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Top three blast California A’s past Tavistock Merchants

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
Kevin Castillo hit a two-run home run to help the California A's defeat the Tavistock Merchants, 8-2, Monday in ISC World Tournament play. (Castillo is seen here playing for J&B Painting in the 2014 NAFA World Series.) Photo By BOB OTTO

Kevin Castillo hit a two-run home run to help the California A’s defeat the Tavistock Merchants, 8-2, Monday in ISC World Tournament play. (Castillo is seen here playing for J&B Painting in the 2014 NAFA World Series.) Photo By BOB OTTO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Fastpitch teams count upon the top of the lineup to power the offense. The trio of Marcus Tan, Kevin Castillo and Derek Mason did just that in a most spectacular way by accounting for 5-of-10 California A’s hits, and driving in five runs in the A’s 8-2 victory over the Tavistock Merchants of Canada, Tuesday.

Tan – batting leadoff – was nightmare for the Merchants, scoring twice and going 3-for-4, including a double and RBI. Castillo, the No. 2 man in the order had one hit in two trips, but it was a big one: a two-run blast in the fourth that helped the A’s break a tie and surge ahead, 4-2. And not to be outdone, Mason, third in the A’s murderer’s row, accounted for two RBI with a base hit.

Rob Schweyer pitched well in helping the California A's defeat the Tavistock Merchants.

Rob Schweyer pitched well in helping the California A’s defeat the Tavistock Merchants.

Meanwhile in the circle, starter Rob Schweyer and Josh Johnson teamed-up to hold Tavistock to two hits and one earned run. Schweyer pitched the first three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run with five strikeouts; and Johnson finished the final four innings, no-hitting the Merchants and striking out four to pick up the win.

The A’s Matt Christiansen, Jenner Christiansen (run, RBI) and Kris Waverick (2 runs) each had a hit, and Chase Turner had a good day at the plate as well, rapping out two hits in three trips and scoring twice.

For the Merchants, Ian Baer and Jeremy Munro each hit safely, with Baer getting an RBI single in the third.

The win improves the A’s to 2-1 and continues their journey of climbing back into championship contention through the losers bracket with the Northeast Drillers (2-1) scheduled for Wednesday.

CR BREWERS KNOCK OFF TOPEKA TOROS TWICE TO CLAIM NAFA WORLD SERIES, AA-MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major Division after helping the CR Brewers defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the title.

Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major Division after helping the CR Brewers defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the title.

WARSAW, Ind. – The CR Brewers battled through the loser’s bracket to defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major championship, Friday.

The Brewers came into the World Series as defending champions, having won the title in the Quad Cities in 2014.

The Portland ball club began the day with a 1-0 victory over the Cal State Builders, followed by a 6-3 win over the Bruno Merchants. That set up the first meeting with the undefeated Toros who finished round robin play 4-0 to grasp the No. 1 seed.

But the Brewers proved the stronger team on the day, twice knocking off the Kansas club, 4-2 and 2-1, to come away with the championship.

Rob Schweyer got the win in the “if necessary” game with relief help from Josh Johnson, who was selected the AA-Major Most Valuable Player, while his teammate Jorge Segura earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors.

ALL-WORLD TEAM

  • Brewers: Ryan Daly, Rob Schweyer and Nick Green
  • Pepperjacks: Rob Doiran
  • Cal State Builders: Shawn Koster and Kyle Sherwood
  • Bruno Merchants: Lewis Weldon, Justin Dauvin and Matt Hillier
  • Topeka Toros: Matt Chambers, Carlos Ucero, Matt Thornton and Rick Manson
  • Venezuela’s Ramon Jones sends United States home from Pan American Games

    Friday, July 17th, 2015
    Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 1-0 victory over the United States in Friday's Pan American Games playoffs.

    Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 1-0 victory over the United States in Friday’s Pan American Games playoffs.

    TORONTO – Ramon Jones throws the ball hard, he throws the ball with lots of spin, he has the best drop ball in men’s fastpitch. He’s unquestionably one of the top pitchers in the world.

    Team USA can attest to that.

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    CANADA RALLIES OVER UNITED STATES IN PAN AM GAMES

    Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
    Sean Cleary allowed four hits in pitching Canada to a 3-2 win over the United States in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Monday. Cleary went the distance, notching 16 strikeouts to help Team Canada improve to 2-0 and take the lead the six-team tournament.

    Sean Cleary allowed four hits in pitching Canada to a 3-2 win over the United States in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Monday. Cleary went the distance, notching 16 strikeouts to help Team Canada improve to 2-0 and take the lead the six-team tournament.

    TORONTO – Josh Johnson belted a home run, Gerald Muizelaar and Tony Mancha were pitching superbly and the United States was on the brink of picking off one of the top teams in the world of men’s fastpitch softball.

    But it was not to be as Canada rallied for a 3-2 victory in eight innings, Monday, to improve to 2-0 in the Pan American Games, while the United States evens its record at 1-1.

      JOHNSON DELIVERS

    Team USA broke up a scoreless pitching duel between Canada’s Sean Cleary and Gerald Muizelaar when right-side slugging Josh Johnson homered over the right-field fence in the fourth inning.

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    Josh Johnson impressive in first trip to the circle

    Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
    Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, held the Netherlands to one hit in leading the United States to a 3-1 victory in the ISF Men's World Softball Championship.

    Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, held the Netherlands to one hit in leading the United States to a 4-1 victory in the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship.

    SASKATOON, SK, CANADA– In the first three games of the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Josh Johnson didn’t venture into the circle at all. But on Monday, he got his chance, and he performed superbly.

    The right-hander – who usually bats cleanup when he’s not pitching – hurled a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts as the United States beat the Netherlands 4-1 in a critical Pool B game at Gordon Howe Softball Park.

      BATTLING FOR TOP FOUR SPOTS

    The win moves Team USA into a three-way tie for second place in the pool with the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, all at 3-1, while Australia sits on top at 4-1.

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    Impressive teams and talent in Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

    Thursday, November 6th, 2014
    The Amigos Men's Fastpitch Tournament will feature some of sports' outstanding pitchers and players, battling for the championship in this sixth annual event.

    The Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will feature some of sports’ outstanding pitchers and players, battling for the championship in this sixth annual event.

    SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – The 6th Annual Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, Nov. 15-16, offers a who’s who of top teams, featuring outstanding pitchers and players – some of the best talent in the game today.

      THE PITCHING
  • J&B Painting: Devon McCullough, Tony Mancha, Pat Burnes (Mancha, USA Men’s National Team)
  • East Bay Bashers: Julio Rodriguez, Monty Wells
  • Taft Buzzards: Jon Gwizdala, Zack Lach
  • A1 Construction: Shawn Koster, Ed Gasper
  • CR Portland Brewers: Sebastian Gervasutti, Josh Johnson, Scot Lieph (Johnson, USA Men’s National Team)
  • Little Sumpin: Timmy Parnow, Kat Lawrence, Lou Valencia
  • Stockton Black Sox: Brandon Sharer, Bobby Alvara, Ken Brose
  • Da’hui: Rich Snake Rivera, Eddie Rodriguez
  • Click to continue reading “Impressive teams and talent in Amigos Men’s Fastpitch Tournament”

    USA wins thriller over Argentina in IX Pan Am games

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2014
    Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Josh Johnson drilled a first-inning RBI single, scoring the only run the USA would need in defeating Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games in Parana, Argentina, Thursday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – The United States Men’s National Fastpitch Team scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and made it stand up to defeat Argentina, 1-0, in the IX Pan American games on Wednesday.

    The win was critical in USA’s quest to finish in the top four in round robin play and advance into the four-team playoffs that start on Friday. The win evens the American’s record at 3-3, while Argentina is still in second place at 4-2.

    Josh Johnson had but one hit, but it was huge as his single to right field drove in Nate Devine with the winning run. Devine reached safely on a walk, moved to second after Matt Palazzo was hit by a pitch, and then raced home on Johnson’s hit.

    The pitching tandem of Gerald Muizelaar, who started, and Tony Mancha, who relieved in the sixth, made the run stand up.

    Muizelaar was nearly unhittable through five innings, allowing but one hit to Francisco Sabate in the third, and striking out six with two walks to craft a 2-0 record in the eight-team international tournament.

    Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

    Gerald Muizelaar pitched five strong innings to lead the USA to victory over Argentina. USA Softball Photo

    “Our backs were up against the wall tonight,” said Muizelaar. “It was a complete team effort, from top to bottom, and everyone contributed. We’ve been a bit inconsistent this week, but we beat two of the top three teams and had a lead on Canada. It just proves that we can play with anybody.”

    But Argentina had Team USA sweating in the final two frames.

    Click to continue reading “USA wins thriller over Argentina in IX Pan Am games”

    Horses carrying Team USA in IX Pan Am games

    Monday, October 27th, 2014

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – There’s a saying in fastpitch when a pitcher’s hot that goes something like this: “We’ll ride our big horse to the championship.”

    Meaning of course, that the pitcher is throwing so well that the team climbs on his back and rides him to a tournament or league title.

    Well, fortunately for the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team, they have three big horses to ride. And all three of them – Tony Mancha, Josh Johnson, and Gerald Muiselaar – are pitching extraordinarily well in the IX Pan Am games.

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    USA defeats Cuba in IX Pan Am games

    Sunday, October 26th, 2014
    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) drove in two runs to help Team USA defeat Cuba, 4-2, in the Pan American games on Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa) drove in two runs to help Team USA defeat Cuba, 4-2, in the Pan American games on Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – The pitching was steady, the hitting sufficient enough, and the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team defeated Cuba 4-2 in the IX Pan American games, on Sunday.

    Click to continue reading “USA defeats Cuba in IX Pan Am games”

    Team USA gets big win over Venezuela in IX Pan Am games

    Saturday, October 25th, 2014

    johnson.josh.348web Josh Johnson pitched seven shutout innings and then got relief help from Tony Mancha, as Team USA defeated Venezuela 2-1, Friday, in the IX Pan Am games In Parana, Argentina. Photo By BOB OTTO

    PARANA, ARGENTINA – Another well pitched game. Another extra inning affair. But this time a far more pleasing result for the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team in the IX Pan Am games.

    After losing in 11-innings to Mexico on Friday, Team USA bounced back on Saturday by beating Venezuela, 2-1, in nine innings.

    Tony Mancha, who took the tough loss against Mexico, picked up the win with two innings of solid relief. And he also showed he swings a pretty good bat by driving in the winning run with two out in the top of the ninth.

    Click to continue reading “Team USA gets big win over Venezuela in IX Pan Am games”