Monday October 20th, 2014
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2011 USSSA 'A' World Tournament Recap

 

2011 USSSA

 'A' World Tournament

 Kissimmee, Florida

August 19 - 21


Team 454 Emerald/Worth based out of Glen Allen, Virginia remains the #1 Class 'A' team in the country as they go 5-1 to win the 'A' World Tournament.  They were pushed into the second game (the "IF" game) of the Championship Sunday afternoon by runner up, R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton based out of Waterloo, Iowa.  R&M turned an early 11-1 lead into a hard fought 13-8 victory and forced the "IF" game. 

In the final game Team 454 held small leads the majority of the way and R&M pulled to within 1 run on a 3 run pinch hit homer by Keith Anderson.  454 didn't score in the bottom of the 6th and R&M failed to score in the top of the 7th and lost 21-20 when 454 pitcher Andy Vitcak snapped off a Sam Lopez liner up the middle to end the game.

Team 454 Emerald/Worth - your 2011 'A' World Champions!

R&M Metals made a nice run to a 2nd place finish, but coach Humphrey is a bridesmaid again

 Team 454's Evan Gallmeier takes on EWS in the winner's quarter finals

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ARCHIVED BROADCAST GAMES

I would like to thank the 17 people that have donated to the "broadcast fund" so far this year.  THANK YOU!

You can donate at this link

Except for the night games, the tournament was played in 90+ degree temperatures with a high humidity and the ball would not fly.   The true homerun hitters came to the forefront and needed to spin the ball to get it out of the park if they didn't absolutely smash a hard liner that would occasionally go.

The upsets started on Friday night from the get go.   After a short rain delay cancelled play on the stadium field, all of the Friday games were either moved to the softball quadplex at ESPN's Wide World of Sports or two were moved to Saturday.   Dave's Place knocked off PNH (Troy Nance's team) in an entertaining game 20-19 on a walk off homer by their four hitting lefty (send me the name of the player if you know).   Then Newboyes/TPS shocked Taylormade 23-21 when Taylormade let them hang around and the Newboyes Gabe Caride smashed a walk off homer.   The upsets continued as CFL beat CA Sports 21-20 on a walk off homer by Josh Whittenton.   CFL had a 17-0 lead early on in this one and feature pitcher Curtiss "Wolf" Wilson.   CA Sports almost came all the way back.   Finally Primetime beat the Blocker's 24-17.

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CFL's Josh Whittendon hits a walk off homer CA Sports

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Newboyes Gabe Caride hits a walk off homer to beat Taylormade

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Dave's Place wins on a walk off homer over PNH

In the second round games on Friday night things were even crazier as 1st Step/DCS, a local 'B' bracket filler team, trailed Shoppe, the #2 seed, 18-13 going into the top of the 7th.   DCS used the last of their allotted 8 homer's to tie the score when David Garcia came to the plate with 2 outs.   Garcia smashed one in the LC gap that hit the very top of the 6.5 foot Disney fences right at the 305 foot mark and the ball carromed back into play for a bases clearing double.   Then DCS, riding a wave of momentum, ended up with an incredible 23 run inning.   The last 16 of which came with two outs and no homer's left.   DCS has an impressive "top of the order" in Conference veterans Chris Wilson and Dave Garcia followed by former major player Chad Durick.   They also have an aggressive shortstop named Robert Hendren who made some great plays from shallow LF and other veterans like pitcher Tony Elrod, power hitters Luke Wright and David Moore who canall get it done.   After the 23 run inning Shoppe had no answer and lost 34-18.

1st Step/DCS celebrates their 23 run inning against Shoppe on Friday night

The best game of the second round was R&M Metal vs Linedrive.   In an entertaining game with lots of energy and strategy, Linedrive came up in the bottom of the 7th inning trailing and loaded the bases down 14-13.   Brian Ward didn't get enough of a one out sacrifice fly attempt and R&M left fielder Nick Robertson caught it and gunned the runner tagging from third at the plate for the doubleplay and the win.   

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 Linedrive runner is gunned at the plate by R&M Metals left fielder Nick Robertson.  Kyle Yerkes is the catcher

Also Primetime shocked the nations #3 ranked team, Sonny's 18-12.   Sonny's couldn't get the offense on track and Primetime had a lethal 3 run homer by Roderick Armour to put the game out of reach.

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Roderick Armour increases the lead for Primetime

In other second round action, Suncoast shut down Dave's Place 14-4, Sinister pummeled Down2EarthSports 28-13 on a 12 run – 5 homer first inning.    Wood Law jumped out to a lead and held off Newboyes/TPS 21-16.   Team 454 run ruled CFL 28-12 and EWS hammered Darkside 36-21.

On to the third round.   A feisty 1st Step/DCS teams "Cinderella" run came to an end as Sinister beat them 20-17 on the stadium field.   R&M Metals beat Suncoast 28-17 on the back field #12, and Wood Law smoked Primetime 17-6.    In the final quarter final game EWS led Team 454 when the rain came and a listless Team 454 used the 2 hour rain delay to their advantage and came back and scored the last 10 runs of the game to win 17-9.   EWS was able to muster just 2 home runs in the game?

A two hour rain delay postponed the EWS vs Team 454 showdown

The semi-finals, in a game full of drama and big plays (or big bad plays), R&M Metals used a two out error, a walk, and a bases loaded game winning walk to beat Sinister 13-12.  This game was an "instant classic" on SoftballCenter.com!

R&M's Brian Zirkle bats against Sinisters Mike Rose in the pivotal 7th inning

Wood Law in the other semi-final against Team 454 held a nice 11-6 lead going into the 4th, then Team 454, like they did against EWS had a mid game rally and held off Wood Law 20-16 to go to the winner's bracket championship.

The winner's bracket championship game between R&M Metals and Team 454 started late on Saturday night on the stadium field.    The scoreboard below tells the story as R&M Metals was outscored 8-0 in the 4th and 5th inning and lost 22-13.

Team 454 defeats R&M Metals late Saturday night in the winner's bracket championship game

When the sun rose on Sunday morning it was EWS handing Sinister a 19-9 loss after EWS had finished off Shoppe late on Saturday night.   On the other diamond at 8 AM Wood Law used a couple of long offensive innings to put away Suncoast by the run rule 21-6.

EWS finishes off Sinister on Sunday morning

Wood Law then crushed EWS with a huge first inning and went on to win by the 20 run rule 33-13.

In the loser's bracket championship R&M held off a tired Wood Law team 16-10 to make it to the finals against Team 454.

 Wayne Habermehl bats against EWS before the rain came on the stadium field

Shoppes Chad McLamb bats against EWS late Saturday night.   Winner plays on Sunday for the final 4

Wood Law takes on Team 454 in a semi-final match

 The temporary fence they used this year was a little bit taller, stronger and looked a lot better.   Set at about 315 feet.

 Field #13 – Suncoast taking on Darkside

 Field #13 from center field

 Team breakdown:    10 - 'A',  6 – 'B',  3 – 'C',  2 – 'D'

13 from the Conference

 12 different states represented!

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Random video clips from the tournament

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Yes, full bat testing

 


'A' World Tournament Awards and Final Standings:

Player Tournament Awards
Players Name
Plays For
Tournament MVP
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
Offensive Tournament MVP
R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton
Defensive Tournament MVP
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton
All Tournament Team
R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton
All Tournament Team
R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
Wood Law/Mizuno/Famous/Easton
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
Wood Law/Mizuno/Famous/Easton
All Tournament Team
R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
All Tournament Team
Wood Law/Mizuno/Famous/Easton
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
Team 454 Emerald/Worth
 

Place
State
Team
Team
Class
Wins
Loses
Ties
Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
1
VA
SPMensA
5
1
0
116
83
19.3
13.8
5.5
28
650
2
IA
SPMensA
5
2
0
117
103
16.7
14.7
2
28
350
3
TXN
SPMensA
4
2
0
118
77
19.6
12.8
6.83
33
300
4
IL
SPMensA
4
2
0
130
102
21.6
17
4.66
36
250
5
FL
SPMensA
3
2
0
82
75
16.4
15
1.4
29
200
5
MI
SPMensA
2
2
0
69
62
17.2
15.5
1.75
28
200
7
WY
SPMensA
3
2
0
93
80
18.6
16
2.6
26
150
7
TN
SPMensA
2
2
0
92
100
23
25
-2
30
150
9
VA
SPMensA
2
2
0
66
71
16.5
17.7
-1.2
25
110
9
GA
SPMensB
2
2
0
72
76
18
19
-1
24
220
9
CT
SPMensA
2
2
0
71
61
17.7
15.2
2.5
23
110
9
FL
SPMensB
2
2
0
87
76
21.7
19
2.75
34
220
13
FL
SPMensB
2
2
0
45
60
11.2
15
-3.7
20
140
13
FL
SPMensC
1
2
0
54
58
18
19.3
-1.3
23
140
13
TN
SPMensC
1
2
0
61
69
20.3
23
-2.6
22
140
13
FL
CFL
SPMensC
1
2
0
40
71
13.3
23.6
-10.
21
140
17
FL
SPMensD
0
2
0
14
45
7
22.5
-15.
12
80
17
GA
SPMensB
0
2
0
33
50
16.5
25
-8.5
20
80
17
MI
SPMensB
0
2
0
21
28
10.5
14
-3.5
13
80
17
FL
PNH Softball frozen
SPMensD
0
2
0
28
46
14
23
-9
19
80
17
FL
SPMensB
0
2
0
19
35
9.5
17.5
-8
17
80
 

 


Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place Team 454 Emerald/Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Glen Allen, VA   5-1 Record

Team 454 Emerald/Worth pushes their seasons record against 'A' teams to 17-6.   The Manager/Architect of Team 454, Tim Taylor, gets a lot of the credit as he made flawless roster "tweaks" throughout the season and brought in former Laser Vision pitcher Andy Vitcak to seal the deal just before the 'A' World.  

Winning an 'A' World tournament is a team effort.   No doubt about that.   However there could not have been a more deserving MVP than 3rd baseman William Rhew who came up with some huge hits, had to have had a very high onbase percentage, and made sellout plays at 3rd base.   And he sponsored the team as well with Emerald Consulting.  Great job.

Congratulations to Team 454 for winning the 'A' Worlds.  From the spectacular home run robbing catches of center fielder and Defensive MVP Evan Gallmeier to the lightning quick field it and throw it outs from shallow left field of SS Kevin Bazat, and the slap a gap and get a double consistency of most everyone on the team.   It was very entertaining and just a solid performance capping a great season.

Now, don't go out and celebrate too long like past 'A' World Champions have done and lay an egg at the Conference Championships and Major World Series. 

 Team 454 third baseman William Rhew, the sponsor had an outstanding tournament both offensively and defensively and was correctly picked as tournament MVP!

Lineup
SS Kevin Bazat
1B Mitch Mabe
LF Ronald Mack
RF Brent Griffin
C/EH Kyle Moyer
2B Don Rogers
3B William Rhew
EH Wayne Habermehl
MI Phillip White
CF Evan Gallmeier
P    Kevin Johnson
P Andy Vitcak


Andy Vitcak came in for Kevin Johnson and started the final game

Gallmeier batting for 454 was the Defensive MVP and William Rhew on third base was the MVP 


2nd Place R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton    GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Waterloo, Iowa   5-2 Record


R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton had their second big runner up finish in a row after a tough season.   They survived an opening round Saturday morning game against Linedrive when Nick Robertson threw out a runner at home plate who was trying to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th on a sacrifice fly.   Then they survived a 13-12 win over Sinister in the semi-finals by drawing a two out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 7th.   They literally made it to the winner's final late on Saturday night by "the skin of their teeth".

Unfortunately they didn't compete with Team 454 until Sunday, where they forced the "IF" game of the championship after jumping out to a big 11-1 lead.   10 run leads are big in the Florida heat and humidity where the ball does not fly well.   Then in the championship game they pulled within 1 run but couldn't score in the 7th.

R&M should hold their heads high.   They nearly beat Resmondo two weeks ago in Michigan in the Championship game and they had a shot at Team 454 at the 'A' Worlds.   That is all you can ask. 

Nick "Noodle" Robertson was tabbed a well deserved Offensive MVP.   He also made some tournament saving defensive plays and nearly batted for the cycle to beat Wood Law and advance to the Championship game.

Click Wegs or Helmer for Easton equipment


 R&M leadoff man Brian Zirkle was red hot early on in the tournament

Lineup

CF    Brian Zirkle
C      Kyle Yerkes
    RF    Chris Greinert
      LF    Nick Robertson
IF    Sam Lopez
2B    Matt Albert
RF    Mike Irvine
IF    Aaron Middendorf
EH    Nathan Staats
MI    Scott Roen
P      TJ Thompson

Aaron Middendorf #33 hit a huge 3 run homer in the championship game


 

3rd Place Wood Law/Mizuno/Famous/Easton  
Conf 'A' from Dallas, TX   4-2 Record

 

Wood Law/Mizuno/Famous/Easton showed up to the 'A' Worlds with only 10 players including 2 new players, Denny Crine and Brian Higginbotham.  They beat Newboyes and Primetime early on Saturday morning.  Then in a quarter final match with Team 454 they held a solid 14-6 lead before putting up two zeros in the middle innings and fading to a 20-16 loss.

In the loser's bracket they played three straight.   Exploding to a 21-6 run rule of a listless Suncoast team, and getting EWS down big early on, and finishing them with an impressive 20 run rule 33-13.   In the loser's championship against R&M they were out of gas although they stayed in the game late but lost 16-10. 

Wood Law had a 14-6 lead on 454

Wood Law's LF Matt Bunn robs a homer

Wood Law first baseman and relief pitcher Brian Higginbotham was picked up for the weekend and made all tournament

 Wood Law RF Jesse Harrison

Wood Law third baseman Frank Yeilding had a nice string of triples and extra base hits to help beat EWS

 It was good to see Denny Crine back in the show


 

4th Place EWS/ShirtsandLogos/Drgraphx/Easton  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Chicago, IL    4-2 Record

EWS/ShirtsandLogos/Drgraphx/Easton was my pick to win this tournament.  They run ruled Darkside nicely in their opener on Saturday morning but then had an early meeting with Team 454.   EWS led Team 454  6-3 early in a game where the ball was not travelling well at all in the stadium.  Then just before the typical Florida afternoon shower came through and delayed the tournament for 2.5 hours, Team 454 put up a nice inning of their own and after the rain they put up a another strong inning and EWS whimpered quietly into the loser's bracket.

In the loser's bracket they absolutely crushed Taylormade 30-6 and won a spirited battle with Shoppe 23-16 late on Saturday night.   On Sunday morning they made Sinister look bad 19-9 and then walked into a buzz saw where Wood Law knocked them out 33-13.

Eric Weller and the boys will have to wait til 2012 for their 'A' World?


Tied 5th Place Suncoast/Reebok  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Parish, FL   3-2 Record


Suncoast Reebok went on a performance roller coaster where they played well in wins over Dave's Place, Darkside, and Sonny's but didn't look very good against R&M Metals or Wood Law.   I thought Suncoast would do better than they did.


Tied 5th Place Sinister/Pritchard/Miken  GTGG 

 Conf 'A' from Livonia, MI   2-2 Record

Sinister/Pritchard/Miken came firing out of the gate on Saturday morning with 5 homer's including a grand slam in the first inning against Down2EarthSports and then fought off the hot hitting 1st Step/DCS 20-17.   In their semi-final game against R&M they had plenty of chances to win the game in both the 6th and 7th innings but walked home the winning run and dropped to the loser's bracket where they couldn't get any offense going on Sunday morning and lost to EWS 19-9.

 


Tied 7th Place Sonny's/Desert Falls/Elite  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Casper, Wyoming   3-2 Record

I was hoping to see a lot of Sonny's/Desert Falls/Elite who was the #3 ranked team in the country in the computer rankings.   However they came out flat on Saturday morning and lost to Primetime 18-12.   Then they beat three local's in a row in the loser's bracket before a bad run rule loss to Suncoast.

The reason they were so high in the rankings was because of the "bonus" computer points you get for finishing in the top 4 at an event.   And of course Sonny's has the three big Conference tournament wins and finished in the bonus everytime out except for Las Vegas.

Sonny's has not beaten an 'A' team this year, which doesn't bode well for the Conference Championships or the Major World Series.

 

Tyson Steele of Sonny's

Sonny Pilcher – thanks for putting a great team on the field.   I am looking forward to following this team in the next two tournaments


Tied 7th Place Shoppe / Team TPS / D2E / Elite  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from McKenzie, TN   -2 Record

Shoppe / Team TPS / D2E / Elite was outscored by their opponents over the course of their 4 games.   On Friday they never put 1st Step/DCS away and then were obliterated in the 7th inning when 1st Step scored 23 runs on them.   In the loser's bracket they didn't exactly dominate in wins over CA Sports and Primetime and then were knocked out Saturday night by EWS.

A roster as loaded as Shoppe's is with talent should not be outscored 100-92 at the 'A' Worlds.   This ones on the player's for not getting it done.   Hopefully for the last two tournaments they bring back some of the fire they showed against Laser Vision back at the Hall of Fame tournament when they scored 42 runs on the stadium field.

Shoppe center fielder Kyle Cowart attempts to rob a homerun 


 

 

Tied for 9th - Primetime celebrates during their big win over Sonny's

Tied for 9th - Darkside couldn't muster many runs

 

Linedrive was 2 and Q and learned that softball is a game of inches

 

 


 

alt

More Pictures Below  


A big thanks to my sponsor's – USSSA, Down2EarthSports.com, GameTimeSupply.com, MojoSportsGear.com, TPS, Easton, DSSBats.com, SoftballToday Magazine, BatReviews.com, BPAthletics, and SSS Sportscards

A special thanks to DWII (my brother Dave) for helping with updates and camera work.

I will be at the Conference Championships in two weeks. 

2011 'A' World pictures link

Link to the  Bracket/Stats for the 'A' World 

Link to the USSSA Point Standings and Stats


Here are some other pics from the 'A' World Tournament:

First Step/DCS shortstop Robert Hendren

 

First Step/DCS pitcher Tony Elrod

Newboyes celebrate walk off


Suncoast pitcher Dan Bean.   I would have that look too if I had to pitch to some of these guys

454 First Base coach Mike Lewis broke his arm pitching bp when a ball came through the protective netting

Jason, great job umpiring this weekend.  Hope you are feeling better and see you soon

Sinister's Frank Aleksandrowicz tells Doc a dirty joke

 Troy Nance – Have to get this guy back in the Conference

 

 Me broadcasting the game from the stadium

 

The view from the score tower on Field #13.   And if you pan down you get a railing.   So as you can see there wasn't many options for the broadcast camera.

Now with more donations maybe I could get a real camera and tripod like the ESPN guy…lol

This is the trainer girl ya'all made fun of when she came in the score tower

 Future super majors player's

A new sports apparel company called Dirty Sportswear.   Thanks for the hat!

Link to the DirtySportswear.com future website

As always send question, corrections, comments, suggestions, and criticism's to

DW@softballcenter.com


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