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Tribon’s catch saves Ostrander in NAFA World Series

Friday, August 8th, 2014

OstranderKelso.103web Ostrander second baseman Aaron Vail tries to turn the double play during Ostrander’s 8-7, 11 inning win over Kelso Fastpitch, Friday. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Outfielder Tom Tribon has made some memorable catches in his 12-year fastpitch career. Catches that he’s proud of. But the catch he made Friday is one he will never forget. It belongs in the category attributed as “great plays.”

In the bottom of the 11th Ostrander was clinging to a one-run lead (8-7) in a fierce AA Division playoff game when Kelso Fastpitch’s Casey Stokes stepped to the plate.

    STOKES HITS A ROCKET

Stokes worked the count off Ostrander’s Andrew Ysais to full and then leaned into a pitch a little too sweet and a little too far over the plate.

The ball took off like a rocket high and deep and appeared headed over the left-centerfield fence for a game-winner.

But Tribon wouldn’t let that happen.

    OFF AND RUNNING

With the crack of the bat the fast center fielder raced back, leaped and caught the ball as it was about to hit off the top of the fence or go over; and then he crashed violently into the chain-link fence.

And then he lay still and sprawled out at the base of the fence.

The force of the crash had nearly knocked him unconscious and cut up his face. But after some first-aid he was feeling a whole lot better about his catch that saved the game and gave Ostrander an 8-7 win.

“I took off running to my right when the ball was hit,” said Tribon, 30, who started playing fastpitch when he was 18. “It had trouble written all over it. I just wanted to help my pitcher and team out.”

tribonTomOstrander.117web Tom Tribon’s Ostrander teammates rush to his aid after he made a game-saving catch and then crashed into the fence. Photo By BOB OTTO

The game was one of the longest of the day and was a back-and-forth battle that went into extra innings tied 6-6. Both offenses could do nothing over the next three innings.

    MENSINK THE IGNITER

But finally in the 11th, Ostrander got its hitting stroke back.

Ben Mensink woke up the Ostrander side by ripping a triple to the fence in right-center. One out later he scored on Brandon Meiners single to center, and later Meiners came around on an RBI single by third baseman Mike Groh.

Groh also came up huge with his glove.

In the bottom of the 11th with a Kelso runner on first, he snared a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Jerry Wolsey by diving to his left and firing to second baseman Aaron Vail for the force out at second, for the second out.

And that brought Stokes to the plate and Tribon took care of getting the final out and the win that evens Ostrander’s record in the AA Division at 1-1.

“I’ve never made a catch like that,” Tribon said. “For me it’s the catch of a lifetime and (one) I won’t forget.”

Tribon was also impressed that the Kelso team came out to check on him as he lay on the ground.

“They are a class act to come out and check on me,” he said. “That’s what makes the game great; the people.”

Long Beach Wolfpack hungry for another NAFA World Series title

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

wolfpack.2.trophy.280web
The Long Beach Wolfpack won the 2013 NAFA World Series A-Division and are eager to see what they can do after moving up to the A-Major Division that runs from Aug. 7-10 in the Quad Cities, Ill / Ia. Here second base Steve Parks celebrates with last year’s A-Division trophy. Photo By BOB OTTO

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Twelve months a go, the Long Beach Wolfpack won the NAFA A Division World Series championship in Des Moines, Iowa.

They were a first-year ball club playing in their first NAFA World Series. And they came away with their first World Series championship.

But that was last year; it’s time to move one; time to challenge for back-to-back titles.

Wolfpack manager Jesse Mullen believes if his team plays up to its potential, they should be in the hunt.

“We are balanced offensively and defensively,” said Mullen, who is also the team’s catcher. “As a team, we believe in each other and we want to keep progressing and moving up.”

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