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Buzzards hold off WAH to take Palm Springs Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

THE TAFT (CA) BUZZARDS claimed the 2017 Palm Springs Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tounament at DeMuth Park in Palm Springs, March 25-26. The tournament was the season opener for the So. California Independent Fastpitch League’s (SCIFL) series of Alliance tournaments. Courtesy Photo / Jesse Ortiz, SCIFL President.

By JESSE ORTIZ
SCIFL President

PALMS SPRINGS, Calif. – The So Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) opened its 2017 season at DeMuth Park in Palm Springs on March 25-26. Ten teams took part in the Palm Springs Classic, led by long-time men’s fastpitch advocate and tournament director, Vickie Oltean.

After Saturday’s round-robin play, WAH of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Taft (CA) Buzzards emerged as the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively. Both powerhouses rolled through Sunday’s single-elimination playoffs undefeated into the championship.

Led by the pitching of starter Eloy Montoya, who went three innings, and closer Sonny Perkins, the Buzzards held off WAH, 3-2, in eight innings to claim SCIFL’s first Alliance tournament of the season.

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J & B Painting Blasts Way to SCIFL Alliance Championship in Santa Fe Springs

Monday, March 28th, 2016
J & B Painting won the SCIFL Alliance tournament, Mar. 19-20, at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Courtesy photo

J & B Painting won the SCIFL Alliance tournament, Mar. 19-20, at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Courtesy photo

By JESSE ORTIZ / SCIFL President

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – Ten teams competed in a So. Calif. Independant Fastpitch League (SCIFL) Alliance tournament, Mar. 19-20, at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs under ideal playing conditions with the weather a balmy low-70s.

After Saturday’s pool play and Sunday’s single elimination playoff, J & B Painting emerged the champion by defeating Those Guys 8-3 in the title game. Rob Schweyer picked up the win, with Jesse Martinez taking the loss.

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Top three blast California A’s past Tavistock Merchants

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015
Kevin Castillo hit a two-run home run to help the California A's defeat the Tavistock Merchants, 8-2, Monday in ISC World Tournament play. (Castillo is seen here playing for J&B Painting in the 2014 NAFA World Series.) Photo By BOB OTTO

Kevin Castillo hit a two-run home run to help the California A’s defeat the Tavistock Merchants, 8-2, Monday in ISC World Tournament play. (Castillo is seen here playing for J&B Painting in the 2014 NAFA World Series.) Photo By BOB OTTO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Fastpitch teams count upon the top of the lineup to power the offense. The trio of Marcus Tan, Kevin Castillo and Derek Mason did just that in a most spectacular way by accounting for 5-of-10 California A’s hits, and driving in five runs in the A’s 8-2 victory over the Tavistock Merchants of Canada, Tuesday.

Tan – batting leadoff – was nightmare for the Merchants, scoring twice and going 3-for-4, including a double and RBI. Castillo, the No. 2 man in the order had one hit in two trips, but it was a big one: a two-run blast in the fourth that helped the A’s break a tie and surge ahead, 4-2. And not to be outdone, Mason, third in the A’s murderer’s row, accounted for two RBI with a base hit.

Rob Schweyer pitched well in helping the California A's defeat the Tavistock Merchants.

Rob Schweyer pitched well in helping the California A’s defeat the Tavistock Merchants.

Meanwhile in the circle, starter Rob Schweyer and Josh Johnson teamed-up to hold Tavistock to two hits and one earned run. Schweyer pitched the first three innings, allowing two hits and one earned run with five strikeouts; and Johnson finished the final four innings, no-hitting the Merchants and striking out four to pick up the win.

The A’s Matt Christiansen, Jenner Christiansen (run, RBI) and Kris Waverick (2 runs) each had a hit, and Chase Turner had a good day at the plate as well, rapping out two hits in three trips and scoring twice.

For the Merchants, Ian Baer and Jeremy Munro each hit safely, with Baer getting an RBI single in the third.

The win improves the A’s to 2-1 and continues their journey of climbing back into championship contention through the losers bracket with the Northeast Drillers (2-1) scheduled for Wednesday.

CR BREWERS KNOCK OFF TOPEKA TOROS TWICE TO CLAIM NAFA WORLD SERIES, AA-MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP

Friday, August 7th, 2015
Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major Division after helping the CR Brewers defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the title.

Josh Johnson of El Paso, Texas, was selected the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major Division after helping the CR Brewers defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the title.

WARSAW, Ind. – The CR Brewers battled through the loser’s bracket to defeat the Topeka Toros twice to claim the 2015 NAFA World Series, AA-Major championship, Friday.

The Brewers came into the World Series as defending champions, having won the title in the Quad Cities in 2014.

The Portland ball club began the day with a 1-0 victory over the Cal State Builders, followed by a 6-3 win over the Bruno Merchants. That set up the first meeting with the undefeated Toros who finished round robin play 4-0 to grasp the No. 1 seed.

But the Brewers proved the stronger team on the day, twice knocking off the Kansas club, 4-2 and 2-1, to come away with the championship.

Rob Schweyer got the win in the “if necessary” game with relief help from Josh Johnson, who was selected the AA-Major Most Valuable Player, while his teammate Jorge Segura earned Most Valuable Pitcher honors.

ALL-WORLD TEAM

  • Brewers: Ryan Daly, Rob Schweyer and Nick Green
  • Pepperjacks: Rob Doiran
  • Cal State Builders: Shawn Koster and Kyle Sherwood
  • Bruno Merchants: Lewis Weldon, Justin Dauvin and Matt Hillier
  • Topeka Toros: Matt Chambers, Carlos Ucero, Matt Thornton and Rick Manson
  • Johnson’s blast carries Portland CR Brewers to NAFA World Series AA-Major Championship

    Saturday, August 9th, 2014

    JohnsonJosh.MVP.123web Josh Johnson blasted a solo home run to power the Portland CR Brewers to a 3-2 victory to claim the NAFA World Series AA-Major Championship over J & B Painting, Saturday. Johnson also pitched and picked up the win and was named the AA-Major Most Valuable Player. Photo By BOB OTTO

    QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – Call him a man of heroics, a man who thrives on the big stage, a man who rises to the challenge.

    After his performance in the NAFA World Series AA-Major Division championship game, Josh Johnson certainly lived up to those billings.

    With the game tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, Johnson crushed a solo home run high and deep over the leftfield fence to give the Portland CR Brewers a 3-2 victory over J & B Painting of So. Calif., Saturday afternoon at Green Valley Sports Complex.

    “I got a rise ball and I was looking for that or a change-up,” said Johnson, who was named the Most Valuable Player, and is a USA Softball National Team member. “I didn’t want to do too much or over swing.”

    Johnson’s home run came off J & B pitcher Rob Schweyer, who pitched a four-hitter with three walks and 14 strikeouts.

    And if not for some bad luck, Schweyer may have come out the winner.

    J & B took a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the first on Schweyer’s single that scored Kevin Castillo, who led off the inning with a double up the middle. Schweyer later scored on Patrick Burns’ infield hit.

    Those two runs appeared to be enough for J & B to pull out the win.

    But then came the bad luck.

    In the fifth inning with two outs and Dan Macier on first base by way of a single, Schweyer struck out lead off batter Matt Christensen on a low drop ball. But the ball bounced in the dirt, forcing the catcher to throw to first for the put out.

    But the ball sailed high over the first baseman’s outstretched glove and bounced down the third base line, finally banging up against a rolled up tarp along the fence.

    The J & B defense appeared to hesitate thinking the ball was trapped in the tarp and out of play. As they hesitated, Macier and Christensen tore around the bases with both of them scoring and tying the game.

    After a brief discussion, the umpires ruled the ball had not gotten stuck or trapped in the tarp, so both runs were good.

    SchweyerRob.13web Rob Schweyer struck out 14 and allowed just one earned run for J & B Painting. Photo By BOB OTTO

    “It’s a game that anything can happen,” said Schweyer, who was named to the All-World team. “It was a questionable call, and we didn’t know how to play it. But it was still one of the best games to be involved in.”

    Johnson also picked up the win, going 6 innings and then turned the game over to Terry Luster in the seventh with a runner on first. Luster got a strikeout, and infield pop up and a fly ball to end the game.

    And then the celebration began.

    For Portland sponsor and manager Roger Jones, the win was a first in the NAFA World Series.

    “Chemistry was a key ingredient,” said Jones, who in the past has had teams win four ASA Class A and B national championships. “We have a great defense and didn’t make any errors.

    “And Josh (Johnson) single handedly won some games for us.”

    Jones was right on that account. In Friday night’s winners bracket final, Johnson blasted a two-out, solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to force a 1-1 tie with J & B.

    Portland went on to win that game 4-1 in 11 innings to remain undefeated.

    For J & B sponsor and manager, Bob Berger, the loss in the championship came down to, “a little bad luck,” he said. “That’s all it takes, but Rob pitched great and kept us in the game.”

    The Portland offense was led by Johnson, 1 for 3, with a home run; Kevin Rasmussen 1 for 4, Dan Macier 1 for 3, run scored; and Todd Hodge 1 for 1.

    For J & B, Castillo was 1 for 3 with a double, Schweyer 2 for 3, and Burns 1 for 3.

    Johnson finished with a five-hitter, allowed two runs, four walks, and struck out seven. Luster came on in the seventh for the save. He gave up a walk with a strikeout and didn’t allow any hits.

    Though they lost, J & B has had a good year, winning five its last 10 tournaments. And Berger is planning bigger things next year.

    “Next year were going to the ISC (World Tournament),” he said, adding that his pitching staff will consist of Pat Burns and Devon McCullough and possibly Schweyer.”

    NAFA AA-Major World Series has strong field

    Thursday, July 4th, 2013

    NAFA.logo

    DES MOINES, IOWA – When it comes to parity, it appears that the NAFA AA-Major World Series is wide open with no clear-cut favorite.

    Four of the 15 teams are ranked in the top-25 in the world of men’s fastpitch: The Kegel Black Knights are No. 7; Pete’s Blues, No. 13; the Cal-State Builders, No. 20; The Topeka Toros, No. 23, and New Image No. 24…

    But I wouldn’t bet against any of the rest of the field in taking the crown. Just look at the past history of some of these ball clubs and the “who’s who” they have throwing for them.

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