2018 NAFA A-Major

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Elanco Blackhawks Snare NAFA A-Major Championship

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

The 2018 NAFA World Series returned to Fargo’s North Softball Complex for a second consecutive year from Aug. 8-19.

FARGO, N.D – The Elanco Blackhawks of Pennsylvania flew undefeated through the NAFA World Series A-Major Division to claim the championship over the Fleetwood Marlins of British Columbia, Canada, Sunday at North Softball Complex in Fargo.

The Blackhawks forged a 6-0 record in the 29-team tournament and defeated the Marlins, 11-4, in the final through a winning combination of an explosive offense that pounded out 12 hits – led by Menno King – who drove in 3 runs, and Sean King, who belted a home run that pushed across another two runs.

Buffered by such a huge run production, Todd Smoker, who started and hurled the first two innings and Benji Stoltzius, finishing the final four, held the Marlins in check, with Stoltzius notching the win on four hits and no earned runs.

Also swinging hot sticks were Caleb Groff, 1-for-2; Jim Lawrence, 2-for-3; Dean Malone, 2-for-3 and 2 runs; Jerlin Ruit, 2-for-4, 3 RBI and a run, and Anthony Smoker, 1-for-3, run.

Ruit tied for top batting average on the team with Caleb Groff at .471, and Ruit also drove in 8 runs, tops amoung his teammates. But he was just as valuable in the pitching circle winning three of the six games in 21 innings, with 25 strikeouts and five walks.

The Blackhawks A-Major Championship Record

    Elanco 7, Dempsey’s Public House 5
    Ruit got the win, allowing six hits with 10 strikeouts. He also homered twice and drove in two runs.
    Elanco 4, Len’s Auto (Minn.) 3
    Smoker and J.J. Sanchez split the pitching duties, and Tony Baker was the hitting star, driving in 3 runs with 2 hits in 3 at bats.
    Elanco 8, Calif. Buzzards 2
    Ruit hurled a 3-hitter with 7 strikeouts, while A.J. Fisher and Ben Keyser each drove in 2 runs.
    Elanco 9, Fleetwood Marlins 8
    Ruit went the distance, giving up 12 hits with 8 strikeouts, and Ruit along with Dean Malone drove in a pair of runs, with both players smashing home runs.
    Elanco 4, Lacey A’s (Wash.) 0
    Smoker threw wonderful game, allowing one hit with 10 strikeouts. Calef Groff drove in 2 runs and was 3-for-3 at the plate, along with Ruit and King who each had an RBI.
    Elanco 11, Fleetwood Marlins 4