CR/Portland Tops Boatnik field at Grants Pass, Oregon

[Grants Pass, Oregon]

25,000 people annually converge on Grants Pass, Oregon from all over the U.S. and Canada for the Boatnik Memorial Day Weekend Festivities. The Boatnik Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament sponsored by David Wise State Farm Insurance was held Memorial Day Weekend in Grants Pass, Oregon serving as a NAFA World Series Qualifier. Beginning with two exhibition games on Friday night and ending at 2:30 pm Monday with the nationally ranked Portland, Oregon Adidas team taking the title and the $500 team travel money. The runnerup was the A-Major Addidas team also from Portland who were awarded $250. Third place was Mock Ford from Grants Pass, Oregon, Fourth Place was last years ASA C National Runner-Up Brotherton Pipe(formerly Global) of Southern Oregon. Finishing 5th was the Portland Gamblers and taking 6th place was Blacksmith of Grants Pass and taking 7th place was Tule Lake-Beeber, California. Players from as far away as Argentina participated. Portland went 5-0 in winning the championship with an average run differential of 10-2 per game. The Tournament format was a four game guarantee with 2 round robin games that seeded all teams in to a full double elimination tournament. No team was eliminated until 6 pm on Sunday. The tournament saw two brief rain delays but finished each day on time. The key elements of this event that make it so special are the spectators that watch every game with no less than 100 people present and with a high of 500 during some games. Riverside Park has one of the best settings to play men’s fastpitch anywhere in the U.S. With a permanent 250 foot fence, electronic scoreboard, announcers for every game and scorekeepers for every game make it truly a fastpitch players dream. By team votes, next year’s event will feature both an upper and a lower bracket and will continue with a four game guarantee. The host committee also hopes to increase the travel money to $1,750 in 2006 as well. The Upper bracket will be for NAFA AA(ASA Good B) and higher teams and the lower bracket for NAFA A and A-Major teams(ASA C and low B).

Team trophies were awarded to the top 4 teams and the All Tournament team was awarded very nice keepsake plaques and was selected by the Tournament Committee and is as follows:

Most Valuable Pitcher, Mark Bennett, Portland
Close runners up were Portland’s other pitcher Roberto Bahler and the Runner-up pitcher Greg Soule.

Most Valuable Players
Marc Santillano, Infield, Portland
Brian Traible, Infield, Addidas

All Tournament Team
Brian Ree, Shortstop, Portland
Kevin Rasmusson, Catcher, Portland
Louie Nasuta, Infield, Portland
Jeff Reach, Outfield, Portland
Josh, Agnew, 3rd base, Adidas
Jason Aponte, 2nd Base, Adidas
Scott Nokes, Outfield, Adidas
Bert Ford, pitcher, Mock Ford
Scott McGowan, outfield, Mock Ford
Mark Love, Outfield, Mock Ford
Brady Howe, Outfield, Mock Ford
Keith Willard, shortstop, Brotherton
Rich Ireland, 1st Base, Brotherton, (One homerun was measured at 380 feet)
Josh Cowger, utility, Gamblers
Mark Connelly,pitcher, Blacksmith
Mike Ackerman, catcher, Tule Lake-Beeber

Each of the top 7 teams, by participating in this NAFA World Series Qualifier, was awarded a berth to the NAFA World Series in the following class:
Portland in AAA(Pitchers approved Bennett and Roberto)
Adidas in A-Major(Pitchers approved Greg Soule and Mike Warren)
Mock Ford in A-Major(Pitchers approved Bert Ford and Mike Trotter and Mark Winters)
Brotherton Pipe in A-Major(Pitchers approved Kelly Richardson, Morgan Mapes, Wynn Malikowski)
Gamblers in A(pitchers approved Josh Cowger, Jake Lehr, Papa George)
Blacksmith in A (pitcher approved Mark Connelly, Jeremy Alger)
Tule Lake-Beeber in A (pitchers approved Russ Windam, Chris Ackerman, Givens and Carpenter)

Umpires for the event were Greg Fowler, Bend Oregon, Larry Trudell, Eugene, Oregon, Clyde Bennett, Santa Barbara, California, Dave Oliver, Coquille, Oregon, Don Alexander, Prospect, Oregon. The Tournament Director and Announcer was Paul Schomer, the Head Scorekeeper Cherie Keeler, Marketing Director Ken Hicks, Field prep Troy Terry and Mike Duffy and NAFA Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock. The City of Grants Pass donated a ton of turface and the Hidden Valley Girls Fastpitch Team provided the food and beverage concessions.

We invite everyone to come join us in 2007 for this fine men’s fastpitch tournament over Memorial Day Weekend. For more information contact NAFA Executive Director, Benjie Hedgecock at 503-5598-5398 or by email at or click on the link on

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