Northwest Royals of Winston, Missouri claim fifth ASA boys’ national championship

Written by Bob on August 3rd, 2014

ASA Tournament 2014

By ERIC LEWIS / Head Coach Winston, Missouri Northwest Royals

ST. JOSEPH, MoCraig Lewis scattered six hits in leading the Northwest Royals of Winston, Mo. to an 8-3 victory over Northwest Implement of Conception Junction, Mo. to claim the ASA Boys’ 16-Under National Championship at Heritage Park in St. Joseph, Aug. 2.

The Royals have now won ASA boys’ national championships in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

The Royals scored five runs in the fifth and sixth innings to provide a working lead for Lewis and his catcher, Kristchon Hisel. Lewis went the distance, allowing the three runs with nine strikeouts and no walks.

Ben Jermain pitched well for Northwest Implement, allowing just eight hits, five walks with three strikeout.

    GAME SUMMARIES

Royals 8, Northwest Implement 0
The tournament opened on Friday, Aug. 1, with the Royals taking a 8-0 victory over Northwest Implement. But the games was closer than the score reveals. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, Lewis and Jermain were locked in a scoreless duel, but the Royals broke loose for eight runs on several hits to take it’s first win in the tournament.

Winning pitcher: Craig Lewis-1 hit, 5 K, 1 walk (Royals, Missouri)
Losing pitcher: Ben Jermain-4 K, 3 walks, 11 hits (NWI, Missouri)

Northwest Implement 7, Key City Juniors (Minn) 6
Northwest Implement took an early four-run lead and hung for the win in one of the closest games of the tournament. The workhorse Jermain picked up the win, with Jeffrey Lewis taking the tough loss for Key City.

Royals 10, Key City Juniors 2
An early Royals lead led to both teams bringing their No. 2 pitchers in over the final two innings.
Lewis (2-0) fired a three-hitter with two walks to pick up the win. His brother, Jacob Lewis, finished up facing six batters and getting all six outs to pick up the save.

Jeffrey Lewis pitched well for Key City, scattering four hits, but allowed nine walks. Jared Moore came on in relief to finish the game.

Northwest Implement 12, Key City 4
Saturday’s playoffs began with No. 2 seed Northwest Implement taking on the No. 3 Key City. Jermain again took to the circle in leading his team to victory; and into the championship game against the Royals.

    TOURNAMENT COMMENTS

…St. Joseph Tournament director Chuck Kempf went out of his way trying to make the three teams who signed up for this tournament have a positive experience. It would have been easy to cancel this event due to lack of participation…
…The gate personnel, concession stand workers and the grounds crew were personable and did a great job.

Minnesota’s Key City traveled well, bringing a large group of parents and siblings. They had a fun morning visiting the Kansas City Chiefs training camp and word has it that they have foresworn the Vikings!!!
…Their coaches and dads – Brian, Kevin and Jon Lewis – were friendly and great ambassadors of the games…

…Watch them play in Quad City in a couple weeks at the NAFA World Series

…Key City’s pitcher Jeff Lewis has a brother named Michael Lewis, who played for Team USA in Argentina (ISF World Championship) a couple years ago.
…Jeff’s uncle is named Eric Lewis (from Minnesota)…He is a much better fastpitch player than the Missouri Fastpitch player Eric Lewis…

…Their men’s softball sponsor, Pub 500, welcomed us in Mankato (Minn.) a few years ago. Their owner talked with us at dinner and actually came to watch us play the next day. We need more men like him (sorry I don’t remember his name right now)…

…Local fastpitch legends John Younger (NAFA and Missouri Fastpitch Hall of Fame) and Leo Blakely (2013 inductee into the NAFA Hall of Fame) both showed up to sign autographs and support the boys.

…Younger and Blakely still coach fastpitch teams in the St. Joseph Men’s Fastpitch City League and are always looking for new young players to bring into the game. John still hits with the best of them and Leo is always ready to warm up a pitcher, try and get his 3000 hit or run a foot race.

…St Joseph has a men’s league title on the line this week as Howard Wesson toes the rubber for Herzog Fastpitch against ISC MVP Chris “Mook” Miljavik’s team…Inside sources say Jason Smith’s play at shortstop is the key to this game…

…Perhaps the ASA should consider some cheaper, regional type of tournaments for the younger age groups. Teams and parents are clearly not willing to travel eight-plus hours for the younger age groups of ages 10, 12 and 14. Harder financial times and a lack of younger boy fastpitch leagues make long trips impractical…

…If we had more participants in those age groups perhaps we would have more participation at a national event involving 16, 18 and 23 age divisions.

…NAFA has introduced some East / West Master’s type of events…Would this idea work for the younger ages?

Michigan hosted an age 13 to 23 year-old-tournament this weekend… I’m glad to hear adults there are working together to keep the sport alive. I hope that next year some of those young men and the St. Joe participants can get together to compete.

Don Petro, we missed your crew. (Maybe) next year!!!

…Best wishes my fastpitch comrades from Eric Lewis, a declining old fastpitch player, but happy to be a fastpitch Dad…

I’ll see everyone at the Quad Cities next weekend for the NAFA World Series (with Herzog Fastpitch).

    THE PEOPLE MAKING THE NATIONAL TOURNAMENT HAPPEN

St. Joseph Tournament Director Chuck Kempf.
UIC-Jack Walker.
Key City Juniors, Minnesota, Coach Brian Swanson, a fastpitch player and Dad.
Northwest Implement, Conception Junction, Missouri, Coach Tim Jermain, fastpitch player and Dad.
Northwest Royals of Winston, Missouri, Coach Eric Lewis, fastpitch player and Dad.

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