Pennsylvania men’s fastpitch

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Farmersville Haymakers overcome slow start, finish strong with Elkland and NAFA World Series titles

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
2016 FARMERSVILLE HAYMAKERS, 2016 NAFA World Series, AA-Division Champions: The team includes James Gilbert, Dustin Rutt, Fernando Lombardo, Brandon Rutt, Justin Zimmerman, Kliff Zimmerman, Jerlin Rutt, Duane Weiler, Rich Sauder, Phil Zimmerman, Jake Rutt, Logan Rutt, and coach Merlin High. Courtesy Photo

2016 FARMERSVILLE HAYMAKERS, 2016 NAFA World Series, AA-Division Champions: The team includes James Gilbert, Dustin Rutt, Fernando Lombardo, Brandon Rutt, Justin Zimmerman, Kliff Zimmerman, Jerlin Rutt, Duane Weiler, Rich Sauder, Phil Zimmerman, Jake Rutt, Logan Rutt, Matt Sheaffer and coach Merlin High. Courtesy Photo

“The beginning of year it took us awhile to bond as a team and we weren’t playing the best, but by the end of the year we meshed as a team and finished out strong. It was a fun ride!” – Haymakers coach Merlin High

EPHRATA, PA – Average. Ordinary. Mediocre. Not the kind of tags competitive athletes or teams want to be labeled with. It means you’re OK, but you’ve done nothing to distinguish yourself.

That was the kind of season the Farmersville Haymakers were having, hovering around .500, finishing third at 13-12 in the Stevens’ Northend Softball League, third in the league playoffs…you get the picture.

As coach Merlin High said, at the start of the year, “we weren’t playing the best.”

But as the sporting cliché goes: it’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts. And what a finish, what a stunning turnaround the Haymakers pulled off.

    WEILER CLICKS, WINNING STREAK STARTS

And it all started at the NAFA World Series in North Mankato, Minnesota where the Haymakers delivered some big blows to go 5-0 and win the AA-Division championship.

“Things started to click at the start of the NAFA World Series,” said player / pitcher Justin Zimmerman.

And in fastpitch, “to click” starts with pitching. And with Duane Weiler as a late- season addition, the Haymakers fortunes shot upward like a NASA rocket.

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Kevin Kammueller, hurling Cal-State Builders to prominence in ISC World Tournament

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Kevin Kammueller pitching for the Cal-State Builders of Seattle in the 2011 California Classic in June.
Photos By Bob Otto

QUAD-CITIES, IL – If some heads are turning and asking, “who are those guys?” it’s little wonder, because the Cal-State Builders in their first journey in the ISC World Tournament are making some noise.

The Builders, started last year by owner and manager Dave Carlton, have an impressive 4-1 record in defeating the Alvinston Indians, Ontario, Canada 2-0; the Pala Braves (Calif.) 2-1; the Sweaburg Crush, Ontario, 5-3, and Dolan & Murphy from Aurora, IL, 4-2.

The Builders’ lone defeat came in their second game to the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, ND, 3-1.

Leading the Builders has been Minnesota pitcher Kevin Kammueller.

The right-hander who pitched for the Minnesota Angels last season, has been impressive.

And his statistics tell it all:

* 4-1 record
* 28 innings pitched, allowing 26 hits
* six earned runs
* 1.49 ERA
* 30 strikeouts and just four walks

Kammueller, who has long been regarded as a top NAFA AA-Major and Open pitcher, is pitching in his first ISC World Tournament, and he’s proving that he belongs.

The Builders continue play in the 46-team World Tournament with a 3 P.M. game today against Pennsylvania Power, Harrisburg, PA.

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
botto3@verizon.net

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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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