So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League

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Someone to know: pitcher Mike Milligan of Grass Valley All Star Auto

Friday, April 14th, 2017

MIKE MILLIGAN fired a four-hitter in leading All-Star Automotive of Grass Valley, Calif. to a 6-0 victory over the A1 Rockies in the winners bracket of the A-Major Division in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Sunday, April 9. Photo By BOB OTTO

“I’m very proud of that. We all work hard at growing the game around here.”- Mike Milligan on the Grass Valley men’s fastpitch league.

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. – Mike Milligan took up pitching when he was 39 years old in 2000. Now 47, he has developed into one of the best NAFA A-Major pitchers in Northern California.

He had an outstanding performance in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X , April 7-9, helping All Star Auto of Grass Valley finish runner-up (4-2) in the A-Major Division.

Milligan beat eventual champion, A1 Rockies, in the winners’ bracket final, 6-0. He fired a four-hitter with eight strikeouts and a walk. And was in command the entire game.

“He’s got a good rise and drop and knuckle ball,” said All Star Auto manager Tom Allen after the game. “He is a tough gamer.”

Click to continue reading “Someone to know: pitcher Mike Milligan of Grass Valley All Star Auto”

A1 Bombers and J&B Painting merger creates super team with big goal

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

The J&B BOMBERS defeated the Northeast Naturals, 11-0, in the championship game of the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X, AA/AA-Major tournament at Sunset Park in las Vegas, Sunday, April 9. The team includes co-sponsors and managers Bob Berger and Jerry Zimmerman; players Eli Salazar, Cameron Schiller, Tyler Dudley, Freddy Carmona, Jorge Segura, Pat Burns, Tony Mancha, Blake Hunter, Tyler McGaughey, Mike Hoadley, Derrick Kennedy, Kris Walushka, Jesse Palacios, Mark Aranda, Gil Saenz, Devon McCullough and Bryan Erwin. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – Both Jerry Zimmerman and Bob Berger look back with pride on the accomplishments of their respective ball clubs during the 2016 season.

Zimmerman’s A1 Bombers of Saskatoon, SK, CA finished fifth (4-2) in the ISC World Tournament, while Berger’s J&B Painting club of Agoura Hills, Calif. took 11th (2-2). And just a year prior, they finished third and fifth respectively.

Adding to those accolades, the Bombers also took second (5-2) in the 2016 ASA Men’s Major National Championship.

And during the regular season, both teams were ranked in the top-ten by the ISC.

Very good ball clubs? Certainly. Great? Close, but not quite.

While both were competitive, capable of and often beating the best in the game, neither had quite the firepower to grasp the brass rings – which in men’s fastpitch equate to winning the ISC world tournament and ASA major national championship.

So, if you come close but can’t quite win those titles, what can be done? Merge. Exactly what the two men decided to do.

By combining forces, they significantly raise the odds of winning those two coveted championships. And it appears they’ve created a ball club – the J&B Bombers – that must be considered one of the favorites to win it all.

Zimmerman and Berger left no doubt about their expectations.

“We’re going to win the world,” Berger said, “win everything. That’s our goal.”

Click to continue reading “A1 Bombers and J&B Painting merger creates super team with big goal”

Someone to know: Bob Rockwood of the 2017 Maccabi USA fastpitch team

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

BOB ROCKWOOD pitching for MACCABI USA, began his fastpitch career as a shortstop for the Prescott (AZ) Mustangs, but took up pitching at age 39. Now he’s being relied on to help lead the USA Maccabi Masters team (35-older) to a gold medal in the 20th MACCABIAH GAMES to be held in Israel in July.

Rockwood along with a pitching staff that included Russ Snow, helped the ball club finish third (4-2) in the 16-team, A-Major Division in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, April 7-9 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO

Coyotes overcome huge deficit to claim A-Division Las Vegas Road Trip title

Monday, April 10th, 2017

THE 2017 LAS VEGAS ROAD TRIP X CHAMPION BEAUMONT COYOTES includes Jeremy Dean, Gilbert Valdivia, Gabriel Valdivia, Jesse Mullen, Jason Martinez, Jesse Martinez, George Valdivia, Johnny Ray, Damon Valdivia, Richard Soriano, Derek Soto, Devon Valdivia, Justin Martinez and manager David Valdivia. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – The Beaumont Coyotes had dug themselves a hole, a huge hole.

Now, could they dig themselves out of it?

Of top priority, the man in the circle had to stop the hemorrhaging. That’s exactly what Jesse Martinez did.

Trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning in the A-Division championship game of the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Martinez told his teammates he wouldn’t give up any more runs.

Now all they had to do was show some offensive punch. And like lighting a fuse, the Coyotes bats caught fire in the fifth and sixth innings.

Click to continue reading “Coyotes overcome huge deficit to claim A-Division Las Vegas Road Trip title”

The workhorse leads A1 Rockies to Las Vegas Road Trip championship

Monday, April 10th, 2017

DAVID BEETS pitched back-to-back games to lead the A1 Rockies of So. California to the A-Major Division championship in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament at Sunset Park, April 9.

LAS VEGAS – In men’s fastpitch lingo, pitchers who shoulder the load are referred to as the workhorse, the guy that takes the ball inning after inning, game after game.

He doesn’t look to the bullpen for relief. He doesn’t complain that he’s tired, or that his arm aches a little.

He just goes out and does his job.

David Beets, a big, hard-throwing right-hander from Oklahoma fits that description most assuredly.

And he proved it Sunday afternoon in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament championship pitching for the A1 Rockies of So. California.

Dropped into the losers bracket by All Star Auto of Grass Valley, 6-0, in the winners bracket final, the Rockies fought back through the losers bracket to defeat All Star Auto twice to take the A-Major Division title.

And Beets hurled both games: an eight-inning 7-4 victory in game one, followed by a seven-inning 2-1 gem in the deciding contest.

Rockies manager and catcher Tony Acedo had a good view of Beets’ performance from behind home plate.

“Dave Beets was pretty much the man of the day,” said Acedo. “He was lights out for sure.”

Click to continue reading “The workhorse leads A1 Rockies to Las Vegas Road Trip championship”

J&B Bombers roll into Las Vegas Road Trip final

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

JORGE SEGURA BONILLA fires a pitch during J&B Bombers 7-0 win, Sunday, in the AA/AA-Major Division winners bracket final. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – The Bombers lived up to their name in the winners bracket final of the AA/AA-Major Bracket by pounding out a 7-0 win over the Northeast Naturals.

Pitchers Tony Mancha and Jorge Segura Bonilla combined for the win with Mike Hoadley slugging a three-run homer, and Mancha rapping out a pair of hits with two RBI.

Mark Aranda and Jesse Palacios reached safely and drove in a run each.

With the win, the Bombers improve to 3-0 and await the survivor of the losers bracket in the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. at Sunset Park in Las Vegas.

  • Check out the: AA/AA-Major bracket
  • Strong hitting and stingy pitching send All-Star Automotive into Las Vegas Road Trip championship

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    MIKE MILLIGAN fired a four-hitter in leading All Star Auto of Grass Valley, Calif. to a 6-0 victory over the A1 Rockies in the winners bracket of the A-Major Division in the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LAS VEGAS – A pitcher’s job can certainly be made easier with run support. And with 27 runs over four games, All-Star Automotive pitchers, Travis Kunz and Mike Milligan, would certainly attest to that.

    All Star’s latest and biggest game was a 6-0 victory over the A1 Rockies, Sunday morning in the winners bracket final that sends All Star into the A-Major championship later in the afternoon.

    “It’s been our bats,” said All Star manager Tom Allen. “We’ve been getting key hits and quality at bats.”

    Click to continue reading “Strong hitting and stingy pitching send All-Star Automotive into Las Vegas Road Trip championship”

    Bombers bats bash way into AA/AA-Major winners’ final

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    PAT BURNS, pitching for the J&B Bombers, blows his rise ball past a Marchio Sausage Co. batter in the AA/AA-Major Division contest, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LAS VEGAS – For most of the game, the J&B Bombers struggled offensively and found themselves on the short end of a 4-1 score to Marchio Sausage Company.

    But in the fifth, their bats got hot, scoring five times on six hits to survive the Minnesota squad, 6-4, and advance into Sunday morning’s AA/AA-Major winners bracket final.

    The big blows came from Cam Schiller and Blake Hunter, who drove in a pair of runs – with Hunter’s two-out single driving in the game winner.

    YUSEF DAVIS singles in the first inning for Marchio Sausage Co. during a AA/AA-Major game with the J&B Bombers at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Right-hander Tony Mancha then came on to close out the game and earn the save in relief of starter Pat Burns.

    The Bombers (2-0) in the 10-team tournament, take on the Northeast Naturals at 9:45 a.m. at Sunset Park. The Naturals (2-0) slipped past Mexico’s TJ Fastpitch, 3-2, to advance.

    The winner will advance into Sunday’s 3 p.m. championship game, while the loser must battle back through the losers bracket to get back into title contention.

  • A BIG thank you to J&B Bombers Facebook posting for the game’s results.
  • Checkout SCIFL’s AA/AA-Major Bracket
  • McCarrie’s blast gives Budmen a walk-off in Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    ROBERT McCARRIE had a game to remember for the Budmen of So. Calif. Down by a run with two out in the final inning with a man aboard, McCarrie blasted an inside-the-park home run to give his team a walk-off 10-9 victory over Wololok, Calif. in the A Division of the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LAS VEGAS – Robert McCarrie has many years of fastpitch softball ahead of him. Years in which to create memories playing the grand old game.

    And what he did Saturday will surely be stashed away in his memory bank to savor after retires.

    In the bottom of the seventh with the Budmen of East Los Angeles down to their last out and trailing by a run, McCarrie came to the plate with a runner aboard. He needed to keep the inning alive. He needed to at least get on base any way possible.

    Well, McCarrie did more than that. He abruptly ended the game.

    “I got a rise ball,” he said. And did he ever jump on it.

    Click to continue reading “McCarrie’s blast gives Budmen a walk-off in Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament”

    Talented athletes in action at the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament

    Friday, April 7th, 2017

    LAS VEGAS, Nev. – They come from Canada, Mexico and the United States. They may have some cultural differences, but what the ball players of the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X have in common is talent.

    Let’s meet some of the players and teams, and people who make the Las Vegas Road Trip tournament one of the most popular in North America.

    BEAUMONT COYOTES SHORTSTOP, JEREMY DEAN, tags out a runner during the Coyotes first-round game in the A division of the Las Vegas Road Trip X men’s fastpitch tournamen at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. The Coyotes defeated the War Chiefs of Oklahoma to advance. Photo By BOB OTTO

    SEAN KOSTER pitched well in his first game for Desperado Sports Tavern of Missoula, Montana, and he will be counted on if Desperado is to reach the championship round of the AA / AA-Major Division. Photo By BOB OTTO

    KEEPING IT LEGAL: Las Vegas Road Trip X Tournament Director, Jesse Ortiz, tests a bat to make certain it is tournament legal. Ortiz said Sunset and Warm Springs ball parks are in great shape, and he credits the Clark County Park & Recreation Dept. for helping make Las Vegas Road Trip X a success. He added that interest was so high that he had to turn away several teams that wanted in the action. “We had 36 teams in the past, but (expanded) to 42 this year. There were five teams I couldn’t get in.”

    JAKE BENDER drills a pitch into left-field to help the Oklahoma Sykos defeat the So. Calif. Budmen, 6-1, in the first-round of the Las Vegas Road Trip X men’s fastpitch tournament at Sunset Park in Las Vegas, Friday. The Sykos are competing in the 16-team A division that concludes Sunday with the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. Photo By BOB OTTO

    MACCABI CANADA RAYS rolled to a 11-0 first-round, A division victory over McCoys of Gallup, New Mexico, Friday, in the Las Vegas Road Trip X men’s fastpitch tournament. The Rays won the 2013 Gold Medal in the Masters Division of the Maccabi Games in Israel, and will return in July for another go at the gold. “The Maccabi Games are the third largest sporting event in the world,” said Rays manager Morrie Frydberg. “We will be going to represent Canada. Playing in Las Vegas is a great tuneup for us. We are happy to be here.”

    DOUG ROONEY of So. Calif. Heat fires a pitch during the Heats 10-9 victory over OPVS of Oklahoma in a first-round, A division contest in the Las Vegas Road Trip X men’s fastpitch tournament, Friday. Though Rooney is 64, he has no plans on retiring from the sport. In his younger years, he played every spot on the infield, but switched to pitching in his 30s. “Nobody else would so I did,” said Rooney. “I’ve never been fast, but I think I got smarter if that’s possible.” Photo By BOB OTTO