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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.

Click to continue reading “Bowen (Ill) Fastpitch takes title at Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic”

Host Kelso Fastpitch squad settles for third place at 33rd Annual Kelso Klassic

Friday, June 16th, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017
By Trent Singer – Southeast Missourian

KELSO, Mo. — Nevermind the fact that Sunday didn’t go according to plan for Kelso Fastpitch. Coach Larry Eftink is still encouraged about the future.

Kelso dropped a 7-0 decision against the Bloomington Stix in the winner’s bracket final of the Kelso Klassic before being eliminated by the Pueblo Bandits, 9-2, as pitching ran out for the tournament hosts.

But Sunday wasn’t an indication of what Kelso was able to accomplish in the three-day tournament. After going 3-0 through the first two days, the hosts found themselves in a place they hadn’t been in quite some time, competing in the winner’s bracket final for the first time since 1998.

Having to deal with an abundance of youth, Eftink didn’t know what to expect before Friday’s action got underway. By the time Kelso left off the field Sunday following its elimination loss, Eftink was more than pleased with the fight he saw from his team.

“It’s a great experience, a great showing for these guys,” said Eftink, whose team settled for third place in the 33rd edition of the Klassic. “There were a lot of unknowns coming in. … We just kind of rallied the troops and made things happen. We scrapped it together and played good ball. I’m definitely very happy with the showing we made.”

Continue reading the story in the Southeast Missourian.

16th Annual Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic in New Haven, Missouri

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

ERIC STEINBECK will see a lot of pitching duty for Black Gold in the Black Gold Softball Tournament, June 24-25, in New Haven. Courtesy Photo By Kyle Quick / Quick News Now

By MATT BENZ
Black Gold Fastpitch

NEW HAVEN, Mo. – The annual Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic Tournament returns to New Haven City Park on Saturday June 24 and Sunday June 25.

An annual men’s fastpitch tournament in the area dates back to the 1960s.

The Black Gold team is comprised mainly of players originating from Hermann, New Haven, Union, and Washington.

Eric Steinbeck, Terry Coon, Cullen Speckhals, and Matt Benz are some of the long-time players, with recent area high school baseball standouts such as Jake Murphy, Jake Johnson, and Ben Held joining the team in recent years.

THREE STATES COMPETING

Teams from Kansas, Illinois, and all parts of Missouri will battle it out in a round-robin format with two pools on Saturday, then single elimination tournament Saturday night and Sunday.

“The Black Gold Classic is known for featuring good pitching and a very balanced field of teams,” said manager Eric Steinbeck. “We look forward to seeing everyone out at the ballpark.”

Click to continue reading “16th Annual Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic in New Haven, Missouri”

15th Annual Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic to be held in New Haven

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

EricSteinbeckBlackGold1lr Eric Steinbeck will be one of the top pitchers in the Black Gold Fastpitch Softball Classic, June 25-26.

By MATT BENZ / Press Release

NEW HAVEN, MO – The annual Black Gold Softball Tournament returns to New Haven City Park on Saturday June 25 and Sunday June 26. An annual men’s fastpitch tournament in the area dates back to the 1960s.

The Black Gold team is comprised mainly of players originating from Hermann, New Haven, Union, and Washington. Eric Steinbeck, Terry Coon, Cullen Speckhals, and Matt Benz are some of the long-time players, with recent area high school baseball standouts such as Jake Murphy, Jake Johnson, and Ben Held joining the team in recent years.

Teams from Kansas, Illinois, and all parts of Missouri will battle it out in a round-robin format with two 4-team pools on Saturday. The top three teams from each pool advance to a single elimination tournament on Sunday.

Black Gold plays at 10 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. on Lions Field. Sunday’s single elimination games starting at 9 a.m. on both fields. The championship game starts at 1:30 p.m.

Action starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday with two games. On Lions Field, Black Gold takes on the Tribe from St. Charles; while on Bock Field, speedy Kelso Fastpitch of Kelso, MO takes on two time defending champion Pinckneyville, IL Falcons.

Boonville, MO Fastpitch and the Wizards of Oz from Silver Lake, Kansas return to the Classic this year, while new entry Bowen, IL Fastpitch and the Belleville, IL Stallions round out the field.

Black Gold recently finished 2-2 in the prestigious Kelso Klassic tournament last weekend.

For the second year in a row there will be a mens’ fastpitch softball reunion held at the pavilion near Lions Field starting at 2 p.m. Saturday. Seventy former players from all over Missouri attended last year. All former players and fans from the state of Missouri are invited.

“The Black Gold Classic is known for featuring strong pitching and a very balanced field of teams,” said manager Eric Steinbeck. “We look forward to seeing everyone out at the ballpark.”

Full concession stand along with BBQ pork steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and the ever popular popsicles will be available both days.

For more information on the tournament contact Eric Steinbeck (314-640-6432) or Matt Benz (314-560-4839). For more information on the reunion contact Pete Purschke (636-583-3377).

Attached is a schedule for this weekend’s Black Gold Classic.

2016 BLACK GOLD CLASSIC Pools and Bracket

31st Annual Kelso Klassic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, June 12-14, in Kelso, Missouri

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

CentralIllinoisKnights.1lr The Central Illinois Knights have started the season in championship form, winning two consecutive tournaments.

KELSO, Mo. – The 2015 Kelso Klassic, featuring 14 of the top men’s fastpitch softball teams from Illinois, Missiouri and Kansas runs from June 12-14 and opens Friday night at 7:30 with hometown Kelso Fastpitch taking on Sibley Fastpitch, followed with the Central Illinois Knights battling Bowen Fastpitch.

The tournament continues through Saturday with the championship game scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. If a second game is needed in the double knockout format to determine a winner, it is slated to begin at 4:30.

The 2014 defending champion Bloomington, Ill. Stix return and figure to be in the running for back-to-back titles. But the road to the title won’t be easy as the Central Illinois Knights figure to be a strong contender after starting the season strong with championships in the Teutopolis Memorial Day and Terry Deering Memorial tournaments.

Other challengers include the Topeka Toros, currently ranked No. 18 in the world by the International Softball Congress, and the 2014 NAFA World Series A Division champion Bowen Fastpitch.

  • Visit the Kelso Fastpitch Facebook to see the tournament bracket
  • THE TOURNAMENT FIELD

  • Kelso Fastpitch
  • Sibley Fastpitch
  • Central Illinois Fastpitch
  • Bowen Fastpitch
  • Weezer’s Fastpitch
  • Pinckneyville Fastpitch
  • Black Gold
  • Topeka Toros
  • Belleville Stallions
  • St. Louis Clubhouse Bar
  • B & K Tire Service
  • Artisan Construction
  • Franny’s Old Irish Pub
  • Bloomington Stix
  • Tribon’s catch saves Ostrander in NAFA World Series

    Friday, August 8th, 2014

    OstranderKelso.103web Ostrander second baseman Aaron Vail tries to turn the double play during Ostrander’s 8-7, 11 inning win over Kelso Fastpitch, Friday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Outfielder Tom Tribon has made some memorable catches in his 12-year fastpitch career. Catches that he’s proud of. But the catch he made Friday is one he will never forget. It belongs in the category attributed as “great plays.”

    In the bottom of the 11th Ostrander was clinging to a one-run lead (8-7) in a fierce AA Division playoff game when Kelso Fastpitch’s Casey Stokes stepped to the plate.

      STOKES HITS A ROCKET

    Stokes worked the count off Ostrander’s Andrew Ysais to full and then leaned into a pitch a little too sweet and a little too far over the plate.

    The ball took off like a rocket high and deep and appeared headed over the left-centerfield fence for a game-winner.

    But Tribon wouldn’t let that happen.

      OFF AND RUNNING

    With the crack of the bat the fast center fielder raced back, leaped and caught the ball as it was about to hit off the top of the fence or go over; and then he crashed violently into the chain-link fence.

    And then he lay still and sprawled out at the base of the fence.

    The force of the crash had nearly knocked him unconscious and cut up his face. But after some first-aid he was feeling a whole lot better about his catch that saved the game and gave Ostrander an 8-7 win.

    “I took off running to my right when the ball was hit,” said Tribon, 30, who started playing fastpitch when he was 18. “It had trouble written all over it. I just wanted to help my pitcher and team out.”

    tribonTomOstrander.117web Tom Tribon’s Ostrander teammates rush to his aid after he made a game-saving catch and then crashed into the fence. Photo By BOB OTTO

    The game was one of the longest of the day and was a back-and-forth battle that went into extra innings tied 6-6. Both offenses could do nothing over the next three innings.

      MENSINK THE IGNITER

    But finally in the 11th, Ostrander got its hitting stroke back.

    Ben Mensink woke up the Ostrander side by ripping a triple to the fence in right-center. One out later he scored on Brandon Meiners single to center, and later Meiners came around on an RBI single by third baseman Mike Groh.

    Groh also came up huge with his glove.

    In the bottom of the 11th with a Kelso runner on first, he snared a hard-hit grounder off the bat of Jerry Wolsey by diving to his left and firing to second baseman Aaron Vail for the force out at second, for the second out.

    And that brought Stokes to the plate and Tribon took care of getting the final out and the win that evens Ostrander’s record in the AA Division at 1-1.

    “I’ve never made a catch like that,” Tribon said. “For me it’s the catch of a lifetime and (one) I won’t forget.”

    Tribon was also impressed that the Kelso team came out to check on him as he lay on the ground.

    “They are a class act to come out and check on me,” he said. “That’s what makes the game great; the people.”

    Outstanding teams in the 2014 NAFA AA & AA-Major Divisions

    Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

    nafa.ws.illustration.3Abw The 2014 NAFA World Series runs from Aug. 7-17 with five divisions of teams competing for championships at the Quad Cities of Illinois & Iowa. visit the NAFA Fastpitch for complete tournament information.

    QUAD CITIES – Well, it’s nine days and counting before the top divisional teams – the AA & AA-Major’s – take to the ball diamonds at Green Valley Sports Complex and Rock Island Campbell Sports Complex to kick off the 2014 NAFA World Series in the fastpitch mecca of the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa.

    I don’t know many of the teams or players personally, but I’m going to make a few predictions based upon past results and what I know about the teams. (See Printable Pool Play Bracket: AA : AA-M Pool Play)

    Pool A: Maple Farm Equipment Bronx, Saskatchewan, Canada: 2013 A-Major champion. The question: Can they make the jump up in division and compete in the tough AA & AA-Major? I think so.

    Pool B: Kelso Fastpitch of Kelso, Missouri. I appreciate the way this team has stuck together with a mostly local roster from the small town of Kelso (pop. about 600), located along the Missouri and Illinois border. This year marked the 30th Annual Kelso Klassic Tournament. (See photo gallery.

    Pool C: Got to go with Topeka Toros. Always give everyone problems – from ISC to NAFA. Doesn’t seem to matter what division their opponent is rated, the Toros just pick up the sticks and gloves and say, “let’s get it on!”

    Click to continue reading “Outstanding teams in the 2014 NAFA AA & AA-Major Divisions”

    Kelso Klassic Tournament photos by Fred Lynch of the Southeast Missourian

    Sunday, June 15th, 2014

    KELSO, MO – Check out Fred Lynch’s photo gallery of the Kelso Klassic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament (June 20-22) that appeared in the Southeast Missourian newspaper: Kelso Klassic 2014

    A good read about Kelso Fastpitch and its ace pitcher Tom Jansen by Southeast Missourian sports reporter, Ben Striker: Kelso Fastpitch opens annual tourney with win.

    Pete’s Blues takes Kelso Klassic

    Monday, June 10th, 2013

    lynch.jonathan
    Jonathan Lynch of Kelso Fastpitch was selected the Most Valuable Player of the Kelso Klassic men’s fastpitch tournament. (See stats and links below to feature stories about Lynch and the tournament.)

    By JERRY WOLSEY / Media Coordinator
    2013 Kelso Klassic

    KELSO, MO – Pete’s Blues men’s fastpitch softball team from Mascoutah, Ill claimed the 29th Annual Kelso Klassic held at Kelso City Park, June 7 to 9. The Blues defeated the Bloomington (ILL) Stix, 3-2, in the final with Topeka (KS) Toros finishing third.

    With the championship, Pete’s claims the 2013 ISC World Tournament entry awarded to the top finishing team.

    Individual honors include, Pablo Masmu of Pete’s Blues named the Klassic Most Valuable Pitcher with a 3-0 record in 15 2/3 innings, including 15 strikeouts, four hits allowed and no earned runs.

    Jonathan Lynch of Kelso Fastpitch was selected the Most Valuable Player by going 8-for-12 (.667 batting average), with one double, two triples, four RBIs, and three stolen bases.

    Lynch played on the 2013 USA Junior Men’s National Fastpich Team; see related story in Southeast Missourian: Notre Dame grad Jonathan Lynch earns spot on men’s softball junior national team

    For the tournament wrap up, please read Southeast Missourian story: Pete’s Blues extends title streak to three at Kelso Klassic