August, 2018

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Remembering Gunny Sproul

Friday, August 31st, 2018


Gunnery Sergeant, Robert L. Sproul, a Marine’s Marine

YUCAIPA, CA – Every so often I reach up to the top shelf of my bookcase and pull out my Marine Corps graduation book. There were 72 of us in Platoon 1061 of the First Battalion. The pages are filled with pictures of smoothed faced men – boys really, ages 18, 19, 20 some as old as 23.

The pages show pictures of us climbing ropes, jumping across water ponds suspended in midair with our M14 rifles thrust out in front of us, on the parade deck marching to the deep-throated commands of a drill instructor, standing at attention during inspection, and on Sunday afternoon’s off, writing homesick letters to our worried mothers.


Gunnery Sergeant Robert L. Sproul is seated in the middle behind the Platoon 1061 banner.

Platoon 1061 was all gung ho in boot camp at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego in the summer of 1967. We felt destined to go to “Nam” and win the war against communism.

And we wanted Gunnery Sergeant Robert L. Sproul to lead us.

Click to continue reading “Remembering Gunny Sproul”

2018 Raymond Angulo Memorial Tournament In Corona, Calif.

Friday, August 31st, 2018

KEVIN CASTILLO races to first base during the championship game of the Raymond Angulo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, Sept. 4, in Corona, Calif. Castillo managed and helped lead Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant to the title with a 4-0 record. Photo By BOB OTTO

CORONA – The annual Raymond Angulo Memorial serves as a fun, competitive tournament and also as a fundraiser that raises money for JoJo’s Circle of Friends, a non-profit organization that helps children with special needs.

Come out to Promenade ball park at 615 Richey St. in Corona and watch the action. The tournament is hosted by Major League Softball and the So. Cal Rebels Softball Organization and will be held Sept. 1-2.

Fastpitch Fun In Cancun

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

Farmington (MN) Men’s Fastpitch Reunion Sunday

Tuesday, August 21st, 2018

CASTLE ROCK, Minn. – The Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League flourished for 54 years (1958-2011) in the town of Farmington, along with the popular Bobber Tournament, also held in Farmington that drew teams from Minnesota and neighboring states.

The league and tournament are no more, but the memories live on in the hearts and minds of those who played and were fans, and will be shared in a grand reunion, Sunday, Aug. 26 at the Castle Rock & Roll Bar and Grill in Castle Rock.

  • Be sure to attend and share your memories in what promises to be a great time.
  • Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League Hosts Reunion To Remember The Good Times

    Tuesday, August 21st, 2018


    PAUL HARRINGTON, who coaches the Farmington High School girls’ softball team and directed the men’s city league, shows former Farmington High school pitcher Ashley Betzold how to throw the rise ball. Ashley’s father, Daren Betzold, was a top pitcher in the Farmington league for 25 years (1976 – 2001). Contributed photo.

    FARMINGTON, Minn. – For 54 years (1958-2011) men’s fastpitch softball was played in Farmington. The list of teams and sponsors, players, managers and umpires would as the saying goes, “stretch for an arm’s length.”

    Though the historic Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League and Bobber Men’s Fastpitch Tournament are no more, that doesn’t mean they’re forgotten. And on Aug. 26, a reunion will be held to reminisce about those great times at the Castle Rock & Roll Bar & Grill in Castle Rock.

    Of those 54 years, Paul Harrington directed the Farmington league 37 years (1975-2011). He was just 19 when he took the reins after the league director suddenly resigned in the middle of the season.

    The league and tournament evolved over the years to become two of the strongest entities in Minnesota fastpitch history.

    League teams claimed state championships in 1992 and ’99, along with Castle Rock and Morelli’s of St. Paul who are believed to have also won titles, while playing the league season in Farmington.

    “Breaking the door down and winning a state championship in 1992 is a big memory for me,” said Harrington. “But knowing our league teams were always in the mix afterwards with other state championships and high finishes, and giving our league respect and recognition was very fulfilling as a league director.”

    Click to continue reading “Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League Hosts Reunion To Remember The Good Times”

    New York Gremlins advance to championship game in the ISC World Tournament

    Friday, August 17th, 2018

    Andrew Kirkpatrick pitched a six-hitter to lead the New York Gremlins in a 6-1 win over the Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wis. in the winners bracket final of the 2018 ISC World Tournament at Peter Hallman Ball Yard, Friday night. Photo by BOB OTTO / 2016 ISC World tournament

    KITCHENER, ON, CANADA – The Circle Tap Dukes roughed up Andrew Kirkpatrick for two hits and a run in the first inning to get off to a good start in the winners bracket final of the ISC World Tournament on Friday. But the tall left-hander from Australia said “no more,” and he meant it in shutting out the Dukes over the final six innings to lead the Gremlins to a 6-1 victory at Peter Hallman Ball Yard, Friday night.

    Kirkpatrick’s teammates gave him plenty of support with the bats by putting a five-spot on the board in the second, highlighted by Zenon Winters two-run homer and Jerome Raemaki’s three-run shot.

    Kirkpatrick helped his cause in the fifth with his bat by drilling a run-scoring double, and then marched back into the circle and let his arm do the rest of the work by shutting down the Dukes powerful bats in order in the sixth and seventh with three ground balls and three strikeouts. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out 11.

    The win improves the Gremlins ace to 4-0 in the World Tournament. In 25 innings, Kirkpatrick as given up just five runs on 15 hits for an ERA of 1.40, along with four walks and 33 strikeouts. As well as he’s pitched, Kirkpatrick has been prolific swinging the bat in the No. 4 spot, driving in six runs on 5-of-11 safeties for a .455 average.

    Zenon Winters has been a huge contributor as well. He leads the Gremlins with seven RBI, and is also batting at a .455 clip.

    The Gremlins, fresh from winning the ASA Major National Championship (third consecutive), move into Saturday night’s finale where they await the survivor climbing out of the losers bracket.

    Dropped into the losers bracket, Circle Tap (4-1) still poses a threat for the title as the Dukes need only win one game to have another shot at the Gremlins.

    Also in the hunt are the Kitchener Hallman Twins (5-1) who meet the defending champion and No. 1 ranked Hill United Chiefs (4-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday. The winner then takes on the Dukes in the final losers bracket game at 1:30 for the right to meet the Gremlins in the 7 p.m. 72nd edition of the World Tournament.

  • To watch the games live, click on ISC / YouTube.
  • For team standings, results, statistics and more, click on ISC Pointstreak.
  • Godoy Hurls Circle Tap Dukes Past Hill United Chiefs in ISC World Tournament Semis

    Thursday, August 16th, 2018

    KITCHENER, ON, CANADA – If the Hill United Chiefs are going to repeat as ISC World Tournament champions, they’re going to have to do it the hard way. Through the losers bracket. The Circle Tap Dukes and pitcher Roman Godoy saw to that by stinging the Chiefs, 3-1, in the semifinals at Peter Hallman Ball Yard late Thursday night.

    The win moves Circle Tap (4-0) into Friday nights winners bracket final, while Hill United (3-1) must win three games to reach Saturday’s title game.

    Godoy hurled a dandy, and has won all four games for the Denmark, Wis. ball club. His outing against the ISC’s No. 1 ranked Chiefs was his best so far as he allowed five hits, walked four and struck out seven. His only blemish was a bases-loaded walk to Mark Johnson that forced in the Chiefs lone run in the fourth inning. But Godoy escaped disaster by getting Shane Boland on a screaming line drive to first baseman Blair Ezekiel, and James Todhunter to ground out to end the inning.

    Manuel Godoy quickly pulled the Dukes even in the bottom of the fourth by blasting an Adam Folkard rise ball deep over the right-field fence. Then in the sixth, Godoy (2-for-3) got the best of Folkard again with a lead-off single, followed by Folkard issuing back-to-back walks to load the bases.

    Folkard struck out Zane Vanlieshout for the first out, but then walked Leonardo Latasia to force in the go-ahead run. With the bases still full, Guillermo Patat lifted a fly ball deep enough to centerfield to bring home pinch runner, Julian Fernandez, with the third run. Folkard (3-1) allowed just three hits with 13 strikeouts and six walks.

    Boland gave Hill United a glimmer of hope when he led off the seventh by beating out a high chopper in front of the plate. But Godoy bore down, striking out Todhunter, getting Ezekiel to hit into a force out at second base, and finishing off the Chiefs by striking out Nicolas Carril to end the game.

    Watch ISC World Tournament live on YouTube

    Thursday, August 16th, 2018

    KITCHENER, ON, CANADA – The ISC World Tournament and ISC II Tournament will feature three live streaming games on YouTube, Thursday, Aug. 16.

    At 4 p.m., the ISC II championship will be decided. The Irma Tigers of Irma, Alberta, CA have advanced to the final, with two remaining teams competing for the remaining spot.

    Then in the nightcaps, the four undefeated teams in the ISC World Tournament will battle in the semi-finals for a spot in the winners bracket final.

    The 6 p.m. game features the defending champion Six Nations, Ontario, Hill United Chiefs meeting the Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wis. Then at 8, the hometown Kitchener Cubs take on the New York Gremlins.

  • To watch the games live, click on: 2018 ISC World Tournament.
  • River Monsters Edge Knights in ISC World Tournament action

    Thursday, August 16th, 2018

    KITCHENER, ON, CANADA – Brady Woods delivered a grand pitching performance with a 3-hitter and 11 strikeouts, but as good as the Kegel Knights ace was, he took a tough-luck, 3-2, loss to the Nith River Monsters in a losers bracket matchup in the ISC World Tournament on Thursday at Peter Hallman Ball Yard in Kitchener.

    The River Monsters of New Hamburg, Ontario took the early lead in the first inning on Tyler Pauli’s solo homer run, and after Jeff Lewis shot the Knights ahead with a two-run blast in the third, Greg Hammil delivered the game-winner for Nith on a two-run double in the fourth.

    Hammil also came on in relief in the fourth of Tyler Randerson (3-1) to earn the save. Both pitchers were effective in holding the Knights to four hits and two earned runs. Hammil allowed one hit with a strikeout, while Randerson gave up the two runs on three hits with four strikeouts.

    The win moves the Nith River Monsters (4-1) on in the losers bracket, while the Kegel Knights of Fargo, N.D. bow out of the world tournament with a 3-2 record.

    ***For standings, scores, team and player statistics, click on ISC Pointstreak.***

    Checkout 2018 ISC World Tournament photo galleries

    Thursday, August 16th, 2018

    KITCHENER, ON, CANADA – Nick Fisher, ISC photographer, has captured the world tournament in an impressive array of photos. To view his images, click on 2018 ISC World Tournament Photography.

    **Fans can purchase photos and the prices are reasonable.**