Monday December 22nd, 2014
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2011 Conference USSSA Music City Report

 

 

 2011 Conference USSSA

"Music City" Classic

Gallatin, Tennessee

May 20 – May 22

A story of differing weather situations at the Music City Classic this year

The "Music City" Classic was stalled by a brief rain/hail storm on Saturday night around 6:30 PM.  That rain led to some late games which were then postponed at 1:30 AM because of thick fog.   When the games resumed on Sunday morning at 7 AM the weather held out until another brief rain storm cancelled the loser's bracket final and the championship.   In hindsight going to 5 inning games in the loser's bracket would probably have been a better call.   5 innings is more than enough time to decide a deserving winner considering the circumstances.

Team Combat/Laser/D2E/Supreme, the only Major classified team in the tournament gets the championship as they went a perfect 4-0 and outscored their opponents 123-52.   Combat run ruled Sinister/Pritchard/Miken in the winner's bracket championship 26-10 when the recently added Scott Zaciewski sliced a high flying walk off run rule homer to left center field on the main diamond which measured 325 down the lines and 375 to center field. 

Combat's Rusty Bumgardner getting back to 100%

Sinister was in the early part of their loser's bracket championship game against Team 454/Worth when the rains came around 2 pm on Sunday afternoon and the games were finally cancelled.

Team breakdown of 28 teams:  1 – Major,   6-'A',   8-'B',  10-'C',  3-'D'

17 teams were from the Conference USSSA

Teams from 15 different states were represented!

 

Brandon Dillon of Sinister bats against Fence Broker's pitcher Jason Bridges

Except for the two short thunderstorms and the late night fog, the weather was perfect for softball and the tournament field of teams which consisted of 17 Conference teams made for one great matchup after another all weekend long.   The local 'C' teams were as good as ever and only one 'C' team lost both of their games.

 

The bad weather approaches

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Random video clips from the tournament

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Bat testing started for the 3:30 Saturday games and on, after the tester was overnighted

Ya'all have a little drool on your lip thinking these could be your bp balls!

A small but knowledgeable softball crowd appeared on Friday and Saturday nights

 


Columbus, Indiana Tournament Awards and Final Standings:

 

Player Tournament Awards
Players Name
Plays For
Tournament MVP
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
Defensive Tournament MVP
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
 
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
130
102
21.6
17
4.66
29
300
2
IL
SPMensA
4
2
0
151
118
25.1
19.6
5.5
33
220
3
WA
SPMensMajor
4
0
0
123
52
30.7
13
17.7
38
90
4
MI
SPMensA
3
1
0
75
57
18.7
14.2
4.5
27
160
5
VA
SPMensA
4
2
0
155
134
25.8
22.3
3.5
39
140
5
MI
SPMensC
3
2
0
98
73
19.6
14.6
5
25
140
7
GA
SPMensB
4
2
0
142
119
23.6
19.8
3.83
32
120
7
TN
SPMensA
3
2
0
140
105
28
21
7
33
120
9
IN
SPMensB
3
2
0
88
79
17.6
15.8
1.8
30
100
9
TN
SPMensC
3
2
0
104
84
20.8
16.8
4
29
0
9
AR
SPMensB
2
2
0
82
83
20.5
20.7
-0.2
36
100
9
MS
SPMensC
2
2
0
55
69
13.7
17.2
-3.5
25
100
13
KS
SPMensB
2
2
0
88
88
22
22
0
31
80
13
MS
SPMensC
2
2
0
68
74
17
18.5
-1.5
22
80
13
AL
SPMensC
2
2
0
70
84
17.5
21
-3.5
27
80
13
WI
SPMensB
1
2
0
41
63
13.6
21
-7.3
18
80
17
GA
SPMensC
1
2
0
54
64
18
21.3
-3.3
28
40
17
TN
SPMensC
1
2
0
32
55
10.6
18.3
-7.6
14
0
17
TN
SPMensC
1
2
0
24
52
8
17.3
-9.3
14
0
17
IN
SPMensC
1
2
0
59
73
19.6
24.3
-4.6
40
40
17
CAS
SPMensA
1
2
0
46
38
15.3
12.6
2.66
25
40
17
MO
SPMensB
0
2
0
28
53
14
26.5
-12.
17
40
17
SC
SPMensB
0
2
0
33
46
16.5
23
-6.5
22
40
17
GA
SPMensB
0
2
0
39
57
19.5
28.5
-9
38
40
25
TN
SPMensD
0
2
0
22
58
11
29
-18
17
0
25
TN
SPMensC
0
2
0
16
43
8
21.5
-13.
9
0
25
TN
SPMensD
0
2
0
9
30
4.5
15
-10.
5
0
25
TN
SPMensD
0
2
0
26
45
13
22.5
-9.5
17
0
 


Note: We have a give away contest on the SoftballCenter.com message board.  Prizes like batting gloves, t-shirts, and hats will be provided by DownToEarthSports.com

Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place Team Combat/Laser Vision/D2E/Supreme  GTGG 

Conf 'M' from Kent, WA   4-0 Record

Team Combat/Laser Vision/D2E/Supreme shows more than a pulse as they roll through the Music City undefeated and used a "Resmondo" type seed to make it to the semi-finals.   Once there, they quickly took both Team 454 and Sinister to the wood shed for a beating, using some nail driving bombs by Brett Helmer and some great pitching by tournament MVP Billy Messina to run rule all 4 opponents.

 Combat only really needed their first 4 with Rick Baker (middle), and to the right Brett Helmer, Brian Wegman, and Rusty Bumgardner to win their first tournament of the year!

Team Combat spent most of the weekend at the hotel

     Team Combat pitcher Billy Messina was selected as tournament MVP     

Combat's Dal Beggs gets ready to unload a homer against Sinister in the winner's bracket championship game on Sunday morning


Left fielder Jason Kendrick rob's Kyle Moyer's home run bid

SS Jeff McGavin from Team Combat was selected defensive MVP


Tied for 2nd Place Sinister/Pritchard/Miken   GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Livonia, MI   3-1 Record

Sinister finishes their second weekend in a row with only losing one game.   They do so by beating Hustler's 17-2 after Hustler's had just finished Primetime by scoring 40 runs the game before.   On Saturday Sinister disposed of Conference opponents FBI and Linedrive then they were run ruled by Laser Vision on Sunday morning in the winner's bracket finals and were rained out in the loser's bracket championship against Team 454.   I can't for the life of me remember who was winning when the rains came?  Anyone remember?

   

Sinister RF Joe Gordon has been hitting it well at the top of the order

Sinister in the winner's final

 


 

Tied for 2nd Place Team 454 Emerald/Worth   

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

Team 454 Emerald/Worth beat EWS twice and won their Sunday morning game over Taylormade moving their record versus the 'A' division to 5-1 on the year.   An impressive stat for sure.   They also get a huge points boost from the Music City and should jump in this weeks rankings as well.

454 makes a nice push for the top of the 'A' division. 

Lineup
C Derek Perkins
1B Mitch Mabe
LF Ronald Mack
3B William Rhew
EH Kyle Moyer
RF Brent Griffin
MI Phillip White
2B Tyler Newell
SS Kevin Bazat
CF Evan Gallmeier
P Kevin Johnson

Team 454 getting ready to celebrate another victory 


Phillip White from Famous/Logo is Team 454's new middle man

Team 454's Bubba Mack makes this game look real easy


 

4th Place EWS/ShirtsandLogos/Drgraphx/Easton  GTGG 

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

EWS/ShirtsandLogos/Drgraphx/Easton lost both of their games to Team 454 which were fairly close but lower scoring games.   In the middle games they knocked off 3 straight Conference opponents including a big 32-31 win over Shoppe on Sunday morning after the fog delay from the night before.

EWS seemed to have better chemistry and at times looked like the top team that they often played like in 2010.   Losing to Team 454 twice has to smart a little and shows EWS has a long way to go to reach their goals of 'A' World Champs.

EWS Pitcher Travis Clark stabs a hard grounder

Click Wegs or Helmer for Easton equipment

 

"Guys Holstein sh!t himself, lets hope this game gets called on account of fog" 


Tied 5th Place Taylormade/TM Sports/Mizuno  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Williamsburg, VA   4-2 Record

Taylormade/TM Sports/Mizuno finally played a Conference event and pulled a minor upset in the second round when they knocked off Shoppe 25-24 on the show field Friday night.   Big third baseman Brent Haywood who returned to Taylormade after taking a year off pounded 5 homeruns in the first two games of the night, and drilled a walk off homer against Shoppe with 2 out in the bottom of the 7th to win.   With first base open, most people at the park assumed he would be walked.   In fact I did not get video footage of the homer because I had walked over to the other side of the fence expecting the left hand hitting Cory Franklin to hit for the win.   Unexpectedly Shane Spicer, the Shoppe pitcher threw two balls, then a strike, then a put one right in the wheelhouse.

Taylormade's Brent Haywood launched a walk off homer against Shoppe

We started to see this tactic in the Major World Series last year.  In a key spot with a good hitter up and a base open the pitcher will throw two balls with the first two pitches.   This puts the hitter in a "take" position and the pitcher throws the next ball for a strike.   Now with a foul ball being an out, the pitcher is back with the advantage for the 4th pitch.   This time it didn't work out however and Taylormade pulls off a big win.

Taylormade then fell victim to Linedrive on a walk off homer as well in there next game.   Taylormade then scored 30+ to beat very good CA Sports and D2E teams before losing a low scoring 19-13 loss to Team 454 on Sunday morning.

Taylormade is what we expected, a younger but talented team with less star power.   Eliseo Aguilar (LF), Kevin Kennington (MI), Dale Zwack (SS), Brian Logan (CF), and Cory Franklin (OF) among others mixed in with a veteran group of Conference staples like Johnny Bailey, Brian Floyd, and Stacy Bolton.   Taylormade appeared a little better than I originally thought. 

Lineup
LF Eliseo Aguilar
2B Kevin Rye
1B Brian Floyd
MI Kevin Kennington
C Johnny Bailey
P Stacy Bolton
3B Brent Haywood
LF Cory Franklin
P Al Pierce
SS Dale Zwack
CF Brian Logan

Taylormades new shortstop Dale Zwack has some Conference experience coming in 

Taylormade middle infielder Kevin Kennington


Tied 5th Place Linedrive/Triple SSS Sportscards  GTGG 

 'C' from Sterling Hts, MI   3-2 Record

Linedrive poses with their highest finishing 'C' team guitar.   Where is Tarz!

Linedrive/Triple SSS Sportscards stuck it in my eye in their opener when they beat Major League 23-3 whom I had picked to win.   They then run ruled RFC/Hubs and used a dramatic walk off homer to beat Taylormade 16-15 by the short but powerful Brian Blay.   They finished the tournament dropping a pair of games to Sinister and EWS.

Linedrive continues to silence the naysayers and compete with the big dogs just like they did in 2008.   It is a different "hero" for Linedrive every game and a true team effort.

Lineup
LF Jason Ford
SS Charlie Anderson
C Thomas Luna
3B Shannan Green
IF Jason Ferguson
MI Michael Haisenleder
IF Ronald Thompson
P Brian Ward/Dan Evans
CF Bryan Weeks
OF Brian Blay
2B Don Sikora/OF Ryan Ford 
 

Linedrive's Brian Blay hit a game winning walk off homer against Taylormade on the baseball field

Linedrive manager Manfred Budnarowski tells a tall tale

 

Linedrive's LF and lead off man Ryan Ford was spraying all over the yard and even hit a bomb

Linedrive third baseman Shannan Green laces another one


Tied 7th Place Down2EarthSports.com/Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'B' from Baxley, GA   4-2 Record

Down2EarthSports.com/Worth lost by the run rule to Team 454 in the second round.   Then they won a rivalry marathon game against Major League 32-28 followed by consecutive run rules of OI Livingston and FBI.   They were knocked out of the tournament by Taylormade in a fog delayed game where Taylormade scored a pile of runs after the homer's were gone.

I watched enough of the D2E games to know they have some outfielders in LF Lee Payne and CF Larkin Grant that have some of the best range in the Conference and when the sun goes down this team can hit with anyone.   A great matchup would be D2E and Linedrive as the teams are similar and both are playing great ball. 


Down2Earth first baseman Carlton Griffin

Down2Earth's speedy center fielder Larkin Grant

 

Sean "Burdicks little brother" Greer hit some bombs on the show field

 


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

Conf 'A' from McKenzie, TN   3-2 Record

Shoppe / Team TPS / D2E / Elite lost their opener Friday night to Taylormade who hit a walk off homer on the baseball field.   In the loser's bracket Shoppe struggled against DMC but broke a 9-9 tie in the 7th with a 17 run inning to win.   Then narrowly escaped in a win over a feisty RFC team soon after with a late surge.   After sending BWW home with a run rule they lost to EWS with bats in hand 32-31 on Saturday morning.

Shoppe with all of their Major and Major Watch list players is really built more for the Major division with the extra homeruns.   They never really dominated any of their games and losing early put them on the small back fields where they struggled with the umpiring and keeping the ball in the park. 

I think Shoppes Tim Cocco had 7 RBI, I believe, in their 17 run 7th inning against DMC


EWS pitcher Travis Clark serves one up to Jamie Gordon of Shoppe


 

 

The rest of the Conference Teams:


MidWest Swing / Miken wins 3 games vs non-conference opponents but loses bad to FBI and didn't compete against EWS.   Midwest is a "sell" at a loss in the Conference market right now but still a threat in the 'B' division.   Lets give this some time to work out.  Don't pull a "Famous" on us…


Fence Brokers/Gametime Supply/Worth knocked off Midwest Swing impressively early in the tournament but couldn't score against Sinister, then were run ruled by Down2Earth in a game which should have been an even match.   FBI may not be a night time team and are probably better off when the ball isn't flying well which could bode well for them in Houston.


BWW/Team Baden/Buzini Sports – First look at BWW is a positive one as they survive their 'C' opponent in the first round then stunned a hapless Famous team 13-3 with great pitching.   Then they got pounded by Laser Vision and Shoppe.


RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE survived their local 'C' game on Friday night then were run ruled by Linedrive 25-10.   In the loser's bracket they lost a heart breaker to Shoppe 33-31 amid some miscues defensively.   I witnessed enough good here to say RFC is a "buy" in a turbulent Conference stock market.


Wheelhouse Sports / Reebok – Wheelhouse beat Hustler's for a decent victory.


Famous Sports/Logo Express/Easton – This team which was in the running for the 4th position in points at the end of the year has now been turned upside down with rumors of sponsorship problems and trouble with team chemistry.  Lots of rumors swirling about them folding.   I hope those rumors are wrong and someone can turn the ship around.   How about bringing in Mike Foulke's to see if he could steer the ship?


DMC/Resmondo Sports did not survive the weekly Friday night onslaught of good 'C' teams beating Conference teams as they lost to OI Livingston.  Then they had the unfortunate draw of playing Shoppe in their first game of the loser's bracket.  They fought Shoppe hard for 6 innings and it was tied 9-9.  Then a rash of walks led to a 17 run 7th for Shoppe and DMC was done.  DMC is taking their lumps in the Conference but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger and I think that is happening.  They definitely showed some fire in the Shoppe game.


Gas It/Easton/Lewis Lawn Care had a tough draw getting Taylormade in the first round and lost 32-22 on the show field.   Then in the loser's bracket lost to a good local 'C' team 14-11.   Short but tough weekend.


PrimeTime/Easton jumped out to a 20-5 lead on a tough Hustler's club in their opening game but lost 40-38.   Then they were mesmerized by the CA Sports pitching (Gator) as they were smoked 17-1. 


 

alt

Report continued below  


A big thanks to my sponsor's – USSSA, Music City director Brooks Cherry, Down2EarthSports.com, GameTimeSupply.com, MojoSportsGear.com, TPS, Easton, DSSBats.com, Softball Today Magazine, BatReviews.com, and BPAthletics

I will be in Atlanta, Georgia next week. 

Also don't forget to click the "like" or "share" on facebook buttons for any articles you particularly enjoyed.  Thanks.

2011 Music City Classic Major pictures link

Link to the  Bracket/Stats for the Music City Major

Link to the tournament in Atlanta when ready

Link to the USSSA Point Standings and Stats


Here are some other pics from the Music City Major:

Former T&R Stucco pitcher Chad Loudon was playing for OI Livingston who had a nice showing in the tournament

CA Sports finished tied for 9th and were led by a slew of veterans including pitcher Kevin "Gator" Gillot


Derek "Twinkie" Jones a former Steele's player from the 1990's and his Major League team


Tournament UIC Larry Lofton has been at this for 36 years!

A pretty good Women's tournament was going on the back fields

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

DW@softballcenter.com


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