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Unranked Topeka Toros topple ISC big guns to take Tin Cup Challenge

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

2017 TOPEKA TOROS include Carlos Carreno, Matt Chambers, Jaime Garcia, Jr., Peyton Hall, Travis Nevin, Jared Pinkerton, Brogan Potter, Rogelio Sequera, Zac Shaw, Tony Sparvier, Tyler Thomlinson, Matt Thornton, Jeremy Kenney, Carlos Ucero, player / manager Josh White and coaches Terry White and Mike Watson. 2017 ISC World Tournament roster

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. – The Topeka Toros weren’t ranked among the world’s top men’s fastpitch softball teams coming into the Tin Cup Challenge, but after the Toros impressive performance, one must ask, why not?

The Toros went undefeated (5-0) in blazing their way past five International Softball Congress top-16 ranked teams to claim the eight-team Challenge, culminating with a 5-0 victory over No. 6 Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisc. in the championship, July 30.

The key to the Toros success?

“Good pitching combined with top-level defense and timely hitting was the key to our success,” said player / manager Josh White. “We had our moments offensively. We seemed to score early in most of our games and we seemed to be able to get the lead-off guy on base. Everyone seems to be contributing offensively one through nine.”

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The Comeback Nation Slams Its Way To Gold In the Men’s Softball World Championship

Monday, July 17th, 2017

JOEL EVANS, seen batting in an earlier game against Australia, smashed a grand slam home run as New Zealand beat Australia, 6-4, in the Gold Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 16, 2017. ANTHONY AU-YEUNG / PHOTOSPORT

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada – Call the New Zealand fastpitch team what you will, the comeback nation or the never-say-die fastballers, as both monikers personify their amazing performance in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.

Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning of the Gold Medal game, Joel Evans blasted a grand slam home run to help New Zealand claim the world championship with a 6-4 victory over the Australia Steelers at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday afternoon.

It was the second meeting of the ball clubs, as New Zealand took a 6-2 win in the opening round of championship playoffs among the top-eight teams.

BRIMMING WITH GOLD

For New Zealand, this becomes their seventh world championship. The Black Sox have won Gold in 2013, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1984 and 1976 (shared with USA and Canada after weather halted the tournament).

“I’m really proud of the way they performed and how hard they worked to get to this stage,” said New Zealand Head Coach Mark Sorenson in a post-game interview. “It’s about never giving up and building pressure. Once we started getting quality at bats, we started to build that pressure.”

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New Zealand Black Sox win Challenge Cup after smashing Argentina in final

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

WAYNE LAULU hit a grand slam homer to give the New Zealand Black Sox a walk-off 8-6 win over Argentina to send New Zealand into the finals of the 2017 Challenge Cup where they once again downed Argentina, 9-0, to claim the championship. Courtesy Photo

Newshub.com
Feb. 12, 2017

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The Black Sox rediscovered their form with a disciplined 9-0 win over Argentina in the final of the Challenge Cup men’s fastpitch softball tournament in Auckland.

The New Zealanders had qualified directly for the final after a tempestuous 8-6 win over world No.3 Argentina on Saturday night gave them nine wins from 10 matches.

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Starters can’t finish as Toronto Gators win slugfest over Hill United Chiefs

Friday, August 19th, 2016
Joel Southam belted a two-run home run for Hill United Chiefs, but it wasn't enough as the Toronto Gators defeated the Chiefs, 7-6, in nine innings in the winner's bracket final to advance to the ISC World Tournament championship game, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

Joel Southam belted a two-run home run for Hill United Chiefs, but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto Gators defeated the Chiefs, 7-6, in nine innings in the winner’s bracket final to advance to the ISC World Tournament championship game, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

MOLINE, IL – Adam Folkard and Sean Cleary are two of the top pitchers in the world of fastpitch softball. Both have overpowering speed and sharp breaking spin that makes their pitches rise or drop with astounding movement.

Most of the time the two right-handers win the battle against the best fastball hitters in the world. Friday night wasn’t one of those time.

Both pitchers were ousted from the game – Folkard in the sixth pitching for Hill United Chiefs, and the Toronto Gators pulled Cleary after four innings.

Hill United Chiefs Adam Folkard fires a pitch during the Chiefs, 7-6, loss to the Toronto Gators in the winner's bracket final, Friday night, at Green Valley Sports Complex. The loss drops the three-time ISC World Tournament champion into the loser's bracket, while the Gators advance to the championship game. Photo By BOB OTTO

Hill United Chiefs Adam Folkard fires a pitch during the Chiefs, 7-6, loss to the Toronto Gators in the winner’s bracket final, Friday night, at Green Valley Sports Complex. The loss drops the three-time ISC World Tournament champion into the loser’s bracket, while the Gators advance to the championship game. Photo By BOB OTTO

Those moves tell how this game went. It was a hitter’s night.

And this time around it went the Gators way as the two titans battled through nine innings before Toronto pulled out a 7-6 win when one of the greatest hitters in the world – New Zealand star Wayne Laulu – ended the game with a walkoff home run off Pablo Migliavacca.

Migliavaca took over for Folkard in the seventh after he had given up six runs (five earned) on nine hits.

Hill United Chiefs catcher Jason Sanford blocks the plate and stops Toronto Gator's Brandon Horn from scoring during the Gators nine inning, 7-6 victory in the winner's bracket final of the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Friday. Photo By BOB OTTO

Hill United Chiefs catcher Jason Sanford blocks the plate and stops Toronto Gator’s Brandon Horn from scoring during the Gators nine inning, 7-6 victory in the winner’s bracket final of the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Friday. Photo By BOB OTTO

The two powerhouses, feasted on 21 hits, 10 by the Chiefs and 11 from the Gators, and they hit five home runs, three by the Chiefs and a pair by the Gators. (See ISC Pointstreak for stats.)

In the back and forth scoring affair, the Chiefs plated a pair of runs in the first and second innings, only to see the Gators chip away with single runs in the first four innings to tie the game.

Bradley Ezekiel hit a home run in the fifth to reinstate the Chief’s lead at 5-4 off Justin Schofield who relieved Cleary to start the inning. But back fought the Gators with a pair of runs in the sixth to surge ahead, 6-5.

But in the seventh, Ezekiel’s second home run evened the count, sending the game into extra innings, where Laulu’s blast ended it.

The win was huge, moving Toronto into Saturday’s championship game at 6 p.m. as the only unbeaten team (5-0) left in the tournament, while Hill United must battle back through the loser’s bracket for another crack at the championship.

The Chiefs return to the ball diamond at 1 p.m. to take on the winner between the New York Gremlins and BC A’s to be played at 11.

** For standings, scores and more, visit: ISC Pointstreak Scoreboard

Hill United Chiefs dream of three-peat comes true

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Adam Folkard pitched Six Nations Hill United Chiefs to the 2015 ISC World Tournament championship, Aug. 15, and was selected the Leroy Zimmerman Most Outstanding Pitcher.

Adam Folkard pitched Six Nations Hill United Chiefs to the 2015 ISC World Tournament championship, Aug. 15, and was selected the Leroy Zimmerman Most Outstanding Pitcher.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Six Nations Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada were pursuing a dream and chasing a couple of legends.

And on a late Saturday night at the Belleville Softball Complex in South Bend, the dream came true and the legends were caught.

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Hot-hitting New Zealand thrashes Canada in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – No team in the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship is hitting – make that slugging – the ball better than the New Zealand Black Sox.

In its last four games, New Zealand has outscored its opponents 37-7. The latest victory was huge, 9-5 over Canada in the playoffs Saturday that moves New Zealand into the Gold medal game on Sunday.

    FENCE BUSTERS

The Black Sox pounded out 10 hits, including home runs by Jerome Raemaki, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Enoka and Brad Rona.

Raemaki hit a home run in the third inning; Laulu blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence erasing Canada’s lead for good, and pushing the Black Sox in front, 4-3, in the fourth inning. Tyson Byrne followed with a run-scoring triple that scored Cole Evans, and in the fifth, Enoka cleared the left-center field fence for a two-run homer.

Brad Rona finished the Black Sox fence-busting attack with a two-run shot in the seventh.

    CANADA GOES LONG BALL TOO

Ian Fehrman and Brad Ezekiel gave Canada hope when they hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings off New Zealand’s Heinrick Shannon. But he withstood the onslaught and after Ezekiel led off the seventh with his homer, Shannon retired three in a row to seal the win.

Shannon threw seven innings to improve to 2-0 the playoffs. He allowed three earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.

    DEFENDING CHAMPS SEEK SECOND GOLD

Now New Zealand – the defending ISF Men’s World Softball champions from 2013 – move to the Gold medal game, Sunday afternoon. Canada remains in the running for the gold, but must defeat the winner between Venezuela and Australia played Saturday night (results not available at publishing time).

    CANADA STILL IN CONTENTION

Canada came into the game against New Zealand undefeated and the top team in Pool A at 7-0. And the Canadians began the playoffs in dominating fashion, beating Australia and its ace pitcher Adam Folkard, 8-3, on Friday.

New Zealand finished round robin play in Pool A as the number four team at 5-2. The Black Sox entered the playoffs stinging the ball and beat the Dominican Republic, the top team from Pool B with a 6-1 record, 8-0, to set up the meeting with Canada.

New York Gremlins prove they deserve top billing

Monday, July 29th, 2013

whitten.seas
Sean Whitten hurled the New York Gremlins to the championship of the Ed McCormick Men’s Fastpitch Tournament by defeating Pennsylvania Power in the championship, Sunday July 28 in Erie, Pennsylvania.

ERIE, Penn. – The world’s four top-ranked teams met in a head-to-head showdown and the New York Gremlins proved they deserve top billing.

The Gremlins, ranked No. 1 by the International Softball Congress, swept through the fourth annual Ed McCormick Men’s Fastpitch Tournament unblemished (4-0) and finished off the July 27-28 weekend by defeating No. 4 ranked Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg, PA 11-4 in the final.

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