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Buzzards hold off WAH to take Palm Springs Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

THE TAFT (CA) BUZZARDS claimed the 2017 Palm Springs Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tounament at DeMuth Park in Palm Springs, March 25-26. The tournament was the season opener for the So. California Independent Fastpitch League’s (SCIFL) series of Alliance tournaments. Courtesy Photo / Jesse Ortiz, SCIFL President.

By JESSE ORTIZ
SCIFL President

PALMS SPRINGS, Calif. – The So Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) opened its 2017 season at DeMuth Park in Palm Springs on March 25-26. Ten teams took part in the Palm Springs Classic, led by long-time men’s fastpitch advocate and tournament director, Vickie Oltean.

After Saturday’s round-robin play, WAH of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Taft (CA) Buzzards emerged as the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively. Both powerhouses rolled through Sunday’s single-elimination playoffs undefeated into the championship.

Led by the pitching of starter Eloy Montoya, who went three innings, and closer Sonny Perkins, the Buzzards held off WAH, 3-2, in eight innings to claim SCIFL’s first Alliance tournament of the season.

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Obregon breaks up pitching duel to lead Patricia’s to Raymond Angulo Memorial championship

Sunday, September 4th, 2016
CHAMPIONSHIP BALL CLUB - Patricia's Mexican Restaurant of Long Beach won the 2016 Annual Raymond Angulo Memorial Men's Fastpitch Tournament, Sunday, with a 1-0 victory over the Beaumont Coyotes, which was Patricia's fourth consecutive win. The team consists of Doug Shaw, Joe Jenicke, Kevin Castillo, Peter Basaca, Larry Watts, Lumar Goss, Eddie Mendez, Jason Obregon, Yusef Davis, Jr., and Aaron Vasquez. Photo By BOB OTTO / Sept. 4, 2016

CHAMPIONSHIP BALL CLUB – Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant of Long Beach won the 2016 Annual Raymond Angulo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, Sunday, with a 1-0 victory over the Beaumont Coyotes, which was Patricia’s fourth consecutive win. The team consists of Doug Shaw, Joe Jenicke, Kevin Castillo, Peter Basaca, Larry Watts, Lumar Goss, Eddie Mendez, Jason Obregon, Yusef Davis, Jr., and Aaron Vasquez. Photo By BOB OTTO / Sept. 4, 2016

CORONA, Calif. – Lumar Goss refused to budge and Kirk Walker wouldn’t blink, so Jason Obregon took matters into his own hands.

The right-side hitter delivered the big blow to give Patricia’s Mexican Restaurant of Long Beach a 1-0 victory over the Beaumont Coyotes, Sunday, in the championship game of the Raymond Angulo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament at Promenade Park in Corona.

Through four innings Patricia’s Goss and the Coyotes’ Walker were locked in a scoreless pitching duel. But in the fifth with two out, Patricia’s got a big break when Kevin Castillo reached second base safely on an infield throwing error. And Obregon followed by drilling a clean single into left-centerfield to score the game-winner.

The win was the fourth straight for Patricia’s and Goss, who pitched in every game and was nearly unhittable on Sunday, when he beat the Coyotes twice, 3-1, in the morning’s winner’s bracket final, and then five hours later in the championship.

In the championship, he fired a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts, just slightly better than his three-hitter in the first game. What was so effective in holding a good-hitting Coyotes squad in check?

“The down ball,” said Goss. “When I kept it on the corners it was money. But the Coyotes are great fighters to the last out.”

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Around the ball yard at the SCIFL Alliance Tournament

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – I had never been to Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, either as a player or reporter. But after my visit Saturday, June 25, for the So. California Independent Fastpitch League Alliance Tournament, I give the venue where SCIFL plays most of its tournament games, a thumbs-up.

The four ball diamonds are within easy walking distance for teams and fans. It’s a relief to not have to drive back and forth between distant ball fields. And there’s plenty of shade trees to cool off for players, families and fans.

HE DOES IT ALL – SCIFL President Jesse Ortiz must be exhausted after these two-day SCIFL tournaments held throughout the fastpitch season. Ortiz does it all – from recruiting teams, making out the bracket, prepping the fields, setting up the scorekeepers at each ball diamond, and even doing a little fencing.

Ortiz, with the help of just one volunteer, erected fencing around two of the ball fields. Twice. On Saturday night, he had to take down the temporary fencing for fear of having it stolen by thieves in the middle of the night. Then early Sunday morning, he had to put the fencing back up.

All this work is complicated by one other matter: Ortiz pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. One minute I saw him raking and prepping a field, the next he’s on the rubber pitching. Very few in fastpitch work as hard as this man running a league. Ortiz also said that a good Mexican team contacted him about playing in an upcoming SCIFL tournament.

ELI SALAZAR MAKES THE BIG SHOW – A versatile player, Salazar started playing in 1996 at the lower levels. But last year, while playing for J & B Painting, he got the chance to play in his first ISC World Tournament. Stepping into the batter’s box against three of the world’s best and hardest throwing pitchers was a big challenge, but one he embraced.

“I faced Adam Folkard (Most Valuable Pitcher for the tournament champion United Hill Chiefs), Sean Cleary (second-team, all-world pitcher for runner-up Toronto Gators), and Juan Potolicchio,” said Salazar, who also plays and pitches for Those Guys of Long Beach. “Playing against them is fastpitch at it’s best. The ISC World Tournament is the major leagues of fastpitch. I learned that I can compete against that kind of pitching.”

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