Kissinger and Koehler drive Bowen’s over Capitals

Written by Bob on August 15th, 2014
HOW SWEET IT IS! Pitcher Tony Koehler, right, celebrates with Bowen Fastpitch Manager, Rocco Ramsey, after the team beat Capital, 7-6, in 10 innings. Photo By BOB OTTO

HOW SWEET IT IS! Pitcher Tony Koehler, right, celebrates with Bowen Fastpitch Manager, Rocco Ramsey, after the team beat Capital, 7-6, in 10 innings. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Matt Kissinger and Tony Koehler have gotten a lot of big hits and big wins in their fastpitch careers.

But Friday’s winners bracket game against Capital Fastpitch of Barneveld, Wisconsin will surely be a pleasant memory for years to come.

In the top of the 10th with the score deadlocked at 6-6, Kissinger – batting in the leadoff spot – drilled a double into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Josh Gronewold, with the winning run to give Bowen a hard earned 7-6 victory in the NAFA World Series A-Division tournament.

When the ball was hit, Gronewold took off from first base and with his speed he wasn’t about to be caught.

Kissinger said he got a fastball and went with it.

But the Bowen second baseman paid his respects to the Capitals, who forced the game into extra innings when Chris Thousand tied the game in the seventh with a two-run blast.

“They are by far the best team we have played,” said Kissinger, 24. “We will probably see them again in the tournament.”

With the one-run lead, Bowen still had to close out Capital in the bottom half of the tenth.

The left-handed Koehler did the job by getting three consecutive outs – two popups to shortstop Jack Carlisle, and a ground ball to second baseman Kissinger.

Tony Koehler pitched a complete game to get the win for Bowen. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tony Koehler pitched a complete game to get the win for Bowen. Photo By BOB OTTO

Then the celebration began, as the win moves Bowen (3-0) into the semifinals.

“This feels great,” said Koehler, who has all three of Bowen’s wins. “I’ve been with Rocco (Ramsey, manager) to a lot of NAFA’s, and this is always the highlight of our year.”

What was working well for Koehler?

“We mixed it up, in and out, and I was trying to hit the spots where my catcher set up,” Koehler said, who went the 10 innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. “He (catcher, Corey Ramsey) remembers hitters and I just try and hit his glove. Our hitting has come alive; it came alive in the A-Major, and we’re doing it here.”

The win was sweet for Rocco Ramsey, a NAFA Hall of Fame member, and who has been bringing men’s and 23-Under teams to the NAFA World Series since practically when the organization began.

“This is the kind of game you live for,” said Ramsey. “We came up with the big clutch hits when we needed them.”

Bowen will play in Saturday’s 4 p.m. winners bracket semifinal against Rude Pac (Calif.) who beat the Maryland Hagerstown A’s, 8-6, to advance.

For Bowen, Kissinger and Shawn Altgilbers had two hits each, and Brian Jansen, Austin Ramsey and Josh Gronewold had one hit apiece.

Derek Van Fleet beats out a single for Bowen Fastpitch in the 10th inning. Photo By BOB OTTO

Derek Van Fleet beats out a single for Bowen Fastpitch in the 10th inning. Photo By BOB OTTO

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