Cameron Rupp‘s home run leading off the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Santa Barbara Foresters to a 6-5 victory over the Ozark (Missouri) Generalson Monday night at the National Baseball Congress World Series. It was Santa Barbara’s fourth consecutive win at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita, Kansas – two more and the Foresters will be NBC champions for the second time in three years.
In the winners’ bracket final on Tuesday, the Foresters will face either the Seattle Studs or the Beatrice (Nebraska) Bruins at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (broadcast on radio 1340 AM).
For the second straight game, the Foresters had to come from behind after the Generals took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off starting pitcher Carson Andrew. Neil Medchill halved the lead with a solo home run in the second, and the ‘Sters went ahead 3-2 in the third. UCSB’s Steve Cook led off the inning with a double, and Gaucho teammate Eric Oliver had an RBI single.
The Foresters built a 5-2 lead, but the Generals scored three runs off Andrew in the top of the eighth, setting up Rupp’s decider on the second pitch in the bottom of the inning. Joey Cutler, the Foresters’ closer from North Carolina State, struck out the side in the ninth for the save. Mike Hutchison, who finished the eighth inning, was credited with the win.