AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The USA Softball Men’s National Team arrived in Auckland, New Zealand this week to begin their quest for the 2013 International Softball Federation (ISF) World Fastpitch Championship Gold the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The United States defeated a local New Zealand team 2-0 in a practice game in Auckland on Monday as they prepare for tournament competition. The USA Men will compete in two more practice games this week before starting pool play Friday, March 1 against Australia at 7:30 pm (NZDT).
“We’ve been looking forward to finally getting here to New Zealand and getting on the field as a team,” said USA assistant coach Avon Meacham. “Our guys have been working hard individually to prepare for these World Championships but it’s nice to finally have the team together and to have the opportunity to fine tune the things that we will need to have in place before our first game on Friday.”
Following their opening game with Australia, the USA is scheduled to play six other pool-play games: Samoa on March 2, South Africa on March 3, Czech Republic on March 4, Indonesia on March 5, Venezuela on March 6 and Great Britain on March 7. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on March 8 with the finals slated for March 10.
In 2009, the most previous ISF Men’s World Championships, the USA finished with a 7-3 overall record and fourth in the standings.
Athletes competing for USA Softball in Auckland: Tommy Crouch (DeKalb, Ill.), Frank E. DeGroat Jr. (Ringwood, N.J.), Roman Foore (Rosemount, Minn.), Jaime Cruz Garcia Jr. (Kansas City, Kan), Josh Johnson (Brooklyn, Wis.), Trevor Kelly (Marshall, Mich.), Eddy Ketelhut (Frankenmuth, Mich.), Adam LaLonde (Ashland, Ky.), Dave Lohman (Lindenhurst, N.Y.), Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.), Matt Palazzo (Des Moines, Iowa), Travis Price (Orange, Calif.), Robert Rosthenhausler (Tucson, Ariz.), Todd Schultz (Williamston, Mich.), Marcus Tan (Union City, Calif.), Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.) and Derrick Zechman (Watsontown, Pa.).
Pete Turner (Stockton, Calif.) leads the way in his twelfth year as the head coach and is joined by assistant coaches Meacham (Upper Marlboro, Md.) and Jason Porto (Elk Grove, Calif.).