Julian Fernandez

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Bowen Fastpitch takes home the NAFA A-Major championship

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

The 2017 NAFA A-Major World Series champion Bowen Fastpitch of Bowen, IL, includes Collin Hopkins, Julian Fernandez, Eneas Erbes, Conrado Zanuttini, Austin Ramsey, Facundo Gonzales, Tyler Maskey, Lavern Martin, Zack Barnhart, Alejo Munoz, Tanner Maskey, Dean Lambert and manager Rocco Ramsey. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

FARGO – They’re young but experienced, confident but not arrogant, and as for talent, Bowen Fastpitch of Bowen, Ill. has plenty of it.

With a lineup of Americans and Argentinians, Bowen swept through the 30-team NAFA A-Major World Series with a 5-0 record, culminating in a rain-shortened, 5-0, victory over R.M. Kurtz of Ephrata, Penn. on Sunday afternoon at Northside Softball Complex.

In the third inning, heavy rain flooded the field and after a short conference, tournament officials and both managers agreed the game was impossible to continue.

Since Bowen was undefeated, while R.M. Kurtz had one loss – administered by Bowen in a 1-0 victory in the winner’s bracket final – it was only logical that Bowen would go home with the first-place trophy.

In Bowen’s march to the championship, the hitters hammered nearly every pitcher they faced, outscoring the opposition 39-6.

“We came out and our sticks were alive,” said Bowen manager Rocco Ramsey. “We came here ready to compete.”

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Fernandez hurls Bowen Fastpitch into the NAFA A-Major championship game

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

JULIAN FERNANDEZ pitched Bowen Fastpitch of Illinois to a 1-0 victory over RM Kurtz of Pennsylvania in the winner’s bracket final of the NAFA World Series A-Major Division Saturday night at Northside Softball Complex. The 19-year-old has won all four of Bowen’s games in the 30-team tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO / Aug. 12, 2017

FARGO – It’s not always wise to come to an international fastpitch tournament with one pitcher. But that’s what Bowen Fastpitch has done.

How’s it worked out? So far just fine as long as Julian Fernandez is in the circle

The right-handed, 19-year-old Argentinian pitched two shutouts on Saturday in the 30-team, A-Major Division to help advance Bowen into Sunday’s championship game.

In the tournament Fernandez is 4-0 and has pitched 24 innings, allowed six runs and struck out 37 batters.

Fernandez was nearly untouchable in beating the California Buzzards, 12-0, earlier in the semi-finals, and even better in the winner’s bracket final. He held a young and talented RM Kurtz of Pennsylvania to three hits in a tense and thrilling 1-0 victory, setting aside 10 on strikeouts with sharp-breaking risers and drops, while walking only one.

“He has pitched every inning for us and he has been good,” said Bowen manager Rocco Ramsey.

And Fernandez can swing the bat. With his speed, he often leads off. In the tournament he is batting .400 and has scored five runs.

Bowen Fastpitch second baseman Alejo “Chaco” Munoz tries to pick off an RM Kurtz base runner during Bowen’s 1-0 victory in the NAFA A-Major World Series winner’s bracket final. Photo By BOB OTTO / Aug. 12, 2017

In Saturday’s nightcap with RM Kurtz, he led off the game and reached second base on an infield error, and came around to score the game’s only run on Conrado Zanattini’s single to left field.

From then on, the game settled into a pitching duel. RM Kurtz sent 20-year-old Derek Martin to the circle and he responded brilliantly, giving up just four hits with five strikeouts.

RM Kurtz had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh to tie the game when Matt Spitler doubled up the middle to lead off the inning. But Fernandez struck out the next two batters and he scooped up a hard-hit ground ball and threw to first to lock up the game.

The loss drops RM Kurtz into the loser’s bracket where they must win once for a return engagement with Bowen to decide the championship.

And without much doubt, Julian Fernandez will be in the circle.

The A-Major championship is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Northside Softball Complex. Should Bowen lose the first game, a second will follow soon after in the double-elimination format.

  • Click on NAFA World Series Brackets for information on the A-Major and Recreational tournament.
  • Bowen (Ill) Fastpitch takes title at Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

    Bowen Fastpitch manager Rocco Ramsey celebrates after his team pulled out a 7-6 walk-off win over Rude Pac of So. Calif. in the semifinals of the 2014 NAFA A-Division World Series Photo By BOB OTTO

    By MATT BENZ
    Black Gold Fastpitch

    NEW HAVEN, MO – For the third time in the last four years Black Gold finished second in their own men’s fastpitch softball tournament, held June 24-25 at New Haven City Park in New Haven, Missouri.

    Bowen Fastpitch of Bowen, Illinois was led by pitcher and leadoff hitter Julian Fernandez who pitched 19 scoreless innings to lead his ball club to the title.

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