Finished the report —> 2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA/GSL Championships tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
GSL Major/A/Conference Championships
Precisions Chris Geron bats against Resmondos Andy Purcell in the Championship!
Precision upset Resmondo in 10 innings on Saturday in one of the better games of the tournament
The Nationwide Conference Championships began on Friday night of Labor Day Weekend with 8 teams in the Major bracket and 9 teams in the 'A' bracket. The upsets started early in this one as the short handed #8 seeded Albicocco/The Scene/Easton 'A' team knocked off #1 seed Smash It Sports 14-8 early Friday night in the Major bracket. And #6 seeded Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger knocked off their sister team #3 seeded Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger 19-10 back on field #1. #4 seeded Precision and #2 seeded Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth advanced as well to the final 4 but Precision by just one run over #5 Team Combat and Resmondo used a game tying two run homer by Andrew Collins and a walk off single by Greg Connell to beat #7 OC Swats 21-20 in the bottom of the 7th. Had OC Swats hung on there would have been 3 lower seeds in the final 4. Late Friday night Precision advanced to the winner's final with a 15-10 victory over Albicocco and Resmondo crushed Red's Astros 33-4 to advance.
On Saturday in the Major bracket the best game of the tournament was Precision and Resmondo in the winner's bracket finals. They played in sweltering heat and humidity and Precision jumped out to early leads of 7-0 and 9-3. Resmondo scored 3 in the 5th inning and 2 in the 6th to close the gap to 10-8. But Precisions Brett McCollum led off the top of the 7th with a solo homer and they added one more run to take a 12-8 lead. In the bottom of the 7th with one quick out, Dennis Rulli singled, Greg Connell doubled, and Andy Purcell hit a 3 run homer. That was followed by a Jimmy Salas solo homer to tie the game at 12-12 but Precision got a 3-6-3 double play to force extra innings. In the 8th Precision put up a zero and in the bottom half of the inning Resmondo struck out looking and fouled off a third strike and the game went to the 9th inning tied at 12-12. Precisions Brett McCollum tripled to hit for the cycle in the game and Davis Bilardello hit a sacrifice fly to score him. Dan Kirkwood walked and scored from first on Curtis Stewarts RBI single to left center field to give Precision a 14-12 lead. In the bottom of the 9th Resmondos Jeremy Yates hit a one out single, Rulli singled, and Connell hit an RBI double. Precision intentionally walked Andy Purcell and they got Salas to hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 14-14 but the game went to the 10th inning! Precision pitcher Andy Vitcak and Gary Lofton hit one out base hits to roll it to the top of the order where Matt Rear singled, Keith Laski doubled, Brett McCollum hit a sacrifice fly, and Davis Bilardello hit an RBI double to give them a 18-14 lead. Resmondo could only muster a two run triple by Andrew Collins in the bottom of the 10th and lost 18-16.
In the loser's bracket of the Major bracket Albicocco was leading Smash It Sports 20-19 going into the bottom of the 7th of the loser's semi final and Smash It Sports pitcher Travis Clark hit a game tying single and Kevin Filby hit a walk off sacrifice fly that ended up being scored a single with the outfield moved in to win 21-20. Smash It Sports scored the last 9 runs of the game. In the loser's bracket finals with the winner advancing to the live CBS Sports Network championship game on Sunday morning, Smash It Sports scored 8 runs in the top of the first inning. Resmondo answered with 14 runs before the first out was made in the top of the 2nd and took an 18-8 lead into the 3rd inning. Smash It Sports put up zeroes in the 2nd and 3rd inning but got 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th to close the gap to 20-13. Resmondo put Smash It Sports away with 7 runs on 7 hits in the top of the 6th and won the game 32-23. Had Smash It Sports won, they would have been the #1 seed for the USSSA Men's Major World Series. As it is they won the regular season for the first time but will be the #2 seed for the Major.
Resmondo then had a rematch against Precision on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM live on CBS Sports Network. Much like the winner's final Precision jumped out to a 7-1 lead after 2 innings and led in hits 10-3. Matt Rear and Keith Laski each collecting two hits in their first two at bats. Veteran hitter Howie Krause got the Resmondo team going with a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to cut the lead to 7-3 and big lefty BJ Fulk hit a 3 run homer to tie the game at 7-7 and Resmondo led 9-7 after 3 innings. In the top of the 3rd Precision grabbed a 12-9 lead on a Rear sacrifice fly, a Laski RBI single, a Davis Bilardello RBI single, and a two run double by Dan Kirkwood. But Resmondo separated in the bottom of the 5th and extended their lead to 8 in the bottom of the 6th and forced the "if" necessary game with a 26-15 win. In the final game it was all Resmondo as they out powered Precision 8 homers to 1 and won 24-9. Resmondos Greg Connell hit 3 homers in the game and was 5-5. Jimmy Salas went 4-4 with 2 homers, and Don Dedonatis Jr was also 4-4.
The tournament was played in extreme heat and humidity and was delayed both Friday and Saturday for rain/lightning delays but finished up on time. They used the Conference ZN Stadium ball which was perfect for the tournament, and a full contingent of top Conference umpires officiated the games.
Resmondo finishes off Precision in the "if" game on a Greg Connell walk off run rule
Greg Connell interviewed after hitting the walk off run rule homer over Precision
Pitcher Andy Vitcak, 3B Matt Rear, SS Keith Laski, and MI Jeff Keske defending Resmondo in the Championship
Albicocco upsets Smash It Sports in their opening game!
Backman sends home Combat early Saturday morning
Resmondos Greg Connell hits a walk off single to beat OC Swats in the bottom of the 7th
Xtreme/Mikens Todd Newton hits against Broughtons Danny Lopez in the 'A' Championship game!
In the 'A' bracket it was all Xtreme/Miken has they won their first game by forfeit then rolled through 3 straight opponents to capture the first ever GSL 'A' title. The real story of this tournament may have been in the loser's bracket as 5 teams without a berth to the Major were still trying to qualify with the highest finishing non-qualified team getting the 17th seed to the World Series. Combat NWA, OI Livingston, and Semper Athletics just did not play well enough to get into the Major and 3rd Street gassed out on Saturday, but Broughton/Bad Draw/Worth exploded for at least 21 runs in every game they played and mashed their way into the World Series by winning 5 games including come from behind victories over very good FBI and Compound teams 38-35 and 49-37. The Compound game went to extra innings and was the best game of the tournament. Congratulations to Xtreme and Broughton on their wins!
OI Livingstons Keith Martin bats against Combat NWA Friday night
Osceola County Stadium
I always like to take a picture of F1 and F2 and their 35 foot high netting you have to hit it over for a homer
The Stadium with the "LS" stamp seemed to fly the best
Bases were put at 70 feet this year. Hopefully they can put them at the more traditional 75 feet next year.
Oldscout pollers were right on the major but wrong on the 'A'
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Video clips of the Stadium field and Awards Banquet
Video clips of the back fields
Long Bombers of the Week
Ryan Harvey had an absolute rocket shot homer somewhere between the 330 and 390 mark when it cleared the 35 foot high netting.
It may have cleared most of the street behind the field. Video below.
Also Xtremes Shannon Smith was said to have hit a creature over the left center field light pole on F3
Conference Major Final Standings
|1||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||1||0||152||89||25.3||14.8||10.5||33||300|
|2||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||70||88||14||17.6||-3.6||18||225|
|3||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||138||104||23||17.3||5.66||35||200|
|4||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||69||65||17.2||16.2||1||25||175|
|5||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||74||68||18.5||17||1.5||30||155|
|5||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||31||66||10.3||22||-11.||19||155|
|7||CAS – Yorba Linda||oc swats doerflinger/miken/lcp||USSSA-Mens-B||0||3||0||48||79||16||26.3||-10.||20||130|
|7||WA – KENT||team combat/baugh ford/softball.com||USSSA-SPMensMajor||0||3||0||38||61||12.6||20.3||-7.6||17||130|
Greg Connell of Resmondo won the Triple Crown and had over an .800 onbase this past weekend
The 5 players that have won All Conference 10 years in a row are:
Brian Wegman, Bryson Baker, Don Dedonatis Jr, Brett Helmer, and Dennis Rulli
Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/Laservision/ASP/Easton receives their Nationwide Conference USSSA regular season championship trophy!
Bob Hortenbach of Hortenbach Auto, Travis Resmondo who won the trophy 9 years in a row presented it to Brett Helmer, and Jason Wilkins the Compound Athletics sponsor.
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Resmondo Specialty Tank/Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 5-1 Record
Resmondo was upset by Precision in 10 innings in the winners final but took care of business beating Smash It Sports and Precision twice to just squeak by and move into 1st place in conference points and grab the #1 seed for the Major World Series in 2.5 weeks. Resmondo got some steady defense out of the team and a tournament high team batting average and 47 home runs. Andy Purcell hit 9 of them for 23 RBI, Connell hit 7 HR and 22 RBI, and Andrew Collins chipped in with 5 HR and 23 RBI. Jimmy Salas had 6 homers and Howie Krause in limited duty hit 4 HR.
Resmondo got off to some slow starts and wasn't able to step on the gas when needed against OC Swats or Precision but found ways to win and will be a slight favorite at the USSSA Major World Series. Purcell on the mound got some big outs and over half of the teams hits were for extra bases with the short base lengths.
Trending up, looking for their 10th Major World Series title!
3B Jimmy Salas, SS Don Dedonatis, and MI Dennis Rulli
Purcell stabs a hot shot up the middle
LF Andrew Collins goes up and makes a play at the fence in the championship
RF Jeremy Isenhower makes a nice running grab in to the fence
Don Dedonatis Jr and Frank Webb the 2015 "John Glidewell" award winner!
Resmondo manager Frank Webb and Jon Riccio the long time Specialty Tank sponsor
2nd Place – Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 3-2 Record
Precision won their first three games by a total of 8 runs. Knocking off Team Combat, Albicocco, and Resmondo (in 10 innings). Vitcak was sharp, the team never gave up, and they even flew in middle infielder Jeff Keske late Saturday night to play the Championship on Sunday. Curtis Stewart led the team in hitting but it was really their defense that kept teams down. Another great weekend and Sunday finish for Precision who is the HEAVY favorite to win 'A' Worlds which starts September 18th.
Trending Way Up!
1B Brett McCollum, 2B Seth Burgmeier, MI Denis Fisher
Brett McCollum did some fence banging
Keith Laski hits one out of the reach of Dennis Rulli
3rd Place – SmashItSports/Compound/HAuto/ASP/Laservision/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 4-2 Record
Kevin Filby hits a walkoff long fly ball to beat Albicocco and advance to the loser's final
Smash It Sports lost their opener to Albicocco when their offense disappeared. They then walked through most of the loser's bracket with run rule victories over Team Combat, OC Swats, and Red's Astros and squeaked by with a bottom of the 7th revenge win over Albicocco 21-20 before Resmondo separated and beat them late in the game. Smash It wasn't sharp although pitcher Travis Clark was back and able to run a little bit better than in recent tournaments. They lost the #1 seed for the Major…again.
Smash It Sports Bryson Baker was named Conference MVP!
Kudos to the Smash It players for being grounds crew and putting out the tarps on Saturday
4th Place – Albicocco/The Scene/Easton
Conf 'A' from NY 2-2 Record
Albicocco had just 10 players but battled in all 4 of their games getting that signature win over Smash It Sports finally and sending home Backman as well.
Buckshot at pitcher and Genter at 3rd
Tied 5th Place – Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 2-2 Record
Backman lost their opener to Red's Astros only scoring 10 runs. Then they run ruled OC Swats and squeaked by Team Combat before being sent home by Albicocco. With Kennington fighting injuries and Haglund recovering from the broken arm this team may not have the horses to run at the Major. Harvey had a .947 onbase percentage with a whopping 8 homers.
Someone shouted "best beard" – Terry Baggs
Ironically the Slugger poster has Boothe who is out of the year, Kennington fighting injuries, and Matusik from 3rd Street who dehydrated this past weekend after a monster tournament.
Lloyd Watson at pitcher and SS Jeff Lahair
Backman all conference award winners Ryan Harvey, Matt Crawford, Kevin Kennington, Orlando Castillo, Terry Baggs, and Neil Haglund
Tied 5th Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'A' from IN 1-2 Record
Reds had a nice opening win over Backman 19-10 and then lost to Resmondo 33-4? In the loser's bracket Smash It sent them home when they only scored 8 runs. The offense wasn't there, Brendt Newbill their normal starting pitcher, and Travis Dale the starting shortstop were missing. Red's goes into the 'A' Worlds with very little momentum and a 4-10 record in their division…
They haven't really trended all year, might be a bad thing?
1st Team All Conference Chad Mullins, Red Moore, and Cory Boothe
Steve Edwards was back from injury playing middle infield, and Kyndrich Doggett was playing 2B
Tied 7th Place – OC Swats Doerflinger/Miken/LCP
Conf 'B' from CA 0-3 Record
Fox, Granados, Mcclanahan, Amaya across the infield
OC Swats hot off their 'B' World title came from behind and took a lead into the bottom of the 7th inning vs Resmondo! But they ended up losing and then dropped two more to Backman and Smash It Sports. Mcclanahan made one of the best plays on a hard grounder vs Resmondo at third base, veteran Paul Winner pitched a great game against Resmondo, and the team was actually in both of their loser bracket losses for awhile. A good experience for them to play the Major teams. Matt Fox was on it with 4 homers, most of them against Resmondo.
Ryan Mcclanahan at pitcher and Mike Brambilla at 3B.
Sponsor/Manager Henri Nuber collects some hardware.
Swats took a lead to the bottom of the 9th vs Resmondo
Matt Fox was on it with 4 homers, most of them against Resmondo
Tied 7th Place – Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com
Conf 'M' from WA 0-3 Record
Some of the Combat All Conference selections Filip Washington, Chris Greinert, and Brian Zirkle
Many figured Combat getting back on the big baseball fields where they had so much success at the Hall of Fame Classic would get them re-energized but in fact they did not play well, went 0-3 and their star left fielder Filip Washington hurt his knee. Lets hope it isn't as bad as it looks. Combat and Backman playing poorly here at the end of the season really opens the door for two more teams to slip into the top 4 at the Major.
Kyle Pearson the middle infielder was back in action.
Conference Qualifier/GSL 'A' Final Standings
|1||MN – Dayton||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||0||0||77||39||25.6||13||12.6||28||300|
|2||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-B||5||2||0||195||154||27.8||22||5.85||49||225|
|3||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||111||122||27.7||30.5||-2.7||37||200|
|4||AR – Bryant||fence brokers inc/buzini/worth Qualified||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||98||93||24.5||23.2||1.25||35||175|
|5||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||69||63||17.2||15.7||1.5||27||155|
|5||DC – Washington||Semper Athletics/Demarini||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||42||67||14||22.3||-8.3||22||155|
|7||WA – Kent||combat/northwest athletics||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||52||61||17.3||20.3||-3||30||130|
|7||MN – Champlin||encompass / eurotech / easton / ca||USSSA-Mens-B||1||3||0||74||91||18.5||22.7||-4.2||25||130|
|7||GA – Peachtree City||oi livingston/tnt hauling/brother's||USSSA-Mens-B||1||3||0||50||78||12.5||19.5||-7||22||130|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Xtreme/Miken
Conf 'A' from MN 3-0 Record
Xtreme won the tournament without much trouble. They weren't really challenged and carried a nice .614 team batting average with 14 homers in 3 games. Geno Buck pitched, Shannon Smith was on 12 out of 15 with 5 HR and 11 RBI. The team was best in class and trending up for the 'A' Worlds. Xtreme normally plays their best ball in September.
Xtreme middle infielder Chris Bauer hits in the Championship
Center Fielder Dan Skelly and right fielder Alex Bremer
2nd Place – Broughton Pharmacy/Bad Draw/Worth
Conf 'B' from NC 5-2 Record
Broughtons offense awoke out of a deep slumber and after losing a close one to Compound Athletics 24-21they won 5 straight games with huge offense. They had a walk off grand slam win over 3rd Street I think it was when infielder David Forbes launced one. They also beat FBI 38-35 in a game that was divided over two days by a lightning delay and beat Compound Athletics in 8 innings 49-37! Their striking the ball as consistently as anyone in the game right now which could bode well for them at the 'A' and Major in terms of pulling at least one upset victory.
Freddie Bynum improving every week for Broughton
David Forbes had a great weekend
Matt Tindell has had a monster year
3rd Place – Compound Athletics/Easton
Conf 'B' from IL 2-2 Record
Compound Athletics continues to play long hard fought games like an 'A' team… Pearson was a beast…again. Lunda had 17 RBI. If they stay focused they can win 2 games at 'A' and a game at the Major.
SS Zach Messer, MI John Sullivan, 2B John Howard
4th Place – Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth
Conf 'A' from AR 2-2 Record
FBI was headed towards a showdown with Xtreme in the finals when they scored 18 runs against Broughton (15 after the 2nd out) to take a 21-13 lead early on in the loser's semi-final. But a lightning delay moved the game to Sunday morning where Broughton got a second win and came back and beat FBI 38-35. FBI hit well, showed some power, and got in some good work before 'A' Worlds.
McBryde in LF had the best fence robbing catch on F2 against Compound Athletics.
FBI picked up Joe Gordon and Chad Durick who played well. Durick was in the .900's in his debut
1B Mike Cervantes and 2B Jake Mays
Tied 5th Place – 3rd Street/Hubs Pub/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'B' from OH 2-2 Record
Season may be over for 3rd Street who got a late start on the Conference qualifier then started to make a run at the berth before overheating.
Tied 5th Place – Semper Athletics/Demarini
Conf 'B' from USA 1-2 Record
Semper didn't make a go of it in their last chance to qualify.
Tied 7th Place – Combat/Northwest Athletics
Conf 'A' from WA 1-2 Record
Combat NWA's Chris Constantino had a nice rookie year
Tied 7th Place – Encompass/Eurotech/Easton/CA
Conf 'B' from MN 1-3 Record
Ouelette at SS and Beardsley with the stick. Good effort.
Ellwanger has an effortless "Haglund" type swing
Tied 7th Place – OI Livingston/TNT Hauling/Brothers
Conf 'B' from GA 1-3 Record
Carlton Griffin is a good ASA hitter and gets free flights if anyone needs a stick for ASA
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Some more pictures for you:
Ken, Jason, Rick, Doc, Tony – USSSA Umpires
Duane Posevitch (hope I spelled that right?) was Umpire of the Year!
Bernie Guenther and Don Cooper on the CBS Sports Network play by play
A company called Flight Scope was gathering batted ball speed and distance data
My View watching the stadium and one of the back fields simultaneously. 🙂