano has had quite the experience at the 87th National Baseball Congress World Series.

The University of Houston-bound player has posted two wins and a save — including a no-hitter — leading Lonestar Baseball into Saturday’s finals of the summer college baseball tourney.

Friday in the consolation semifinals, he entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with no outs and a runner on first. Medrano posted a ground out, a line out and another ground out for the save in a 7-5 win over the Cheney Diamond Dawgs.

“It feels really good,” Medrano said. “We were spread kind of thin as far as pitching was concerned. We got it done and we’re ready for tomorrow.”

Lonestar Baseball infielder Andre Jackson, a player for Temple Junior College, gets to second base on an error against the Cheney Diamond Dawgs.
Lonestar Baseball outfielder Justin Dunlap, a player for Rice University, makes contact with a pitch during play in the consolation semifinals of the 87th National Baseball Congress World Series.

Lonestar Baseball reaches the NBC World Series championships for the first time in team history. Lonestar fell to the Foresters 8-0 in the championship semifinals in a game shortened to seven innings on the run rule.

“We just had to have a short memory and put that game in the past,” Medrano said. “We came out today and had a double play. We also had a diving catch. The infield played really well and we hit the ball. (In the finals,) we’ll need pitching and defense. I’m not too worried about that. We’re going to hit.”

Medrano earlier beat Cheney 8-0 in a no-hitter. He also has a win over the Great Bend Bat Cats.

Medrano is moving to Houston from Temple Junior College.

Lonestar led 3-1 after the first inning, but Cheney quickly came back.

Cheney Diamond Dawg pitcher Max Ramirez took a no-decision against Lonestar Baseball in the consolation semifinals of the 87th National Baseball Congress World Series. Ramirez is a sophomore at Merced College.
Cheney Diamond Dawg Alex Epp fields a fly ball during play against Lonestar Baseball. Epp plays for William Jewell.

Down 5-4, Lonestar scored a pair of runs in the seventh inning and added a run in the eighth.

Justin Dunlap went three for four hitting for Lonestar with an RBI. Reed Beverly went two for five with an RBI.

Four Cheney errors led to four unearned runs for Lonestar.

Sebastian Mejia pitched for the win for Lonestar, striking out three batters in four innings of relief. Starter Jack Engelmann struck out five batters in four innings.

Dakota Rodd took the loss for Cheney. Dawg starter Max Ramirez struck out six in six innings.

Jaxson Syring of the Cheney Diamomd Dawgs snags a fly ball during consolation semifinal play at the National Baseball Congress World Series. Syring plays for Butler Community College.

George Specht and Gavin Rogers each drove in two runs for the Diamond Dawgs.

Cheney finishes third in the 16-team field after taking second last year.

Friday’s game

Consolation semifinals

Lonestar Baseball 7, Cheney Diamond Dawgs 5

Lonestar;300;100;210;—;7;8;1

Cheney;102;020;000;—;5;7;4

Engelmann, Mejia (W, 1-0) 5, Medrano (S, 1) 9 and Taylor; Ramirez, Rodd (L, 0-1) 7, Holden 8 and Farmer. Time — 1:50.

Saturday’s games

Championship finals

Santa Barbara Foresters 14,  Lonestar Baseball 2

Lonestar;001;0( 0)0;010;—;2;7;4

Santa Bar.;101;2(10)0;00x;—;14;15;2

Luikart (L, 0-1), Drake 5, Mejia 5, Shields 6, Lee 8 and Taylor; Abram (W, 1-0), Beckel 6, Webster 7, Starks 8, Proctor 9 and Leach. HR — SB: Stephenson (2), Kachel (2), Leach (1). Time — n/a.

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com