Las Vegas Road Trip VIII

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Taft Buzzards Qualify to Fight for World Championship

Friday, April 24th, 2015

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The 2015 Taft Buzzards men’s fastpitch team. Courtesy Photo / Matthew Davis

By Karnese Owens / Reporter

TAFT, Calif. – Taft’s very own Men’s Softball Fastpitch team, the Buzzards, has qualified to fight for the title of a NAFA World Series championship! The Taft Buzzards is a team compiled of mostly Taft natives.

On April 12, 2015, the Buzzards went 5-0 to win a 16-team (Las Vegas Road Trip VIII) tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada which qualified them to play in the NAFA World Series in Moline, Illinois. This tournament will take place in August, and the Buzzards will be competing against teams from all over the world.

The Buzzard’s line up consists of pitchers Ron Mizener, Alan Miller, and Rob Davis, all from Taft. Matt Davis, also from Taft, plays catcher.

Other position players from Taft include: Buddy Owens, Eddie Martin, Luke Shelby, Sam Veach, and Jeremiah Twisselman. Additional players include Kacy Aakus, of Bakersfield; as well as Nate Hiromerides, Phil Hiromerides, Tyler McGaughey, and Keith Herbster of Santa Barbara. The coaches are Rudy Montanez of Los Angeles and Dan Willingham, another Taft native.

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Ohio Battery, Maccabi USA and Taft (Calif.) Buzzards claim Las Vegas Road Trip titles

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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LAS VEGAS – The eighth annual Las Vegas Road Trip men’s fastpitch tournament is in the books with three teams emerging as champions in the AA / AA-Major, A-Major, and A divisions of the NAFA-sanctioned tournament conducted by the Southern California Independent Fastpitch Association (SCIFL).

    AA / AA-Major Division

Ohio Battery went undefeated (4-0) to claim the championship, but it wasn’t without a fight as the Ohio team had to hold off the 2014 NAFA World Series AA-Major champion Portland CR Brewers, 8-6, on Sunday to finally fly back to the Midwest with a Southwestern title.

The Brewers and Battery met in the winners bracket final, but this time the Ohio ball club had little difficulty, taking a 5-0 decision. The Brewers then got in a dog fight in the losers bracket final before squeezing past Randy’s A’s 6-5 for a second crack at Ohio Battery.

The runner-up CR Brewers finished 3-2, while Randy’s A’s took third with a 3-2 mark.

    A-Major Division

Maccabi USA roared through the A-Major division winning five consecutive games to claim the championship with a 10-0 victory over the Colorado Rage.

Maccabi bats stung opposing pitching by scoring 36 runs for a 7.2 average, while the pitching fired three shutouts and allowed just five runs in five games.

The Rage finished 3-2 in the 11-team division and beat K-Club of Washington, 5-0, in the losers bracket final to get back into title contention. K-Club started the tournament strong by reeling off two straight wins before losing to Maccabi, 10-3, in the quarterfinals.

Knocked into the losers bracket, the Washington ball club responded with a 7-4 victory over the Pirates and got past the Stealers 8-5 before falling to the Rage and finishing third at 4-2.

    A Division

The Taft Buzzards (near Bakersfield, Calif.) defeated Press Box of Montana, 12-7, to take the championship and remain unblemished at 5-0 in the 13-team tournament.

The two ball clubs met earlier in the winners bracket final with Buzzards taking a 6-2 decision, sending Press Box (4-2) into the losers bracket final where they beat the Oklahoma Sykos, 7-2, for a return match with the Buzzards.

For completed bracket results, visit the SCIFL website.

Men’s fastpitch does a poor job marketing itself

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

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YUCAIPA, Calif. – In 1979 I got into the insurance business when a very successful friend convinced me that selling auto, home and life policies could be financially lucrative.

The first thing he advised me – actually warned me – was something I’ve never forgotten about marketing:

“If you don’t let people know what you do, you will fail.”

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