Bowen Fastpitch reaches NAFA World Series A-Division championship

Written by Bob on August 17th, 2014
Tony Koehler won his fifth game for Bowen Fastpitch over Oscar's in the winners bracket final of the NAFA World Series A Division tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tony Koehler won his fifth game for Bowen Fastpitch over Oscar’s in the winners bracket final of the NAFA World Series A Division tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Year after year Rocco Ramsey keeps bringing ball clubs to the NAFA World Series and enters them in the 23-Under, A and Masters divisions.

The highest his Bowens Fastpitch teams have ever finished was fifth back in 2004.

But that’s about to be eclipsed.

On a late Saturday night, Bowen Fastpitch defeated Oscar’s Pizza & Sports Grille of Omaha 10-3 to advance into Sunday’s NAFA World Series A-Division championship game.

So regardless of what happens the rest of the way, Rocco’s got one of the top two spots in the 44-team tournament nailed.

    AIMING HIGH

But make no mistake, Rocco and his ball players are hungry for a championship. And it showed in the winners bracket final with Oscar’s.

Once again, Bowen got steady pitching from Tony Koehler who has pitched all Bowen’s games and is 5-0. Against Oscar’s he allowed three runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

WHAT A PLAY! Shortstop Mike Nowak made a great play in the hole for Oscar's. Photo By BOB OTTO

WHAT A PLAY! Shortstop Mike Nowak made a great play in the hole for Oscar’s. Photo By BOB OTTO

The biggest damage came in the fourth when Oscar’s scored twice on back-to-back solo home runs by Russ Fittje and Ryan Walters.

But that proved to be small damage compared to Bowen’s prowess at the plate.

    BOWEN’S BATS GET HOT

The team from the little town of Bowen, population 500, located in eastern Illinois collected 11 hits and eight earned runs off two Oscar’s pitchers; and ended the game on the run rule in the sixth inning.

Bowen held a 5-0 lead into the third, but Oscar’s pulled within two in the fourth on Fittje and Walter’s home runs to tighten the game. But Bowen finally put the game in the win column by breaking loose for five runs in the sixth on six hits.

Collin Dooley got things started by doubling with one out, and came racing home on Shawn Altgilbers infield single. Brian Janssen followed by drilling a triple into the right-centerfield gap. Then after a strikeout, Austin Ramsey drilled a shot down the third base line, bringing home Janssen.

Derek Van Fleet followed with an infield single, and Josh Gronewold’s double into centerfield brought both Ramsey and Van Fleet for Bowen’s final runs.

For Bowen, Shawn Altgilbers was 3 for 3, Matt Kissinger 2 for 4, Brian Janssen 2 for 4, and Corey Ramsey, Collin Dooley, Jack Carlisle, Austin Ramsey, and Derek Van Fleet all had one hit.

Oscar’s was led by Ryan Bowers, Chase Saxton, Ryan Walters, and Mike Nowak with one hit each.

    IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Now Bowen has some luxury in waiting on the survivor of the rugged losers bracket. Left in contention are five teams: Oscar’s, Rude Pac, Pala Braves, Wrightway Tree Service, and Priority Mortgage.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, Rude Pac (4-1) takes on Pala (8-1), and Wrightway meets Priority, also at 8 a.m.

The two survivors will meet at 9:45, with the winner taking on Oscar’s (4-1) at 11:30 for the right to play Bowen in the championship at 1:15 p.m.

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