2017 NAFA men’s fastpitch

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Inspired Len’s Automotive defeats Duluth Fastpitch to claim NAFA A Division World Series

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

2017 NAFA A Division World Series Champion Len’s Automotive of St. Paul, Minn. includes back row from left, Alex Farber, shortstop and NAFA A MVP, West St Paul;  Pat Hoban, right-field, St. Paul; Joe Ganther, pitcher, NAFA A Honorable Mention, Apple Valley; Tim Schuhwerck, pitcher and co-Most Outstanding Pitcher, St. Paul; Justin Olson, first base, St. Paul; Jim Washenberger first base and manager, St. Paul; Nick Leach, third base, Burnsville. Front Row, from left, Corey Noren, catcher and NAFA A Honorable Mention, St. Paul; Willie Faricy, second base and NAFA A All-World, Rosemount; Dave Zschokke, catcher, Little Canada; Chad Washenberger, pitcher and NAFA A All-World, St. Paul;  Kyle Pobanz, centerfielder and NAFA A All-World, St. Paul, and Chris Bogie, left-fielder, St. Paul. Photo By ANNIE SATTERLEE

FARGO – At the start of the season, Len’s Automotive was searching for some sort of positive message that would unite and inspire the team in every game, in every inning.

Kyle Pobanz and Nick Leach fashioned just the right slogans for the St. Paul squad to rally around.

“The start for each day was Kyle Pobanz telling the team, “why not us, why not now,” said Joe Ganther, who pitches and plays the infield. “And the rally cry for every inning was Nick Leach bellowing, “we’re winning every inning!”

    DOMINATING PERFORMANCE

Len’s Auto responded to the inspiring mantras by rolling through the NAFA A Division World Series undefeated and defeating Duluth Fastpitch, 5-1, in the title game at Northside Softball Complex, Sunday, Aug. 20.

Len’s clung to a 1-0 lead in the early going before breaking the game open with three runs in the fourth inning and a solo in the sixth.

In the fourth, Justin Olson got the offense started with a single, followed by Willie Faricy’s double and Nick Leach’s hit, with all three batsmen driving in a run.

    RELIEVER PUTS THE FIRE OUT

Duluth responded by loading the bases in the sixth on two hit batters and a single. A third hit batter brought in a run, but Tim Schuhwerck, called on to relieve starter Chad Washenberger, stopped the hemorrhaging by spinning a drop ball and getting a double play to end the inning.

Len’s got the run back in its half of the sixth on Olson’s sacrifice fly to deep centerfield that sent Pat Hoban trotting home. Hoban opened the inning with a triple to the base of the right-field fence.

Schuhwerck hurled a clean seventh and after his last pitch, Len’s Auto commenced to celebrating. In the previous five years of competing in the World Series, the highest Len’s Auto had ever finished was ninth.

Living up to Pobanz and Leach’s slogans surely helped in an inspirational way, but to win NAFA championships takes skillful gloves, arms and bats.

    LINEUP OF TOUGH OUTS

“We’ve always been strong on defense and pitching,” said first baseman and manager Jim Washenberger, “it’s the backbone of the team. But our hitting got hot here.”

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Second week of NAFA World Series starts Thursday

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

The 2017 NAFA World Series tournament brochure.

FARGO – The teams are arriving in Fargo for the second week of the 25th Anniversary of the 2017 NAFA World Series.

The tournament runs from Thursday, Aug. 17 to 20 with 54 teams battling for three division championships: eight in the AA division, 38 A, and and eight age 23-Under.

  • Teams are coming from throughout North America.
  • Four Canadian provinces – Manitoba, Saskatoon, Ontario and British Columbia – are sending teams that will compete in all three divisions.

    Fifteen U.S. states – Minnesota, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, California, New York, Michigan, Oregon, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

    The A division starts the tournament. The first game is scheduled Thursday at 2 p.m. with the championship set for Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

    AA powerhouses take to the field Friday at 5 p.m., with the championship scheduled for Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

    The 23-Under begins Friday at 7 p.m., with the championship, Sunday at 9:45 a.m.

    NAFA World Series Information

  • The ball park: Northside Softball Complex
  • Teams, Schedule, brackets
  • Playnafa Scores & Statistics
  • Rain / weather: 888-852-1115
  • Tony Aresco earns NAFA Hall of Fame honor

    Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

    Father Tony Aresco and son Anthony, 21, will bring a men’s team and an age 23-under team to the 2017 NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak. Aug. 9-20. A highlight of the trip will be Tony Aresco’s induction into the NAFA Hall of Fame. Courtesy Photo By Tony Aresco

    STONEHAM, Mass. – Some give a little, some give a fair share, and a few give a lot to men’s fastpitch softball.

    And then there’s Tony Aresco. You’ve heard of the 110-percenters? Well, Tony leaves them in his dust.

    For over 30 years his contributions to the game – and to the North American Fastpitch Association in particular – are remarkable.

    Aresco of Stoneham, Massachusetts, plays, manages, sponsors, recruits, teaches, promotes…You get the idea: he’s a man of many hats, many talents.

    NAFA LOYAL, NAFA WINNER

    He’s been bringing teams to the NAFA World Series for 11 years. In that time, he’s won championships at nearly every level – Masters, 21-Under, and an assortment of other men’s divisional championships – six in all.

    With his Boston-area ball club, the Sea Dogs, Aresco has been selected Most Valuable Player once and All-World five teams, his most recent in the 2016 A World Series. This at the age of 51. As a catcher.

    No doubt he has earned the respect and the admiration of all who have ever played with or against him. And what he has accomplished with NAFA is now being rewarded.

    THE HALLOWED HALL

    Aresco will receive the highest honor the game can offer back – a beautiful plaque and jacket – and membership in one of the sport’s most exclusive clubs: The NAFA Hall of Fame.

    Aresco will be inducted during ceremonies in Fargo at the World Series.

    “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame,” said Aresco, who is also a Massachusetts ASA Hall of Famer. “There’s a lot of great players and managers in the Hall of Fame and now to be included with them is an amazing feeling. I attribute a lot of this to my players. Without them I wouldn’t get this recognition. They are reason we are successful.”

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