BY JIM MISUNAS
WICHITA — Seven-time NBC World Series baseball champion Santa Barbara (Calif.) and Hall of Fame coach Bill Pintard gave the Great Bend Bat Cats no chance.
The Santa Barbara Foresters roared past the Bat Cats 6-1 in Sunday’s second NBC World Series bracket game. Santa Barbara starter Luke Taggert overpowered the Bat Cats with a 96 mph fastball that delivered 10 strikeouts in six innings.
“Taggert was throwing 95 mph and he commanded the change-up for a strike,” said Roger Ward, Bat Cats coach. “That’s something we haven’t seen.”
The Bat Cats (27-18) play Sunflower Collegiate League rival Haysville in Tuesday’s third pool game at 7 p.m.
“It’s crazy to see Haysville shut out two times in a row,” Ward said. “We’d love to earn our way into bracket play. We’ve got to play our game.”
The Bat Cats should advance from championship pool play unless Colorado Game Day (1-1, -2) upsets Santa Barbara (2-0, +6). If Game Day loses, the Bat Cats (1-1, +5 runs) could lose by seven runs and still advance. If Game Day pulls a major upset, the Bat Cats could win the pool and secure a hard-earned bye into the quarterfinals.
The Bat Cats would likely play the Derby Twins or San Diego Stars in Wednesday’s single-elimination bracket.
The Foresters retired 18 consecutive batters until Chandler Bloomer doubled in the seventh inning. The Bat Cats, loaded with junior college players, struck out 13 times. Foresters reliever Clayton Beeter also hit 96 mph. Beeter pitched for Texas Tech in the 2019 College Baseball World Series at Omaha, Neb.
Great Bend’s Brady Michel singled home Ryan Monson with a first-inning single. The Foresters scored six runs over the next five innings off starter Jarrett Seaton (2-2).
Fresno State’s Zach Presno started the heavy hitting with a second-inning home run. California’s Quentin Selma singled home Blake Hall for a 2-1 lead. Wichita State’s Jacob Katzfey scored on a bases-loaded walk for a 3-1 lead. Katzfey’s fourth-inning triple drove home Tevin Tucker and Dru Baker after a walk and an error. Katzfey scored on Nick Bellafronto’s sacrifice fly.
Santa Barbara (35-10) captured the 2018 NBC World Series and has swept a record seven NBC World Series titles. NBC Hall-of-Famer Pintard owns a record of 1,001-306 with the Foresters. The NBC World Series Most Inspirational Award is named in honor of Eric Pintard, Bill Pintard’s son.
“They are a storied baseball program. They’re all Division 1 studs,” Ward said. “They’re good, but there’s nothing to hang out heads about. We battled and came up short. The guys kept playing hard. People notice that.”
GB Bat Cats 100 000 000 — 1 4 2
Santa Barbara 021 300 000 — 6 8 0
Seaton, Richter (7) and Bloomer. Taggert, Carter (7), Beeter (8), Demco (9) and Cadena. W—Taggert. L—Seaton, 2-2. 2B—GB—Bloomer; SB—Hall. 3B—SB—Katzfey. HR—SB—Presno.
WICHITA STATE, ECK STADIUM
BRACKET PLAY JULY 30
Hutchinson Monarchs 7, Dodge City A’s 1
Great Bend Bat Cats 6, Wichita Sluggers 3
Derby Twins 5, Wichita 316 Elite 2
Hays Larks 2, Denver Cougars 0
BRACKET PLAY JULY 31
Derby Twins 9, Hays Larks 7
Great Bend Bat Cats 24, Hutchinson Monarchs 10
CHAMPIONSHIP POOL PLAY
POOL A—G1—San Diego Waves 3, Texas Express 2; G2—Cheney 5, Seattle 4; G3—Cheney 8, San Diego Waves 5; G4—Seattle 2, Texas Express 0; G5—x-Cheney 13, Texas Express 4; G6—San Diego Waves 9, Seattle 8
POOL B—G1—Great Bend Bat Cats 11, Game Day (Colo.) Saints 1; G2—Santa Barbara 1, Haysville 0; G3—Santa Barbara 6, Great Bend Bat Cats 1; G4—Game Day 8, Haysville 0; G5—x-Santa Barbara 8, Game Day 1; G6—Haysville 6, Great Bend Bat Cats 1
POOL C—G1—Kansas Cannons 3, San Antonio Angels 0; G2—Fairbanks 10, Colorado Cyclones 5; G3—Fairbanks 8, Kansas Cannons 5; G4—Colorado Cyclones 8, San Antonio Angels 0; G5—x-Fairbanks 13, San Antonio Angels 0; G6—Colorado Cyclones 8, Kansas Cannons 4
POOL D—G1—Lonestar Baseball 3, Derby 1; G1—San Diego Stars 4, Liberal 1; G3—Lonestar Baseball 6, San Diego Stars 5; G4—Derby 2, Liberal 1; G5—Liberal 11, x-Lonestar Baseball 2; G6—Derby 2,. San Diego Stars 1
CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET WEDNESDAY
Derby Twins 7, Haysville Aviators 6
Kansas Cannons 9, San Diego Waves 1
Seattle Studs 15, Colorado Cyclones 0
San Diego Stars 6, Great Bend Bat Cats 1
Lonestar Baseball (2-1) vs. Kansas Cannons (2-2)
Cheney Diamond Dawgs (3-0) vs. Derby Twins (7-1)
Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters (3-0) vs. Seattle Studs (2-2)
Fairbanks Goldpanners (3-0) vs. San Diego Stars (2-2)