USA Men’s National Team

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Hitting powers Team USA over Mexico in World Softball Championship

Friday, June 26th, 2015

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Kris Bogach (Huguenot, N.Y.) drove in two runs to led the United States in a 7-0 victory over Mexico in the opening game of the World Softball Championship, Friday.

SASKATOON, CA – Prior to the start of the 14th Men’s International Softball Federation World Softball Championship, USA national team head coach Denny Bruckert said hitting was the biggest improvement he has seen on the team.

Team USA awarded Bruckert’s confidence with the bats by beating Mexico, 7-0, in a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule, Friday, at Bob Van Impe Stadium.

“Our hitting has been the thing lately that we have really improved on,” said Bruckert. “Getting three or four hitters hot at the right time is what it’s all about. I do like what I’m seeing…”

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Ed McCormick Tournament showcases world’s top-ranked teams and pitchers

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

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Bill Hillhouse shown pitching here for the USA National Men’s Softball Team at a USA Softball camp in Chula Vista, Calif. April 15, 2000, has long been instrumental in helping organize the Ed McCormick Tournament. Hillhouse was also an ISC Commissioner-At-Large for many years, starting in 1997. He is currently pitching for the top-ranked Clifton Park, New York Gremlins. Photo By BOB OTTO

ERIE, PA – The annual Ed McCormich Tournament will be held July 27-28 at 1137 E. 11th St. with the International Softball Congress’s four top-ranked teams squaring off in what could be a prelude to the 2013 ISC World Tournament “final four” when the championship takes place Aug. 10-17 in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois.

This should be a dandy matchup of the world’s top hitters and pitchers. In the circle for the Clifton Park, New York Gremlins will be Andrew Kirkpatrick, Sean Whitten and Bill Hillhouse.

The Jarvis Ontario Hallman Twins will counter with Paul Koert, Jeff Farion and Nik Hayes. The Pennsylvania Power will trot out Juan Potolicchio, Eric Fogel, and Karl Gollan, while the Six Nations Hill United Chiefs will counter with a small army of arms, including Adam Folkard, Mitch Hardy, Jason Hill, Mike Joseph, and Grant Patterson.

For fans of the pitching-dominant side of the sport, this “who’s who” of great pitchers should send them scrambling for birds’ eye view seating behind home plate.

SATURDAY’S SCHEDULE WITH CURRENT WORLD TEAM RANKING

  • 9 a.m. No.1 New York Gremlins vs. No. 4 Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg, PA
  • 11 a.m. No. 2 Jarvis Ontario Hallman Twins vs. No. 3 Six Nations Hill United Chiefs, Ontario, CA
  • 1 p.m. Gremlins vs. Jarvis
  • 3 p.m. Hill United vs. PA Power
  • 5 p.m. Special Olympics game (pending)
  • 6 p.m. PA Power vs. Jarvis
  • 8 p.m. Gremlins vs. Hill United
  • SUNDAY CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

  • 9 a.m. NO. 2 seed vs No. 3 (played at 12th and Hess field)
  • 9 a.m. No. 1 vs No. 4 (played at 11th and Hess field)
  • 11 a.m. championship game
  • Men’s National Team arrives in Auckland for the ISF World Fastpitch Championship

    Monday, February 25th, 2013

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    AUCKLAND, New Zealand – The USA Softball Men’s National Team arrived in Auckland, New Zealand this week to begin their quest for the 2013 International Softball Federation (ISF) World Fastpitch Championship Gold the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball USA Softball announced today.

    The United States defeated a local New Zealand Softball New Zealand team 2-0 in a practice game in Auckland on Monday as they prepare for tournament competition. The USA Men will compete in two more practice games this week before starting pool play Friday, March 1 against Australia at 7:30 pm (NZDT).

    “We’ve been looking forward to finally getting here to New Zealand and getting on the field as a team,” said USA assistant coach Avon Meacham.

    “Our guys have been working hard individually to prepare for these World Championships but it’s nice to finally have the team together and to have the opportunity to fine tune the things that we will need to have in place before our first game on Friday,” he added

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    USA must begin developing “Made In America” men’s fastpitch pitchers

    Tuesday, October 9th, 2012


    Can the U.S. develop its own Made In America pitching such as New Zealand, Australia, or Canada does with Canadian pitchers like Sean Whitten, shown here pitching for the California A’s.

    YUCAIPA, CA – Name a couple of American-born fastpitch pitchers capable hurling the USA Men’s National Team to the championship in the 2013 International Softball Federation World Championship?

    Stumped? I couldn’t name any either. That’s because the U.S. doesn’t have any.

    I looked at Team USA’s roster and found pitchers Gerald Muizelaar and Travis Price listed. Both are Canadian born and now living in the U.S. And both are respectable pitchers, but capable of pitching the U.S. to a title? I hope so, but I don’t think so.

    Muizelaar pitched very well in the 2012 ISC World Tournament, earning a spot on the All-World second team with a 3-1 record, 1.09 ERA, while leading the Fargo Kegel Black Knights to fifth place. So of course, he’s a welcome addition to the USA squad.

    But I wonder about Price. He’s a USA team veteran, but really, he’s at the most a mid-range Major pitcher and top Intermediate pitcher. Sure, he can beat some of the lesser world’s teams. But Canada? New Zealand? Australia? I think that’s expecting too much.

    So unless there’s a later addition of some world-caliber pitcher we don’t know about, USA Head Coach Peter Turner will be handing the game ball to Muizelaar most of the time.

    In the 2009 ISF World Championship in Saskatoon, Canada, the USA squad finished fourth behind Canada, runner-up New Zealand, and Gold Medalist Australia.

    One stat in particular stands out about Team USA 2009. In runs allowed, they gave up 45 in 10 games (7-3 record). In comparison, Australia allowed but 12 runs (9-1), New Zealand 26 runs (9-2), and Canada gave up 28 (8-2).

    In fact, among the 16 teams entered, Team USA finished seventh in runs allowed. Teams such as Japan, which finished sixth, allowed 43 runs; Argentina 42. Even the Czeck Republic and the Philippines allowed fewer runs than the U.S. squad with 36 each.

    This means of course, that a big part of the runs allowed problem is due to pitching. I’m not knocking the guys toeing the rubber for Team USA. But the pitching stats don’t lie. And they often tell why a team wins or loses against the best in the world.

    None-the-less, Men’s National Team selection committee member Warren Jones stated on the USA Softball website:

    “I think we’re going to have a really competitive (2013) team. We’ve got some new, young faces that have made a name for themselves in the fastpitch softball world and we’ve got some older guys who have been around and know the ropes.”

    Unfortunately for U.S. men’s major fastpitch those new, young faces that Jones refers to don’t include U.S. born pitchers.

    So how do we turn around our problem of a lack of “Made In America” pitchers?

    First of all, I think it’s critical that the USA National Team become the top priority for everyone involved in the sport. And that includes the three organizations governing men’s fastpitch in the U.S.: the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), the International Softball Congress (ISC), and the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA).

    The three organizations should form a joint pitching committee with one overriding priority – identify gifted athletes and get them on the rubber. That means any talented fastpitch (or baseball) athlete with the physical tools needs to be steered to the rubber (hogtie and force the shy types if need be).

    Here’s an example: Let’s say a team has an outfielder – big, strong and blessed with a powerful throwing arm – on its roster. He’s content to bat third in the lineup, content to hit home runs and drive in runs, and earn his All-World awards.

    I would say, “Sorry young man, but your country needs you. And it’s not in the batter’s box. It’s in the circle.”

    Some of you are muttering, “you can’t force an athlete to become a fastpitch pitcher; they have to want it!”

    True, desire is absolutely a critical attribute to becoming a pitcher. But think for a minute. I bet most of you can recall a pitcher or two, who started at shortstop (Anyone remember ISC Hall of Fame pitcher, Jimmy Moore?) or the outfield, or behind the plate, who when encouraged, took up pitching.

    Another ISC All-World pitcher comes to mind – Darwin Tolzin, who pitched St. Paul All-American Bar to the 1976 ISC World Tournament title. I believe he started as a position player and only took up pitching when his team at the time needed a pitcher.

    No doubt, U.S. men’s fastpitch is in a serious decline, losing more teams each year. So as far as that goes, all LEVELS of TEAMS should be targeting its top athletes and encouraging, demanding, pleading – whatever it takes – to get them in the circle.

    Sure, it’s going to take a few years before our pitching prospects develop to the best of their ability. But at this point, what do we have to lose by trying to cultivate “Made in America” pitching? The only other alternative is to hope that top foreign pitchers take up residence in the U.S. like Muizelaar and Price. But what does that say about our fortitude to develop our own talent?

    So to USA Softball, the ASA, ISC and NAFA we ask:

    “Can you set aside any differences you may have and form a joint pitching committee that identifies the sport’s best athletes and targets them for the circle?”