The Hill United Chiefs, with a playing roster including three Newfoundlanders, captured the 2019 Amateur Softball Association (ASA) American nationals men’s fastball championship over the weekend in St. Joseph, Mo.
Brad Ezekiel of Harbour Main, Shane Boland of Goulds and Jason Hill of St. John’s each had a hit for the Chiefs in the Ontario-based team’s final game, an 8-1 win over the defending champion New York Gremlins. That result was to have put the Chiefs, whose head coach is John Hill of St. John’s, directly into the final, against either the Gremlins or Kitchener, Ont., Hallman Twins. However, heavy rains cancelled both the Twins-Gremlins semifinal and final. Being the only undefeated team and having secured a berth in the final with a double life, the Chiefs were declared champions.
A number of other Newfoundlanders participated in the tourney, with Sean Cleary, Ryan Boland, Colin Walsh and Jorden Pomroy suiting up for the Twins; Daniel Dalton and Justin Gill with the Bear Bottom Haymakers out of Pennsylvania; and Blair Ezekiel with Circle Tap from Wisconsin.
Up next for the Chiefs is an invitational tourney in Pennsylvania followed the season-ending ISC World Fastball Championships in Denmark, Wisc., in mid-August. The latter will feature the top 36 clubs teams from all over North America, including 3 Cheers Pub from the Molson St. John’s senior men’s league.