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Kelso Klassic will have new champ this year

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014
By Ben Striker – Southeast Missourian

    The 14-team men’s fastpitch tournament begins today

KELSO, MO – For the first time in four years, there will be a new Kelso Klassic champion.

Pete’s Blues of Mascoutah, Illinois, the powerhouse squad that won the last three titles of the men’s fastpitch softball tournament, will not be around for the 30th annual event.

The absence gives way to a wide-open field when play begins today at Kelso City Park, said tournament media coordinator Jerry Wolsey.

“There is no telling who the favorite really is,” said Wolsey, a former Southeast Missouri State baseball player and current Kelso Fastpitch player and coach. “Pete’s Blues usually runs the table, and now that they’re out it just creates all kind of scenarios. Anyone could win, even a Cinderella team could come out on top.”

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Young Missouri ball player seeks fastpitch team for next season

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

ST. LOUIS, MO – The men’s fastpitch season has about wrapped up, but already 19-year-old Jake Bryan is looking ahead to next season.

He’s looking for a ball club to give him a chance to earn a spot on a roster.

“I’ve been around fastpitch most of my life and just absolutely love the atmosphere and the awesome competition,” said Jake who comes from a talented fastpitch family.

His dad Wayne Bryan and his grandfather Tim Bryan played for many years. In fact, his dad played for some very good ASA and ISC teams: the GMC Dealers and the Lafayette Bar & Grill of St. Louis, and the Heflin Builders (New York and Florida). He was selected an ASA All-American player in 2005, and played in the 1998 U.S. Olympic Festival.

So chances are, some of that ball field know-how and athleticism has rubbed off on Jake.

And he’s willing to try and prove it to a team in the Missouri and Illinois area. He just wants some team, some manager to give him a chance.

Jake has been playing fastpitch for two years. He considers second base his strong suite, but he can play first and third as well as the outfield, if need be.

This past year he played in the Kelso Klassic tournament and in the St. Charles League. But some of the veterans on the team are starting to slow down and don’t want to play as much, while Jake’s career is on the upswing.

“I just want to try to find a team since my dad and them are getting older and aren’t playing much anymore,” he said. “I would love to keep playing.”

(Surely there are Missouri or Illinois teams that would give this young man an opportunity.)

You can contact Jake by email.

Someone to know: Argentina fastball pitcher Pablo Masmu

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Pablo Masmu, 20, is one of several talented foreign pitchers pitching for elite men’s fastpitch clubs in the U.S.

MASCOUTAH, ILL – In fastpitch softball, the U.S. is like a magnet pulling talented foreign pitchers to its ball diamonds eager to challenge the world’s elite hitters with their risers and drops, change-ups and curves.

Many foreign pitchers have established great careers in the U.S. such as White and Meredith, Mata and Folkard, Potolicchio and Gervasutti.

And now there’s Pablo Masmu. The 20-year-old from Argentina is pitching for Pete’s Blues of Mascoutah, Ill. And it looks like Pete’s found a gem.

His 2012 resume shines with success. The right-hander helped his country win the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championship in Parana, Argentina last November. Where he was chosen the ISF’s Most Valuable Player.

Three months earlier, Masmu helped Argentina (7-0) win the 2012 ISC Under-21 World Championship in Midland, Michigan. He was one of the tournament’s elite pitchers, earning All-World for his 4-0 record, 0.43 ERA, and 28 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.

Certainly he enjoyed a great 2012. But Masmu’s not resting on his laurels. He’s off to a great start this season. Recently he pitched Pete’s Blues to the championships of the Kelso Klassic, going 3-0 and allowing just four hits and no earned runs in 15 2/3 innings.

When the tournament awards were passed out, Masmu was chosen the Most Valuable Pitcher.

“Pablo is very mature and confident in the circle for a 20 year-old kid,” said Pete’s Blues infielder and coach Dave Perkins. “He threw a perfect game against a good Franny’s Ole Irish Pub from Springfield, IL, then held down a Bloomington Stix lineup (3-2) full of current and future Aussie Steelers for two games on Sunday. Every time Pablo steps in the circle, we have a chance to win.”

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Kelso finishes fourth in Kelso Klassic fastpitch softball tournament

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Southeast Missourian
KELSO, MO – Pete’s Blues ruled the Kelso Klassic for the second straight year.
The squad from Mascoutah, Ill., repeated as champion in the 28th annual 14-team men’s fastpitch softball tournament that ended Sunday at Kelso City Park.

Pete’s Blues went 5-1 in the tournament, capped by a 6-2 win over the Topeka (Kan.) Toros. The Toros forced the winner-take-all, if-necessary title contest earlier Sunday by beating Pete’s Blues 6-1.

“I think Topeka just ran out of gas, but they took it to the very last game,” said Jerry Wolsey, the tournament media coordinator. “Pete’s Blues had another impressive tournament.”

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