Tournaments : : Story
Monday, September 20, 2010

Farrah Builders Win Kernels Tournament

Jim Ecker        
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The only team from the East turned out to be a beast in the 9th annual Kernels Foundation Championship.

Patrick Toohers pitched a no-hitter as the Farrah Builders Scout Team blanked the Reds Midwest Scout Team, 10-0, in the finals Monday afternoon at Perfect Game Field to earn an automatic spot in the BBWA World Championship in Jupiter, Fla., in late October.

There were 40 teams in the tournament, but Farrah’s was the only team from the East Coast. All the other clubs hailed from the Midwest.

“To take it all for the East Coast is definitely a great win,” said Farrah’s slugger Kevin Krause, who was named the tournament MVP. “It says a lot about the East Coast and the baseball players we have.”

Toohers, a 6-foot-5 right-hander from Florham Park, N.J., was named the Most Valuable Pitcher in the tournament, giving Farrah’s a clean sweep of the individual awards. Toohers also threw a hitless inning in pool play, giving him six hitless innings for the event.

He retired the first 10 batters he faced in the finals, and by the time the Reds got a baserunner in the fourth inning it was already 8-0. Toohers struck out two batters, walked three and effectively pitched to contact with a mid-80s fastball.

“I was trying to stay on hitters and stick to my thing, throwing strikes, get the breaking ball working a little bit and it seemed to work,” said Toohers, a senior at Seton Hall Prep. “My defense was great, they were making all the plays. I was trusting them, so it’s easy for me to throw strikes.”

Krause, a senior from Staten Island, N.Y., walloped the ball all weekend. He went 10 for 19 in six games with three doubles, a triple, a home run, nine RBIs and nine runs scored. He hit for the cycle in one game in Pool Play and went home as the MVP.

“I was just fortunate enough to have a couple of pitches I could handle and I had good contact on them,” he said modestly.

Farrah Builders outscored its six opponents, 55-12, and beat the St. Louis Gamers, 9-6, in the semifinals.

“We swung the bats really hard today. We attacked,” said Manager Frank Montalvo.

Farrah’s brought 15 players to Iowa for the Kernels Foundation Tournament, but Montalvo plans to have a full roster of 22 players for the BBWA World Championship in Jupiter on Oct. 21-25.

“That’s the biggest tournament in the country, so we’re excited about having the honor of going down there and being able to compete,” said Montalvo. “That’s all, being able to compete with the best players in the country.”

The Farrah players had one goal in mind here: Win the title in Iowa and head to Florida in late October.

“It’s awesome. We get to play down in Jupiter now,” said Chris Napolitano (Wall Township, NJ., 2011), who went 3-for-4 in the finals with a double and an RBI.

Stephan Halibej (Whippany, N.J., 2011) also went 3-for-4 in the finals with a double and an RBI.

Napolitano and his father, Matt, drove all the way to Iowa from New Jersey last week for the tournament. They left Jersey on Thursday night and arrived in Iowa about noon on Friday.

“About 14-15 hours,” he said. “It was nice. It wasn’t too bad. We drove through the night.”

They planned to leave Iowa after the championship game on Monday afternoon and pull another all-nighter, but Napolitano planned to be at school on Tuesday.

He might be tired, but he’ll be happy.

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