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Step Back In Time: The San Bernardino Stars (1979-1986)

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

MAC TANGAROA of New Zealand delivers a pitch for the San Bernardino Stars during the 1986 Cinco de Mayo Invitational Fastpitch Softball Tournament at Encanto Park in San Bernardino. LARRY ROSE / The SUN

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – It’s 1981 and three San Bernardino fastpitch leaders, Joe Baca, Andy Najar and Ted Dominguez, decided to take a local team and throw them in the ring with some of the nation’s best fastpitch teams that played in the Western Softball Congress.

The WSC featured such powerhouse ball clubs as the Long Beach Nitehawks, ten-time International Softball Congress World Tournament champions. Along with the Lakewood Jets, Oceanside, Camarillo, Burbank, Vista, California Don’s, and Athletes In Action.

But the San Bernardino Stars were no patsies. They had been around since 1979 and were one of Southern California’s stronger teams.


But in joining the powerful WSC, Baca, the Stars general manager and catcher, upgraded the roster by adding brothers Harry and Rick Munoz, Frank Fraire, Mike Turnbull, Frank Jimenez, Alex Reid, Mike Mendoza, Pat Dominguez, Dave Henry, Nick Medrano, along with Dominguez and Najar. That roster proved solid with the gloves and potent with the bats.

But winning fastpitch requires stalwart pitching, and the Stars had that in veterans Dave Gray, Barry Roberts, Jim Knott and Jim Stupin.

“Our team has the attitude that we can step on the field and compete against anyone,” Baca said in a San Bernardino SUN newspaper story. “We don’t rely on one player to pull our team. Man-for-man, some teams have better ball players than we do, but they aren’t a better unit.”

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Gremlins run the gauntlet / New York squad wins four on Sunday to take title

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Ashland Times-Gazette Correspondent

ASHLAND, OHIO – Mathieu Roy is starting to make his name with the big boys now. He’s a junior leaguer no longer.

Roy went 3 for 3 Sunday at the plate and scored three runs in the second championship game, leading his New York Gremlins to a 9-4 victory over the Hill United Chiefs of Clifton Park, N.Y., as the Gremlins captured the ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Tournament crown at Brookside Park.

Getting 14 hits in 22 plate appearances for a .626 batting average in four days, Roy was an easy pick as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

“It’s a really great feeling and we knew we had to win two big ones against Hill United, who were undefeated (4-0) before today,” said the mild-mannered Canadian. “We were just playing it one pitch at a time, one game at a time.”

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Field set for Sunday’s ASA Men’s Major Fastpitch National Championship at Brookside (Ashland, Ohio)

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Ashland Times-Gazette
Times-Gazette website

ASHLAND, OH – The field for the fourth and final day of the 2012 ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Tournament ASA Website is set after a Saturday full of action at Ashland’s Brookside Main and Brookside West parks.

In Saturday’s final game, the Hill United Chiefs of New York handed the Minnesota Angels their first loss of the tournament in the winner’s bracket final, 6-1. The game wrapped up a little before 11 p.m. and improved Hill United to 4-0 in the event.

On Sunday, all of the tournament’s games will be played at Brookside Main. The Kegal Black Knights of North Dakota will open action with a 9 a.m. game against the New York Gremlins. The winner of that contest is slated to take on Minnesota at 11 a.m.

From there, Hill United will play the winner, with a first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. If Hill United is defeated in that game, a 3 p.m. game will be played.

As was reported earlier this week in the Times-Gazette, the championship game(s) will be broadcast on tape-delay on SportsTime Ohio, with the first airing set for noon Monday. Bruce Drennan, a longtime Cleveland broadcaster and the host of STO’s “All Bets Are Off,” will be on the call for those games, with color commentary coming from Ashland’s Mike Van Dine.


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ASA Men’s Major National Tournament; Ezekiel blast leads Gremlins past Motor City Shamrocks

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

By DOUG HAIDET / Sports Editor
Ashland Times-Gazette

ASHLAND, OH – Blair Ezekiel said he’s been averaging about one home run per tournament since joining the New York Gremlins this summer.

Boy, did he pick the perfect time to deliver with that quota Friday during the ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Tournament at Brookside Main.

One night after blasting Ohio Battery, 14-0, the Gremlins were facing a 3-0 deficit against the Motor City Shamrocks (Mich.) after a multi-error fourth inning.

But Travis Wilson got New York on the board with a solo homer in the fifth, and Ezekiel curled a three-run homer around the left-field foul pole in the sixth to put the Gremlins ahead for good in an eventual 5-4 win.

“We’re not used to (playing from behind), but a lot of the players on this team over the years have come back at some point during a season, so it’s nothing new. There was no panic,” Ezekiel said. “We’ve got a lot of veterans on the team that have been around for ages (and) we’re ranked No. 1 in the world for a reason.”

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