NBC Baseball

Fairbanks decides to pull out of NBC

The Fairbanks (Alaska) Goldpanners announced Sunday that they will pull their team from the NBC World Series.

Fairbanks assistant general manager Todd Dennis notified the NBC office through e-mail Sunday afternoon.

"I regret to inform you that the Goldpanners cannot participate in the tournament this year," Dennis wrote in the e-mail. "Due to a late-season collapse, and many player losses that cannot be overcome, we just won't be able to participate."

To replace the Goldpanners, the NBC announced the Wichita Elite Sluggers will play on Wednesday in game 16.

Other changes in the bracket include Kenai Peninsula Oilers moving to game 16 as the Alaska Baseball League champion. The Hutchinson Monarchs will move to game 6 on the bracket and will play the League City (Texas) Hornets on Tuesday.

"Changing the bracket three days into the World Series is not something we like doing," said NBC Operations Manager Casey Walkup in a press release. "But when a team decides not to participate, we have to make the necessary adjustments which results in adding a local team to complete the bracket."

No style points — Evidence of Valley Center's 2-0 victory over the Denver Bombers was nowhere to be seen on Diamond Dawgs' manager Pat Hon.

After averaging double-digit hits entering the NBC World Series, Hon was distraught over the fact his team only produced two hits.

"We were off for five days, but that's no excuse," Hon said. "I just don't get it."

Valley Center capitalized on a Bombers' error in the bottom-half of the first inning to push across its first run. Chance Ross reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on Cody Dyvig's single and scored on a grounder from Jeff Hutton.

Another run was manufactured in the sixth inning when David Harris once again took advantage of more Denver miscues. Harris reached on a walk; advanced to second on a wild pitch; stole third base and scored on an error by Denver's catcher.

"It was all pitching and defense today," said Dyvig, who had both of Valley Center's hits. "We had to manufacture runs and we were lucky that it was enough today."

Dyvig admitted it was frustrating, but pointed out the Diamond Dawgs' ability to produce enough for a win.

"As long as you make the right play and just put the bat on the ball, you'll win games," Dyvig said. "It doesn't matter how you do it, as long as you win."

Wingo's ways — The best pitching performance of the tournament was turned in by Valley Center's Scott Wingo, who threw a complete game shutout against the Bombers.

Wingo surrendered six hits, but struck out seven batters and did not permit a walk.

"I never fell behind too much," Wingo said. "I didn't let them get in too many hitter's counts. I just tried to work in as many pitches as I could."

It might have been the most important performance for a team yet in the tournament, as Valley Center struggled through the game on offense.

"Anything less from him and we lose that game," Valley Center coach Pat Hon said.

Hon said he never wavered in his confidence of Wingo throughout the game, as his pitch count remained 100 pitches for the game.

"I was going to go with him as long as possible," Hon said. "He's just been solid all summer. He pitches to contact, so his pitch count isn't very high."

Learning experience — Liberal catcher David Masters started out his collegiate career at Kansas State. But when he decided to transfer this past year — his senior season — Masters couldn't play at another Division I college due to transfer rules.

After mulling over his options, Masters landed on Oklahoma Science & Arts, a public NAIA college with a strictly liberal arts-based curriculum.

"That was definitely an experience," Masters said. "It's a good school. It's an arts school and I'm a science major, so it had what I needed to finish up school."