2014 ISC World Tournament

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2014 NAFA World Series magazine sent to the publisher

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Cover of 2014 NAFA World Series magazine

Cover of 2014 NAFA World Series magazine


YUCAIPA, Calif. – I’ve sent my magazine entitled, 2014 NAFA World Series, to the publisher, but waiting for a hard copy to finish the final edit before releasing for purchase.

The magazine’s 112 pages contain dozens of photos, championship game stories and results (AA-Major, AA, A-Major, A, 23-Under, Wood Bat, and Masters East and West), feature stories, NAFA Hall of Fame stories, and a look at past World Series feats & stats of some of the games biggest stars.

Page Brake of Salt Lake City carries on long tradition in men’s fast pitch

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
The Page Brake men's fastpitch team has been in existence since the 1960s, and still goes strong today. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2013 NAFA World Series

The Page Brake men’s fastpitch team has been in existence since the 1960s, and still goes strong today. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2013 NAFA World Series

SALT LAKE CITY – Mention the name “Page Brake” in men’s fast pitch circles and most will say, sure I’ve heard of them, or I’ve seen them play, or what a great team.

But for those REALLY in the know, they will go a bit further in dishing out the accolades. For this Salt Lake City ball club has quite a legacy.

Click to continue reading “Page Brake of Salt Lake City carries on long tradition in men’s fast pitch”

Art Gillis, fastpitch icon passes away

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

art gillis

Gillis, Arthur 4/12/1925 – 12/30/2014 Saginaw, Michigan Passed away December 30, 2014, Age 89 years. Art was born April 12, 1925 in Saginaw, Michigan and grew up in Plymouth, Michigan. He returned to Saginaw shortly after high school. He married Janet Dougherty, October 16, 1954. She passed away March 26, 2001.

Art was the owner of Gillis Locker, for many years the largest installer of lockers and shelving in the United States. He also owned the Saginaw Bolters Men’s fastpitch softball team, which won the 1979 ISC World Championship.

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Check out team stats of 2014 ISC World Tournament

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

2014 ISC logo

KITCHENER, ONT, CANADAPlayer and team statistics were recently released for 2014 ISC World Tournament by the International Softball Congress.

See how each team’s players and pitchers performed in the premiere club men’s fastpitch tournament in the world by visiting this link: Team Statistics

Young Craig Lewis sets high goals in fastpitch softball

Monday, November 10th, 2014
The Lewis family after winning the 2014 ASA Boys' 16-Under Fastpitch National Championship. From left, wife and mother, Deanna Lewis, Jacob, 13, Craig, 15, Brian, 10, and Eric Lewis. Contributed Photo.

The Lewis family after winning the 2014 ASA Boys’ 16-Under Fastpitch National Championship. From left, wife and mother, Deanna Lewis, Jacob, 13, Craig, 15, Brian, 10, and Eric Lewis. Contributed Photo.

WINSTON, Mo. – When he was a little tyke of 3 or 4, Craig Lewis was already wind-milling a softball and tagging along with his dad from one Missouri ball field to the next.

By first grade, he knew how to keep a scorebook.

And now at 15?

Well, let’s just say he’s too valuable on the field to have sitting on the bench scoring the game.

    TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL HONORS

Craig Lewis had himself quite a high school fastpitch season this year. He pitched the defending champion Winston Redbirds to third place in the Missouri State High School Boys Fastpitch Tournament. This coming on the heels of pitching the Redbirds to the Harrison-Daviess-Caldwell (HDC) Conference championship (6-0, 16-2).

And he was a unanimous pick on the all-conference and all-state teams. Pretty good accomplishments for a 15-year-old sophomore, who had a 14-2 record. And just imagine the grief he’s going to give the competition with two more varsity years left.

So how did all this success come about?

No need to look any further than Craig’s dad, Eric Lewis.

“I grew up watching my dad pitch and I wanted to be just like him,” Craig said. He taught me to pitch and be mentally tough and not cave under pressure. He was always setting up games and taking my (boys’) team places to play, so we could be good in the future. He is the reason I have gotten into pitching.”

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Impressive teams and talent in Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
The Amigos Men's Fastpitch Tournament will feature some of sports' outstanding pitchers and players, battling for the championship in this sixth annual event.

The Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will feature some of sports’ outstanding pitchers and players, battling for the championship in this sixth annual event.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – The 6th Annual Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, Nov. 15-16, offers a who’s who of top teams, featuring outstanding pitchers and players – some of the best talent in the game today.

    THE PITCHING
  • J&B Painting: Devon McCullough, Tony Mancha, Pat Burnes (Mancha, USA Men’s National Team)
  • East Bay Bashers: Julio Rodriguez, Monty Wells
  • Taft Buzzards: Jon Gwizdala, Zack Lach
  • A1 Construction: Shawn Koster, Ed Gasper
  • CR Portland Brewers: Sebastian Gervasutti, Josh Johnson, Scot Lieph (Johnson, USA Men’s National Team)
  • Little Sumpin: Timmy Parnow, Kat Lawrence, Lou Valencia
  • Stockton Black Sox: Brandon Sharer, Bobby Alvara, Ken Brose
  • Da’hui: Rich Snake Rivera, Eddie Rodriguez
  • Click to continue reading “Impressive teams and talent in Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament”

    Zambrano and Jones lead Venezuela into Pan Am playoffs

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    PARANA, Argentina – Venezuela may just be Team USA’s best friend at the IX Pan American games in Parana.

    John Zambrano scored the lone run of the game, and Ramon Jones hurled a gem to give Venezuela a 1-0 victory over the Dominican Republic (3-4) in their final game of round robin play on Thursday.

    The win opened the door – at least a crack – for the United States to qualify for the final playoff spot of the four awarded. Canada, Argentina and now Venezuela are in.

    The USA (3-3) must defeat Guatemala (1-5) to squeeze into the “Final Four” that will crown the Pan American champion when the playoffs begin Friday.

    Zambrano doubled to lead off the top of the second inning and later scored on a bases loaded walk. But that was the only run Jones would need.

    Jones (3-1) hurled a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts to give Venezuela a 5-2 record and possibly a share of second place, with Canada (6-0) and Argentina (4-2) scheduled to play in the nightcap.

    The game between the USA and Guatemala is currently underway.

    Thursday’s Turning Back The Pages: Remembering Brian Paton, one of Canada’s greatest fastpitch players

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014

    Brian Paton ISC HofF.7lr

    Paying tribute to Brian Paton, who was inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame in 2011. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1995 ISC World Tournament

    Woodstock, Ontario, CA – Brian Paton played in 12 consecutive International Softball Congress World Tournaments and was a member of three ISC championship teams – twice with the Toronto, Ontario Gators (1993-95) and with the Smokers of Tampa Bay, Florida (1998).

    In 1995, he helped to lead the Toronto Gators in their amazing come-back week to capture the ISC title in Sioux City, Iowa. In so doing, Paton established a new record for hits in a tournament (17) and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

    Patrolling centre field, he was one the best at stealing what appeared to be “sure-hits” and limiting base runners to singles. He was not simply a member of great teams – those teams enjoyed their successes in no small part as a result of Brian’s leadership – witness his nine “top-four” finishes in ISC world tournaments.

    Paton has numerous other notable softball accomplishments, including playing for Team Canada (1985-2002) and helping his country win four Pan-Am gold medals and silver and gold in the International Softball Federation World Championship.

  • Information courtesy of the International Softball Congress. For more information about world tournaments, statistics, photos, record-setting achievements, and more, please visit the: ISC website.
  • Argentineans having big impact on United States major-division fastpitch

    Thursday, October 30th, 2014
    Argentina's Men's National Fastpitch Team has a roster full of talent recognized as among the best on the worldwide stage of men's fast pitch.

    Argentina’s Men’s National Fastpitch Team has a roster full of talent recognized as among the best on the worldwide stage of men’s fast pitch.

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – I was curious, so I did some checking about some of these familiar names on the Argentina men’s national fastpitch team roster.

    The same team that the United States beat 1-0 in the IX Pan American games on Wednesday. A team loaded with pitching and hitting talent; superstars largely applauded as some of the greatest athletes in the current-era of the sport.

    And for odds makers, a team that should have been highly favored over the USA. But through the gut-check pitching of Gerald Muizelaar and Tony Mancha, along with the game-winning hit by Josh Johnson, Team USA pulled out the win. Odds makers be damned.

    But I digress.

    What I was really inquisitive about was the impact Argentina’s stars had on U.S. major-division teams. How many of them are routinely recruited to play stateside during the North American fastpitch season.

    The numbers are an eye-opener.

    The name of the game is pitching, of course. And Argentina pitchers Roman Godoy, Lucas Mata, Juan Pottoliccio, and Maximiliano Montero are highly recruited and considered in the upper echelon of worldwide pitching talent; and no doubt on the wish list of many a U.S. sponsor and manager.

    Each summer, this foursome can be found pitching for the likes of Circle Tap of Denmark, Wisc., and Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg.

    But U.S. club teams don’t just recruit pitching talent; they go after the worlds’ best position players as well.

    And Argentina has an abundant supply in the likes of Bruno Motroni (catcher), Fernando Petric (outfielder), Ladislao Malarczuk (infielder), Juan Cruz Zara (infielder), Manuel Godoy (outfielder). And the list goes on.

    And when you take into account that Argentina’s junior men’s team has won back-to-back International Softball Federation World Championships in 2012 and 2014, the supply chain for U.S. teams should continue for year’s to come.

    For without the contributions of Argentina’s international fastpitch stars, the fortunes of several U.S. clubs competing in the International Softball Congress World Tournament would be substantially watered down.

    So it stands to reason that host Argentina has to be considered one of the favorites to win the IX Pan American championship being held in Parana (Oct. 24-Nov.3)

    Argentina currently resides in second place with a 4-2 record, trailing only Canada at 6-0. And in a match-up that’s sure to fill Estadio Panamericano de Softbol Nafaldo Cargnel, the two teams meet today (Thursday) at 8 p.m. (EDT).

    I also took a look at the top producers in the tournament. And Argentina’s talent, like cream rising to the top, is among the leaders.

    Motroni is batting .333 – second only to Canada’s Mathieu Roy at .368.

    And as for pitching, Pottoliccio (0.38 ERA, 36 strikeouts in 18.1 innings) and Montero (0.78 ERA, 17 strikeouts in 9 innings) have each won two games, and are among the tournament’s upper echelon of hurlers.

    But as scintillating as Argentina’s pitching obviously is, Canada’s is even better. Sean Cleary leads all pitchers with 21.2 innings; has the best record at 3-0, and carries a perfect 0.00 ERA, with 45 strikeouts and only three walks.

    So today’s Canada and Argentina matchup should be a great one.

    On tap today is a huge game for the USA against Guatemala (1-5), and Venezuela (4-2) versus Domincan Republic (3-3).

    The USA needs Venezuela to knock off the Dominicans to be assured of a top-four finish that would qualify the United States for a playoff spot.

    USA wins thriller over Argentina in IX Pan Am games

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
    Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – The United States Men’s National Fastpitch Team scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and made it stand up to defeat Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games on Wednesday.

    The win was critical in USA’s quest to finish in the top four in round robin play and advance into the four-team playoffs that start on Friday. The win evens the American’s record at 3-3, while Argentina is still in second place at 4-2.

    Josh Johnson had but one hit, but it was huge as his single to right field drove in Nate Devine with the winning run. Devine reached safely on a walk, moved to second after Matt Palazzo was hit by a pitch, and then raced home on Johnson’s hit.

    The pitching tandem of Gerald Muizelaar, who started, and Tony Mancha, who relieved in the sixth, made the run stand up.

    Muizelaar was nearly unhittable through five innings, allowing but one hit to Francisco Sabate in the third, and striking out six with two walks to craft a 2-0 record in the eight-team international tournament.

    Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

    Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

    “Our backs were up against the wall tonight,” said Muizelaar. “It was a complete team effort, from top to bottom, and everyone contributed. We’ve been a bit inconsistent this week, but we beat two of the top three teams and had a lead on Canada. It just proves that we can play with anybody.”

    But Argentina had Team USA sweating in the final two frames.

    Click to continue reading “USA wins thriller over Argentina in IX Pan Am games”