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USA Softball men competing in 2017 Pan American Fastpitch Championship

Friday, September 15th, 2017

SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Where would I rather be today than in beautiful Southern California?

Well, at the top of my list would be Santo Domingo for the X Pan American Fastpitch Championship featuring 16 countries that offer some of the very best in men’s fastpitch softball.

But since I can’t afford the expense that such travel would command, for just $11.95 I can watch the action by webcast, which I intend to do. (See subscriber link below.)

The championship features two pools of eight teams each. The United States is in Pool A which also includes Aruba, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

Team USA begins play Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. (PT) against Brazil.

HELPFUL LINKS TO FOLLOW THE ACTION

  • USA Softball National Team roster
  • Pan American Games Internet TV
  • Live Stats
  • 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

    New York Gremlins blast Hill United Chiefs to repeat as USA Softball national champions

    Sunday, August 6th, 2017

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The New York Gremlins goal was to repeat, and that they did in convincing fashion in claiming their second consecutive USA Softball Men’s Major Fastpitch National Championship with a 12-3 victory over the Hill United Chiefs, Sunday afternoon, at Byers Softball Complex in South Bend.

  • The Gremlins also went undefeated in winning the 2016 title in Kimberly, Wisc. and have now extended their national championship winning streak to 10-0.
  • The Gremlins (5-0) marched through the lower bracket in shutout fashion, crushing every team in its path, starting with the DC Outlaws in the opener, 13-0, followed by a 7-0 blanking of the Kegel Black Knights, 10-0 over the Circle Tap Dukes, before dropping the Chiefs into the losers bracket.

    2017 New York Gremlins: front row from left, Leonardo Latasa, Mathiew Roy, Blair Ezekiel, Nick Mullins, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Rafael Angel Flores, Sergio Malarczuk, Yeider Luis Chirinos Medina. Back row from left, Greg Nydick, Gregg Leather, Debbie Perez, Juan Potolicchio, Dani Bantley, Zenon Winters, Goolagong, Roman Godoy, Matt Palazzo, Ramon Jones, Bob Nydick, Vahram Mateosian and Nick McCurry. Photo courtesy of New York Gremlins

    Hill United bounced back for a rematch with the Gremlins by trouncing the J & B Bombers, 7-0, in the loser’s bracket final, Sunday morning.

    The Chiefs Road To Runner-Up
    Chiefs 7, Bear Bottom Lodge Haymakers 0
    Chiefs 3, A1 Power 1
    Chiefs 9, Bloomington Stix 2
    Gremlins 4, Chiefs 0
    Chiefs 7, J & B Bombers 0
    Gremlins 12, Chiefs 3

    ORDER OF FINISH
    1. New York Gremlins
    2. Hill United Chiefs
    3. J & B Bombers, Ephrata, PA
    4. Kegel Black Knights, Amboy, MN
    5. Bloomington Stix, Lexington, IL
    5. Circle Tap Dukes, Denmark, WI
    7. A1 Power, Eaton Rapids, MI
    7. Ostrander Norsemen, Chanhassen, MN
    9. Can-Am Twins, Pottstown, PA
    9. Pueblo Bandits, Aurora, CO
    9. Tin Cup Bar, Little Canada, MN
    9. Bar on the Avenue Buzz, Kaukauna, WI
    13. Twin City Gray Sox, Saint Joseph, MI
    13. Bear Bottom Lodge Haymakers, Denver, PA
    13. DC Outlaws, Elkhart, IN
    13. Topeka Toros, Lawrence, KS

    North America’s Top Teams Battle In South Bend For National Championship

    Saturday, July 29th, 2017

    The Byers Softball Complex features four (4) Musco® lighted state-of-the-art playing fields. All fields feature Toro® automatic irrigation systems in the lush, green outfield grass areas and hand
    operated irrigation systems for the professionally maintained infields. The four (4) original fields (in
    wagon wheel format) are covered with red, Pro’s Choice Soilmaster®, while the fifth “satellite” field is
    covered by ag-lime (“moon dust”).

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Sixteen teams from throughout the United States will battle for a national championship in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Men’s Major Fastpitch National Tournament at Byers Softball Complex at St. Clair Park in South Bend, Aug. 3-6.

    THE TEAMS

    Ostrander Norsemen (MN)
    Bear Bottom Lodge Haymakers (PA)
    Kegel Black Knights (ND)
    Bar On The Avenue Buzz (WI)
    Topeka Toros (KS)
    Tin Cup Bar (MN)
    DC Outlaws (IN)
    A1 Power (PA)
    Twin City Gray Sox (MI)
    Pueblo Bandits (NM)
    J&B Bombers (CA)
    Circle Tap Dukes (WI)
    Hill United Chiefs (CA / U.S.)
    Gremlins (NY)
    Can-Am Twins (CA / U.S.)
    Bloomington Stix (IL)

    BRACKET / SCHEDULE / INFORMATION

  • Click to open ASA Schedule
  • Click for Complete Tournament Information
  • Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship

    Sunday, July 16th, 2017

    Adam Foulard turned in an effective relief effort to help Australia defeat Canada, 7-3, in the Bronze Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 17. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 ISC World Tournament

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – It’s been eight long years since Australia last won a world championship. After winning three straight playoff games, they’ll once again be battling for the Gold Medal.

    Thanks to James Todhunter and Nick Shailes who homered and Adam Folkard, who turned in an effective relief job, Australia defeated Canada 7-3 at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday.

    With little time for rest, Australia (8-3) will be back on the ball diamond to take on New Zealand (8-1) in the Gold Medal game, while 2015 defending world champion Canada (8-2) leaves the tournament as the Bronze medalist.

    LONG BALL BOMBERS

    With Australia clinging to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, Todhunter squared up on a Sean Cleary rise ball sending it deep over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run, and Shailes homered over the left-field wall to give the Steelers a 7-1 lead, chasing Cleary in favor of Devon McCullough.

    But Canada’s big bats wouldn’t go lightly.

    Click to continue reading “Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship”

    Canada and New Zealand front runners in the quest for Gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship

    Saturday, July 15th, 2017

    Josh Pettit has a 4-0 record and is a prime reason New Zealand is making a strong run at winning the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Championship. Courtesy Photo

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Where once there were sixteen of the world’s finest fastpitch teams battling for gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship, we are now down to six.

    And these six – their rosters filled with the finest hurlers and batsmen worldwide – are indeed the best of the sixteen.

    As the tournament heads into the final two days of championship play, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Australia and the United States remain in contention for the most treasured of all mens’ fastpitch softball titles: World Champion.

    My pick for Gold? Canada.

    The defending 2015 world champions are playing an incredibly high-caliber fastpitch.

    The Canadians rode through Pool A at 7-0, and in their opening playoff game Friday, shutout Japan 2-0, to extend their unbeaten streak to 8-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the world championship.

    Click to continue reading “Canada and New Zealand front runners in the quest for Gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship”

    Big sticks and Manley lead the United States to playoff win in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Friday, July 14th, 2017

    JEREMY MANLEY seen pitching for his native New Zealand Black Sox in an earlier time, turned in an outstanding pitching performance in leading the USA to an 11-3 victory over Venezuela.

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – In what was predicted to be a tightly contested game, Team USA pulled off a shocker by pounding Venezuela, one of the world’s most powerful teams, 11-3, in five innings under the mercy rule in the first-round of playoffs, Friday afternoon.

    This huge victory moves Team USA (6-2) into the second round of the playoffs, Saturday, where they will take on the loser between New Zealand and Australia being played later Friday night.

    Tony Mancha started, but he struggled from the outset and gave up a two-run homer in the first inning to catcher Rafael Flores that put Venezuela on top, 2-1.

    After Mancha walked Jorge Lima, Head Coach Denny Bruckert was out of the dugout motioning for Jeremy Manley.

    Bruckert’s decision proved a game-changer.

    Click to continue reading “Big sticks and Manley lead the United States to playoff win in Men’s Softball World Championship”

    In The Spotlight: Matt Ratliff of the USA Softball Men’s National Team

    Friday, July 14th, 2017

    MATT RATLIFF made this amazing catch to rob Canada’s BRANDON HORN of a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and though the USA lost 7-1, Ratliff’s catch will long be remembered by his teammates and fastpitch fans worldwide as one of the greatest of the tournament, if not in the long history of the Men’s Softball World Championship. WBSC Photo

    WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Outfielder Matt Ratliff’s stock in men’s fastpitch took a sizable leap the past few days as he displayed his talent at the plate and in the field during the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship.

    Playing in his first world championship for Team USA, Ratliff seized opportune moments to show just why he earned a spot on the squad.

    In the fifth inning against Canada in an early-round pool play game, Ratliff playing right-field, made one of the most spectacular catches in world tournament history by leaping, catching and crashing into and over the fence to rob Canada’s Brandon Horn of a two-run homer during a Pool A game, Sunday, July 17.

    If you think that was spectacular, it gets even better.

    Trailing the Republic of South Africa, 3-1, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Ratliff, who leads off and bats from the left-side, launched a two-run homer deep over the centerfield fence to pull Team USA even, and sending the game into extra innings which Team USA rallied to win, 4-3.

    Ratliff’s home run was huge as it helped the USA (5-2) finish in the top-eight of the 16 teams to qualify for chance at winning a medal – Gold, Silver or Bronze.

    To read about Ratliff’s journey in men’s fastpitch click on: Ratliff Aiming For USA Softball Men’s National Team

    In its first playoff game, Team USA takes on Venezuela (6-1), Friday, at 2 p.m. To watch the game, click on Sports Canada TV.

    Eight nations including the United States remain in medal contention at WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship playoffs

    Friday, July 14th, 2017

    The United States reacts with joy during its 4-3 victory over the Republic of South Africa, Thursday, to qualify for the playoffs in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship begining Friday. Eight teams are in the hunt for a Gold medal. WBSC Photo

    WBSC Media Release

    WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The preliminary stage at the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship has concluded, leaving eight teams remaining in the hunt for the Gold Medal.

    See Playoff Schedule

    Following the seven-day round robin pool stage in the men’s international softball flagship event, eight nations (the top four nations from each pool) have advanced into a Double-Page Playoff beginning Friday, 14 July, to determine the 2017 Men’s Softball World Champion.

    The national teams to survive into the Playoffs include:

    No. 1 New Zealand
    No. 2 Japan
    No. 3 Argentina
    No. 4 Canada
    No. 5 Australia
    No. 6 United States
    No. 7 Venezuela
    No. 19 Botswana

  • The United States (5-2 in Pool A) opens with Venezuela (6-1 in Pool B) at 2 p.m.at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.
  • The bottom four teams in each pool have been eliminated from medal contention but will continue in the Placement Round to determine final standing.

    The 16 participating national teams in the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship represent a global reach that spans across all regions – Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania – and will play 76 games in total before a World Champion is crowned.

    The gold medal game will take centre stage on 16 July at 16:00, and will be preceded by the bronze medal match at 13:00.

    LIVE WEBCAST
    Continued coverage of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship is available via Sports Canada TV

    USA rallies to escape upset minded Republic of South Africa in Men’s Softball World Championship

    Thursday, July 13th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, YK, CanadaKevin Castillo gave Team USA hope, Matt Ratliff gave them new life, and Tyler Dudley gave them the winning run as the United States rallied in extra innings to defeat the Republic of South Africa, 4-3, Thursday night in the final game of pool play.

    The win moves Team USA (5-2) into Friday’s first-round of playoffs in the Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse. RSA, playing well in the tournament, drops to 2-5.

    But in the bottom of the seventh, victory seemed improbable with Team USA trailing 3-0 and down to their final out.

    Castillo, however, had other ideas.

    Click to continue reading “USA rallies to escape upset minded Republic of South Africa in Men’s Softball World Championship”