Yusef Davis

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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

Home runs power Marchio Sausage Company past Desperado Sports Tavern in Las Vegas Road Trip tournament

Friday, April 7th, 2017

JOEL COOLEY fired a one-hitter and struck out 13 batters to lead Marchio Sausage Company of St. Paul, Minnesota to a 3-1 victory over Desperado Sports Tavern of Missoula, Montana in the AA / AA-Major Division of the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip tournament, April 7, at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The fences are deep at Sunset Park in Las Vegas – slowpitch softball deep. So hitting home runs over those fences would take mammoth blows – Babe Ruth kind of blows.

But homers can still be had if a ball is hit into the gaps.

Yusef Davis, perhaps the fastest player in the Las Vegas Road Trip X men’s fastpitch tournament, drilled a shot into the right-centerfield gap in the bottom of the first inning that rolled all the way to the fence.

By the time the ball was returned to the infield, Davis had crossed home plate with a solo homer, giving Marchio Sausage Company of St. Paul, Minnesota the early lead over Desperado Sports Tavern of Missoula, Montana.

Then in the third inning, Sam Nieman followed Davis’ lead and drilled another ball into the gap and raced around for a solo home run that helped Marchio hold off Desperado, 3-1, in the first-round of the AA / AA-Major Division, Friday.

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Bouley and Davis learning fastpitch the New Zealand way

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

TYLER BOULEY, left, and YUSEF DAVIS are playing fastpitch in New Zealand with the goal to improve their games for the upcoming 2017 North American fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

NEW ZEALAND – It’s the off season for North American fastpitch and for most players, they’ve switched uniforms for a winter sport like basketball or hockey. Or they’re pumping iron at a fitness center muscling-up for the coming season.

Hitting, pitching, fielding? Not for a few months yet.

But not so for Yusef Davis and Tyler Bouley. These two young and budding stars – Davis, 22, and Bouley, 21 – shunned taking the winter off and instead boarded a plane for New Zealand.

All with the purpose of improving and pushing themselves to reach new heights in the sport they profess to love. As the saying goes, “to be the best you can be.”

Fastpitch is a pitcher’s game. Talented ones typically dominate hitters. So where better to improve one’s hitting than in pitching-rich New Zealand.

    TOUCH CHUCKERS

Bouley got a good feel for just how good these Kiwi hurlers are almost as soon as he landed.

“It has really helped my game because you don’t have to travel to (face) a quality pitcher,” said Bouley, who plays for Northcote Softball Club. “Every premiere team has a pitcher that either has competed at the (International Softball Congress World Tournament) or is capable of competing at the ISC. Two of the best I’ve faced so far are Bailey Hoani and Josh Pettett.”

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Yusef Davis Heads Down Under To Hone His Fastpitch Skills

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Yusef Davis Jr., reaches up and slaps a high rise ball off BC A’s pitcher Gregg Garrity and reaches safely on an infield single. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 SCIFL Tournament

LONG BEACH, Calif. – For many people, their Christmas wish-list is often filled with requests for material things: like an iPhone 7, a car, or new clothes and jewelry.

Just like the rest of us, 22-year-old Yusef Davis appreciates the finer things in life, too.

But the young man from Long Beach wanted more than material things. And he got his Christmas wish and then some with a trip “Down Under” to expand his fastpitch softball horizons.

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In The Spotlight: Yusef Davis, Southern California’s fast-rising star in men’s fastpitch

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. played in the ISC World Tournament with the New York Peligro Gremlins, and also in the NAFA A-Division World Series for the Beaumont, Calif. Coyotes. He batted .375 in the world Tournament, and was selected to the NAFA All-World Team. Courtesy Photo

LONG BEACH, Calif. – He’s young, he’s fast, he can drop down a bunt, slap or send a stinging line drive into the gap, and with his speed, he can cover the outfield like a cheetah.

Oh, one other thing, Yusef Davis in his few short years playing men’s fastpitch, has been smitten by the game. So much so, that earlier in the season, he paid his own way to play in the USA Softball Men’s Invitational Fastpitch Tournament in Ashland, Ohio in June.

The money he spent has paid dividends: He made second-team, All-Tournament and caught the eye of the New York Peligro Gremlins, a major men’s fastpitch team that finished the season ranked No. 8 by the International Softball Congres.

Peligro picked him up for the ISC World Tournament in Moline, IL, and the 22-year-old played very well. In his first game, he went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs, and overall, finished the tournament with a .375 average. Peligro went 2-2 and finished 16th in the 36-team field.

He was disappointed the the tournament came to an end in a 2-0 loss to the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo, ND. But he’s grateful for the experience and plans for more world tournament’s in his future. He added that facing the world’s top pitchers was quite an eye opener.

“The experience was unbelievable,” said Davis. “It’s a tournament I’ll never forget. The pitching was unreal. I faced Sebastian Gervasutti from Circle Tap Dukes and he threw really well, and had a good curve pitch and a sneaky drop pitch.”

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Yusef Davis jump starts Peligro Gremlins to impressive victory in ISC World Tournament

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

Yusef Davis Jr., reaches up and slaps a high rise ball off BC A's pitcher Gregg Garrity and reaches safely on an infield single. Photo By BOB OTTO
Playing in his first ISC World Tournament, Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. was perfect at the plate in helping the Peligro Gremlins notch a win in their opening game, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 SCIFL Alliance Tournament

MOLINE, IL – Nervous? Perhaps feeling a little anxious playing in his first ISC World Tournament? Apparently not. Yusef Davis, just 21 and batting leadoff went 3-for-3 with a two RBI and a run scored to lead the Peligro Gremlins to a 8-0 victory over the Wiarton Nationals, Saturday, at Green Valley Sports Complex.

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Around the ball yard at the SCIFL Alliance Tournament

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

Jesse Ortiz is the president of the So. California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), and he also pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. Photo By BOB OTTO

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – I had never been to Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, either as a player or reporter. But after my visit Saturday, June 25, for the So. California Independent Fastpitch League Alliance Tournament, I give the venue where SCIFL plays most of its tournament games, a thumbs-up.

The four ball diamonds are within easy walking distance for teams and fans. It’s a relief to not have to drive back and forth between distant ball fields. And there’s plenty of shade trees to cool off for players, families and fans.

HE DOES IT ALL – SCIFL President Jesse Ortiz must be exhausted after these two-day SCIFL tournaments held throughout the fastpitch season. Ortiz does it all – from recruiting teams, making out the bracket, prepping the fields, setting up the scorekeepers at each ball diamond, and even doing a little fencing.

Ortiz, with the help of just one volunteer, erected fencing around two of the ball fields. Twice. On Saturday night, he had to take down the temporary fencing for fear of having it stolen by thieves in the middle of the night. Then early Sunday morning, he had to put the fencing back up.

All this work is complicated by one other matter: Ortiz pitches for the So. Cal Bandits. One minute I saw him raking and prepping a field, the next he’s on the rubber pitching. Very few in fastpitch work as hard as this man running a league. Ortiz also said that a good Mexican team contacted him about playing in an upcoming SCIFL tournament.

ELI SALAZAR MAKES THE BIG SHOW – A versatile player, Salazar started playing in 1996 at the lower levels. But last year, while playing for J & B Painting, he got the chance to play in his first ISC World Tournament. Stepping into the batter’s box against three of the world’s best and hardest throwing pitchers was a big challenge, but one he embraced.

“I faced Adam Folkard (Most Valuable Pitcher for the tournament champion United Hill Chiefs), Sean Cleary (second-team, all-world pitcher for runner-up Toronto Gators), and Juan Potolicchio,” said Salazar, who also plays and pitches for Those Guys of Long Beach. “Playing against them is fastpitch at it’s best. The ISC World Tournament is the major leagues of fastpitch. I learned that I can compete against that kind of pitching.”

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