SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The 90th annual USA Softball Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship concluded today as the NY Gremlins claimed the 2022 Championship title with a 7-0 (five innings) run-rule victory over the J&B Bombers. With an undefeated record through the four-day tournament, the Gremlins recorded three run-rule, shutout victories while outscoring their opponents 43-15 in five games played en route to their second-consecutive and seventh overall Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship title.
Both the NY Gremlins and the J&B Bombers started the tournament strong with back-to-back shutouts on Friday to send them into a head-to-head battle on Saturday morning. The close-fought contest came down to the wire as the Bombers were unable to muster a seventh-inning comeback with the Gremlins pulling out the 6-5 victory to advance in the winner’s bracket, going on to claim another hard-earned, 10-inning victory over Hill United Chiefs to claim a spot in the Championship game on Sunday afternoon. Despite the loss to the Gremlins on Saturday morning to send them to the loser’s bracket, the Bombers rallied back with a shutout win over Kitchener Hallman Twins later in the day followed by back-to-back victories on Sunday morning to keep the momentum going and advance to the Championship contest for a rematch against the Gremlins.
Remaining dominant in the final game, the NY Gremlins came out strong with two walks, a double and a single to put up two quick runs to start off the game. A home run off the bat of Ladislao Malarczuk in the second inning tacked on another run for the Gremlins before breaking the game open in the bottom of the third with a string of base hits and walks to score four more runs and extend the lead, 7-0. Andrew Kirkpatrick and the Gremlin defense kept the Bombers at bay through five innings of play, allowing only three hits as the Gremlins closed out the game with a strikeout, ground out and fly out in the top of the fifth to claim the 2022 Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship title in run-rule fashion.
Zenon Winter led the Gremlins with a .500 batting average through the tournament while Mathieu Roy and Nick Mullins each put up a .417 average to contribute to the team’s dominant offensive performance. The Gremlins totaled 49 hits in five games including 10 doubles and seven home runs while the pitching staff of Kirkpatrick, Josh Pettett and Sammy Villalvazo combined for 37 strikeouts in 32 innings pitched with an ERA of 3.28.
The four-day competition welcomed top Men’s Fast Pitch players from across the world to South Bend, Ind. with 20 elite teams participating in the three-game guarantee tournament, including: AHI Reapers (Ric Thompson), AWP Lumberjacks (Daniel Alstat), Bar Buzz (Justin Colombo), Bear Creek Express (Paul McCart), Circle Tap Dukes (Dean Kane), Dolan and Murphy (Robin Reder), Hill United Chiefs (Jeff Ellsworth), J&B Bombers (Robert Berger), Kegel Black Knights (Zach Warne), Kitchener Hallman Twins (Ron Hackett), LC Ostrander Norsemen (Brett Legler), Marchio Sausage Co. (Dave Marchio), Midland Explorers (David Lach), NW Braves (Shayne Arndt), NY Gremlins (Gregg Leather), Ohio Bombers (Delmar Martin), Omma Tigres (Emmanuel Medrano), Pueblo Bandits (Chris Santos), San Antonio Glowworm (David Rios) and Wander Springs Chippers (Josh Leiterman).
2022 Men's Major Fast Pitch National Championship First Team All-Americans:
Shane Boland (Hill United Chiefs) – IF
Ladislao Melarczuk (NY Gremlins) – IF
Jerome Raemaki (NY Gremlins) – IF
Lenny Villalvazo (J&B Bombers) – IF
Quinton Bruce (Bear Creek Express) – OF
Blaine Milheim (Kitchener Hallman Twins) – OF
Cesar Rodriguez (J&B Bombers) – OF
Colin Walsh (Bear Creek Express) – OF
Bruno Motroni (Hill United Chiefs) – UTL
Cam Schiller (Kitchener Hallman Twins) – UTL
Zenon Winter (NY Gremlins) – UTL
Nick Mullins (NY Gremlins) – C
Sean Cleary (Bear Creek Express) – P
Gustavo Godoy (J&B Bombers) – P
Andrew Kirkpatrick (NY Gremlins) – P
Men's Major FP National Championship Most Valuable Player: Nick Mullins (NY Gremlins)
Men's Major FP National Championship Most Valuable Pitcher: Sammy Villalvazo (NY Gremlins)
Men's Major FP National Championship Batting Champion: Shane Boland (Hill United Chiefs)
Men's Major FP National Championship Home Run Champion: Lenny Villalvazo (J&B Bombers)
Three members from the U.S. Men’s National Team (MNT) took part in the Championship contest with Erick Ochoa and Nick Mullins representing the Gremlins and Yusef Davis competing for the Bombers.
The Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship dates back to 1933 when USA Softball, known then as the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America, was founded during the World's Fair in Chicago, Ill. Since then, the top Men’s Fast Pitch players in the world have continued the tradition of elite competition while growing the game all across the globe. A full archive of past Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Champions can be found here.