NSEW Connection 18, Red Deer Legends 6
‘NSEW Connection Takes Amazing Path to Title’
Submitted by Chuck Person, manager
NSEW Connection was established in 2019, as the core part of the team was formed from playing together on the VETS for Donny DeCordova. There were seven of us from across the United States and one from Canada.
Over the last three years, we have played in many tournaments, trying to build a cohesive team. Our first World Series was in October 2020 and while it was under the COVID umbrella, we were still able to play. We lost every game but we had good camaraderie. In 2021 we took it up a notch and made the playoffs and semi-finals in a few tournaments while remaining competitive with other well-established teams in the league. That year we also made it to the championship game in the World Series but lost to the Connecticut Navigators, 8-6.
We continued to evolve as a team and since everyone is from all over the United States and Canada, we don’t have all players for every tournament as everyone still has their day-to-day life. Additionally, we had to fill in the gaps as player attrition occurred. We continued to play in tournaments and struggled to work out the kinks.
Our 2022 World Series roster had 10 new players. In addition to playing against great teams, we were also learning to play together. The tournament started with a crazy rain storm that delayed the games for a day and a half and didn’t play our first game until Monday night. We played the Vets, who were 2-0, but Rick Neumann had a flawless performance pitching for us and helped us to a 20-6 win.
Tuesday morning came and we were scheduled for a triple header against which would be #1, #2, and #3 seeds in the tournament. We lost game #1 to the Red Deer Legends, then 30 minutes later we were in game #2 and lost against the Nationals. For game #3, we were destroyed by the Connecticut Navigators. Although we had a 1-3 record and played the toughest teams all in one day, back-to-back, there was still an opportunity.
Wednesday morning, we headed to Bell Bank Park to play the Wild Things, who were 0-4, which meant nothing because we were at 1-3. Greg Goodman started on the bump, knowing we needed to preserve our starting pitchers that had pitched the triple header yesterday. Greg pitched four solid innings and we were up 18-0 and backed off the offense, but then we gave up four quick runs. We needed to refocus.
Lou Borgiorno pitched the final three innings, as both Greg and Lou filled in awesomely. NSEW Connection won this game, which provided the emotional energy we needed for the next game later that day.
We were now 2-3 and had a “must-win” situation. Playing the Colorado All Stars, we went back to one of our starting pitchers, Adam Mahl. Adam did great, pitching nine innings, while our defense looked phenomenal and our bats were alive and firing well.
Thursday we were 3-3 and in the playoffs as the #5 seed. We played the #4 seed Vets at Red Mountain. We started Carlos Oliveira and he pitched a great game, which led us to a win. Coming off this win we were feeling positive and energized but also facing the undefeated 6-0, #1 seed, defending champion Connecticut Navigators.
Rick Neumann was our starting pitcher and we were happy to claim victory with a final score of 4-2. Rick pitched a fantastic game and our defense was stellar. Although we took the hard road to get there between the rain and triple header losses, we amazingly made it to the Championship game.
The Championship Game started with a small wrinkle, as two players fell ill and could not play but were in full support mode. Adam Mahl was the starting pitcher for the first seven innings, leaving with a 16-3 lead. For the last two innings we brought in Rick Neumann and the NSEW Connection won with a final score of 18-6.
The NSEW Connection is the 2022 World Series Champions! It is a blessing to be able to play this kid’s game at our age. Playing with true men who love the game and understand it is a ‘team before self’ mentality. Each player on the team played, contributed, and was essential to the run to the Championship game and the overall win. There were so many great plays and amazing saves with this team. The character and heart that the team showed were one for the books.
NSEW Connection 2022 Championship Roster: Arizona: Adam Mahl, Chuck Person, Greg Goodman, Kirk Bridges, and Scot Hewitt. California: Tony Palacios. Canada: Carlos Oliveira. Illinois: Dan Siadak, Don Evans, John Madden, Lou Borgiorno, Rick Neumann, Rodney Lambert, Sam Pashka, and William “Smooth” Prowell. Michigan: Kevin Saunderson. North Carolina: Bob Patterson. Texas: Eddie Greer.