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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

Fenstermacher powers Keating’s Fitness to NAFA AA World Series Championship

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Bart Fenstermacher belted two grand slam home runs in the championship game of the 2010 “AA” NAFA World Series and was selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

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WEST DES MOINES, DES MOINES, IA – Bart Fenstermacher has had his share of success on the softball diamond. He’s played on a ball club that won a National Softball Association (NSA) championship, and on a team that finished as high as third in the ISC II Tournament of Champions.

Both lofty accomplishments.

But what he did in the 2010 NAFA “AA” World Series Championship, Aug. 22, tops anything he’s done yet in his 21 years of playing men’s fastpitch softball.

With his Keating’s Fitness Center team trailing the Rice Lake Orangemen, 2-0, in the third inning, Fenstermacher came to the plate and belted a grand slam home run.

But he wasn’t finished – not by a long shot.

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The Keating’s, a fastpitch softball family tradition

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Frank Keating, Sr. is as well known for his long standing sponsorship in men’s fastpitch softball as for his pitching ability.
File Photo By BOB OTTO, 2004 ASA Class “A” National Championship

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WILKES-BARRE, PA – The Acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like father like son. Dad’s and lad’s. Those are just a few of the clichés that describe the long revered family tradition in fastpitch softball in which a son follows his father into the sport.

And that’s about the way it played out for Frank Keating, Jr. As a youngster, he tagged along with his dad, Frank Sr., as he traveled the fastpitch circuit pitching for some of Pennsylvania’s finest teams.

Finally young Frank got his big break.

“I started playing for my father in 1978 as a pinch runner in the (Pennsylvania) ASA Class “A” state tournament,” said Frank, Jr. “Then later that season I got my first at bat in the Inter City Softball League in Shamokin.”

Now 32 years later, father and son remain united, playing ball together on the team named after Frank senior’s business – the Keating’s Fitness Center.

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Keating’s Fitness, NAFA AA World Series Champions

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

WEST DES MOINES, DES MOINES, IA –Keating’s Fitness Center from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania won the NAFA “AA” World Series championship, 11-3, over the Orangemen from Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

Right-hander, Joe Hineline, picked up the win – his third of the tournament and was selected to the All Star team. The 21-year-old right-hander said he relied on his drop ball and getting ahead in the count to keep the Orangemen in check.

But he said that the Keating’s bats made his job much easier.

“That takes the pressure off when they’re hitting,” Hineline said. “And in every game they showed they could do it.”

For the Orangemen, Bryan Lathrop started his ninth game and fourth of the day (7-2), but tired in in the fifth and left the game to a long ovation. Lathrop clearly was the top pitcher in the tournament, hurling 59 2/3 innings with 63 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.57 to easily capture the Most Valuable Pitcher award.

“This is the best he’s pitched all year, he had great control and his rise ball was really jumping late,” said Orangemen Manager, Loren Lathrop, his father. “And he had very good defense behind him. Up the middle we are very solid.”

The Orangemen won its first two games then lost, and went on a five-game winning streak, before falling to Keating.

“Keating’s is a tough ball club,” added Lathrop. “We knew they were a very good team. Our team is young, but never once were they intimidated, but hats off to Keating’s they have a very fine team.”

Rice Lake (20-15) took a 2-0 lead in the second, but Keating’s scored four in the third, two in the fourth, and shortened the game to six innings under the mercy rule with fourth runs in the sixth.

“Our hitting was just contagious,” said Keating’s Manager, Mike Fulton. “Bart Fentstermacher had two grand slams today. I’ve never seen that in all my years (since 1967) of playing ball.”