Dean Holoien

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Someone to know: Dean Holoien, Canadian fastball star

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

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Dean Holoien pitching in the 2000 ISC World Tournament for the Edmonton (Alberta) Express had a 4-1 record in 35 1/3 innings with 64 strikeouts and a 1.39 ERA. He led the Express to ninth place in the 48-team tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

“Fastpitch softball was lucky to have him and I was grateful that I got a front row seat for a lot of years.” – Todd Martin about former teammate Dean Holoien

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN – Dean Holoien knows where to give credit for his long and successful fastball career – his father Doug. If not for dad’s insistence that “it’s time to practice,” fastball may not have enjoyed the exploits of one of the sport’s greatest pitchers and hitters.

“I remember pitching in the yard to dad until the moon came out,” Dean Holoien said. “There were many times when I would have rather did other things, but he had me pitching. But I’m sure glad he did.”

Holoien retired after the 2012 season, finishing a 20-year fastball career at the elite level. His talent carried him far – throughout Canada and the United States playing for elite club teams – and on to the worldwide stage, competing in the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship.

His former teammate and pitcher, Todd Martin, knows Holoien well – since 1993 when they started playing together for the Camrose Merchants. Then they teamed up with the Farm Tavern of Madison, Wisconsin (2002 to 2004), and also played on Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team (1997-2009).

Martin says no one was any tougher or fierce a competitor in the circle than Holoien. His will to win and his hard spinning rise ball elevated him to the top of the sport. But adds Martin, with a bat in his hand, Holoien was a terror in the batter’s box as well.

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In 1998, Todd Martin, pitching for the Tampa Smokers of Florida was awarded the ISC World Tournament Most Outstanding Pitcher for leading the Smokers to the championship. In his career, Martin has been selected a Most Outstanding Pitcher three times. Photo By BOB OTTO

“He had a ton of huge hits over the course of his career,” said Martin, a three-time Most Valuable Pitcher in the ISC World Tournament. “Not many guys are capable of throwing a shutout and hitting a bomb to win a game 1-0. But that was Deano.”

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Walk off homer sends Saskatoon Diamondback into ISC World Tournament quarterfinals

Monday, August 13th, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Midland Explorers pitcher Don Scott probably wishes he could have one pitch back, a rise ball that hung invitingly over the outside corner to Saskatoon Diamondbacks Colby Beierle.

The right-side hitting Beierle took a big cut and drove the ball over the left field fence with one out and one aboard in the bottom of the seventh, giving the Diamondbacks a hardfought 4-2 walk-off victory Monday night.

“He was pitching me outside all night, and I took a (swing) at it, and it went,” said Beierle, who added that starting and finishing pitcher Dean Holoien pitched well in picking up the win.

The Canadian and veteran Holoien really had his hard stuff working, blistering Midland with a rise ball they had trouble catching up with. Holoien finished with 18 strikeouts, and gave up one earned run on six hits, and didn’t allow any walks.

For Midland, Grant Patterson started and gave up two earned runs on two hits in four innings, and struck out five. Scott in 2.2 innings allowed two earned runs on two hits, and got two strikeouts.

Dan Loney started Midland off in fine fashion by hitting a lead off home run to start the game. But Saskatoon answered back with a two-run homer by Brennan Pokoyoway to take a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Midland, however, tied the score in the fifth on Shea Bryant’s RBI single to right field.

The game looked like it would settle into a long affair with Scott and Holoien settling into a pitchers’ duel. But Beierle’s shot dampened the hometown fans hopes, and the host Explorers opportunity of advancing from 46 teams down to the final undefeated eight.

Saskatoon advances into the quarterfinals where they will meet the winner between the Jarvis Travelers and CR A1 Brewers, Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.

The Explorers must battle back through the losers bracket, starting with a 3 p.m. game on Tuesday against Circle Tap of Denmark, Wisc.