Juan Potolicchio

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No greater friend to men’s fastpitch than Bebe Garcia

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016
BeBe Garcia and his Baytown Hawks, have won the Latin American State Tournament 12 years, signified by the 12 stars on Garcia's hat. Garcia was inducted into the Texas Latin American Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Texas ASA Hall of Fame in 1994 for his outstanding service and contributions to men's fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO / Aug. 19, 2016

Bebe Garcia and his Baytown Hawks, have won the Latin American State Tournament 12 years, signified by the 12 stars on Garcia’s hat. Garcia was inducted into the Texas Latin American Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Texas Softball Hall of Fame in 1994 for his outstanding service and contributions to men’s fastpitch softball. Photo By BOB OTTO / Aug. 19, 2016

MOLINE, IL. – Cozied up and sitting just inches from the chain link fence that surrounds home plate on field five at the ISC World Tournament sat Bebe Garcia in his lawn chair. His eyes rarely strayed from the ball diamond.

This is an 81-year-old man who has devoted a good share of his life to boys’ and men’s fastpitch. Loves the game? You bet he does.

Garcia is spry, fit, and gregarious as ever. He talks fastpitch with a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face as long as anyone will listen. And his history in the sport is pretty incredible.

It all began as a kid back in the 1940s in Texas. First as a player, then a pitcher. Good? Yes he was.

But his athletic skills pale in comparison to his leadership skills, his people skills, his marketing skills. In the business world, Garcia would be applauded as a “mover and a shaker.”

The man gets things done for fastpitch in Texas. Baytown and Houston in particular.

He has formed teams, run tournaments, recruited players – mostly young and looking for someone to give them a chance. Garcia gave them that chance.

“I started a team of sandlot players, 16, 17, 18 years old,” said Garcia. “I did that for about 25 years. Then went to organized ball, and moved to Open ball.”

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Urbaneja and Scott lead Scarborough Force over the A-1 Bombers

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

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MOLINE, IL – Erick Urbaneja drove in the go-ahead run, Don Scott made it stand up, and the Scarborough Force defeated the A-1 Bombers, 4-3, Wednesday night in a battle of the unbeatens.

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J & B Painting survives the Force for huge ISC World Tournament victory

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
Tony Mancha pitched 12 innings to lead J&B Painting to a 5-1 victory over the Scarborough Force, Aug. 10, in the 2015 ISC World Tournament.

Tony Mancha pitched 12 innings to lead J&B Painting to a 5-1 victory over the Scarborough Force, Aug. 10, in the 2015 ISC World Tournament.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Fastpitch fans should have figured as much. For when you have the United States best fastpitch pitcher going against one of Argentina’s best, it’s probably going to be much like a tug of war – neither side giving ground.

On Monday, J & B Painting’s Tony Mancha (El Paso, TX) and the Scarborough Force’s Juan Potolicchio (Parana, Arg.) battled each other through 12 grueling innings before J&B was able to escape with a 5-1 victory in the ISC World Tournament at Belleville Softball Complex in South Bend.

The win improves J&B Painting to 2-0 and sets up the California team with Wisconsin’s Circle Tap (2-0) in a featured game, Tuesday night that will be broadcast live.

    GOOSE EGGS BROKEN IN NINTH

The game stayed scoreless through eight innings, only to see both sides plate single runs in the ninth. J&B Painting struck first on Mark Aranda’s sacrifice fly that scored Patrick Burns, who started the inning with a clean single.

But the Force of Ontario, Canada answered right back, tying the game on Bruno Motroni’s base hit that brought home Ben Wideman, who led the inning off with a walk.

Then over the next two innings, Mancha and Potolicchio resumed their tug of war. But in the 12th inning, J&B Painting finally broke the Potolicchio stranglehold.

    MANCHA DRIVES IN GAME-WINNER

Aranda started things off with a single, moved up to third on two wild pitches, and raced home to score on Mancha’s base hit.

Wilbert Cowick followed with a single, moving Mancha to second; then after two strikeouts, Eli Salazar, Golden San Roman and Burns hit safely to drive in the final three runs.

Scarborough threatened in its last turn at the plate with Craig Butler and Scott Leblanc reaching safely on base hits, but Mancha buckled down and got an infield out and a strikeout to end the game.

    PRETTY FAIR CHUCKING

The win improves Mancha to 2-0 and places him among the world tournament’s pitching leaders in innings (20), strikeouts (27), ERA (0.35), and earned runs (1).

J&B Painting collected 10 hits, led by Burns 2-for-6, 2 RBI; San Roman 2-for-5, Salazar 2-for-5, RBI; and Jesse Palacios, Aranda (RBI), Mancha (RBI), Cowick, had a hit apiece.

Scarborough had eight hits, led by Motroni 2-for-5, RBI; Scott Leblanc 2-for-5, and Andy Skelton, Don Hale, Craig Buttar and Jake Taylor with one hit each.

Free passes help Argentina take down defending world softball champion New Zealand

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

argentina Argentina secures big win in world softball championship.

SASKATOON – As defending International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Softball champions, the New Zealand Black Sox have everyone gunning for them. The Black Sox won the title in 2013, and have claimed more world championships than any other country – six times in 1976, 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2013.

And once again, New Zealand is considered a top contender at the 2015 world championships in Saskatoon.

But the Black Sox road to defending their title took a huge hit Friday night as another of the favorites, Argentina, edged New Zealand, 3-2, in Pool A.

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New York! New York! Where Fastpitch Plays Well In Au Sable Forks

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

AU SABLE FORKS – Many long-term men’s fastpitch tournaments are held throughout the U.S.

The Au Sable Open tournament is one of them. On July 11 to 13, Au Sable Forks (Pop. 3,100), located south of Montreal, CA, in northeast New York will host its 52nd annual hosting of the event.

In 2013 (results page) Knoxville behind the pitching of Juan Potolicchio with 10 strikeouts, bested CPI and pitcher Greg Garrity, 6-1, to claim the championship.

This year, the tournament committee is planning for 12 teams from the U.S. and Canada to enter, with award money of $2,000 for first place (based on 10 teams entering), with additional monies for placing second through fourth.

To learn more about the tournament, and information to enter your team, visit: 2014 Au Sable Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

New York Gremlins prove they deserve top billing

Monday, July 29th, 2013

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Sean Whitten hurled the New York Gremlins to the championship of the Ed McCormick Men’s Fastpitch Tournament by defeating Pennsylvania Power in the championship, Sunday July 28 in Erie, Pennsylvania.

ERIE, Penn. – The world’s four top-ranked teams met in a head-to-head showdown and the New York Gremlins proved they deserve top billing.

The Gremlins, ranked No. 1 by the International Softball Congress, swept through the fourth annual Ed McCormick Men’s Fastpitch Tournament unblemished (4-0) and finished off the July 27-28 weekend by defeating No. 4 ranked Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg, PA 11-4 in the final.

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Juan Potolicchio hurls Argentina over Canada in ISF World Championship

Friday, March 8th, 2013

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Argentina celebrates after defeating Canada 2-1 to advance in the 13th ISF World Championships.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – It was a rematch, a chance for redemption. And Argentina didn’t waste the opportunity.

Behind the three-hit pitching of right-handed Juan Potolicchio, the Argentinians defeated Canada, 2-1, to square an earlier (2-1) loss in round-robin play in Pool B.

The right-hander with a hard rise ball as his go-to pitch, tossed a gem, allowing just the one run on three hits, while striking out nine, and walking just one batter.

With the win, Argentina (2-0 playoffs, 6-2 overall) advances to take on defending 2009 ISF World Champion Australia in Saturday’s final playoff game.

Though Canada (0-2, 6-2) was eliminated, right-fielder Jeff Ellsworth was philosophical about the loss and upbeat about the future of Softball Canada:

“We weren’t able to hit and put runs on the board. We’ve got a lot of young guys and this was their first ISF. Now they’ve got a couple years to get ready (for the next ISF).”

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Someone to Know: Nicolas Bitter, West St. Paul, Minnesota Angels

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

PARANA, ARGENTINA – There’s a fastpitch pipeline that’s bringing some of South America’s best players north to the United States. High among them is Nicolas Bittor, who spent the 2011 season with the West St. Paul, Minnesota Angels.

Bittor had a terrific ISC World Tournament in helping the Angels finish fourth – the highest finish in the World Tournament for a Minnesota team since 1981 when St. Paul All-American Bar finished fourth.

That South American pipeline?

For the Angels, it winds its way down to Parana, Argentina…

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