That was all that the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Foresters needed Saturday to win their third National Baseball Congress World Series championship, edging the Kenai (Alaska) Peninsula Oilers 1-0 in the title game of the 77th annual tournament.
The Foresters went undefeated (7-0) in winning the championship as they did in 2006 and 2008.
Santa Barbara scored the game’s lone run in the first on a Brett Vertigan single, a bunt single by Jeff McNeil, an error on the play and an infield out by Jeff McVaney.
After that, Mitch Moorman pitched seven shutout innings before Spencer Messmore took over in the eighth with a man on and none out. Messmore retired all six batters, including the final two on called third strikes, to preserved the win for Moorman and earn the save
Kenai, which lost to Santa Barbara 6-4 in the fourth round, only had a couple of scoring chances. One ended when Forester right fielder Joe Wallace cut down a runner at third after Mike Miller’s single in the third, and another ended when Stephen Branca’s line drive with runners on first and third was turned into a double play by James Wharton in the seventh.
Because of an injury to their planned starter Gabriel Asakura, the Peninsula Oilers kept the Foresters off balance by using eight different pitchers, each working one inning. But starter Jordan Mills was nicked for that one run to take the loss.
Kenai, which was seeking its first championship since 1973-74, finished runner-up for the third time (the Oilers lost to the Dallas Phillies in 1999 in their previous appearance).Mike Dean
National Baseball Congress Official Scorer