2009 Combat Double Major NIT Part 2
WCS/LCV (Conf B, Vista, CA )
Combat Double Record 6-4
Overall Conference Record 13-10
West Coast had a successful weekend and jumped 9 spots to 18th in the computer rankings. They gave Dan Smith a run for their money in the winner's final of the second tournament on Saturday night in a game that I thought was the highlite game of the weekend. With some great pitching from Newbill and tremendous defense from 3rd baseman Jim Salas and 2nd baseman Carlos Vasquez, WCS took a lead into the 6th but ended up losing 35-28. A real team effort and one that I know Jimmy Torres and manager Dan Goldberg are looking to build on.
2009 Outlook: This was my first look at the new WCS. They have had a lot of roster turnover since 2008 and just added some great offense with Jason Stephenson from Johnny Blaze. WCS is built for the "B" game with some great infield defense and hitter's that can use the whole field. WCS needs to get slugger Jason Kreider and 2nd baseman Bart Hakeman healthy for the stretch run.
WCS pitcher and local Washington player Brendt Newbill pitched a great game in the winner's bracket final against Dan Smith. The sun had to be bothering both teams hitter's
WCS came up just short of beating Dan Smith after leading through 5 innings
WCS has veteran Bart Hakeman playing 2B
WCS player/sponsor Jimmy Torres is sporting some new colors this year
Combat USA/Elite (Conf A, Seattle, WA )
Combat Double Record 4-4
Overall Conference Record 18-14
Combat USA is on a frustrating win, lose, win, lose roller coaster ride. The team just isn't putting together consistent concentrated winning efforts. Combat opened the tournaments with a narrow victory over a very good KTI team on a walk off homerun by utility man Brent Haugen. Combat then had a big win over GTL 29-27 but had a season low loss to KTI 35-3 and was knocked out of both tournaments by Showcase.
Combat left fielder Mario Granados had what I believe was the catch of the tournament when he picked off the fence a nasty diving knuckleball against ATS.
Combat is a fun and entertaining team who needs to get back to basehitting and fundamentals. Let the homeruns take care of themselves and think a little more small ball and defense.
Combat USA gathers after winning a close one over hometown KTI Cartel/Worth
Combat USA's Brent Haugen hits a walk off homerun vs KTI
Eliseo Aguilar gets set to hit at the Combat Major
I'm always impressed with a manager who can produce in a key pinch hit situation. Kerm Stricklin drew a key walk here as Chris Breer waits on deck. A big thank you to Kerm, Chris, and Brent for their much appreciated help in getting me to Seattle!
O&S/Povs/Hoffman/Combat (Conf A, St Paul, MN )
Combat Double Record 3-4
Overall Conference Record 10-12
The Cattleman had a weekend to forget as they only won 3 games against "C" teams and were knocked out of both tournaments by fellow "A" team GTL. O&S got off on the wrong foot early Friday when they blew an 18-2 lead to Team Adidas and ended up losing 26-23. They did score quite a few runs and Matt Kelsey was hittin it real good, at least when I was around. O&S is one of the more entertaining teams.
O&S should be applauded for stepping up to the "A" division and will compete with great effort there. However their game may be more suited to the "B" division and they may need to pick up a big bat for the stretch run.
O&S's Chaun Demars can play anywhere on the field
O&S was left in the dust in Seattle
ATS/COMBAT (Conf B, Phoenix, AZ )
Combat Double Record 1-4
Overall Conference Record 5-8
ATS actually fought hard in all of their games but came up short in all but one. ATS uses their best hitter Scott Lydy in the leadoff spot. I'd move him down, too much power. They have a great hitter in Javier Gamboa and solid play at shortstop with Manny Liriano. Although ATS has had some turnover since 2008 in their roster, you can't rule them out for their 3rd consecutive top 4 run at the "B" Worlds.
ATS is led by centerfielder and leadoff batter Scott Lydy
ATS pitcher uses the best glove in softball. The Worth "Joker"
ATS shortstop Manny Liriano
KTI/Cartel Worth (C, Seattle, WA )
Combat Double Record 2-4
Overall Conference Record 2-4
KTI had the best 2-4 weekend a team could have. They fought Combat USA all the way to the end in their opener before losing on a walkoff homer. Then in the second tournament opened with a solid win over ATS and blowout victory over Combat USA and put up 11 runs in the first inning against Dan Smith before falling 34-17. Then they battled with GTL late Saturday night.
2009 Outlook: KTI has all the tools of a good "B" team and has too much power and talent to waste their time trying to reel off 8-10 wins in the "C" Worlds in the Florida heat. Pick up a pitcher and shock the world at the "B" Worlds is what I would do. Anyone remember Scott Wheat (pitcher from Phares Glass in 2008)? KTI should track him down and go to the "B". Just my opinion. http://www.usssa.com/sports/FindPlay…p?PlaID=455552
KTI catcher Wes Archie capped an 11 run first inning against Dan Smith with a HR
Casey's Bailbonds battled GTL, WCS, and NW Combat to the end, only to lose. They won all three of their games against the local "C" teams. Casey's Bailbonds looks to be a perfect class "C" team with a lot of heart, speed, and defense. A real player in the "C" division and may have some hidden future Conference talent.
Casey's Bailbonds team gathers before the start of Tourny #2
Team Adidas (C, Boise, ID )
Combat Double Record 1-4
Overall Conference Record 1-4
Team Adidas features some of the sponsors and players from the great C-Town teams in Ryan Barabe, Chris Crawford, Chris Hoshaw, Tim Pemberton, and Mark Meersman. This team came from way behind to upset O&S for the only real upset of the tournament. This team could be one of the top "C" teams in the Northwest and has some good Conference talent.
Team Adidas featured former C-Town outfielder Ryan Barabe
I believe this was the Team Adidas pitcher sporting the mask with dreadlocks
Team Alliance/Charlies (C, Olympia, WA )
Combat Double Record 0-4
Overall Conference Record 0-4
Team Alliance dropped all four of their games and I wasn't able to catch many of their games. They put up a nice 20 spot on Northwest Combat but I'm thinking this team is a year or two away from competing at "C" Worlds.
Team Alliance middle infield
Doerflinger Software (C, Olympia, WA )
Combat Double Record 1-4
Overall Conference Record 1-4
Doerflinger is another entertaining Washington "C" team with what seems to be an abundance of power but they failed to do enough scoring to compete.
Doerflinger pitcher Earle McWright showing some defense and some power
Doerflinger had some power
Some other pictures of the Seattle Major:
Brown Bear and cub head for the parking lot
Chuck, hit the one in the middle
Don Cooper, the man behind the Combat Major
The umpire that was hit in the head by a nasty linedrive
Brother's separated at birth?
Utility man Brent Haugen of Combat USA
Here is a link to the Computer Rankings:
Here is a link to my picture gallery for the Seattle Major:
Here is a link to the Seattle Major tournament #1 info, bracket, and stats when ready:
Here is a link to the Seattle Major tournament #2 info, bracket, and stats when ready:
Here is a link to the tournament #17 in Maryville, Tennessee:
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A big thank you to Donnie Wilson, Kermit Stricklin, Chris Breer, and Brent Haugen for getting me to Seattle and to DSSBats.com, BillPolice.com, USSSALive.com, and USSSAToday Magazine, for their ongoing support.