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2009 Shuckers/Worth Part 1

2009 Conference USSSA
"Shuckers/Worth"
Recap!

Bachman Sports Complex
Glen Burnie, Maryland

April 25-26

 

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Jean Shoppe meeting at the mound. "Ok, Bean I want you to pitch the ball over the plate and win the MVP, understand?"


The Glen Burnie Conference tournament #3 was played under perfect weather conditions, 80 and sunny. 30 teams battled it out, however most Conference followers knew that in the end it would probably be Conference USSSA powers Jean Shoppe, Taylormade, Bud Light, Linedrive, and Diamondblade fighting for a Sunday finish.

When the sun set Saturday night, the final 4 of the winner's bracket was in fact Jean Shoppe vs Bud Light and Taylormade vs Diamondblade. Linedrive had stumbled into the loser's bracket with a 24-22 loss to Rochester Athletic Club an East Coast "B" team who is also a Conference USSSA member.

Taylormade beat Diamondblade in the first semi-final with a solid 29-16 performance.

In the second semi-final, Bud Light had control of Jean Shoppe and was led by some great early pitching by Rick Sills. Sills had the Shoppe hitters a little off balance early and Bud Light held off Shoppe 24-21.

Losing, lit a fire under the Jean Shoppe players who needed to beat Rochester Athletic Club in the loser's bracket Saturday night to get into the final 4 on Sunday. Shoppe came out and won 32-0 as each hitter fed off the momentum of the previous batter. It was the top offensive performance of the tournament for sure. RAC's lowest run output of the tournament had previously been 22. This shows what negative momentum can do to a good team. Jean Shoppe left Saturday night with one thing on their mind, "4 games tomorrow boys", I heard one coach say.

On Sunday morning Jean Shoppe did exactly what they were told, they won 4 straight and "double dipped" Taylormade to win their first tournament of the season! They beat Diamondblade, Bud Light, and then Taylormade each by 20+ runs to force the second game of the championship. In the "IF" game they held on to win 27-25 against Taylormade who had a chance late in the game.


Jean Shoppe finally "gelled" and won 5 straight to win the tournament

 


Tournament MVP Dan Bean hits a home run


Team Breakdown: There were 10 Conference USSSA teams and 30 teams overall from 11 different states in the Maryland Major. 3 Class "A" Teams, 5 Class "B" Teams, 14 Class "C" Teams, 6 Class "D" Teams, and 2 Class "E" Teams.


Peak Capital Mortgage came all the way from Colorado Springs, Colorado to play

 


Bachman Sports Complex


Bachman Sports Complex notes: The complex had 6 fields all symmetrical with 300 foot fences.

 


Tournament Rules:
Homerun rules were as follows:
Homeruns were 8 per game per team.
Mercy Rules were 30 after 3, 20 after 2, 15 after 5.
The ball used for the most part was the Thunder Advance which was flying like the stadium ZN. However, mixed into the ball supply was also the regular USSSA Conference ball which flew like a wet rolled up sock.


Team by Team Comments:

1st Place Jean Shoppe/Chaneys/ Easton/Sports55 (Conf A, McKenzie, TN)
Glen Burnie Record 8-1

Shoppe was a little out of sync early in the tournament but used their good seed to slip past some of the East Coast "C" teams. Then they stumbled out of the gate against Bud Light and couldn't fully recover, losing 24-21.

Shoppe never scored fewer than 21 runs in any of their 9 games and their 5 game winning streak (all against Conference teams) in the loser's bracket was impressive. Shoppe proved me wrong when I was thinking they didn't have the best "A" team in the country this year. At this point in the season you would have to rank them #1 after this weekends performance, however I think they have "come back to the pack" in the "A" division.

2009 Outlook: Shoppe will be a top performer in the "A" division in 09' but had to re-invent their team after losing Robert Blackburn, Sean McDonald, and Matt King to the Major Division. They also lost Rick Sedlacek to GTL and their pitchers Dirty Sanchez and Mike Rose to other "A" teams. Shoppe replaced these losses with the outfield of Scott Janack, Kyle Cowart, Chris Montenegro, and Brad Reckart. They also added middle infielder Marty Malloy. They shored up the pitching with Ropeclub lefty Dan Bean and relief pitcher Shane "Cheese" Spicer. Finally they added legendary hitter Hank Garris as the catcher and leadoff hitter. Returning to Shoppe is 3B Todd Joerling, Jamie Gordon, 2B Travis Lane, SS Jamie Nelson, and 1B Eric Thompson.


Hank Garris was batting leadoff for Shoppe

 


Todd "Quarter" Joerling looks like he is set for a big season offensively


Former ABS standout Chris Montenegro has moved over to Jean Shoppe

2nd Place Taylormade/Titan/PAS/Mizuno (Conf A, Spotsylvania, VA)
Glen Burnie Record 4-2

Taylormade was taking care of business with double digit wins over Turano, Shuckers, and Diamondblade. Then they used better homerun management to get past Bud Light 25-22 in the winner's bracket final late Saturday night. On Sunday they were double dipped by a hot hitting Jean Shoppe team with the first game being a blowout, but the second being a hard fought 27-25 loss.


Taylormade celebrates another homerun


Taylormade Left Fielder Chad McClamb is the leading hitter in the Conference so far

3rd Place Bud Light/TPS/Linedrive/Sports55 (Conf A, Plymouth, MI)
Glen Burnie Record 3-2

Bud Light played well but winds up with a 1-2 record against Conference teams in this one. I thought the pitching of Rick Sills and defensive play of center fielder Nick Musselman was outstanding.


Bud Light's defense is anchored by pitcher Rick Sills and center fielder Nick Musselman


Bud Light's Brian Puckett hits a double

4th Place Diamondblade/Angle Inn/Easton (Conf B, Baltimore, MD)
Glen Burnie Record 4-2

The local Baltimore "B" team gets a Sunday appearance after coming from 20 runs behind versus JYD in the 6th inning and beating them with a walkoff bases loaded triple by Mike Dill 34-33. DBlade also had a nice 16 run win over RAC. They have all the pieces to their roster needed to make a run at the "B" Worlds come September.


Diamondblade's Lee Bowles hits another homer


1/2 sized Cameron Head hits a triple


Diamondblade's Mike Dill racks up another hit

Tied 5th Place JYD/Elite (Class "C", Glen Burnie, MD)
Glen Burnie Record 4-2

The surprise team of the tournament has to be JYD/Elite. Their roster is sprinkled with veteran conference players like Ray Patti, Desmond Daily and Chris Greinert. This team showed a lot of heart in beating Conf "B" team Peak Capital Mortgage 30-28 in their opener and Bio Hazard 22-21 before losing to Bud Light. They then beat rival Turano Construction and sent Conference team Linedrive home before dropping to Diamondblade on the last at bat of the game.

2009 Outlook: JYD would need to be considered in the C+ category and one of the better east coast threats to make noise at the "C" Worlds.


JYD/Elite outfielder Desmond Dailey

Tied 5th Place Rochester Athletic/National Gold (Conf B, Providence, RI)
Glen Burnie Record 4-2

This was my first look at RAC and they came up with a big win over Linedrive and won the other games they were supposed to win. The zero they put up against Jean Shoppe shows they need to work on their toughness when it comes to battling in Conference tournaments.

2009 Outlook: RAC has a number of players from the 2008 MFP Thunder Conference team in Mike Corey and Brian Titus. I feel they will run mid pack in the "B" division and should build for a 2010 contender.


Rochester Athletic hitter


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