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Looking back at McKie Sports, 2004 ASA Class A National Champions

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

2004.McKie.ASA.1web Photo By BOB OTTO

LANCASTER, CALIF – Tens years a go on Sept. 5 in Lancaster, California, McKie Sports of Oswego, New York defeated Keating’s Fitness Center of Wilkes-Barre, Penn. 9-5 to win the 2004 ASA Men’s Class A National Championship.

The pitching of Rod Bunge and clutch hitting of Mike Sorzickas and tournament Most Valuable Player Charlie Walsman, led McKie’s to a come-from-behind victory.

Bunge gave up three runs in the first, but toughened the rest of the way, allowing only two runs on three hits to pick up the win.

Keating’s held a 5-4 lead in the top of the fifth on Jay Herr’s two run homer. But in McKie’s half, Sorzickas delivered a clutch two-out single, scoring two runs, and Walsman belted a two-run homer to seal the win for McKie.

2004-Walsman.Charlie.FP1.web Most Valuable Player Charlie Walsman. Photo By BOB OTTO

The two teams met earlier in the quarterfinals with McKie pulling out a 2-0 victory on Bunge’s three-hit, eight strikeout gem. But led by the pitching of the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher, Dave Stokes, Keating’s marched through the losers bracket for another crack at McKie.

And in the first title game, Stokes hurled a five-hitter in leading Keating’s to a 5-2 win, setting up the “if necessary” game. Stokes finished with a 4-2 record, 0.51 ERA in 41.3 innings with 34 strikeouts.

Keating’s Bunge and Shawn Sampson, along with Mark Bennett of the Santa Barbara Bucks were selected First Team, All-American pitchers.

The top four teams
1. McKie Sports, 3-1
2. Keating’s Fitness Center, 5-2
3. Duncan Bullets, Elkhart, Ind., 2-2
4. Santa Barbara Bucks, 2-2

Hardnosed Mike Smith, NAFA Hall of Famer and 20th Year Anniversary selection

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

“…He’s an absolute fighter.” – Matt Dailey

ALLENTOWN, PA – He’s been called tough and hardnosed. The kind of guy every ball club needs: determined, driven. A winner.

That sums up Mike Smith.

“He’s a grinder,” says Mike “Kusy” Kusmuk, who teamed with Smith for several years on D.C. Tire and the Reading (PA) Sunners.

“He’s a tremendous competitor who plays to win, and he’s hardnosed.”

Kusy remembers just how tough Smith can be. It was in an Allentown tournament when they first met over 25 years a go. Kusy’s team against Smith’s team. Kusy’s swinging a hot bat and goes 2 for 3 off Smith.

And Smith didn’t much like it.

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