The Santa Barbara Foresters are two-time defending NBC World Series Champions and are set to begin their quest for a three-peat in 2022.
The 2021 season ended in triumph and yet another dogpile on the mound for the Foresters as they won a team-record 21 consecutive games to capture their ninth championship in program history. The same principles that have led to this unprecedented success will once again be on display this summer at Pershing Park.
“I like our roster. We have more returners than we’ve ever had in the past,” said Foresters Manager Bill Pintard. “Usually, we have three or four at the most; this year, we could have 13.”
A byproduct of that continuity is that many of the players will already be well-versed in the Foresters’ style of play, which emphasizes hard work and a disciplined approach.
“We should have some carryover just as far as how we approach our business and how hard we work,” Pintard said. “I don’t have to reinvent the wheel with them.”
The Foresters are composed primarily of the talented players from some of the top collegiate programs in the country and will be testing their skills for scouts and fans with an eye toward playing professionally in the future.
“We talk to them about their strengths and weaknesses. What they have to get better at,” Pintard said. “A lot of times, guys just want to work on their strengths because they want to be good, but part of the development is that they need to work on their weaknesses.”
The 2022 team plays its first game on the road on June 9 against the MLB Academy Barons, and the home opener is June 10 at Pershing Park against Conejo Oaks.
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The Foresters will have 20 home games this season over the course of the summer before heading to Wichita for another shot at the NBC World Series Championship on July 28.
Top returners among position players include Josh Stinson (University of Georgia), Tanner O’Tremba (University of Arizona), Kade Higgins (Arizona State), and Dylan Campbell (University of Texas). This does not include the eight returning pitchers that are expected to be back with the team.
“We are getting a lot of guys back that know how to win from last year,” Pintard said. “We have a number of guys that played for me and know my style.”
This is Pintard’s 27th season with the Foresters, and he is chasing his 10th national championship. Two of the players on this year’s team, Jake Koeper and Jack Bollinger, have fathers that played on the Foresters under Pintard.
Season highlights include the annual game on July 4, a great local tradition. The northern teams from the CCL, Walnut Creek and Lincoln, make a visit in July as well. The season wraps up, as usual, on Host Family Sunday on July 24.
As defending national champs, the Foresters will return to the NBC World Series in Wichita, starting (around) July 28. Season tickets are available,so families can make plans to attend games regularly this summer if they so choose.
As always, there will be interactive games and attractions for kids in between innings, in addition to food and beverage options.
Fans can also listen on Thursday at 6 p.m. when the season debut hits the airwaves on KZSB, AM 1290, live from MLB Academy as the Foresters take on the Barons to open CCL play on the road.