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Baldwin to host Wisconsin State Meet

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

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By RONN KOPP / NAFA President & State Director / Treasurer

BALDWIN, Wisc. The 2014 state “A/”A-Major” championship of the Wisconsin chapter of the North American Men’s Fastpitch Association (NAFA) will be held at Mill Pond Park in Baldwin July 25-27.

Baldwin hosted the 2007 “A/”A-Major” and “AA/”AA-Major” state tourneys and drew a total of 23 teams. Hosting the “A/”A-Major” only in 2010 Baldwin attracted 14 squads.

Bol’s Lanes of the host city will be back to defend the “A/”A-Major” crown they captured with an undefeated run at Middleton last season. Nearby teams expected to join them at this year’s event include Dugout Bar and Grill of Cushing, Bon Ton Bar of Luck, the Athletics of La Crosse, the Orangemen of Rice Lake, and Sawdust City of Eau Claire.

With the tournament open to teams from neighboring states as well as Wisconsin it is anticipated that some of Minnesota’s finest ball clubs will also take part. Grumpy’s Bar of Forest City, Iowa, a 2010 participant, has also indicated an interest in returning to Baldwin.

This year’s NAFA World Series will be played in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa from early to mid- August.

For more Wisconsin men’s fastpitch news, visit: Wisconsin Fastpitch.

Grumpy’s and Merchants hammer each other

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

DES MOINES – The NAFA A World Series has had its share of high scores. For example, the California Wolfpack defeated the Long Beach Black Sox, 12-9.

That easily qualifies as a slugfest in men’s fastpitch softball.

But the game between Grumpy’s Bar of Iowa and the Northern Michigan Merchants, Friday, borders on the ridiculous.

The numbers back up my claim: 31 runs were scored on 36 hits with eight home runs, and when the bats were finally put away (to the pitchers’ sighs of relief), the Merchants had prevailed, 19-12, in NAFA A World Series quarterfinal play late Friday.

The hitters and home run “pitcher bashers” from the merchants were Randy Wheelock, Dave Milheim, Guy Thurston, Joe Barnette and Tom Tryban with one a piece.

Grumpy’s fence busters were Ryan Smuck, Levi Fryslie and Seth Kloetzer with one each.

I’m not going to even mention the RBIs, that was impressive as well.

Both teams used two pitchers, and they all got roughed up, but the Merchants Matt Wright did a decent job in 4 2/3 innings of relief. He gave up four earned runs on six hits, didn’t walk any batters and struck out six.

I don’t know if this score or hits or home runs are a NAFA record, but It surely has to be near the top. Oh, there was one other game in which a team scored 24 runs. I stand corrected.

The Merchants take their lumber into the semifinals of the winners bracket where they take on the California Wolfpack at 2 p.m. at Walker-Johnston Softball Complex, today.

Grumpy’s Bar hosting tournament, preparing for NAFA World Series

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

Grumpys.NAFA.web Grumpy’s is offering a tune-up tournament for the 2013 NAFA World Series.

ACKLEY, Iowa – Time is drawing near to post-season national tournament play and Grumpy’s Bar of Ackley is preparing for a run in the 2013 NAFA World Series in Des Moines.

Grumpy’s will play in the A Division, which has the largest number of teams (61) competing of the five divisional championships (23-Under, A, A-Major, AA and AA-Major) that NAFA is hosting in Des Moines, Aug. 7-18.

In 2010, Grumpy’s finished fifth in the 42-team event, and pitcher Chris Allen figures that this year’s ball club can do just as well or better.

The 39-year-old Allen of Wellsburg, Iowa is joined by B.J. Hunhoff and Scott Mihal to form a deep pitching staff.

Pitching coupled with a solid defense, key players and low turnover, has made Grumpy’s a competitive ball club since forming a decade a go.

“We’ve had basically the same guys for the past 10 years,” Allen said. “Our team plays hard, but we take it light and loose. We don’t put a lot of pressure on each other and keep it a fun environment. That’s why players keep coming back.”

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