From a small town life to NBC World Series


Rachel Rudisill/ The Sunflower

Payton Tolle launching a fastball in the NBC quarterfinals. Tolle led his team through six scorless innings on Aug. 5 in Eck Stadium.

Sophomore Payton Tolle helped his summer team, the Santa Barbara Foresters, win the NBC World Series.
Tolle made a major impact as a freshman two way player for Wichita State’s baseball team. He hit .317 with seven doubles, three home runs and 18 RBIs. On the pitching side, Tolle finished 4-6 with a 4.48 ERA.

He clenched one of the most memorable moments for the Shockers after his two-run homer against Texas A&M helped them win the Frisco Classic — and named Tolle the Frisco Classic MVP.

Over the summer, Tolle didn’t hang up the cleats. He left his home in Yukon, Oklahoma to move to California to develop his skill. 

“They want to win and I want to win too,” Tolle said. “The guys are awesome.”

For the Foresters, Tolle focused more on pitching, but made a few appearances at bat. 

Tolle was coached by Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Pintard. Pintard has collected 14 NBC qualifying tournament appearances 

“He’s great,” Tolle said. “All of the assistant coaches around him are amazing as well. I learned so much with pitching. I tried to grow as much as I could with pitching, Coach (Rick) Hubbard helped a lot with that. They’re (the Foresters) are one of the best out there and it’s a great experience.”

Coach Hubbard and Pintard worked with Tolle on his slider to add onto his fastball and change up. They taught Tolle to become more consistent with his slider, on the mound. 

Tolle played the majority of his tournaments in California. He stayed mainly around the Los Angeles and Pasadena area. The sophomore had never been to California. It was a big culture shock, but playing on the beach was a thrilling experience, he said.

“[California] is a lot different than Oklahoma,” Tolle said. “People are different. I said ‘howdy’ and people looked at me like I was cursing them out.”

To close the season, Tolle returned to Eck Stadium. Tolle and the Foresters kicked things off Thursday, August 4 against the ‘Ballers.’

“Coming back here for the last week of summer was the most ideal situation,” Tolle said.

Tolle silenced the ‘Ballers’ after pitched for six shutout innings. He allowed only three hits and completed one kill.

Finishing off the tournament, the Santa Barbara Foresters picked up their third consecutive NBC World Series title and the eleventh of the last twelve titles.

“I was back home,” Tolle said. “I felt comfortable. Just being back with some of the guys here. I pitched on that mound almost everyday in the spring and fall, so it felt really good to be back.”


Tolle will return to the Shockers and as they get ready for the fall preseason, he and the Shockers hope to make Wichita a powerhouse name again.


“We all have one goal, and I think we all know what that one goal is,” Tolle said. “We’re going to work on staying together, being positive, having good energy and I think the rest will take care of itself.”