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Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Adam Foulard turned in an effective relief effort to help Australia defeat Canada, 7-3, in the Bronze Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 17. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 ISC World Tournament

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – It’s been eight long years since Australia last won a world championship. After winning three straight playoff games, they’ll once again be battling for the Gold Medal.

Thanks to James Todhunter and Nick Shailes who homered and Adam Folkard, who turned in an effective relief job, Australia defeated Canada 7-3 at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday.

With little time for rest, Australia (8-3) will be back on the ball diamond to take on New Zealand (8-1) in the Gold Medal game, while 2015 defending world champion Canada (8-2) leaves the tournament as the Bronze medalist.

LONG BALL BOMBERS

With Australia clinging to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, Todhunter squared up on a Sean Cleary rise ball sending it deep over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run, and Shailes homered over the left-field wall to give the Steelers a 7-1 lead, chasing Cleary in favor of Devon McCullough.

But Canada’s big bats wouldn’t go lightly.

Click to continue reading “Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship”

Nicholas Mercer: The violence of throwing a softball

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER - Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time.  His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER – Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time. His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

The Telegram Sports
By Nicholas Mercer
Sept. 12, 2016

ST. JOHNS, NL – Seeing high-level fastpitch softball play out on a computer screen over a webcast doesn’t do the game justice.

Nor does it allow the average fan to appreciate just what goes into throwing the softball very hard at the plate.

When you’re watching the game 20-feet from the pitching rubber, it’s easy to see the webcast sells the act incredibly short.

A hush falls over the crowd as the pitcher takes his signs from the catcher. They’re counting on seeing something great with every pitch.

That sense of anticipation only heightens when the pitcher rocks back before leaping towards the plate and uncoiling a ball that travels at ungodly speeds.

Continue Reading in The Telegram

In The Spotlight: Australian pitchers Andrew Kirkpatrick and Adam Folkard superb in ISF and ISC

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
AUSTRALIA'S AND NEW YORK GREMLINS GREAT LEFTY - Andrew Kirkpatrick has helped Australia win ISF and WBSC world championships, and in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, he pitched the New York Gremlins to third place with a 3-1 record that gives him 39 wins in world tournament competition. Photo by BOB OTTO

AUSTRALIA’S AND NEW YORK GREMLINS GREAT LEFTY – Andrew Kirkpatrick has helped Australia win ISF and WBSC world championships, and in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, he pitched the New York Gremlins to third place with a 3-1 record that gives him 39 wins in world tournament competition. Photo by BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, Calif. – In fastpitch circles, Andrew Kirkpatrick and Adam Folkard are household names, as recognizable as baseball Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Kolfax and Walter Johnson.

And surely, once Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s fastpitch careers come to an end and they become eligible, induction into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame awaits them.

But before we talk about their ISC careers, let’s take a look at what these two have meant to their native Australia.

The highest level of men’s fastpitch is the International Softball Federation World Championship, (since surplanted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation). It pits country-against-country battling for world domination.

And in recent world championships, Australia always contends for a title because of Kirkpatrick and Folkard.

Since 2004, Australia has won the Bronze twice, fourth once, and in 2009 took the Gold by beating New Zealand, 5-0, led by the superb pitching of Folkard, who was just two walks away from a perfect game. Through much of the ISF competition, both men have been mainstays for their country.

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER - Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time.  His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER – Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time. His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

And in the junior men’s program (age 19-under), Australia won four consecutive ISF World Championships (1997, 2001, 2005, 2008). Folkard and Kirkpatrick played huge rolls in winning the titles in 2001 and 2005.

So these two great pitchers will forever be linked when Australian’s reminisce about the “greatest ever” to play for their national softball team.

But Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s footprint extends far beyond Australia. In the United States and Canada – and virtually every corner of the fastpitch world – they are celebrities of immense proportion. Most notably in the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

  • Both have created fabulous ISC careers, and are far from finished. Let’s look at their numbers in World Tournament competition.
  • NUMBER OF TIMES SELECTED ALL-WORLD

  • Kirkpatrick, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • Folkard, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • If you’re counting, that’s eight times each. Well it gets even closer in what really counts for pitchers at the World Tournament – wins.

    At the conclusion of the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Kirkpatrick had a 3-1 record in leading the New York Gremlins to a third place finish, while Folkard was 4-1 for the runner-up Hill United Chiefs.

    So where do they stand all-time among pitchers with the most World Tournament wins? In a dead heat at 39 each, trailing Korrey Gareau with 40.

    And in reaching number 39, both pitchers leapfrogged Dean Holoien, Frank Cox and Brad Underwood tied at 36. And they pushed past Ty Stofflet (37) and Doug Middleton (38).

    In the 70-year history of the ISC World Tournament, only eight pitchers remain perched above Kirkpatrick and Folkard in most wins all-time. At the 2017 World Tournament, it’s conceivable that they could surpass Gareau, and perhaps tie or even get past Paul Algar and Todd Martin with 42 each.

    However, Folkard does have a leg up over Kirkpatrick in a couple of areas. In most consecutive wins, Folkard has 22 (No. 2 all-time, trailing only Gerald Muizelaar with 23), while Kirkpatrick had a string of 13 wins from 2004-2007.

    And as for the most coveted individual honor for pitchers in the World Tournament, Folkard reigns as co-king with five Most Outstanding Pitcher awards tied with the legendary Leroy Zimmerman for whom the award is named.

    Kirkpatrick has one MOP honor, coming in 2006 when he pitched County Materials of Madison, Wisc. to the title.

    Both pitchers appear in good health. Both pitchers can still hit the catcher’s glove with plenty of pop and movement. Both pitchers are two of the most competitive to ever step in the circle. So it’s conceivable that fastpitch fans will be enjoying Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s ISF, WBSC, and ISC exploits for years to come.

    As for ISC Hall of Fame induction when they become eligible? Shoo-ins.

    ISC WORLD TOURNAMENT / INDIVIDUAL PITCHING / MOST WINS

    70 Michael White (1980-2006)
    60 Peter Meredith (1980-2001)
    56 Darren Zack (1992-2012)
    48 Mike Piechnik (1985-2008)
    48 Gerald Muizelaar (1999-2014)
    42 Todd Martin (1993-2010)
    42 Paul Algar (1985-2012)
    40 Korrey Garreau (1995-2014)
    39 Andrew Kirkpatrick (2004-present)
    39 Adam Folkard (2004-present)
    …42 remaining pitchers with at least 20 wins…

    New York Gremlins drop BC A’s from ISC World Tournament

    Saturday, August 20th, 2016
    Rafael Flores reacts after drilling a game-winning, two-run double to right-centerfield in the New York Gremlins, 2-0, victory over the BC A's in 11 innings in the loser's bracket final, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Rafael Flores reacts after drilling a game-winning, two-run double to right-centerfield in the New York Gremlins, 2-0, victory over the BC A’s in 11 innings in the loser’s bracket final, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    MOLINE, IL – Andrew Kirkpatrick showed his intestinal fortitude, and Rafael Flores provided the knockout punch in leading the New York Gremlins to an 11-inning, 2-0, victory over the Vancouver, BC A’s, Saturday morning, in a loser’s bracket game.

    The win moves the Gremlins into the loser’s brack final against Hill United Chiefs, while the A’s are eliminated from the ISC World Tournament with a fourth place finish.

    Click to continue reading “New York Gremlins drop BC A’s from ISC World Tournament”

    Home runs and Cleary lead Toronto Gators over the New York Gremlins

    Thursday, August 18th, 2016
    Toronto Gators Brad Rona reacts after his two-run, home run cleared two fences in left field and traveled over 300 feet, giving the Gators a 3-1 win over the New York Gremlins at Green Valley Sports Complex, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Toronto Gators Brad Rona reacts after his two-run, home run cleared two fences in left field and traveled over 300 feet, giving the Gators a 3-1 win over the New York Gremlins at Green Valley Sports Complex, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016. Photo By BOB OTTO

    MOLINE, IL – Ryan Boland and Brad Rona cleared the fence, and Sean Cleary did the rest.

    After trailing in the fourth inning, 1-0, and being held to one hit by New York Gremlins Andrew Kirkpatrick, the Toronto, Ontario Gators suddenly found a power surge.

    And it came from Boland who hit a solo shot, and Rona who’s two-run blast cleared TWO fenses in left field – over 300 feet – to give the Gators a 3-1 advantage that Cleary made stand up, Thursday, in the ISC World Tournament.

    The win moves the Gators (4-0) into the winner’s bracket final Friday at 7 p.m. where they will play the winner between the Hill United Chiefs and Scarborough Force that was being played late Thursday night.

    Sean Cleary helped the Toronto, Ontario Gators defeat the New York Gremlins, 3-1, in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Thursday, Aug. 18, at Green Valley Sports Complex. Cleary allowed but three hits and struck 18 in picking up his fourth win of the tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Sean Cleary helped the Toronto, Ontario Gators defeat the New York Gremlins, 3-1, in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Thursday, Aug. 18, at Green Valley Sports Complex. Cleary allowed but three hits and struck 18 in picking up his fourth win of the tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Toronto gave up a run in the first tainted by two errors, but from then on Cleary (4-0) dominated, finishing with a three-hitter, two walks and 14 strikeouts. in his four games, Cleary has hurled 24 innings, not allowed an earned run, while walking two and striking out 55 with a 0.00 ERA.

    Kirkpatrick went three innings, allowed three runs on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. In relief, Roman Godoy was perfect through four innings with six strikeouts.

    The Toronto Gators greet Brand Rona after he hit a home run off New York Gremlins pitcher Andrew Kirkpatrick. Photo By BOB OTTO

    The Toronto Gators greet Brand Rona after he hit a home run off New York Gremlins pitcher Andrew Kirkpatrick. Photo By BOB OTTO

    For ISC World Tournament results, visit: ISC Pointstreak Scoring

    Kennedy robs Hanley of home run to help A1 Bombers defeat Gremlins in ISC World Tournament

    Thursday, August 13th, 2015

    KennedyA1Bombers.1lr Darren Kennedy made a great catch in helping the A1 Bombers defeat the New York Gremlins in the semifinals of the 2015 ISC World Tournament, Thursday. Courtesy Photo

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A1 Bombers Devon McCullough was mowing down the New York Gremlins like Goliath swatting aside small villagers.

    The 23 year old right-hander was spinning a no-hitter, had a 2-0 lead, and had the Gremlins down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh after striking out Rafael Flores and Bryan Abrey. Then disaster almost struck.

    Click to continue reading “Kennedy robs Hanley of home run to help A1 Bombers defeat Gremlins in ISC World Tournament”

    Pitchers are bringing the heat at the NAFA World Series

    Thursday, August 8th, 2013

    juggs.gun.bruley.72web Dave Bruley has been having a good time clocking pitchers’ speeds at the 2013 NAFA World Series in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo By BOB OTTO

    DES Moines, IOWA – Dave Bruley found himself a fun hobby: clocking the deliveries of some of the world’s top pitchers. Bruley of Colorado is in Des Moines for the NAFA World Series with his son Joe, who plays for the Topeka Toros.

    But in between games, he moves from backstop to backstop and aims his Juggs gun at windmillers.

    “It’s a nice hobby,” Bruly said with a grin. “I’ve clocked a lot of pitchers with speeds in the 70s and 80s”

    Here’s some of the top speeds Brule’s clocked:

  • Australian Andrew Kirkpatrick, 82 mph.
  • Canadian Nick Underhill, 80-plus.
  • New Zealander, Josh Pettett, 77 to 81.
  • Zane Siolo, 78
  • toros.pettet.josh.196web Josh Pettett of the Topeka Toros is one of the faster pitchers in the sport. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Bruley and his son will also be playing for Topeka in the ISC World Tournament where he will once again be clocking many of the world’s fastest pitchers. And he has one pitcher in particular he’s interested in.

    “I want to clock (Australian) Adam Folkard, he’s (considered to be) the fastest.”

    Ed McCormick Tournament showcases world’s top-ranked teams and pitchers

    Saturday, July 20th, 2013

    041500-USA.Hillhouse.1web
    Bill Hillhouse shown pitching here for the USA National Men’s Softball Team at a USA Softball camp in Chula Vista, Calif. April 15, 2000, has long been instrumental in helping organize the Ed McCormick Tournament. Hillhouse was also an ISC Commissioner-At-Large for many years, starting in 1997. He is currently pitching for the top-ranked Clifton Park, New York Gremlins. Photo By BOB OTTO

    ERIE, PA – The annual Ed McCormich Tournament will be held July 27-28 at 1137 E. 11th St. with the International Softball Congress’s four top-ranked teams squaring off in what could be a prelude to the 2013 ISC World Tournament “final four” when the championship takes place Aug. 10-17 in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois.

    This should be a dandy matchup of the world’s top hitters and pitchers. In the circle for the Clifton Park, New York Gremlins will be Andrew Kirkpatrick, Sean Whitten and Bill Hillhouse.

    The Jarvis Ontario Hallman Twins will counter with Paul Koert, Jeff Farion and Nik Hayes. The Pennsylvania Power will trot out Juan Potolicchio, Eric Fogel, and Karl Gollan, while the Six Nations Hill United Chiefs will counter with a small army of arms, including Adam Folkard, Mitch Hardy, Jason Hill, Mike Joseph, and Grant Patterson.

    For fans of the pitching-dominant side of the sport, this “who’s who” of great pitchers should send them scrambling for birds’ eye view seating behind home plate.

    SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE WITH CURRENT WORLD TEAM RANKING

  • 9 a.m. No.1 New York Gremlins vs. No. 4 Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg, PA
  • 11 a.m. No. 2 Jarvis Ontario Hallman Twins vs. No. 3 Six Nations Hill United Chiefs, Ontario, CA
  • 1 p.m. Gremlins vs. Jarvis
  • 3 p.m. Hill United vs. PA Power
  • 5 p.m. Special Olympics game (pending)
  • 6 p.m. PA Power vs. Jarvis
  • 8 p.m. Gremlins vs. Hill United
  • SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

  • 9 a.m. NO. 2 seed vs No. 3 (played at 12th and Hess field)
  • 9 a.m. No. 1 vs No. 4 (played at 11th and Hess field)
  • 11 a.m. championship game
  • Top-ranked New York Gremlins take Boys of Summer title

    Thursday, July 18th, 2013

    DENMARK, Wisc. – The New York Gremlins from Clifton Park, NY erupted for 19 runs on 16 hits to crush the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada Diamondbacks 19-0 in claiming the 14th Annual Boys of Summer championship, Sunday, in Denmark, WI.

    Click to continue reading “Top-ranked New York Gremlins take Boys of Summer title”

    New York Gremlins men’s fastpitch team finalizes roster

    Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

    gremlins.fastpitch

    CLIFTON PARK, NY – The New York Gremlins are happy to announce that Sean Whitten, Jeff Goolagong and Tyson Byrne will be joining the squad for the 2013 season. (Whitten, one of fastball’s top pitchers, played for the Eugene, Oregon / California A’s in 2012.)

    The Gremlins, an annual threat to win an ISC World Tournament championship finished fourth ISC chronological order of finish in 2012 with a 4-2 record.

    The Gremlin roster:

    Andrew Kirkpatrick – P
    Sean Whitten – P
    Bill Hillhouse – P
    Bryan Abrey – C
    Blair Ezekiel – 1B
    Rhys Casley – 2B
    Tyson Byrne – 3B
    Todd Schultz – SS
    Travis Wilson – INF/DH
    Nick Mullins – INF/C
    Mathieu Roy – OF
    Jeff Goolagong – OF
    Derek Pukash – OF
    Wayne Laulu – OF
    Ben Wideman – OF
    Vahram Mateosian – C/DH
    Frank Perez – INF

    Denny Bruckert – MGR
    Gregg Leather – Coach
    Jeff Hook – Coach
    Peter Schmitt – Coach
    Greg Nydick – Scorekeeper
    Bruce Tanski – Sponsor
    Bob Nydick – Sponsor

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