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A step back in time to the 2000 NAFA World Series

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

WAUSAU REP & BAJA’S men’s fastpitch team finished third in the 2000 NAFA World Series. Front row from left: Craig Filizetti, Mark Zee, Tim Spagnola, Riggs Repking, Greg Spindler, Brooks Repking, Jay Wilder, Jeff Zeller. Back from left: J.W. Dachel, Scott Rasmussen, Mark Repking, Mike Witter, Kevin Leick, Al Gringras, Rick Larson and Tom Feck. Not pictured, Dave Kamke. Photo By Wausaw Daily Herald / Sept. 22, 2000

FARGO, N.D. – Even though it’s been 17 years, Jon Kegel remembers the game and the circumstances well. His Kegel Black Knights trailed Wausau, Wisc. Rep & Baja’s, 3-1, in the seventh inning with two outs.

But the Black Knights weren’t down and out in the 2000 NAFA World Series.

Steve Scott saw to that. He belted a three-run homer to pull the Black Knights to the, 4-3, walk-off victory in the finals of the loser’s bracket. That huge win propelled the Black Knights on to claim the World Series title.

“I thought they (Rep & Baja’s) were the best team in the tournament,” said Kegel. “But they decided to intentionally walk John Desaulniers to get to Steve and he hit the home run. Steve said he knew he hit it, but the sun was shining in his eyes, so he couldn’t tell where the ball went.”

As for Desaulniers, “He threw every inning and every game for us and pitched five games on the last day.”

Desaulniers finished the world series with an incredible 8-1 record to lead the Black Knights to the championship.

Unranked Topeka Toros topple ISC big guns to take Tin Cup Challenge

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

2017 TOPEKA TOROS include Carlos Carreno, Matt Chambers, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Peyton Hall, Travis Nevin, Jared Pinkerton, Brogan Potter, Rogelio Sequera, Zac Shaw, Tony Sparvier, Tyler Thomlinson, Matt Thornton, Jeremy Kenney, Carlos Ucero, player / manager Josh White and coaches Terry White and Mike Watson. 2017 ISC World Tournament roster

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. – The Topeka Toros weren’t ranked among the world’s top men’s fastpitch softball teams coming into the Tin Cup Challenge, but after the Toros impressive performance, one must ask, why not?

The Toros went undefeated (5-0) in blazing their way past five International Softball Congress top-16 ranked teams to claim the eight-team Challenge, culminating with a 5-0 victory over No. 6 Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisc. in the championship, July 30.

The key to the Toros success?

“Good pitching combined with top-level defense and timely hitting was the key to our success,” said player / manager Josh White. “We had our moments offensively. We seemed to score early in most of our games and we seemed to be able to get the lead-off guy on base. Everyone seems to be contributing offensively one through nine.”

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Top Ranked Teams Battle For Tin Cup Challenge Championship

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Eight International Softball Congress (ISC) top-rated teams will battle for the THE TIN CUP CLASSIC Men’s Fastpitch Tournament at The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium, White Bear Lake, Minn., July 28-30. Courtesy Photo / Christopher Diethert

By Christopher Diethert
Tin Cup Fastpitch

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The field is set and eight of the finest men’s fastpitch teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas and North Dakota will battle in the Tin Cup Men’s Challenge Fastpitch Tournament at The Village Sports Bar At The Stadium in White Bear Lake, Minn. July 28-30.

The tournament features a full slate of games Friday night and Saturday in pool play format with the playoffs on Sunday. Five of the eight teams are ranked in the top-20 by the International Softball Congress.

POOL A / ISC RANKING

No. 6 / Circle Tap Dukes, Denmark, Wisc.
No. 15 / Ostrander Norsemen Fastpitch, Ostrander, Minn.
Topeka Toros, Kansas
Rice Lake Orangemen, Wis.

POOL B / ISC RANKING

No. 8 / Bloomington Stix, Bloomington, Ill.
No. 11 / Kegel Black Knights, Fargo, No. Dak.
No. 13 / Tin Cup, St. Paul, Minn.
Jamo’s Fastpitch, St. Paul, Minn.

The tournament opens Friday night with two games on tap. At 7 p.m., Ostrander Norsemen square off against the Rice Lake Orangemen, and in the nightcap, host Tin Cup battles Jamo’s at 9 p.m.

SATURDAY SCHEDULE AT THE VILLAGE STADIUM

9 a.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Rice Lake
11 a.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Ostrander Norsemen
1 p.m. – Topeka Toros vs. Ostrander Norsemen
3 p.m. – Topeka Toros vs. Rice Lake Orangemen
5 p.m. – Tin Cup vs. Kegel Black Knights
** 7 p.m. – Ceremony for 1976 All-American Bar (1976 ISC World Tournament Champions)
7:30 p.m. – Tin Cup vs. Bloomington Stix
9:30 p.m. – Circle Tap Dukes vs. Topeka Toros

SATURDAY AT PIONEER PARK

11 a.m. – Jamo’s Fastpitch vs. Kegel Black Knights
1 p.m. – Bloomington Stix vs. Kegel Black Knights
3 p.m. – Bloomington Stix vs. Jamo’s Fastpitch

SUNDAY PLAYOFFS AT THE VILLAGE STADIUM

10 a.m. – A1 vs. B2
12 p.m. – A2 vs. B1
2 p.m. – Championship

** Tie breakers decides by head-to-head and runs allowed **

Contact Information

Christopher Diethert
cgdiethert@gmail.com

Circle Tap Tournament underway in Denmark, Wisconsin

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

DENMARK, Wisc. – The big-time tournament in the little town of Denmark is underway.

NAFA heads to Fargo for 25th annual World Series of men’s fastpitch softball

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

THE 2017 NAFA WORLD SERIES will be held at the Northside Softball Complex in Fargo, ND. Courtesy Photo

DAYTON, Ore. – In the winter of 1993, seven dedicated fastpitch men – Pat Bucknell, Jim Williamson, Loren Lathrop, Ronn Kopp, Roger Regez, Milt Waschow and Bill Musolf – met in Chicago with a lofty goal in mind: to create an international organization explicitly for male fastpitch.

And from that meeting, the North American Fastpitch Association was born.

In August, NAFA will celebrate an outstanding milestone – a quarter century of striving to make the game better for every man, young man, boy or masters-aged player who wants to play fastpitch the “NAFA way.”

NAFA Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock, wants to make this milestone special and one long to be remembered by inviting all teams, players and fans to attend the NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak., Aug. 8-20.

“We are preparing for our 25th Anniversary of the North American Fastpitch Association in Fargo, North Dakota in August and we are inviting you to come join us,” said Hedgecock.

Professor Tadashi Yoshimura, manager and founder of the Waseda University men’s fastpitch team of Tokyo, Japan, throws out the ceremonial first pitch during the 2014 NAFA World Series Opening Day ceremonies, Thursday night at Green Valley Sports Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO

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International Softball Congress releases rankings, Hill United Chiefs No. 1

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

The J&B BOMBERS defeated Team Marquez, 11-0, in the championship game of the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X, AA/AA-Major tournament in las Vegas, Sunday, April 9. The Bombers were recently ranked the No. 3 team in Open men’s fastpitch by the International Softball Congress. The team includes co-sponsors and managers Bob Berger and Jerry Zimmerman; players Eli Salazar, Cameron Schiller, Tyler Dudley, Freddy Carmona, Jorge Segura, Pat Burns, Tony Mancha, Blake Hunter, Tyler McGaughey, Mike Hoadley, Derrick Kennedy, Kris Walushka, Jesse Palacios, Mark Aranda, Gil Saenz, Devon McCullough and Bryan Erwin. Photo By BOB OTTO

Mississauga, Ontario, CA – Hill United Chiefs will open the 2017 fastball season just as they have the previous three seasons, as the No. 1 ranked team.

The Chiefs are looking to regain the ISC World Tournament Championship after dropping the title last year ,6-3, to the Toronto, Ontario Gators which folded after the conclusion of the ISC World Tournament.

With significant turnover among teams in the off-season, the rankings have a different flavour than in past years.

New teams CanAm Twins and A1 Power will be contenders and squads such as Kitchener Hallman Cubs and Toronto Batmen are breaking into the Top 10 with some prominent roster additions.

TOP 16 TEAMS

  • 1. Six Nations, ON Hill United Chiefs
  • 2. Clifton Park, NY New York Gremlins
  • 3. Agoura Hills, CA J&B Bombers
  • 4. Kitchener, ON CanAm Twins
  • 5. Denmark, WI Circle Tap Dukes
  • 6. Eaton Rapids, MI A1 Power
  • 7. Toronto, ON Batmen
  • 8. Kitchener, ON Cubs
  • 9. Bloomington, IL Stix
  • 10. Fargo, ND Kegel Black Knights
  • 11. Kingston, ON Axemen
  • 12. Elmira, ON Expos
  • 13. Oswego, NY CPI
  • 14. Appleton, WI Bar on the Avenue Buzz
  • 15. Ostrander, MN Norsemen
  • 16. New Hamburg, ON Nith River Monsters
  • READ MORE AT: ISC Rosters

    Team effort helps NAFA pitcher John Desaulniers achieve special honor

    Saturday, May 27th, 2017

    “Being selected to the 20th Anniversary Team is a true honor that I can’t accept alone because there have been so many players, coaches, managers and sponsors that have helped me out…” – Johnny Desaulniers


    In 2012, Johnny Desaulniers was selected to the NAFA 20th Year Anniversary Team. Contributed Photo

    PINEWOOD, ONTARIO, CA – Johnny Desaulniers remembers his early fastpitch days when as a 12-year-old new to the sport, he did a lot of sitting. But he didn’t idle his time away. He soaked in the action on the ball diamond, and it has paid handsome returns.

    “I spent lots of time on the bench watching and learning from my peers how to play the game,” said Desaulniers, 38. “I was always waiting for the opportunity to get an inning in, or to pinch run. I had lots of people to look up to at the start of my journey in this game, but two men stand out. They are George Oltsher and Bryan Bonot.

    “These two men gave myself and lots of other kids a place and a chance to play. I consider them to be responsible for what I have become as a player today.”

    Click to continue reading “Team effort helps NAFA pitcher John Desaulniers achieve special honor”

    Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament scores

    Saturday, May 27th, 2017

    Founded in 1993, NAFA will celebrate its 25th anniversary by holding its 2017 World Series at the new Northside Softball Complex in Fargo, North Dakota, Aug. 8-20. On May 27-28, the Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament is being held.

    FARGO, No. Dak. – Saturday’s pool-play scores of the Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament (May 27-28) provided by John Kegel.

    POOL 1

    Fargo Bombers 13, Winnipeg Bullets 4
    (W) Jace Holm

    Fargo Bombers 6, Montana 0
    (W) Justin Feist

    Winnipeg 12, NWO Selects 4

    POOL 2

    Rooters Bar 11, Manitoba Redmen 4
    (W) Ben Askagaard

    Colorado Knights 9, Rooters Bar 8
    (W) Kelly Freed

    POOL 3

    West Fargo Knights 7, Cross Lake, Manitoba 6
    (W) Andrew Potter

    Kegel / Apex 5, West Fargo Knights 0
    (W) John Desaulniers (Read feature story on his selection to NAFA 20-year team)

    A Step Back In Time: Wausau fastpitch team takes third in 2000 NAFA World Series

    Saturday, May 27th, 2017

    WAUSAU REP & BAJA’S men’s fastpitch team, front row from left: Craig Filizetti, Mark Zee, Tim Spagnola, Riggs Repking, Greg Spindler, Brooks Repking, Jay Wilder, Jeff Zeller. Back from left: J.W. Dachel, Scott Rasmussen, Mark Repking, Mike Witter, Kevin Leick, Al Gringras, Rick Larson and Tom Feck. Not pictured, Dave Kamke. Photo By Wausaw Daily Herald / Sept. 22, 2000

    FARGO, No. Dak. – In 2000, Rep and Baja’s finished third out of 48 teams in the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series, A Division, in Fargo.

    The Wausau, Wisc. team finished 5-2, including a 2-0 victory over eventual champion Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, whose only pitcher John Desaulniers threw every inning, including 37 the final day, to finish at 8-1.

    Rep and Baja’s burst out to a 5-0 start to reach the winners bracket final, but lost twice to take the third spot in the tournament that featured teams from throughout the United States and Canada.

    Rep and Baja’s beat River City Brewers of Winnipeg, 9-8; Stadium Club of Billings, Mont., 4-3; the Cardinals of Sydney, Nova Scotia, 4-1; and the Black Knights, 2-0, to reach the final round. But the team then lost 3-2 to Rissers of Devils Lake, No. Dak. and 5-4 to Kegel in a rematch.

    The club placed five players on All-World team including outfielder Mark Zee, and utility and pitching ace Kevin Leick both of Marshfield, Wisc. Leick had a 21-3 pitching record for the season.

    In other NAFA divisions, the Denmark Dukes (Wisc.) won the AAA division, and the Toronto, Ontario, CA, Jaguars won the AA.

    Fargo will once again host the NAFA World Series, marking the 25th anniversary of the organization that began in 1993. The tournament will be held Aug. 9-20, with games played at Fargo’s NEW Northside Softball Complex.

    To learn more about NAFA, visit the organization’s website: North American Fastpitch Association

    In The Spotlight: Yusef Davis, Southern California’s fast-rising star in men’s fastpitch

    Saturday, August 27th, 2016
    Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

    Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – He’s young, he’s fast, he can drop down a bunt, slap or send a stinging line drive into the gap, and with his speed, he can cover the outfield like a cheetah.

    Oh, one other thing, Yusef Davis in his few short years playing men’s fastpitch, has been smitten by the game. So much so, that earlier in the season, he paid his own way to play in the USA Softball Men’s Invitational Fastpitch Tournament in Ashland, Ohio in June.

    The money he spent has paid dividends: He made second-team, All-Tournament and caught the eye of the New York Peligro Gremlins, a major men’s fastpitch team that finished the season ranked No. 8 by the International Softball Congres.

    Peligro picked him up for the ISC World Tournament in Moline, IL, and the 22-year-old played very well. In his first game, he went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs, and overall, finished the tournament with a .375 average. Peligro went 2-2 and finished 16th in the 36-team field.

    He was disappointed the the tournament came to an end in a 2-0 loss to the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, ND. But he’s grateful for the experience and plans for more world tournament’s in his future. He added that facing the world’s top pitchers was quite an eye opener.

    “The experience was unbelievable,” said Davis. “It’s a tournament I’ll never forget. The pitching was unreal. I faced Sebastian Gervasutti from Circle Tap Dukes and he threw really well, and had a good curve pitch and a sneaky drop pitch.”

    Click to continue reading “In The Spotlight: Yusef Davis, Southern California’s fast-rising star in men’s fastpitch”