Butler County Times Gazette
  • Santa Barbara repeats as NBC champions

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  • WICHITA — Granger Studdard hadn't done much at the plate for the Santa Barbara Foresters in the championship game of the 80th National Baseball Congress World Series.
    After going hitless in five at bats, Studdard hit an RBI double with two outs in the top of the 12th lifting the Foresters to a 3-2 win over the Seattle Studs Saturday at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
    The title was the Foresters fifth overall and third in the last four years. The Studs entered the game as defending champions.
    "I believe it was a fastball on the outer half of the plate," Studdard said of his hit. "I was struggling all night. I was getting jammed. I finally got the barrel on the ball. After one at-bat with (Seattle reliever Taylor Thompson), he didn't really seem to have anything to beat you with. You just had to sit back, wait for the pitch and get your bat on it."
    Studdard will be a sophomore at Texas State.
    "This was one of the greatest wins of my life," Studdard said. "To get extra innings and extra at bats, then to get that hit, it was just awesome."
    The Foresters were led by Jaylin Davis, who went four for six hitting with two doubles.
    "I was seeing mostly off-speed pitches," Davis said. "With these guys, we don't get nervous. We've been able to come back all year. This is my first year with the team, but it seems like we've been together four or five years."
    Davis came to the Foresters from Appalachian State, where he will be a junior this season.
    "This was my first time here," Davis said. "This is an amazing tournament. The atmosphere was great. It lets me go (into the college season) pretty confident."
    Jeremy Montelbano went two for two for the Foresters as a late substitute. Jake Vickerson went three for four.
    For the Studs, Connor Savage went three for five. Max Whitt went two for three.
    Troy Cruz picked up the win in relief for Seattle. Thompson took the loss for the Studs.
    Seattle pitcher David Benson started in the championship game for the third straight year. This year, he struck out eight in 6 1-3 innings. Benson has a loss, a win and a no-decision respectively in the three years.
    Both teams left runners on base in scoring position in each of the first two innings. The Studs broke through in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Eric Peterson.
    Doubles by Davis and Bret Boswell gave the Foresters a run in the top of the sixth.
    A pair of Forester errors in the bottom of the seventh led to a Seattle run. In the top of the eighth, Davis doubled and scored on a Montelbano single. A failed squeeze bunt and a runner picked off between second and third ended the threat.
    Page 2 of 2 - Davis opened the 10th with a leadoff single, but was erased on a 4-6-3 double play. The Foresters got another hit in the inning, but the runner was thrown out trying to steal.
    In the bottom of the 10th, Savage singled and went to second on a bunt. After an intentional walk, Bobby LeCount then singled, but Savage was thrown out at home trying to score. A passed ball put runners at second and third, but a pop out ended the threat.
    In the top of the 12th, Ford Stainback drew a one-out single. After a fly out, Stainback scored on a Studdard double. The Studs got a leadoff single to open the bottom of the 12th, but two pop flies and a ground out ended the game.

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