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Dudley field to showcase the best the U.S. has to offer


By Don Bowman


With Resmondo, Team Combat and GTL, the Dudley field is loaded! The more major/AA teams, the better.

Tourney director Warren Bellm has pulled together once again the best tourney field in the land for Dudley/Budweiser/Easton Classic in 2011!

The Minnesota contingency at the upper level may not be as potent as in the past with such teams as Spectrum, Sports Hero’s, DJ’s etc., but never count them out. Though it was quite awhile ago, the Village Inn Sultans, a Class B team, knocked off five-time Major World Champion Howard’s Western Steer of North Carolina in the opening round, one of the biggest upsets ever. A few years later, it was Knapp Woodworking, another local B club, defeating Capitol Insulation of LA, in another huge upset. Rest assured, there will more upsets this weekend!

Once again congrats to Warren, the City of Brooklyn Center, the MN USSSA and all the great sponsors for making this tournament a true sporting showcase, one this state can be proud of!


GTL enters Dudley on a hot streak

GTL Cartel/DeMarini is coming in on a hot streak, after knocking off Resmondo at the Windy City Classic last weekend, not once, but twice! In the finals in the Joliet (IL) NIT, GTL won the ‘if’ game 40-25, thus making them the team to beat this weekend!


Dudley Home Run Contest back again

Thanks to Team Combat star Scott Brown and his staff for running another big time pre-Dudley Classic home run contest at BeBops again this year, with nearly 100 participants! Though the final results were not done until this issue went to press, among the favorites were outstaters Denny Crine (former Long Haul Bomber Champ), Brett McCollum and Rusty ‘the tower of power’ Bumgardner.

Local sluggers that have a chance: Matt “Killer” Kelsey, Allan “the French Bomber” Oulette and Jay ‘the JackerDahlby. You never can count out Craig Kittelson either, can you? (OK, maybe you can).


Hastings captures AAA fastpitch title

Congratulations to Hastings on winning the 2011 big school state fastpitch championship in Mankato last weekend. In the finals, the Raiders beat a surprising Forest Lake squad by a 4-2 score. To have both Forest Lake AND Hastings in the finals, it says a lot about the talent in the Suburban East conference! New Life Academy made it an amazing four straight titles in a row as they cruised through the small school championship bracket!


Easton/Hooters/Rockets are back

Rob Hortenbach’s Easton/Hooters/Rockets Class C powerhouse is back! After being on the road for most of the spring, including tournament stops in Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska and Iowa, the team is looking for a little ‘home cooking’ at this weekend’s Dudley Classic!

No, this team is not hiding from the authorities, but rather seeking out some of the toughest competition they can find before heading home this weekend. This team should be a strong contender for both state and national championship honors, with a solid lineup returning in 2011.

Returning is the always entertaining veteran hurler Charlie Partington, and the team also added coaches Scotty Meyer and Joe Theisen to the staff.


Schooner Days Tourney winners

Rip and Tare and MN VooDoo were among the winners at the Schooner Days Tourney in Eden Prairie a couple of weeks ago.


Mosquitoland Classic SPA recap

Local senior slow pitch teams put on some great shows of talent at the 2011 Mosquitoland SPA Classic in Little Canada a couple of weeks ago! In men’s 75’s play, Dick Anderson’s Jimmy’s Gold club, went undefeated (4-0) in topping some of the best teams in the Midwest, all of them younger than Jimmy’s! In the men’s 70’s finals, the MN Master 70’s team defeated the Central 70’s of Iowa, 16-15 in the finals of that championship division, looking very sharp!

In men’s 65’s major play, the MN Masters 65’s took two out of three from the MN Prize Co. club, with both teams putting on a fine display! Lastly, in men’s AAA championship play, the Midwest Express out of Nebraska were shocked by the MN Lumberjacks, who scored six straight in the bottom of the seventh, to win 16-15.

Regrettably, in men’s 50’s-60’s play due to rain (three inches!), storms and other havoc, the tourney had to be cancelled after only a couple of rounds on Sunday morning. Among the undefeated teams left standing were: in men’s 50’s play, J&J Sports of IA, Jimmy’s of Little Canada and in men’s 60’s, Rickers (White Bear) and the WI Masters were also undefeated.

 John Orf’s Ancell’s 60’s team, were crowned the men’s AAA champs. Thanks to all that participated!


Rice Street Tourney set for July 30-31

The 35th annual Rice Street Softball Tournament, is slated for July 30-31 at the Rice and Arlington Sports Mecca. This tournament has been around longer than Billy Peterson’s jock strap, and has been landmark tournament for the City of St. Paul for years! For entry information, call 651-558-2255.


Area umps head to Colorado

Gene Richardson, Mac Thomas, Dennis Harris and Royce Bell are among area fastpitch umpires that were chosen to work a big NAFA youth fastpitch tourney in Colorado later this month!


Little Canada Classic wrap-up

The Roseville Raiders topped the North St. Paul Polars, while the Tartan Lightning crushed the Stillwater Ponies, with both teams winning 14U fastpitch championships at the Little Canada Classic on June 4-5.


RIP Ken Vierling

Condolences to the Ken Vierling family on the passing of Ken on June 10. Sadly, Ken had been battling some tough health issues after an accident a couple of years ago. Ken was VERY good umpire and friend to many, and will be missed!