Sophomore Payton Tolle helped his summer team, the Santa Barbara Foresters, win the NBC World Series Championship.
Tolle made a huge impact as a rookie on the Wichita State baseball team. He hit 0.317 with seven doubles, three home runs, and 18 RBIs. On the court, Tolle finished 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA.
He shattered one of the Shockers’ most memorable moments after his two-time run against Texas A&M Homer helped him win a Frisco Classic – and Tolle named him a Frisco Classic MVP.
Over the summer, Tolle did not hang the cleats. He left his home in Yukon, Oklahoma to move to California to develop his skills.
“They want to win and I want to win too,” Tolle said. “The guys are great.”
For the Foresters, Tolle focused more on archery, but he made some appearances at bats.
Tolle was coached by Hall of Fame head coach Bill Paintard. Clever Collected 14 NBC Playoffs
“It’s cool,” Tolle said. “All the assistant coaches around him are amazing as well. I learned a lot through promotion. I tried to grow as much as I could through promotion, coach (Rick) Hubbard helped a lot with that. They (Team Jungle) are some of the best and it’s a great experience.”
Coach Hubbard and Pintard worked with Tolle on his slider to add to his Fastball and change. They taught Tolle to become more aligned with his slider, on the hill.
Tolle played the majority of his tournaments in California. He mainly stayed around the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas. He was never a sophomore in California. He said it was a huge culture shock, but playing on the beach was an exciting experience.
“[California] Tolle said a lot about Oklahoma. “People are different. I said ‘hello’ and people looked at me as if I was cursing them.”
To close out the season, Tolle returned to Eck Stadium. Tolle and the Foresters kicked things off on Thursday, August 4th against the “Ballers”.
“Coming back here in the last week of summer was the most perfect situation,” Tolle said.
Tolle silenced the ‘Ballers’ after hitting six runs. He only allowed three hits and completed one kill.
After completing the tournament, the Santa Barbara Foresters claimed their third consecutive NBC World Series title and eleventh of their last 12 titles.
“I’m back home,” Tolle said. “It felt great. Just being back with some guys here. I get down on that pile almost every day in the spring and fall, so I felt really good to be back.”
Tolle will return to the Shockers and as they prepare for the fall season, he and the Shockers hope to make Wichita a strong name again.
“We have one goal, and I think we all know what that goal is,” Tolle said. “We’re going to stay together, be positive, have good energy and I think the rest will take care of itself.”