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Ezekiel brothers pitted as title-game foes

Monday, July 30th, 2012

By DOUG HAIDET
Ashland Times-Gazette Sports Editor
www.times-gazette.com

ASHLAND, OH / BROOKSIDE PARK – The way he hit the ball Sunday during the finals of the ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Tournament, no one at Brookside Park would have thought Brad Ezekiel was getting a taste of bad luck.

The 25-year-old leadoff hitter for the Hill United Chiefs (based in New York City) smacked three home runs in his team’s two games against the New York Gremlins — two of them coming in the winner-take-all game that ended the tournament.

But one of the story lines of Sunday’s games turned out to be the fact that Ezekiel was playing against his brother…

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

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

By DOUG HAIDET
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.

STANDINGS THROUGH SATURDAY’S GAMES

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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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ASA: Tournament avoids bad weather, kicks off 4-day run

Friday, July 27th, 2012

By DOUG HAIDETand LARRY STINE
Times-Gazette Sports Writers

ASHLAND, OH – For every drop of rain that fell on Brookside Park just before the first pitch of the four-day ASA Men’s Major Fast-Pitch National Tournament on Thursday, there might have been 10 times the amount of softball memories for each person already in attendance.

A city thick with softball history, Ashland was getting its first taste of major men’s fast-pitch action in more than a decade. The weather ” while it looked extremely threatening on the radar all week ” wielded only a nice, quick rain almost exactly at the event’s first pitch between Ashland Stock Pack and the Minnesota Angels…Continue Reading