Fastpitch Returns to New Haven with 14th Annual Black Gold Softball Classic

Black Gold after their highest finish ever in the Kelso Klassic.  Front row from left: Jake Johnson, Jake Murphy, Cullen Speckhals, Terry Coon, Dean Haeffner, Justin Wurtz.   Back row from left:  Jay Daugherty, Scott Borcherding, Matt Benz, Eric Steinbeck, Kurt Speckhals, Allen Speckhals, Brad Johnson. (Photo courtesy of Matt Benz)

NEW HAVEN, Mo. - The annual Black Gold Softball Tournament returns to New Haven City Park this coming weekend on Saturday June 28th and Sunday June 29th.   An annual fastpitch tournament in the area dates back to the 1960’s with the New Haven Cubs tournament.  After the Cubs folded in 1999, the Black Gold Softball Classic was started.  It was played in the Hermann area for nearly 10 years before returning to New Haven last year.

“We had a great turnout of fans and former players last year in New Haven and hope to get more fans this year,” said manager Eric Steinbeck.

Adding to the excitement, this year’s tournament returns to double-elimination bracket play rather than pool play for the first time since 2009. (note: see attached bracket)

The Black-Gold team is comprised mainly of players originating from the Hermann, New Haven, and Stony Hill area.  Eric Steinbeck, Terry Coon, Alan, Kurt, and Cullen Speckhals, Brent Schowe, Dean Haeffner, Matt Benz, and Brad Johnson are some of the long-time players, with recent area high school baseball standouts such as Jake Murphy, Justin Wurtz, Jake Johnson, Jay Daugherty, and Ben Held joining the team in recent years. 

Black Gold is 8-4 on the year after taking 2nd of 13 teams in the prestigious Kelso Klassic tournament last weekend, losing to the 14th ranked team in the nation, the Bloomington, IL Stix, in the championship game. 

Teams from Kansas, Illinois, and all parts of Missouri will battle it out starting with two games at 10:30am on Saturday.

Black Gold will battle Artisan Construction of Springfield, MO on Lions Field; while the Pickneyville, IL Falcons will face the Tribe of St. Charles, MO on Bock Field.

First round games continue at noon with last year’s co-champions, Kelso, MO Fastpitch facing the Wizards of Oz from Topeka, KS; and a new entry, Boonville, MO Fastpitch taking on the Stallions of Belleville, IL.

Last year’s championship game ended in a 2-2 tie after a torrential downpour ended the game after 6 innings. 

Games continue all day Saturday with winners bracket semifinals starting at 3:30pm and the last games scheduled to end around 9pm.

Sunday’s games start at 9am with the championship game(s) starting at 1:30pm.

Full concession stand along with BBQ pork steaks, burgers, and hot dogs will be available both days.

Saturday will also include a reunion of former players from all local fastpitch teams starting at 2pm.

For questions about the tournament you can contact Eric Steinbeck 314-640-6432 or Matt Benz 314-560-4839.

Click here to download a complete bracket along with Saturday's full schedule.

First round games on Saturday: (Click here for updated scores throughout Saturday)

10:30 a.m. Lions Field
Black-Gold vs Artisen Construction

10:30 a.m. Bock Field
Pickneyfille Falcons

12 p.m. Lions Field
Kelso Fastpitch
Wizards of Oz

12 p.m. Bock Field
Boonville Fastpitch
Belleville Stallions