WICHITA, Kan. – For the Seattle (WA) Studs, it was a long time coming.
For Studs pitcher David Benson, redemption.
Benson threw a four-hit complete game Saturday (Aug. 10), helping the Studs win their first National Baseball Congress World Series title with a 5-1 win over the Wellington (KS) Heat at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
Seattle, making its fourth trip to the NBCWS title, had three runner-up finishes in 2008, 2010 and 2012, the last two to the Santa Barbara (CA) Foresters. In the 2012 championship game, Benson started but took the loss after yielding three runs in 1.2 innings.
The right-hander was impressive this time, striking out four and carrying a shutout into the ninth before yielding a run on a two-out double by Robbie Rea. But he retired the final batter to finish off the complete game and earn tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
The Studs (6-0) jumped out in from in the second against Brady Bowen on a 1-out homer by Bobby LeCount and an RBI single by Matt Becker. They pulled away in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Kyle Boe, a bases-loaded HBO by Brian Corliss and a sacrifice fly by Ty Holm.
Wellington (5-2) had its best finish since winning the title as the Havasu (AZ) Heat in 2007. The Heat had 4th-place finishes in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
Pitchers continued to dominate in the tournament, allowing a batting average of .239 that was only five points higher than last year. No team batted .300, with El Dorado’s .297 taking home top honors among teams that played four games. Although the tournament era at 3.22 was almost a half-run higher than 2012’s 2.78, the tournament saw 12 shutouts compared to 10. Santa Barbara threw three consecutive shutouts, while El Dorado also had three. Hays (KS) had a 1.03 ERA, best among the six qualifiers. Home runs reached another all-time low with eight hit. Only 1944 (three) and 1945 (seven) had fewer long balls.
The 2013 tournament was the first in a split format, with 16 teams participating in the first week and two of those joining 14 others in the championship week. One of the advancers, El Dorado, went 8-2 over both weeks and finished third. The Broncos were the third team to play 10 games, joining past champions Chinese Taipei (2003) and Prairie Gravel IL (2005). Those teams went 9-1.
NBC World Series