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A Step Back In Time: Mark Rako Joins Elite Company In Fastpitch Hall of Fame

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Mark “Vinnie” Rako poses with legendary U.S. Olympic softball player Dot Richardson during the University of Dubuque’s spring trip to Florida in March, 2013


Platteville pitcher to join SW Wisocnsin Fast Pitch Hall of Fame

By Jason Nihles
sports@theplattevillejournal.com
SWNEWS4u.com
POSTED June 5, 2013 2:27 p.m.

BOSCOBEL, Wisc. – Mark Rako’s fast-pitch softball career began 41 years ago as a 14-year-old boy on the old field in Arthur.

Over the course of a career that spanned five decades “Vinnie”, as he was better known by teammates and opponents alike, developed into one of the best pitchers in the area.

“I don’t think some people even know my real name,” Rako joked.

Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Mark Rako Joins Elite Company In Fastpitch Hall of Fame”

USA Softball Men’s National Team finishes Father’s Day Tournament with 8-4 victory over JB Titans

Monday, June 19th, 2017

PAT SAGDAL belted a double and later scored to help the USA Men’s National Team defeat the J.B. Bombers, 8-4, to claim the championships of the Houston Father’s Day Tournament, Sunday, June 18. USA Softball Photo.

JUNE 19, 2017, 2:06 A.M. (ET)
USA Softball Media Report

HOUSTON — The 2017 USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) won their fifth-straight game of the weekend, 8-4, to complete their impressive outing at the Father’s Day Tournament in Houston, Texas, USA Softball announced today. The U.S. scored eight runs on nine hits with no errors.

Tyler Dudley (Battle Creek, Mich.) got things going with a lead-off double in the second inning before tagging up and reaching third on a flyout by Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.). A walk to Nick Mullins (Toms River, N.J.) put two runners on for Team USA and a homerun by Pat Sagdal (Richland, Wash.) made it a 3-0 lead.

Click to continue reading “USA Softball Men’s National Team finishes Father’s Day Tournament with 8-4 victory over JB Titans”

Pools, Schedule announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

WHITEHORSE, Canada — The World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced the pools and official tournament schedule of the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship taking place in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada from 7-16 July.

NEW ZEALAND will once again be a contender to win the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada, July 7-16, after finishing runner-up in 2015 to Canada. New Zealand leads all countries in the medal count with 12 gold, silver and bronze, including tops in gold with six, while Canada is a close second with 11 total medals, and No. 2 in the gold count with four. WBSC Photo

The 15th edition of the men’s flagship softball event will showcase more than 80 games — 64 games taking place in the round robin over the first seven days, followed by three days of playoff action.

The participating nations in the WBSC Men’s Softball Championship represent a global reach that spans across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.

Nations will be divided into two pools to compete in a challenging round-robin, with the top four finishers from each pool advancing to the double page playoff round. The remaining teams will compete in the placement round.

    Pool A

No. 3 Argentina
No. 5 Australia
No. 4 Canada
No. 11 Dominican Republic
Hong Kong
India
No. 14 South Africa
No. 6 USA

USA Men’s National Team pitcher Duane Weiler of Bedford, Penn. hurls a pitch during the USA Softball Men’s National Invitational Fast Pitch Tournament in Ashland, Ohio, June 9-11. Photo courtesy of USA Softball

    Pool B

No. 19 Botswana
No. 8 Czech Republic
No. 13 Denmark
No. 10 Great Britain
No. 20 Indonesia
No. 2 Japan
No. 1 New Zealand
Turkey
No. 7 Venezuela

Click to continue reading “Pools, Schedule announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship”

Team USA beats one of fastball’s best in big win over Globe to claim Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament championship

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

PAT SAGDAL belted a two-run home run to help the USA Men’s National Softball Team defeat Globe, 8-0, in the 2017 Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Sunday, May 21, 2017. USA Softball Photo.

STEVENS, Penn. – The USA Men’s National Team bullied their way to a 4-0 mark in the Rodney Fox Memorial Fastpitch Tournament on Saturday. They bludgeoned opposing pitchers for 38 runs, and on Sunday in the opening game of the playoffs they kept on swinging those hot bats, beating Elanco, 13-3.

That set up a matchup with Globe for the tournament championship.

Now surely this title game would present a far greater challenge for Team USA. For the guy toeing the rubber for Globe was an internationally renowned pitcher: Sean Cleary.

The hard-throwing Canadian right-hander has an impressive resume:

  • He’s a Canadian national team pitcher.
  • He’s the 2016 International Softball Congress Most Outstanding Pitcher for hurling the Toronto, Ontario Gators to the ISC World Tournament championship.
  • In 2015, Cleary helped pitch Canada to the World Softball championship.

    But on this day, the United States’ batsmen got the better of Cleary and Globe for an 8-0 victory that gives Team USA its first tournament title of the season, and great preparation for the 14th World Softball Championship tournament at Saskatoon, Canada, June 26-July 5.

    In the quest for the title, they roughed up Cleary for five runs on five hits in four innings before he gave way to reliever Jon Gwizdala in the fifth.

    Bryce Kay hammered a two-run homer in the second inning, Nick Mullins drove a run-scoring double into left-field that ignited a four-run fifth, and Pat Sagdal homered with one aboard to close out the scoring in the sixth, ending the game on the mercy rule.

    That was more than enough runs for Team USA veteran pitcher Tony Mancha who held Globe to two hits with nine strikeouts and a walk. Both runs were unearned.

    Team USA had seven hits, with Mullins perfect at 2-for-2, and Jeff Nowaczk, Bryce Kay, Kevin Castillo, Sagdal and Matt Ratliff getting one hit each. Both Sagdal and Kay homered, and Mullins and Castillo doubled.

    (I wasn’t aware this was the championship game. Congratulations Team USA. Off to a great start in preparation for the 2017 WBSC World Championship.)

  • Mancha hurls USA Men’s National Team to top seeding

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    Tony Mancha

    STEVENS, Penn. – Tony Mancha hurled a shutout as the USA Men’s National Team extended its winning streak to four by defeating Farmersville, 6-0, in the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, late Saturday, in the final game of round-robin play.

    The right-hander allowed just two hits – one each by leadoff batter Yusef Davis and Steve Mullady – and then proceeded to handle the rest of Farmersville’s lineup by striking out 21 batters. Only one other batter reached base, a walk to James Gilbert in the fifth inning.

    Wth the win, Team USA moves into Sunday’s playoffs as the No. 1 seed.

    Mancha, a right-hander from Las Cruces, New Mexico, picked up his first win of the tournament, but he had plenty of support in getting it. Led by hot-hitting Eric Ochoa, Team USA roughed up Farmersville’s Jonas Mach for six runs on 12 hits.

    Ochoa (2-for-3) hit his third home run of the tourney and drove in three runs, while Tyler Dudley had two RBI and was 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer.

    As in their previous three games, Team USA started strong by plating three runs in the first inning on Ochoa’s three-run homer; picked up a run in the fourth on Derrick Zechman’s sacrifice fly, and pushed two runs across in the seventh when Dudley hammered a two-run homer deep over the left-field fence.

    The USA Men’s National Team returns to action Sunday morning at 11, opponent yet to be determined.

    To follow Team USA, visit: Rodney Fox Memorial Schedule

    USA National Softball Team stays perfect in Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    Jonathan Lynch led a 16-hit attack to power Team USA to victory in the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Saturday, May 20. Photo By BOB OTTO

    STEVENS, Penn. – Jonathan Lynch was perfect at the plate, B.J. Runoff dominated in the circle, and Team USA cruised to a 16-0 victory over Kelly’s in the second-round of the Rodney Fox Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Stevens, Saturday morning.

    Click to continue reading “USA National Softball Team stays perfect in Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament”

    USA men’s national team prepares for world championship

    Saturday, May 6th, 2017

    USA SOFTBALL – The USA Softball Men’s National Team will be playing in three tournaments leading up to the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championship, July 7-16, in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

    2017 USA MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TOURNAMENTS

  • May 19-21, Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Stevens, Penn.
  • June 16-18, Father’s Day Memorial, Houston, Tex.
  • July 1-3, Vancouver Challenge, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • *Shedule subject to change

    TEAM USA is coached by Head Coach Denny Bruckert, and assisted by coaches Greg Hicks, Gregg Leather and Nick McCurry.

    A Step Back In Time: Team USA captures 1996 Herald & Review Shootout

    Saturday, April 1st, 2017

    By MARK TUPPER
    Decatur Herald & Review Sports Editor
    July 17, 1996

    DECATUR, IL – If the United States plans to win the gold medal at the International Softball Federation World Championship next month, it will almost certainly have to survive a challenge like it faced Sunday.

    Key hitting and pressure pitching led USA past Green Bay (Wis.) All-Car, 2-1, in the championship game of the Herald & Review Shootout at Borg-Warner Field.

    Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Team USA captures 1996 Herald & Review Shootout”

    Nicholas Mercer: The violence of throwing a softball

    Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
    FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER - Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time.  His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

    FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER – Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time. His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

    The Telegram Sports
    By Nicholas Mercer
    Sept. 12, 2016

    ST. JOHNS, NL – Seeing high-level fastpitch softball play out on a computer screen over a webcast doesn’t do the game justice.

    Nor does it allow the average fan to appreciate just what goes into throwing the softball very hard at the plate.

    When you’re watching the game 20-feet from the pitching rubber, it’s easy to see the webcast sells the act incredibly short.

    A hush falls over the crowd as the pitcher takes his signs from the catcher. They’re counting on seeing something great with every pitch.

    That sense of anticipation only heightens when the pitcher rocks back before leaping towards the plate and uncoiling a ball that travels at ungodly speeds.

    Continue Reading in The Telegram

    In The Spotlight: Kevin Castillo, USA National Team and ISC All-World player

    Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
    KEVIN CASTILLO of the Vancouver BC A's earned All-World honors at the 2016 ISC World Tournament; his second such award, as he was named All-World in 2015, too. Photo By BOB OTTO

    KEVIN CASTILLO of the Vancouver BC A’s earned All-World honors at the 2016 ISC World Tournament; his second such award, as he was named All-World in 2015, too. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – Kevin Castillo had a successful 2016 fastpitch season, both with his Long Beach team, Those Guys, and the Vancouver BC Athletics, his club team that finished in the top tier at the ISC World Tournament in Moline, Illinois.

  • ISC performance earns Castillo high tournament honors:
  • He was selected a Second-Team, All-World infielder for helping the Athletics finish fourth in the 36-team field of the best club teams from the U.S. and Canada.

    Click to continue reading “In The Spotlight: Kevin Castillo, USA National Team and ISC All-World player”