Liberty may not have prevailed in some parts of the country today, but it did in Santa Fe Springs California, as Liberty Fastpitch captured the top spot among 15 teams at the SCIFL League Weekend at Santa Fe Springs California.
Veteran Eddie Patterson (a former shortstop and catcher) was in the circle for Liberty Fastpitch in their 2-1 championship game win over the Colton Dirt Bags. Liberty Building Maintenance & Services, Inc. is the new sponsor for the former Flor de Cana squad headed up by centerfielder David Carrillo and skipper Tom Dudley.
As noted at the team’s website:
In 2009, the team posted a combined record of 37-22-1. The season was highlighted by a 3rd Place finish at the 2009 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) â€“ A Division World Series, which drew 67 teams from around the country.
(Liberty Fastpitch team, 2010)
Back Row: Eddie Patterson, Dave Hess, TJ Dudley, Tom Dudley, Philip Palomino, Joe Janicke, Dave Waco, Dan Plesetz, Albert Garcia; Front Row: Jeremy Rooney, Darrin McCall, Angel Saucedo, Doug Rooney, Lou Enriquez, David Carrillo, Mike Thomas; Not Pictured: John Wissmath
A look at the Liberty lineup, after the jump.
The SCIFL has seen a growth in the number of teams from recent years, with many teams boasting solid pitching staffs two and three deep, including the likes of Mark Bennett, Matt Barnes, Mark Higgins, Lonnie Brooks, Billy Montana, Dan Zupp, Anthony Martinez, Darrin McCall, Randy Clay, Tommy Obregon, Brett Pobantz, David Blackburn, Ronnie Rupp, and Gerald Pyle to name a few.
Robert Hernandez, who has organized the So Cal leagues for the better part of a decade, continues as the president of the SCIFL (the So Cal Independent Fastpitch League. As other leagues have fallen by the wayside, the SCIFL continues to draw teams and players from Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, and surrounding areas, providing a place for top-notch competition. (California’s other top league West Coast Fastpitch Association, located in Northern California, the other)
The format for the league is round-robin on Saturdays, the results of which are used to determine seeding for Sunday’s single elimination bracket play.
On this Sunday in Santa Fe Springs California, the final four teams left standing by 1:30 PM Sunday were the two finalists, Liberty Fastpitch, and Colton Dirt Bags, along with the Long Beach Black Sox, and San Diego Primetime. The Colton squad, a new team for 2010, upset some highly regarded teams enroute to their second place finish over the weekend. The Dirt Bags have a three man–err – three person pitching staff of Anthony Martinez, Brett Pobantz and Desiree Sorrano
(Trying to recall a female pitcher in men’s tournament? Robin Freels, Portland DeMarini Tournament, 2004-2005 comes to mind)
The Dirt Bag team has a nucleus of players from the Colton high school baseball team, also attended by Desiree Sorrano. Sorrano was one of the top pitchers in the Pac-10 win attending Arizona State, and has quickly won they respect of hitters in the SCIFL.
The next big event for the SCIFL will be the “Las Vegas Road Trip III“, April 10-11, 2010, with no less than 27 teams currently entered for that one.
(Click logo for official SCIFL website)
Click logo Monday night to view all results posted at the official SCIFL website.
A look at the Liberty Fastpitch lineup:
Darrin McCall is coming off a strong 2009 season where he set single season team records in Games Pitched (28), Innings Pitched (150.33), Batters Faced (671), Wins (17), ERA (3.26), and strikeouts (72). Look for McCall to improve his command and continue on his development as a big game pitcher in 2010.
During the off season there was some uncertainty regarding the status Doug Rooney, but it was a welcomed notice when the veteran hurler confirmed he would be returning for another campaign. Rooney was among the best pitchers in the 2009 NAFA-A World Series proving he can be depended on when it counts most. Rooney is one of the more consistent pitchers in the league, always putting forth a solid outing.
LIBERTY has added to its firepower in the center circle with the addition of Eddie Patterson and John Wissmath. Patterson carries a quiet intensity and is an extremely intelligent ballplayer. He throws a heavy ball and challenges hittersâ€™ vulnerabilities. Wissmath is Head Womenâ€™s Softball Coach at College of the Canyons in Valenica, CA. â€œWizzâ€ is an overpowering pitcher that attacks hitters. Both will be relied upon heavily in the 2010 season.
The benefit of 4 strong arms will ensure quality outings from LIBERTYâ€™s center circle.
Lou Enriquez (LIBERTY Career: .294-BA, 62-H, 2-HR, 46-R, 42-RBI) is regarded as a team leader and one of the better receivers on the squad. He works well with pitchers and sets effective strategies for getting good hitters out. Lou may also spend some time at 1B or DH. The team has come to rely on Lou for big hits in big situations.
Dave Waco (2009 Season: .300-BA, 21-H, 1-HR, 18-R, 16-RBI) was a midseason acquisition in 2009 and quickly added a big power boost to the middle of the lineup. Waco was among the top hitters at the 2009 NAFA-A World Series batting .529. He has a sweet swing from the left hand side of the plate and may also spend time at 1B or DH in 2010.
Philip Palomino (New Acquisition â€“ Stats Pending) was among the 2010 class of LIBERTY acquisitions. He is a sharp catcher with a vast knowledge base of Southern California hitters. Philip has a keen eye for hittersâ€™ tendencies and has already developed an excellent relationship with the LIBERTY pitching staff. Look for him to establish a significant role in the LIBERTY lineup.
Angel Saucedo (New Acquisition â€“ Stats Pending) comes to LIBERTY by way of Raymar. â€œYogieâ€ is a transplanted 3rd Baseman that has an excellent glove and a strong bat. In the offseason, he has been on extensive training regimen. LIBERTY is expecting him to unleash a little something extra in 2010.
Albert Garcia (LIBERTY Career: .339-BA, 78-H, 12-2B, 56-R, 53-RBI) returns for his 3rd year with the squad. â€œBertâ€ is capable of skillfully playing any infield position (2B, SS, 3B). He has one of the more technically sound swings at the park and his smooth approach makes him an excellent fit to bat as a table setter or an RBI-guy.
Mike Thomas (LIBERTY Career: .307-BA, 66-H, 7-2B, 52-R, 50-RBI) is the team captain and on-field leader. â€œSpankyâ€ can be relied upon to make the big momentum changing play at short or get the key hit to spark a rally. He makes everyone around him better and is the first one to pick up a struggling teammate.
Jeremy Rooney (New Acquisition â€“ Stats Pending), son of LIBERTY pitcher Doug Rooney, is a key offseason acquisition. He is an outstanding infielder that can transition to any of the middle infield positions in addition to 3rd base. Jeremy brings tenacity to every at-bat and his presence makes an intimidating LIBERTY lineup even more dangerous.
Joe Janicke (2009 Season: .410-BA, 68-H, 6-HR, 53-R, 56-RBI) is at the heart of the LIBERTY order and one of the most feared bats in fastpitch. Joe was the 2009 recipient of the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards. In addition, Joe was named to the All-World Team at the NAFA-A World Series in 2009. He is moving from 3rd Base to LF in a selfless action to make a good outfield even better.
David Carrillo (LIBERTY Career: .453-BA, 230-H, 46-HR, 216-R, 237-RBI) will serve his 5th season patrolling CF. Teammates voted Carrillo the 2009 MVP and he was named to the All-World Team at the 2009 NAFA-A World Series.
Dave Hess (2009 Season: .346-BA, 54-H, 2-HR, 57-R, 13-RBI) will transfer from LF to RF in 2010. Dave is one of the toughest outs in the LIBERTY lineup and has an endless arsenal of ways to get on base. He will be at the top of the LIBERTY batting order as he is usually the start of big innings.
Dan Plesetz (New Acquisition â€“ Stats Pending) is a highly respected, powerful bat in the middle of the lineup. Dan has lumberjack strength and a disciplined approach at the plate. He is a bat to reckoned with when there are men on base. LIBERTY hopes to see him that position often.
Tom Dudley is in his rightful place as the front man and leader of LIBERTY. Tom has been recognized by teammates as the back-to-back (2008 & 2009) winner of the yearly Leadership Award: In recognition of extraordinary leadership and selfless support of teammates. His knowledge of the game and aggressive managerial style contribute towards a team that is always on the attack. Tomâ€™s leadership directs the team towards the greatest opportunity to win every game.