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Southern California fastpitch leader Robert Hernandez to retire

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

HernandezRobert.3lr SCIFL President and NAFA Pacific Coast Vice President Robert Hernandez, right, presents David Dziengel of Goring Lawn Care (Minn.) his NAFA A-Major All-World award during the 2010 NAFA World Series in Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa. Hernandez served as the World Series Tournament Director. Photo By BOB OTTO

“He is very dedicated and involved and gives fastpitch 110-percent.” – Lou Enriques

ANAHEIM – Someone had to step up to the plate, so Robert Hernandez did.

In 2007, he saw the alarming decline of men’s fastpitch teams in Southern California. Something had to be done to reverse the trend. So he took on a most ambitious project – helping to start a new league.

This new league, the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), was a success from the beginning. Up to 16 teams compete, along with an age 40-older Masters Division.

“Doing a startup was tough,” said Hernandez, who became the league’s president, master league supervisor, and tournament director. “But the first year went well with very few hiccups.”

His ambitions for the league soon went higher.

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Young Beaumont Coyote has come a long way in men’s fastpitch softball

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

SorianoNAFA Richard Soriano of Banning, Calif. started playing fastpitch at age 15 and in 10 short years has come a long way in the sport. Contributed photo

BANNING, Calif. – If you grow up in Beaumont, California and you’re a member of the Valdivia family, and your grandfather runs one of the longest running men’s fastpitch teams in the state, well, chances are you’ve spent a fair amount of time on the ball diamond.

And so it goes for Richard Soriano.

“I was born into it,” said Soriano, 25. “I was raised by my grandfather (David Valdivia) and he ran the Beaumont Coyotes.”

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Colton Dirtbags out to defend Las Vegas Roadtrip title

Saturday, April 14th, 2012


Photos of the Colton Dirtbags and other teams and players during the 2010 Conquistadors Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

LAS VEGAS, NV – Spring has arrived and that means men’s fastpitch softball is underway. And here out west the sport kicks off with the annual “Las Vegas Road Trip” April 14-15, at Sunset Park and its four beautiful ball diamonds.

Now in it’s fifth year, the tournament is directed by Southern Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) Commissioner, and NAFA Vice President, Robert Hernandez.

A look at the Las Vegas NAFA brackets finds 29 teams entered in either AA / AA-Major, A-Major, and A divisions. States sending ball clubs include Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin, along with teams from Mexico and Canada.

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Checkout Colton Dirtbags Tournament Photos

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010


Photos By BOB OTTO
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COLTON, CA – You’ve been waiting and wondering, “when will Bob show all those picutres he took at the Colton Conquistadors Men’s Fastpitch Tournament?”

Well, the wait is over.

To see the complete gallery of photos, just click on this link:
Colton Tournament Gallery

Colton Conquistadors tourney wrap up and random thoughts

Monday, October 18th, 2010

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COLTON, CA – Back in the 1970s and early ‘80s, Colton had one of the best men’s fastpitch teams in California – the Colton Suns. But the team disbanded and the sport disappeared from the small community west of San Bernardino.

But in 2008, a bunch of young guys led by Joaquin Juarez, Tony Campa, and Shawn Campa, decided that after years of playing baseball and slowpitch, it was time to play a faster game:

So this closely knit group of friends turned to fastpitch and started the Colton Dirtbags. On Sunday, the Dirtbags took some pride in winning its first “hometown” tournament by claiming a 4-2 victory over the San Bernardino Bombers.

Some of the old, some of the new
…The Bombers and Dirtbags provided a look back into the past and glimpse forward into the future.


Veteran Bombers catcher, Fred Garcia.

The Bombers’ roster was filled with veterans in their 50s, such as YoYo Cruz, Frank, Tony, and “Harpo” Jimenez, along with Frank Mestas, Chito Aldama, Sam Nicholas, and Fred Garcia… long regarded as some of the legendary players in their era of San Bernardino men’s fastpitch.

Now it’s time for the young guys like the Dirtbags to carry on the fastpitch tradition, said Cruz.

“CD” goes from the playing side to the calling side
… Behind the plate at the Colton Conquistadors Tournament calling the balls and strikes was umpire, Clarence Davis. But his friends know him as “CD.”
But before CD the umpire, there was CD the player.


Clarence, “CD” Davis

The 63-year-old doesn’t move quite as fast as he once did, but in his heyday with teams such as the Vista Bombers, Stanley Andrews of San Diego, and the El Cajon Rangers, Davis, could slap, hit the line drive,

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Hometown girl leads Colton Dirtbags to tournament championship

Monday, October 18th, 2010


The Colton Dirtbags formed in 2008 have won six tournaments in 2010 including the championship of the first annual Conquistadors Tournament at Veterans Park, Colton, on Sunday, with a 4-2 victory over the San Bernardino Bombers. Team members include, from bottom row left, Donovan Reyes, Anthony Ramos, Shawn Campa, Jason Ortiz, Eric Campa, and Joseph Martinez (All tourney). From top row left, MVP Anthony Martinez, Art Chavez, Mike Colunga, Joaquin Juarez, MV-Pitcher Desiree Serrano, Jessie Martinez, All Tourney Bret Pobanz, and Zack Cash
Photo By BOB OTTO
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COLTON, CA – For about five months each year softball pitcher, Desiree Serrano, leaves her hometown of Colton for the National Pro Fastpitch League.

This season she helped the Orlando (FL) USSSA Pride win the league championship.

But when the league wraps up in August, she returns to Colton. But that doesn’t mean Serrano takes a break from softball.

She just keeps right on pitching. But there’s one little catch. Serrano doesn’t come home to pitch for a women’s team. She pitches for the Colton Dirtbags, a men’s fastpitch team that travels the Southern California circuit playing in leagues and tournaments.

And on Sunday Serrano had all her pitches working. The tall right-hander, scattered four hits, struck out five, and didn’t allow any earned runs in the Dirtbags, 4-2, victory over the San Bernardino Bombers in the championship game of the Conquistadors Tournament at Veterans Park in Colton.


Colton native and softball pitcher, Desiree Serrano.

For her efforts, Serrano was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher. But she quickly gave the credit to her teammates.

“I was just trying to keep the ball down and the hitters off balance and let my defense support me,” said Serrano, who graduated from Colton High School in 2001, and then starred at Arizona State before embarking on her professional career in 2006.

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Colton Dirt Bags Conquistadors Tourney Underway

Saturday, October 16th, 2010


File photos By BOB OTTO

COLTON, CA – The Colton Dirtbags Conquistadors men’s fastpitch tournament is underway Saturday through Sunday.

Saturday games are pool play with games scheduled until about 3 p.m. The playoff round starts Sunday at 9 a.m. with the championship scheduled for noon.

Teams entered include the Colton Dirtbags, Colton Hitmen, Beaumont Coyotes, San Bernardino Casa Trejo, and Pico Rivera Who Cares.

All games are being held at Veterans Park, 232 East O St., Colton.

For more information, contact Tony Campa 909-824-1620 or Joaquin Juarez 909-915-4946.

For Mapquest directions, Veterans Park is located at 292 East O Street, Colton, CA 92324.

Directions: From the Interstate 10 Freeway exit at Ninth Street. Head north to Valley Blvd., take Valley to La Cadena Dr., then head south on La Cadena to O Street and turn left to the ball park.

Men’s fastpitch returns to Inland Empire, Colton to host tourney

Sunday, September 26th, 2010


File photos By BOB OTTO
Be sure to catch the action at the Colton Dirtbags first annual Conquistadors Men’s fastpitch softball tournament, Oct. 16-17.

COLTON, CA – So you thought men’s fastpitch softball had disappeared from the Inland Empire area of Southern California?

Well, not quite. Not if the Colton Dirtbags have anything to say about it.

For the Dirtbags will be hosting its first annual Conquistadors Men’s “ C” Fastpitch Tournament, October 16-17 at Veterans Park in Colton.

For more information, contact Tony Campa 909-824-1620 or Joaquin Juarez 909-915-4946.

For mapping directions, Veterans Park is located at 292 East O Street, Colton, CA 92324.