AAU International Men’s Fastpitch

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Erick Chaparro, reaching for the top in men’s fastpitch

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

ChaparroErick Erick Chaparro of Venezuela is pitching for the Rice Lake Orangemen and has started the season strong. Courtesy Photo

RICE LAKE, Wisc. – Since the early 1980s, foreign fastpitch softball pitchers have been trekking to the U.S. hoping to improve their skills, hoping to raise their game to a higher level by competing against some of the best club teams in the world.

21-year-old Erick Chaparro of Maracaibo, Venezuela is one of them. He’s been coming stateside since he was 18.

This year he’s in Wisconsin pitching for the Rice Lake Orangemen. And with his past two tournament performances as a barometer, he’s off to a great start.

    A CHAMPIONSHIP AND A NO-NO

At the 10th Annual Hollywood Days Tournament, June 21-22, at the Hollywood Sports Complex in Watertown, Minn., Chaparro led the Rice Lake Orangemen to the championship, and finished with a personal 3-1 record.

His 5-2 victory over the Fargo, North Dakota Bombers on a three-hitter with four walks and five strikeouts in the championship was but one fine performance. He also hurled a no-hitter against Tin Cup of St. Paul in a 2-1 win.

The right-hander also pitched the Orangemen to the Rice Lake 36th Annual Aquafest Invitational title the week before and was selected the Most Valuable Player for both his pitching and his hitting.

Rice Lake manager Travis Thompson says Chaparro is having a superb year, and has come to the rescue after veteran Bryan Lathrop underwent hip surgery that has sidelined him until next season. He sees only an upside to the young pitcher’s future.

“He’s made big progress especially with the change-up,” said Thompson, who also catches Chaparro. “He shows mental toughness, throws hard, and he has that drive that most don’t have nowadays.”

So what’s propelled this young hurler off to such a good start?

Click to continue reading “Erick Chaparro, reaching for the top in men’s fastpitch”

AAU Men’s International Fastpitch Championship fast approaching

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

AAU_Softball_Logo

ORLANDO, FL – The 2013 AAU International Men’s Fastpitch Championship will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, Jan. 24-27.

Currently, 23 teams are entered coming from throughout North and South America, with 12 teams expressing their intent to play.

“It started 14 years a go with an eight-team tournament and it’s grown to above 40 in some years,” said Ken Hackmeister, AAU Tournament Director. “It’s growing in popularity because of a combination of location, Florida weather in January, and the diversity of teams is a draw …”

For more information about travel directions, competition venues, admission and registration, visit: AAU International Men’s Fastpitch