Jon Gwizdala

...now browsing by tag

 
 

Team USA beats one of fastball’s best in big win over Globe to claim Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament championship

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

PAT SAGDAL belted a two-run home run to help the USA Men’s National Softball Team defeat Globe, 8-0, in the 2017 Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Sunday, May 21, 2017. USA Softball Photo.

STEVENS, Penn. – The USA Men’s National Team bullied their way to a 4-0 mark in the Rodney Fox Memorial Fastpitch Tournament on Saturday. They bludgeoned opposing pitchers for 38 runs, and on Sunday in the opening game of the playoffs they kept on swinging those hot bats, beating Elanco, 13-3.

That set up a matchup with Globe for the tournament championship.

Now surely this title game would present a far greater challenge for Team USA. For the guy toeing the rubber for Globe was an internationally renowned pitcher: Sean Cleary.

The hard-throwing Canadian right-hander has an impressive resume:

  • He’s a Canadian national team pitcher.
  • He’s the 2016 International Softball Congress Most Outstanding Pitcher for hurling the Toronto, Ontario Gators to the ISC World Tournament championship.
  • In 2015, Cleary helped pitch Canada to the World Softball championship.

    But on this day, the United States’ batsmen got the better of Cleary and Globe for an 8-0 victory that gives Team USA its first tournament title of the season, and great preparation for the 14th World Softball Championship tournament at Saskatoon, Canada, June 26-July 5.

    In the quest for the title, they roughed up Cleary for five runs on five hits in four innings before he gave way to reliever Jon Gwizdala in the fifth.

    Bryce Kay hammered a two-run homer in the second inning, Nick Mullins drove a run-scoring double into left-field that ignited a four-run fifth, and Pat Sagdal homered with one aboard to close out the scoring in the sixth, ending the game on the mercy rule.

    That was more than enough runs for Team USA veteran pitcher Tony Mancha who held Globe to two hits with nine strikeouts and a walk. Both runs were unearned.

    Team USA had seven hits, with Mullins perfect at 2-for-2, and Jeff Nowaczk, Bryce Kay, Kevin Castillo, Sagdal and Matt Ratliff getting one hit each. Both Sagdal and Kay homered, and Mullins and Castillo doubled.

    (I wasn’t aware this was the championship game. Congratulations Team USA. Off to a great start in preparation for the 2017 WBSC World Championship.)

  • Gonzalez relief effort leads The Bar to ISC World Tournament victory

    Monday, August 15th, 2016
    Mariners' Jon Gwizdala pitched well, allowing just four hits in eight innings, but he took a hard-fought, 5-2, loss to The Bar on The Avenue, Sunday, in the 2016 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    Mariners’ Jon Gwizdala pitched well, allowing just four hits in eight innings, but he took a hard-fought, 5-2, loss to The Bar on The Avenue, Sunday, in the 2016 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    MOLINE, IL – Martin Gonzalez pitched six innings of shutout relief, and the offense scored three times in the eighth inning to give The Bar On The Avenue of Appleton, WI a 5-2 victory over the Mariners of Eaton Rapids, MI in the ISC World Tournament, Sunday.

    Click to continue reading “Gonzalez relief effort leads The Bar to ISC World Tournament victory”

    Santa Barbara defeats Waseda University White to advance in NAFA 23-Under World Series

    Sunday, August 17th, 2014

    Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan, bows in respect before fast pitch fans and the Young Bucks team after dropping a close 5-3 game, Sunday morning. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan, bows in respect before fast pitch fans and the Young Bucks team after dropping a close 5-3 game, Sunday morning. Photo By BOB OTTO

    QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Beating the Japanese at fast pitch requires understanding how they play softball, said Santa Barbara Young Bucks coach, Clyde Bennett.

    Bennett seemed to have his coaching strategy in tact when his ball club met Waseda University White of Tokyo, Japan in Sunday’s play down toward the NAFA World Series 23-Under championship.

    Click to continue reading “Santa Barbara defeats Waseda University White to advance in NAFA 23-Under World Series”

    Jon Gwizdala, personifying the golden opportunities in American male fastpitch

    Monday, March 10th, 2014

    gwizdalaJonNAFA55lr Jon Gwizdala pitching for Northwest Implement of Maryville, Missouri in the 2013 NAFA World Series, 23-Under division, in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo By BOB OTTO

    MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – The naysayers will tell you, “there’s no opportunity in American male fastpitch softball. You’re just wasting your time on a dying sport. The girls own the sport now.”

    But if you talk to 22-year-old Jon Gwizdala, he’ll challenge all that negative garbage. In fact, he’ll tell you of all the golden opportunities he has had in his 15 years of pitching when he first started windmilling a softball at age seven.

    Remember now, Jon is just 22. But already he’s played in the ISC World Tournament, ASA national tournaments, and in the NAFA World Series.

    Gwizdala and the teams he’s pitched for have won ASA national youth and young men’s titles, a NAFA World Series, and he has been named an ASA All-American and NAFA All-World, along with winning a home run title.

    Opportunities in American boys and men’s fastpitch? Of the golden variety.

    Especially for aspiring pitchers, with the work ethic and the willingness to put in hours of practice to become proficient in the circle.

      BASEBALL’S GOOD, BUT FASTPITCH IS BETTER

    Gwizdala played high school and college baseball. He was club president at Delta Junior College and captain of the varsity team during the 2010-2011 season. Baseball is a sport he grew up with, a sport he enjoys playing. But in comparison to fastpitch, well, there is no comparison.

    “My true passion will always be for my first love, and that is fastpitch softball,” he said.

    Click to continue reading “Jon Gwizdala, personifying the golden opportunities in American male fastpitch”

    Junior Explorers: New program could produce next generation of Midland Explorers’ players

    Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

    MIDLAND, MI – Young players like Auburn’s Jon Gwizdala are excited to be part of a brand-new program that could produce the next generation of fastpitch softball players for the Midland Explorers.

    Gwizdala, 21, is a pitcher for the 21-and-under Midland Junior Explorers, who will play in the International Softball Congress 21U Tournament in Midland in August.

    “It’s really exciting to be on the team,” said Gwizdala, who played baseball at Bay City Western and is a student at Delta College. “It’s exciting because it’s something new (on the fastpitch scene) and something new for the younger players.

    Continue Reading