March 21, 2023

A-Major Bronx bomb Santa Rosa for NAFA A-Major World Series Championship

Bronx bomb Santa Rosa for NAFA A-Major World Series Championship Written by Bob on August 12th, 2013 Bronx.Team.403web

Bronx include from front left, Ian Glasser, Reid Pillar, Braden Reiger, Craig Geisler, Nathan Bender, Tyler Tomlinson, Colby Davidson, and Curtis Huata. Back left, Ashley Morris, Paul Robb, Joey Burnett, Quinn Glasser, Jordan Waterhouse, Jeremy Kenny, Cole MacLean, Stephen Kwasinicki, and Royce Cote. Photo By BOB OTTO URBANDALE, IOWA – They’re called the Bronx, but the way they swing the bats, Bronx Bombers seems more appropriate. The Maple Valley Farm Equipment (MVFE) Bronx, of Saskatchewan, Canada won the NAFA A-Major World Series Championship in a five-inning mercy ruling by bombing Santa Rosa California Fastpitch 9-2 on Sunday. The Bronx went long ball to score seven of those nine runs with the bottom third of the batting order doing the damage. Ian Glasser, Reid Pillar and Craig Geisler each belted out the home runs. But finding the lower end of the Bronx batting order providing this kind of run production isn’t that unusual, said Bronx manager Craig Geisler, adding that the Bronx hit seven homers in the tournament. “We’re a pretty solid lineup one through nine,” he said. “Anyone can bat in any of the positions. When one guy’s not going, the next guy picks him up. Today the bottom of the order, the last three guys did it hitting home runs.” TWIN TWO BANGERS The Bronx trailed 1-0 going into the second, and then the power surge began. Ian Glasser hit a two-run homer over the centerfield fence, and Geisler followed with a two-run blast to erase Santa Rosa’s lead for good. “I had two strikes and I was just trying to protect and it went over,” said Glasser. “I was struggling up until this game hitting the ball, but the guys picked me up.” Geisler said the team noticed something about Santa Rosa’s starter Ed Gasper (2013 NAFA HAll of Fame inductee) that tipped them off and helped at the plate. “The guys were saying when he got up (in the count), he was going to his curve ball,” Geisler said. “I was looking curve ball and happened to get it and took it over the fence.” BRONX PITCHER CARRIES THE LOAD With the lead, Bronx pitcher Jeremy Kenny pitched a strong game against a good-hitting Santa Rosa (6-2) that outlasted Kelso Fastpitch, 9-7, in the losers bracket final. Kenny allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks and nine strikeouts. “He’s a workhorse,” Geisler said. “He wants the ball every game. He was really on this weekend and pitched all our games. It was an awesome performance by him. Unbelievable.” The Bronx continued their scoring by adding a run in the third on Glasser’s RBI single to pull ahead, 5-1. But Santa Rosa showed no quit by threatening in the fifth on Brian Macler’s home run. PILLAR’S WALK-OFF WINNER Then in the bottom half of the inning, the Bronx ended the game on an run-scoring single by Braden Reiger and Reid Pillar’s three-run blast that went ski-high and deep over the centerfield fence. But Pillar had no idea of his ensuing heroics when he stepped into the batter’s box. “I didn’t even realize it was a walk-off situation untiI I came around third base and saw the guys cheering,” said Pillar, who tagged a high rise ball off Justin Zimmerman in relief of Gasper in the fourth for the round tripper with Nathan Bender aboard on a double and Tyler Tomlinson by way of an error. “I had dreams about this kind of thing, but never thought it would happen for me,” Pillar added. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. It feels great to win this. We’ve been working hard for a lot of years.” FINALLY A NAFA CHAMPIONSHIP When Pillar stepped on home plate the celebration began for a ball club that had lost to the first and second place teams in the A-Major Division the past two years, Geisler said, adding that the Bronx finished fourth in Topeka, Kansas last year, and finished no worse than sixth in the past five trips to the A-Major World Series. “We just couldn’t get over the hump,” he said. Getting over that hump was helped by a strong push by Kenny, who was selected the Co-Most Valuable Pitcher along with Tom Jansen of Kelso Fastpitch. Kenny, a right-hander with a sharp breaking rise ball as his out pitch, won all six of the Bronx’s games in the 38-team A-Major. “I’ve been here four times and this feels awesome to finally win it,” Kenny said. “One through nine we have good hitters. When I saw those home runs it made pitching a lot easier.” MOVIN’ ON UP Now with the A-Major World Championship finally won, what lies ahead for the Bronx? Geisler’s already decided that. “This feels awesome,” he said, “and next year we’ll be coming back and try to move up (AA or AA-Major divisions) a level and see what we can do.” Bronx.AllWorld.420web Bronx All-World players from left include Joey Burnett, Braden Reiger, Nathan Bender (Most Valuable Player), Jeremy Kenny (Co-Most Valuable Pitcher), Curtis Huata, and Paul Robb. Photo By BOB OTTO BEST OF THE BEST Both teams had several players receiving All-World awards. From the Bronx, Braden Reiger, Joey Burnett, Paul Robb, and Curtis Huata were selected, with Nathan Bender chosen the Most Valuable Player. Santa Rosa’s All-World players include Brian Macler, Danny Macler, Eddie Martin, Nick Green, and Shawn Mandolesi. For NAFA A-Major results and statistics visit Play NAFA