Rested and ready
Seattle won on Thursday and rested on Friday. Getting to Saturday’s championship game unbeaten allowed the Studs to save pitcher David Benson.
Benson, an NBC veteran who pitched at Virginia Commonwealth, pitched six innings in Seattle’s 6-3 win over El Dorado. He struck out five and walked six, allowing three hits and two runs. After using four pitchers in Thursday’s 12-inning 4-3 win over Clarinda (Iowa), the Studs needed a break.
“It’s real important to get a day off,” Studs manager Barry Aden said. “To be able to roll back David Benson…is a great opportunity for us. I was going to have to use my arm (Friday). Then we were going to have to staff it up on Saturday, because I’ve exhausted a lot of my starters.”
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Aden will coach in the NBC championship game for the fourth time. He finished second with Seattle in 2008, 2010 and 2012. He also coached the Tacoma Timbers to second in 1996.
“We’ll see if the fifth time is the charm,” he said.
The Studs added several young players to their roster this summer and Aden termed it a rebuilding season. He wanted to play competitive baseball in Wichita. He is getting something more.
“These boys have just refused to be anything less than a contender,” he said. “They’ve been one group of guys pulling on the same rope. Taking their roles as they’re given to them. It’s refreshing to see a lot of kids want each other to do well, every time.”
Ready to go
Wellington will play its seventh game on Saturday since Aug. 3, and will need to win an eighth to win the NBC. Its last day off was Monday. Regardless, manager Rick Twyman is confident his pitching staff is deep enough to cover a doubleheader.
“We’ve got plenty of arms left,” he said.
The Heat will enter Saturday’s championship game with a 3.17 ERA. One option to start might be Vince Lujan, who started a 7-5 win over Nevada (Mo.) on Tuesday. He went 3 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs.
Pitching continues to rule the NBC, as evidenced by the power numbers. Through Friday’s game, NBC teams combined to hit seven home runs and no player hit more than one. That matches the 1945 output for second-fewest in tournament history.
They hit with even less pop in 1944 _ three.
Entering Friday, the Championship Week field hit a combined .228 in 28 games with two homers, 10 triples and 52 doubles. The pitching staffs compiled a 3.13 ERA, striking out 356 batters and walking 206.
Clarinda (Iowa) third baseman Dean Long, who will play at Emporia State, leads the field with a .579 batting average. He drove in four runs and doubled twice.
Back to Cali
El Dorado defeated Santa Barbara (Calif.) 4-1 on Thursday, spoiling the chance for a rematch of last summer’s championship game between the Foresters and Seattle.
Santa Barbara’s two-year reign as NBC champions ended when the Foresters managed just six hits against three Broncos pitchers. Starter Eric Schuermann, who pitches for Bradley, struck out six in seven shutout innings. The Foresters scored a run in the ninth against reliever Derek Miller.
Santa Barbara finished in a tie for fourth, its lowest finish since it also finished fourth in 2009. Since 2005, The Foresters have not finished lower than fourth and won the title in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012.
The Foresters’ four titles, rank behind Fairbanks (Alaska) with six and five for Anchorage (Alaska) and Liberal. Two teams won three straight NBC titles — Fairbanks (1972-74) and Fort Wayne (Ind.) G-E Club (1947-49).
Wellington 8, Wichita 1
|Wellington Heat||El Dorado Broncos|
|Siple cf||5||2||2||0||Coen ss||5||1||1||0|
|Thimesch rf||5||2||3||2||Clay lf||4||0||3||1|
|Rea 3b||3||0||0||0||Ware cf||4||0||0||0|
|Piazza 1b||4||0||0||1||Taylor 3b||4||0||1||0|
|Billinger 2b||5||2||4||1||Parrett dh||4||0||1||0|
|Rocha lf||4||0||1||0||Stramp 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Mark c||5||2||3||2||Esposito c||4||0||2||0|
|Bernardi dh||4||0||1||1||Roming 2b||4||0||2||0|
|Andrews ss||5||0||2||1||Mucha rf||3||0||0||0|
|Wellington||201||200||102||—||8 16 0|
|El Dorado||000||000||001||—||1 10 1|
E – Roming (2). LOB — Wellington 10, El Dorado 11. 2B— Thimesch (1),, Caley (1). 3B – Mark (1). HBP – Ware (4) by Royal. SF – Piazza (1). S – Rocha, Bernardi, Clay. SB – Thimesch (3), Billinger (3). CS – Andrews (1).
|Royal W, 1-1||7 2/3||8||0||0||1||5|
|Brandecker L, 0-1||2 2/3||4||3||3||1||2|
HBP — Ware by Royal (1). Umpires — Home, Mike Lentz; first, Tony D’Aquano; second; Mark Wagers; third, Mark Goldfeder.
T — 2:26.
El Dorado 4, Santa Barbara 1 (late Thursday)
|Santa Barbara Foresters||El Dorado Broncos|
|Atwood rf||3||0||1||0||Coen ss||3||1||1||0|
|Magglage 2b||4||0||1||0||Clay lf||2||0||0||0|
|Lechich cf||4||0||0||0||Ware cf||1||1||0||0|
|OHearn 1b||4||1||2||0||Taylor 3b||4||0||2||1|
|Hoelscher 3b||4||0||1||0||Parrett dh||4||0||0||0|
|Felts c||3||0||0||0||Stramp 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Epperson dh||2||0||0||0||Esposito c||4||2||3||0|
|McClanahan ph||0||0||0||0||Roming 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Jones ss||2||0||0||0||Mucha rf||3||0||2||2|
|Santa Barbara||000||000||001||—||1 6 0|
|El Dorado||010||021||00x||—||4 8 1|
E – Schuermann (1). DP – Santa Barbara 1, El Dorado 2. LOB — Santa Barbara 8, El Dorado 7. 2B — Esposito (1). HBP – Felts (1) by Schuermann, Epperson (1) by Schuermann. S – Clay 2, Roming. SB – Atwood (3).
|French L, 1-1||5||5||3||3||4||6|
|Schuermann W, 2-0||7||4||0||0||0||6|
HBP — Felts by Schuermann (1), Epperson by Schuermann (2). WP — French 4 (5). Umpires—Home, Doug McClure; first, Tiny Vincent; third, Josh Schepis.