International Softball Congress (ISC)

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Shutting Down Ottoinfocus

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

YUCAIPA, Calif. – I want to thank all who have visited and contributed to my blog over the years by sending me story ideas, press releases, tournament and league information, fliers and photos. I humbly thank you for your support.

I have enjoyed writing, photographing and blogging about the great game of men’s fastpitch softball, but other interests on my “bucket list” are demanding attention, so on Dec. 1, I will be shutting down the blog.

However, I encourage my loyal supporters to send your fastpitch news to Al Doran’s
alsfastball.com and Jim Flanagan’s
fastpitchwest.com.

As many of you already know, both websites do a wonderful job of promoting and getting the word out about our great game.

And for Facebook followers, “Those Were The Days (of) Men’s Fastpitch Softball,” does a terrific service in reliving fastpitch days of yore for us oldtimers.

Thank you,
Bob Otto

Casa Trejo Bombers honor late patriarch by taking second in NAFA Masters World Series

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

The Casa Trejo Bombers of Calimesa, Calif. finished second in the 2017 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 15. From bottom left, Sergio Marquez, Donovan Reyes, Marlon Campbell, Alberto Ramirez, Eddie Arnal, Albert Garcia and Joaquin Juarez. Top row from left, Leo Saldana, Juan Valencia, Ralph Roybal, Gabriel Marquez, Herlan Yeomans, Shawn Campa, Carlos Vasquez, Randy Clay and Ricardo Valenzuela. Courtesy Casa Trejo Bombers

YUCAIPA, Calif. – Casa Trejo restaurant is known throughout much of Southern California for serving fine Mexican food. Oh, and one other thing: it supports championship caliber men’s fastpitch softball.

Ralph Trejo, Sr., opened the restaurant over 20 years ago and soon after he began sponsoring men’s fastpitch teams. Success was immediate with some pretty lofty accomplishments over the years.

In 2007, the Casa Trejo So. Calif. Bombers finished second in the prestigious International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Now 10 years later, the Bombers once again achieved an incredible accomplishment on the national stage by taking runner-up in the eight-team Silver Division of the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Masters World Series in Carson City, Nevada on Sept. 15.

SEASON DEVOTED TO PATRIARCH

Ralph Trejo, Sr. sponsored men’s fastpitch softball teams for over 40 years. Trejo passed away in 2016. His Casa Trejo Bombers ball club dedicated the 2017 season to his legacy and finished it superbly by taking second place in the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Masters World Series in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 15. Courtesy Photo

But Trejo, the patriarch of the team, died nearly a year ago. However, his passing motivated the Bombers to make this season special in honor of Trejo’s devotion to the sport and to his team.

“Ralph Sr. has sponsored our master’s (age 40-over) team for about ten years,” said manager Ralph Roybal. “We dedicated the season to Ralph. Bringing home some hardware meant everything to us.”

For many teams, once the sponsor is gone, the team folds. But not so with the Bombers. Trejo’s daughter, Ruth Trejo-Garcia, continues running the restaurant, and sponsoring the team. Just as her father would have wanted.

“It’s the love of the game that he had, and wanting to keep it going for him,” said Trejo-Garcia. “My dad would have been excited about the guys winning, but he would have expected it. He always expected the best from his guys.”

Click to continue reading “Casa Trejo Bombers honor late patriarch by taking second in NAFA Masters World Series”

Successful season earns Yusef Davis a spot on USA Softball’s Pan American fastpitch team

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Possessing speed, quick hands, an aggressive style and commitment to the game, YUSEF DAVIS, JR., 23, of Long Beach, Calif. is well on his way to becoming a star in men’s fastpitch. Here he is seen playing for CR Bartels Farms of Portland, Ore. that won the NAFA AA-Major World Series, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

LONG BEACH, Calif. – During the week, Yusef Davis, Jr. can be found near his Long Beach home either in the gym, at the batting cages, or engaged in any kind of sweat-filled labor that will help improve his fastpitch softball skills.

During most weekends, however, he’s anywhere but home.

A search could find him in fastpitch havens such as Wisconsin, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania or Michigan competing in high-caliber fastpitch tournaments.

Only 23 and in his fourth year playing fastpitch, the demand for his talents just keeps on growing.

    TWO GREAT TOURNAMENTS

Prime examples: During the NAFA World Series, he was in Fargo, North Dakota helping CR Bartel Farms, Portland, Ore. win the AA-Major World Series.

And soon after the championship game ended, he was off to Grand Rapids, Michigan to join his Bear Bottom Haymakers of Ephrata, Penn. for the most exclusive of open-caliber tournaments – the International Softball Congress World Tournament.

Those two tournaments were exhilarating for Davis, who possesses great speed both in the outfield and at the plate, and who is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the up-and-coming young stars of the game.

“The experience playing in the ISC and NAFA was breathtaking,” said Davis, who throws and bats left-sided. “Once you realize you’re on the same ballfield as some of the best players in the world, you just can’t help but be proud and humbled.”

CR Bartels swept through the NAFA AA-Major undefeated at 5-0, and the Bear Bottom Haymakers finished ninth in the 24-team ISC World Tournament at 4-2.

Bear Bottom Haymakers manager, Merlin High, was pleased how Davis played the entire year and at the ISC World Tournament for his squad.

“He’s a great defensive player, one of the best who ever played for me,” said High. “His speed is unmatched by anyone in the game, and he’s a good hitter too with some of those hits coming from his speed beating out ground balls. He’s a great teammate, upbeat and positive. I’m hoping he comes back with us next year.”

    SWEAT & TOIL TO BE BETTER

Though he played well and had a successful season, Davis acknowledges that there are areas that need improvement.

“If I could improve in two areas, it would be pitch selection when I’m in the batter’s box,” he said, “and getting even better jumps on the ball in the outfield. During the off season, I’m going to hit the batting cages even more and work on the fundamentals of hitting, and keep working on my slapping and bunting.”

But the off-season workouts will have to wait for he has one very important and prestigious tournament remaining: The World Baseball Softball Confederation X Pan American Fastpitch Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 15-24.

    PROUD FATHER, SEASONED MENTOR

When Davis got the word that he had been selected to the 15-man roster, he was ecstatic, and he called the one person he knew would be delighted about this honor.

“I called my dad and told him I had made the team,” Davis said. “I know it meant a lot to him. And it means so much for me to represent my country in the sport I have so much passion about.”

Leading up to the Pan Am games, Davis will be consulting with a veteran of USA Softball: Kevin Castillo, who is a teammate of Davis on Those Guys and Patricia’s Mexican restaurant ball clubs from Long Beach.

Castillo, and his father, Paul Castillo, were instrumental in bringing Davis into the sport and nurturing his development.

“Kevin’s always pushing me to be better,” Davis said, “I’ve gotten a lot of help from him on hitting lessons and strategy on defense. Just the confidence he gives me to play at my best is what’s so meaningful.”

    REACHING HIGH, SETTING GOALS

Though he’s still learning, growing, and going through the trials and successes that the sport both challenges and rewards, Davis has set some short-range and long-range goals as well.

In the immediate future, he wants to help USA Softball win the Pan American games, and then if it can be arranged, he would like to take a second trip to New Zealand for a season of “down-under” fastpitch with the Waitakere Bears.

And as for long-range?

“I would love to run softball clinics and coach kids and work with outfielders,” Davis said. “I would like to travel the world playing ball and make as many memories and impact as many young athletes to take the right path as I can – teach one, reach one.”

2017 USA SOFTBALL PAN AMERICAN ROSTER
Kevin Castillo
Jenner Christenson
Joel Cooley
Yusef Davis
Tyler Dudley
Derrick Kennedy
Jonathan Lynch
Tony Mancha
Nick Mullins
Travis Nevin
Jeff Nowacyzk
Erick Ochoa
Cameron Schiller
Chase Turner
Duane Weiler

COACHING STAFF
Gregg Leather, Head Coach
Greg Hicks, Assistant Coach
Nick McCurry
Assistant Coach

Follow the ISC World Tournament on Pointstreak

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Follow the ISC World Tournament results by clicking on Pointstreak Scoring.

Unranked Topeka Toros topple ISC big guns to take Tin Cup Challenge

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

2017 TOPEKA TOROS include Carlos Carreno, Matt Chambers, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Peyton Hall, Travis Nevin, Jared Pinkerton, Brogan Potter, Rogelio Sequera, Zac Shaw, Tony Sparvier, Tyler Thomlinson, Matt Thornton, Jeremy Kenney, Carlos Ucero, player / manager Josh White and coaches Terry White and Mike Watson. 2017 ISC World Tournament roster

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. – The Topeka Toros weren’t ranked among the world’s top men’s fastpitch softball teams coming into the Tin Cup Challenge, but after the Toros impressive performance, one must ask, why not?

The Toros went undefeated (5-0) in blazing their way past five International Softball Congress top-16 ranked teams to claim the eight-team Challenge, culminating with a 5-0 victory over No. 6 Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisc. in the championship, July 30.

The key to the Toros success?

“Good pitching combined with top-level defense and timely hitting was the key to our success,” said player / manager Josh White. “We had our moments offensively. We seemed to score early in most of our games and we seemed to be able to get the lead-off guy on base. Everyone seems to be contributing offensively one through nine.”

Click to continue reading “Unranked Topeka Toros topple ISC big guns to take Tin Cup Challenge”

Olheiser drives Ostrander to victory in Tin Cup Challenge Men’s ISC Fastpitch Tournament

Saturday, July 29th, 2017

Eight top-ranked teams will battle for the THE TIN CUP CLASSIC Men’s Fastpitch Tournament at The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium, St. Paul, Minn., July 28-30. Courtesy Photo / Christopher Diethert

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. – With two chuckers locked in a pitcher’s duel, someone had to step up and crack through four innings of a scoreboard showing nothing but goose eggs.

Fredrico Olheiser, batting No. 3 in the order, did just that.

In the bottom of the fifth with Patrick Brackley aboard by way of a walk, Olheiser blasted a triple driving in Brackley for the only run of the game, as the Ostrander (MN) Norsemen pulled out a 1-0 victory over the Rice Lake Orangemen of Wisconsin in the opening game of the Tim Cup Challenge, Friday night, at the Village Sports Bar At The Stadium ball diamonds in White Bear Lake.

The lone run broke up the duel between the Orangemen’s Nicolas Seibenlist (0-1), and Norsemen’s Sisco Sabate (1-0). Both pitchers allowed just three hits each, while Seibenlist struck out 12 and Sabate 11.

The Orangemen threatened in the third and fourth innings with runners on third base, but Sabate came away unscathed with an inning-ending groundout and strikeout.

JAMO’S 2, TIN CUP 1

Jamo’s used three pitchers, and got a game-winning hit from Jason Shouick to upset the ISC’s No. 13 ranked Tin Cup in the second featured game Friday night.

MICHAEL JAMIESON started for Jamo’s as the St. Paul ball club defeated Tin Cup, 2-1, in the opening game of the Tin Cup Challenge men’s fastpitch tournament, Friday night, at the The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium in White Bear Lake, Minn. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2013 NAFA World Series

Michael Jamison hurled three innings, then gave way to Marek Maly and Joel Goodall, who each finished up with two innings apiece to best the strong outing of Tin Cup’s Joel Cooley (0-1) who went the distance, firing a four-hitter.

But one of those hits would come back to beat him.

In the bottom of the sixth with the game deadlocked at 1-1, Shouick whacked a Cooley offering for a triple, driving in Goodall, who singled, for the game winner in Jamo’s 2-1 victory.

Jamo’s took the early lead in the bottom of the first on Maly’s RBI single, only to see Tin Cup knot the score in the second when the Marchio’s – son Dominic and father Dave batting five and six in the order – teamed up to force the tie.

Dominic Marchio peppered Jamison for a triple and David Marchio got just enough of the bat on the ball to force a ground ball to second base that allowed Dominic to cross home plate safely.

Tin Cup collected five hits, one each from Yusef Davis, Matias Minigutti, Sam Nieman, Dominic Marchio and Gonzalo Masmu.

Jamo’s four hits came from Maly, Goodall, Shouick and Michael Marrero.

Goodall (1-0) picked up the win, allowing one hit, no runs, with four strikeouts over the final two innings. Maly, the middle reliever, went two innings, didn’t allow any hits and struck out one. Jamison allowed just one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts.

  • For tournament statistics and play-by-play, click on: Al’s Fastball and Gary Baughman Statistics.
  • Step Back In Time: Jimmy Moore pitches Seattle to 1985 ISC crown

    Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

    JIMMY MOORE gets a flying leap from his wife after the final out in the championship game of the 1985 ISC World Tournament in Kimberly, Wisc. The Appleton, Wisc. Post-Crescent Photo

    By JOHN L. PAUSTIAN
    Post-Crescent executive sports editor
    Mon. Aug. 19, 1985

    KIMBERLY, Wisc
    . – In an era of domination by foreign softball pitchers, American-born Jimmy Moore is proving a notable exception.

    The blond, 30-year-old right-hander, whose remarkable pitching recently enabled the California Kings to win the gold medal in the National Sports Festival, guided Pay ‘n Pak of Seattle to the International Softball Congress World Tournament championship Sunday.

    Moore defeated defending champion Decatur ADM’s Brent Stevenson 1-0 in a blockbuster climax to the 10-day, 87-game event at Sunset Point Park.

    BEARD’S BLAST

    One pitch was the difference between Moore, who finished the tourney with a 6-0 record, and Stevenson (6-1). It was a 3-2 pitch of Stevenson’s that first baseman Bruce Beard whacked over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.

    “It was a drop ball,” said the right-handed-hitting Beard. “It’s been his (Stevenson’s) best pitch. He just got it up a little.”

    Click to continue reading “Step Back In Time: Jimmy Moore pitches Seattle to 1985 ISC crown”

    2017 International Softball Congress World Tournament teams and bracket

    Monday, July 24th, 2017

    ROCKFORD, Mich. – The rosters have been finalized and from Aug. 12-19, thirty-six teams from Canada and the United States will compete for the 71st International Softball Congress World Tournament title of “Best Men’s Fastpitch Team In The World.”

  • To see who’s who on each team, click on 2017 ISC World Tournament Rosters
  • A Step Back In Time: Best Field Yet in 1960 ISC World Tournament

    Monday, July 24th, 2017

    Joe Rodgers was the founder, owner, manager and shortstop of the Long Beach Nitehawks. During his managerial tenure, he led the Nitehawks to seven ISC World Tournament championships. Rodgers also served as an ISC Vice President from 1952 to 1967. He was inducted into the ISC Hall o f Fame in 1970. But Rodgers’ impact was even deeper than that in Long Beach: He was actually the original owner of the land where the Nitehawks softball field (since named Joe Rodgers Stadium) was put together, and he donated it to the city to ensure kids would continue to have the opportunity to play the sport that he loved. Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram Photo, Aug. 27, 1960

    (Joe Rodgers’ column appeared Aug. 27, 1960 in the Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram on the eve of the ISC World Tournament being held in Long Beach. The Nitehawks’ manager writes about his team, his players and the competition in the 21st ISC World Tournament.)

    By JOE RODGERS
    Manager, Long Beach Nitehawks
    Aug. 27, 1960

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – With the ISC World Softball Tournament starting tonight, (sports reporter) Hank Hollingworth graciously offered me the opportunity to write his column and devote it to my favorite sport – fastpitch softball.

    And any of my friends know there is very little else I really care about. Softball is a great game and we here in Long Beach see the finest softball in the world.

    It seems strange to me that people who have never seen softball say that they don’t like it because the pitchers are too good and there is not enough hitting. These same people I see at the Dodgers’ games saying they enjoy seeing a good pitching duel.

    Anyone who has ever seen my Nitehawks first baseman Larry Silvas, outfielder Lucky Humiston or Second baseman Cleo Goyette can never say we win by pitching alone. Those boys swing from the heels like the best baseball players.

    Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Best Field Yet in 1960 ISC World Tournament”

    Top Ranked Teams Battle For Tin Cup Challenge Championship

    Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

    Eight International Softball Congress (ISC) top-rated teams will battle for the THE TIN CUP CLASSIC Men’s Fastpitch Tournament at The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium, White Bear Lake, Minn., July 28-30. Courtesy Photo / Christopher Diethert

    By Christopher Diethert
    Tin Cup Fastpitch

    ST. PAUL, Minn. – The field is set and eight of the finest men’s fastpitch teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Dakota will battle in the Tin Cup Men’s Challenge Fastpitch Tournament at The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium in White Bear Lake, Minn. July 28-30.

    The tournament features a full slate of games Friday night and Saturday in pool play format with the playoffs on Sunday. Five of the eight teams are ranked in the top-20 by the International Softball Congress.

    POOL A / ISC RANKING

    No. 6 / Circle Tap Dukes, Denmark, Wisc.
    No. 15 / Ostrander Norsemen Fastpitch, Ostrander, Minn.
    Topeka Toros, Kansas
    Rice Lake Orangemen, Wis.

    POOL B / ISC RANKING

    No. 8 / Bloomington Stix, Bloomington, Ill.
    No. 11 / Kegel Black Knights, Fargo, No. Dak.
    No. 13 / Tin Cup, St. Paul, Minn.
    Jamo’s Fastpitch, St. Paul, Minn.

    The tournament opens Friday night with two games on tap. At 7 p.m., Ostrander Norsemen square off against the Rice Lake Orangemen, and in the nightcap, host Tin Cup battles Jamo’s at 9 p.m.

    SATURDAY SCHEDULE AT THE VILLAGE STADIUM

    9 a.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Rice Lake
    11 a.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Ostrander Norsemen
    1 p.m. – Topeka Toros vs. Ostrander Norsemen
    3 p.m. – Topeka Toros vs. Rice Lake Orangemen
    5 p.m. – Tin Cup vs. Kegel Black Knights
    ** 7 p.m. – Ceremony for 1976 All-American Bar (1976 ISC World Tournament Champions)
    7:30 p.m. – Tin Cup vs. Bloomington Stix
    9:30 p.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Topeka Toros

    SATURDAY AT PIONEER PARK

    11 a.m. – Jamo’s Fastpitch vs. Kegel Black Knights
    1 p.m. – Bloomington Stix vs. Kegel Black Knights
    3 p.m. – Bloomington Stix vs. Jamo’s Fastpitch

    SUNDAY PLAYOFFS AT THE VILLAGE STADIUM

    10 a.m. – A1 vs. B2
    12 p.m. – A2 vs. B1
    2 p.m. – Championship

    ** Tie breakers decides by head-to-head and runs allowed **

    Contact Information

    Christopher Diethert
    cgdiethert@gmail.com