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Rice Lake knocks off Fargo to take Hollywood tournament

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

chaparro.erick Erick Chaparro, 21, had a 3-1 record and pitched a no-hitter in helping the Rice Lake Orangemen win the 10th Annual Hollywood Days Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

WATERTOWN, Minn. – Rice Lake’s bats, arms and gloves were in solid form and as a result the Orangemen won the 10th Annual Hollywood Days Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, June 21-22, at the Hollywood Sports Complex in Watertown.

The Orangemen defeated the Fargo Bombers 5-2 behind the three-hit pitching of 21-year-old Erick Chaparro, who walked four and struck out five to lead Rice Lake to its second tournament championship in consecutive weekends.

The Orangemen also won the Rice Lake Aquafest Invitational, June 13-15, the first such title for the ball club in the 36 years of the event.

Fargo stuck Chaparro with his lone loss (5-4) on Saturday in round-robin play, but the right-hander from Maracaibo, Venezuela bounced back in fine form in the second meeting.

“He threw much better the second game,” said Orangemen manager Travis Thompson, in his first year leading the ball club. “Erick has a lot of heart, drive and fire.”

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Beaumont Coyotes hosting 37th Annual 4th of July Tournament

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

valdivia.david.1web David Valdivia started the Beaumont Coyotes men’s fastpitch team and its tournament in 1977 and the team and tournament carry on to this day. Photo By BOB OTTO

BEAUMONT, Calif. – Every 4th of July weekend, Rangel Park in Beaumont comes alive. It’s time for the Beaumont Coyotes annual men’s fastpitch tournament that draws some of the better teams from Southern California.

David Valdivia started the tournament in 1977. It’s been going off, well, like fireworks ever since, now marking the 37th year of the popular event.

He recalls that first year fondly when the home-run hitting Cororna Chicanos (then managed by the legendary Jim ‘Chayo’ Rodriguez) launched a homer assault on “Valdivia Field,” which the City of Beaumont named in honor of Valdivia’s many years of service to softball and the city.

“The fences down the left field line and right field line are 200 and 220 feet (respectively) and 230 in center,” Valdivia said. “There was chain link 12-feet high back then, but the ball still sailed over the fences. There was something like 96 homers hit in the tournament, and the Chicanos with Ray and Freddy Bega and Joey and Jim Rodriguez hit a lot of them.”

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Ernie Marez keeping men’s fastpitch softball alive in Corona, Calif.

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

Meltz.Dave.FP.1web Dave Meltz, a veteran pitcher in California and Wisconsin, helps keep men’s fastpitch alive by pitching for Manny’s Crew in the Corona Men’s Fastpitch Winter League. Photo By BOB OTTO

CORONA, Calif – Men’s fastpitch softball has fallen on hard times in Southern California since its heyday of the 1950s to late 1980s. Some call the sport’s demise a free fall headed for extinction. Some have already issued its death sentence.

But you won’t hear such dire verdicts coming from Ernie Marez of Corona. For 11 years he has held spring and winter leagues, and the annual Ray Angulo Memorial Tournament, in honor of his late father-in-law, a fastpitch pitcher, who passed away in 2000.

He does all this – plus manage his own team – to keep the sport alive and help it grow in Corona.

“We want to get more people interested,” said Marez, “and keep it going.”

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Wrapping up the 2013 California Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

SANTEE, CA – If you’re a men’s fastpitch fan living in southern California, there’s not much in the way of top-flight tournaments to watch. Except the California Classic. It’s the only big-time tourney being offered south of Santa Barbara where Clyde Bennett hosts the Best of The West.

Now concluding its fourth consecutive year, the Classic offers good competition. This year the Sooke Loggers of British Columbia, CA stopped the California A’s from claiming its fourth consecutive title with a 9-6 victory on Sunday.

Some thought California was heavily favored. That the A’s – loaded with international stars – were a superior team. Especially with Argentine and ISC All-World pitcher Lucas Mata toeing the rubber.

Schellenberg.Kevin.CalifA's.430web Shortstop Kevin Schellenberg is one of several international stars who play for the California A’s. He’s been a member of Team Canada that finished fifth in the 2013 ISF World Championships.

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Put 2012 Preston (Minn) Fastpitch Tournament on Your Schedule

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

PRESTON, MN – We are starting to plan for this year’s Preston Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament and we would like to extend an invitation to your team. The 8th Annual Preston Men’s Fast Pitch Tournament will be held on July 28-29 this year.

Let us know as soon as you know if we can put your team in our bracket.

We know it’s pretty early for some of you to commit, but you can just let us know of your intention to consider playing in our tournament and we’ll get you on our list. That way you’ll be sure to get more information when we send it out.

And if you know of a team that would be a good fit for our tournament, please feel free to pass on this invitation.

More tournament information and pictures from previous tournaments are posted on the Preston Merchants Fast Pitch Facebook page. Thanks and looking forward to seeing you at our tournament!

Lynn & Barb Scheevel, Ryan Scheevel, Brett Scheevel
and the Preston Tournament Crew
15547 County 15
Preston, MN 55965
507-765-4948 home
507-696-0646 cell

Preston Facebook & Tournament Photos

This is quite a game we get to play

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Where are some of the next generation of fastpitch pitchers coming from? Fargo, North Dakota.

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FARGO, ND – When Kyle Koterba left his Montana home to attend college in North Dakota, he intended to play baseball.

Sometimes though, the best of plans get waylaid. But you won’t find Koterba crying and bemoaning his fate that he never played college baseball. On the contrary, he found a sport much more to his liking: fastpitch softball.

“I came to college intending to play baseball, but gave up on it when I played my first fastpitch,” said the 32-year-old Koterba. “And I have no regrets.”

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