Iron man pitching and young talent leads Tin Cup to Dugout tournament title

Written by Bob on May 28th, 2015
2015 Tin Cup Restaurant and Bar. Front row left, Dave Reiter, Tyler Bouley, Miguel Hernandez, Joe Newton, Sam Nieman, Chris Diethart. Back row left,  Dave Marchio, Joel Cooley, Zack Lopez, Shawn Gibbons, Alex Killa, Dom Marchio. Courtesy Photo / Valerie Quigley Bouley

2015 Tin Cup Restaurant and Bar. Front row left, Dave Reiter, Tyler Bouley, Miguel Hernandez, Joe Newton, Sam Nieman, Chris Diethart. Back row left,
Dave Marchio, Joel Cooley, Zack Lopez, Shawn Gibbons, Alex Killa, Dom Marchio. Courtesy Photo / Valerie Quigley Bouley

Cooley pitches all four games as Tin Cup of St. Paul wins the Cushing Memorial Tournament

CUSHING, Wisc. – His manager praises his effort, his heart, his talent, and his willingness to take the ball game after game. And all admirable qualities were in evidence as Joel Cooley pitched Tin Cup Restaurant and Bar of St. Paul, Minnesota to the 12th Annual Dugout Memorial Weekend Tournament title in Cushing, Wisconsin.

As a one-man pitching staff, the right-hander pitched every inning of four games, culminating with a 7-2 victory over instate-rival Ostrander Fastpitch to claim Tin Cup’s first title in the nine-team event.

    NOTCHING THE K’s

Cooley finished 4-0 and beat Ostrander twice, 2-1 on Saturday, and then again in the championship, where he struck out eight and allowed four hits. The right-hander hurled 28 innings with 45 strikeouts to emerge as the top pitcher in the tournament.

Joel Cooley pitching for Tin Cup in the 2014 NAFA World Series, AA Division, in which the team finished fifth. Photo By BOB OTTO

Joel Cooley pitching for Tin Cup in the 2014 NAFA World Series, AA Division, in which the team finished fifth. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tin Cup manager Dave Marchio might be a bit biased but he proclaims Cooley as Minnesota’s top pitcher.

“He’s got all three pitches, throws about 75 (mph), and is the best pitcher in the state,” said Marchio. “He is cerebral, nothing bothers him. He’s pitched every inning for us and is a good team leader by example.”

Cooley was very good on this weekend. But so were his teammates. They got him runs and played near flawless defense behind him.

    TIN CUP BEATS HIGHLY-REGARDED PITCHER

In the championship, Tin Cup plated two runs in each of the second, third and sixth innings off Ostrander’s Kevin Kammueller, another highly regarded Minnesota hurler, who has seen his share of success on the national stage in the ISC World Tournament and NAFA World Series.

But on this day, Tin Cup got the better of Kammueller, with Dave Reiter (RBI), Chris Diethart (2 RBI) and Tyler Bouley (RBI) each going 2-for-4 to lead the offense.

Tyler Bouley played well in the Cushing Memorial Tournament. Here he's batting in the 2014 NAFA World Tournament for the 23-Under champion, Kegel Black Knights / Minnesota Computers. Photo By BOB OTTO

Tyler Bouley played well in the Cushing Memorial Tournament. Here he’s batting in the 2014 NAFA World Tournament for the 23-Under champion, Kegel Black Knights / Minnesota Computers. Photo By BOB OTTO

“He’s (Kammueller) good,” Marchio said of the NAFA Hall of Fame pitcher. “ But we’re not intimidated anymore.”

    YOUNG TEAM STAYS PERFECT

Over the four tournament games, the offense averaged nearly five runs per game and outscored the opposition 19-6 to keep Tin Cup undefeated at 9-0 on the season. Including 5-0 in the West St. Paul League in which they took the title last season at 14-1.

Which even the veteran Marchio, 51, finds somewhat surprising since the team has only been together since 2013 with a roster mostly filled with youngsters only a few years removed from high school.

“We started with seven players 19 years old,” Marchio said. “I get a ton of compliments from other teams when they hear how young they are. We have twelve complete players; we’re fast, play solid defense and we’ve got a few big boppers.”

    MARCHIO’S AND BOULEY SWING BIG BATS

One of those big boppers would be Marchio. In the 2-1 win over Ostrander, he drove in the game-winning run after Tyler Bouley’s RBI single. Cooley and Ostrander’s Michael Jamieson hooked up in a duel with each striking out 12 in a game that started late night at 11:30.

And then in a 7-3 victory over the Rice Lake (Wisc.) Orangemen, Marchio drove in six runs, including a bases-loaded double that cleared the bags.

But he’s not the only family namesake to have a good tournament. His son Dom Marchio, just 21, drove in two runs in Tin Cup’s opener, 3-0 over Bon Ton of Luck, Wisc. in support of Cooley’s 13 strikeout effort.

    CHALLENGING HOLM LIES AHEAD

Tin Cup’s 9-0 record is admirable, but the fastpitch road will get a bit more challenging when they head to the Fargo Holm Classic, June 13-14, one of the top Open fastpitch tournaments in the United States.

“We’re excited to battle teams like the (Fargo) Kegel Black Knights and the Canadian teams,” Marchio said. “It will be a measuring stick for our young team. We will see where we fit in.”

    NAFA AND ISC ON THE RADAR

In only their second year in 2014, Tin Cup fit in quite well at the NAFA World Series where they finished fifth in the 12-team AA-Division.

Marchio expects to return to Moline for the World Series, but there’s also a possibility of going to the ISC World Tournament, depending upon New Zealand pitcher and first baseman, Eruera Drage, coming aboard for the season. Plans are in the works right now.

“We might try the ISC if we can pick up another open pitcher,” Marchio said.

One knowledgeable fastpitch manager familiar with Tin Cup’s fast rise in the sport is Richard Quigley, who guided the Kegel Black Knights / Minnesota Computers to consecutive NAFA World Series, 23-under titles in 2013 and ‘14.

“Two years a go, (Tin Cup) couldn’t hit,” he said. “This year they’re bunting and running and have a good-hitting, defensive ball club. And with Cooley, the bigger the game, the better he throws.”

    2015 Tin Cup Roster
  • Josh Albers, OF, Villard MN
  • Tyler Bouley, C, Champlain MN
  • Joel Cooley, P, St. Paul MN
  • Chris Diethart, DH, River Falls WI
  • Eruera Drage, 1B/P, New Zealand
  • Shawn Gibbons, OF, St. Paul MN
  • Miguel Hernandez, 2B, St. Paul
  • Alex Killa, OF, St Paul
  • Zack Lopez OF St. Paul
  • Dave Marchio, 1B, St. Paul
  • Dom Marchio, 3B, St. Paul
  • Joe Newton, OF, St. Paul
  • Tijl Vanderwegge, St. Paul
  • Sam Nieman, SS, St. Paul
  • Dave Reiter, OF, Rochester
  • Shawn Reiter, OF, Prescott WI
  • 3 Comments so far ↓

    1. Jerry "Chips" Davidsavor says:

      I continue to be impressed with the young talent coming up. Tin Cup played very well over the weekend in Cushing. They will do well in Fargo and beyond!

    2. Bob says:

      I saw Tin Cup at the NAFA World Series in Moline, and I agree, terrific young ball club with a bright future.

    3. Sue Gibbons Bennett says:

      Way to go Gibbons!

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