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Sports Update: Foresters Ready to Roll in Wichita

National Soccer Final in Ventura Saturday


The Santa Barbara Foresters are set on making another 1,300-mile journey to Kansas worthwhile. The defending National Baseball Congress champions will play their opening game of the 75th annual NBC World Series this evening (Thu., Aug. 6) against theTeam Elite Kings at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. The game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. (Pacific time). All Forester games will be broadcast on KIST AM 1490 in Santa Barbara or on-line through the web site sbforesters.org.

If the Foresters continue their NBC winning streak they went 7-0 last year they will face the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Saturday. A loss to the Kings, a Wichita team, would put them in the loser’s bracket Friday. Seven teams already have been eliminated from the tournament, leaving 30 in contention. It is a treacherous road to the finals lose twice, and you go home but Bill Pintard’s Foresters have a knack for getting there. They have made it four times in the last six years, taking home the trophy in 2006 as well as last year.

Pitching has been the strength of the 2009 Foresters. Led by right-hander A.J. Griffin (University of San Diego) and lefty Matt Leonard (Cal Poly), the staff has hurled 11 shutouts, including a no-hitter by Leonard and another no-hitter shared by five different pitchers. “We’ve got good depth,” says Dan Yokubaitis, the club’s pitching coach.

Depth” is the word when it comes to water polo talent in this community. The Santa Barbara Aquatics Club qualified 13 teams for elite divisions at the Junior Olympics in San Jose. Six of them placed in the top eight, and the 14-under girls team won the championship. Led by co-MVPs Jamie Neushul and Kelsey O’Brien, Santa Barbara defeated Commerce 6-5 in the final.

Closer to home, a soccer team fortified by Santa Barbara players will be going for a national championship this weekend. The Ventura County Fusion will face the Chicago Fire PDL in the Premier Development League finals at 7 p.m. Saturday at Buena High in Ventura. The Fusion scored a stunning 6-1 victory over the Bradenton (Florida) Academics in the semifinals last Saturday at Laredo, Texas. Rodrigo Lopez of Santa Barbara and UCSB sophomore Danny Barrera each scored a goal and added two assists for the Fusion.

Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, the Olympic champions from Santa Barbara, will make their last Southern California appearance on the AVP Tour this weekend at the Hermosa Beach Open. The tournament also will feature the return of two-time Olympic champ Kerri Walsh, who will partner with Rachel Wacholder. Both women gave birth earlier this year.

TOP SPORTING EVENTS: AUGUST 6-16

Thursday, August 6

Baseball National Baseball Congress World Series: Santa Barbara Foresters vs. Team Elite Kings at Wichita, Kansas, 5:30 p.m. PDT.

Friday, August 7

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Saturday, August 8

Golf Santa Barbara Classic, SB Golf Club, first round. A Flight starts at 7:30 a.m.

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Soccer USL Premier Development League championship: Chicago Fire PDL at Ventura County Fusion, Buena High School, 7 p.m.

Sunday, August 9

Golf Santa Barbara Classic, SB Golf Club, second round. A Flight starts at 1:15 p.m.

Polo USPA America Cup at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Monday, August 10

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Tuesday, August 11

Running / swimming Reef & Run Summer Series (1k swim, 1-mile swim, 2-mile run, 4-mile run), Cabrillo Bath House, 6:25 p.m. Continues every Tuesday through September 8. Sign-up information.

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Wednesday, August 12

Running / swimming Nite Moves Summer Sunset Series (1k swim, 5k run), Leadbetter Beach, 6 p.m. Continues every Wednesday through September 2. Sign-up information.

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Thursday, August 13

Baseball Santa Barbara Foresters at NBC World Series, Wichita, Kansas.

Friday, August 14

Baseball NBC World Series semifinals, Wichita, Kansas.

Saturday, August 15

Baseball NBC World Series finals, Wichita, Kansas.

Sunday, August 16

Running McConnell’s Endurance Events (5-k run/walk, 10-k run, kids’ mile), Goleta Beach Park, 8:30 a.m. Sign-up information.

Polo USPA America Cup at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, August 22 Santa Barbara Triathlon, long course, Cabrillo Bath House, 7 a.m. Sign-up information.

Sunday, August 23 Santa Barbara Triathlon, sprint course, Cabrillo Bath House, 7 a.m. Sign-up information.

Sunday, September 6 Pier-to-Peak Half Marathon, Stearns Wharf to La Cumbre Peak, 6:30 a.m. Sign-up information.

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