2015 USSSA ‘A’ World Tournament report!
Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth sponsor Chris Walker hoists the USSSA 'A' World trophy!!!
2015 USSSA 'A' World
The 2015 'A' World tournament started on a humid but nice Friday night at Kissimmee, Florida's Fortune Road Athletic Complex with 17 teams including 8 'A' teams. The first night was played under the threat of rain and there were no real upsets for the most part. Team Racks/Easton used a Sam Christensen homer to finally grab the lead away from VCH/Worth and held on to win 20-16. One of the favorites Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger struggled some with local 'C' team API but pulled it out in the end 19-14. And Broughton/Bad Draw/Worth knocked off Compound Athletics/Easton 34-31. Combat/Northwest Athletics dropped Xtreme/Miken to the losers bracket 20-8 in what was considered a mild upset. #1 seeded Precision/Easton/DO, #2 seeded Albicocco/The Scene/Easton, Fence Brokers, and TG Brand all advanced with easy wins. The second round, the "round of 8" was also started on Friday night and 3 of the games were interrupted by a rain storm which pushed their finish until early Saturday morning.
In that second round Team Racks came from a 24-6 deficit all the way back to tie the game before losing to Red's Astros 30-26 – leaving the bases loaded to end the game. #1 Precision needed a Davis Bilardello 3 run homer to give them a 21-20 lead in the top of the 5th inning over Broughton. Precision was down 20-14 to start the inning then they threw out the speedy Freddie Bynum at home plate to maintain a 23-22 lead and went on to win 27-24. Albicocco and Fence Brokers each advanced with solid wins over TG Brand and Combat/NWA respectively.
The final 4 of the winners bracket Albicocco jumped out to huge leads of 17-1 and 23-13 on Red's Astros. Albicocco middle infielder Jeff Flood made an incredible diving stop towards the shortstop side of 2nd base and threw the runner out from his knees to squash one Red's comeback. Red's then got 5 runs in the top of the 6th inning to close the lead to 23-18 but the Albicocco offense was too strong and they batted around the order in the bottom of the 6th inning to go up 32-18 and won 32-21 to advance to the winner's finals. In the other semi-final game Precision jumped out to leads of 5-0 and 17-6 on Fence Brokers Inc (FBI). FBI never gave up though and scored 6 runs in the top of the 6th inning to close the lead to 17-12. Precision added 2 in the bottom of the 6th and FBI could only close to 19-15 on a Joe Gordon 3 run homer in the 7th.
The winner's bracket final was played immediately following the semi-finals early Saturday evening. Precision scored 5 runs in the top of the 1st inning on the power of a Curtis Stewart homer. Albicoccos Josh Riley ending the inning on a nice backhand at 1st base. In the bottom of the 1st Albicoccos Chris Larsen hit a 3 run homer to give them a 7-5 lead as Albicocco again batted around the order. In the top of the 2nd inning Precision leadoff man Keith Laski got them started with a 3 run homer to give them a 9-7 lead and Precision went on to have the biggest inning of the tournament as they a scored 17 runs and never looked back in a quick 34-14 run rule victory!
In the loser's bracket there was a plethora of walk off home run wins. Local 'A' team Shirt Doctors got a walk off homer from Saul Tijenaro to send Compound Athletics home 35-32. This was after Compound scored 7 in the top of the 7th to tie the game. Compound Athletics went 0-2 at 'A' Worlds but scored 63 runs in their two games and lost both by 3 runs or less… Xtreme got off to a painfully slow start against Primetime and Prime beat them 20-19. Encompass had the tying runs in scoring position but lost to local 'C' team S2S/R.E.M. 21-19. And S2S then went and upset Broughton by the run rule 28-11 scoring double figures in their last at bat and leaving Broughton on the field. Combat/NWA used a huge top of the 7th inning to beat VCH 22-14. TG Brand used a walk off homer by John Radich to upset Team Racks 26-25. In the two 5th place games Combat/NWA used a close call that went their way and a walk off homer by Chris Constantino to upset Red's Astros 23-20 and Fence Brokers used a walk off homer by Alex Henry to beat TG Brand 24-23. Then in the 4th place game late Saturday night Combat jumped out to a 13-4 lead after 1 inning vs Fence Brokers. Combat center fielder Sal Formosa making a nice running catch towards the fence and 3rd baseman Chris Constantino hit a big homer and made a nice stop and throw to first in the 2nd to keep the lead. Then Brian McBryde for FBI made an unbelievable diving stop in the 2nd inning and throw to first base and also barehanded a ball hit hard off the lip of the infield in shallow center field and throw to first base to keep FBI in the game but Combat led
16-7 after 2 innings and it was 19-13 Combat after 4 complete. FBI used Mike Cervantes and Tim Bowser homers to tie the game at 19-19 in the top of the 4th and led 21-19 going into the bottom of the 5th. From there it was all FBI as the momentum shifted and they advanced to Sunday 30-20. Combat/Northwest Athletics wound up with an impressive 4th place finish after a difficult season.
The final 3 teams took to the fields on Sunday morning. In the first game at 9 AM in the loser's bracket finals FBI went up 9-0 after 2 innings. Chad Durick hitting a big 3 run homer in the bottom of the 2nd. FBI also had a 16-11 lead going to bottom of 4th when Albicocco left the bases loaded after 4 runs in top of 4th. FBI's Chad Durick had a great diving stop at third base in the top of the 5th inning and both teams put up zeroes offensively in the bottom of the 4th, top of the 5th, and bottom of the 5th. At this point FBI had used 5 home runs and Albicocco just 1 of the allotted 8 homers each team gets to hit per game. FBI got a big double play to start the top of the 6th and then a throwing error opened the door for Albicocco but they did not score. In the bottom of the 6th FBI's Tim Bowser hit a huge 2 run homer and pinch hitter Ryan Robbins hit a 2 run homer to put FBI up 20-11. In the top of the 7th Albicocco was down 9 runs and had nothing going offensively in the game with just 11 runs scored. They proceeded to get 12 runs as Mike Stephany pinch hit and went 2 for 2 in the inning with a homer. Shortstop Brian Faria hit a big home run as well and the entire team jumped on the bandwagon and took an unlikely 23-20 lead! FBI which led the whole game til then got a two out – 3 run homer from eventual MVP Chad Durick to force extra innings. In extra innings Albicocco could muster just one run and FBI got base hits from Tim Howard and Zach Keene and a walk off sac fly by Pat Burton to advance to the championship.
In the first game of the championship a well-rested and highly favored Precision/Easton team jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the first inning on a Davis Bilardello 3 run homer. Things could have been worse except for a diving play at shortstop by FBI's Pat Burton to end the inning. Burton made a diving stop to turn a 6-10-3 double play in the 2nd as well and another sliding stop in shallow left field to keep Precision to just an 8-5 lead after 2 innings. In the 3rd inning FBI middle man Bryan McBryde hit a 3 run homer to tie the game at 8-8 and Precision shortstop Keith Laski with some quick hands and Dan Kirkwood in right field making a great catch ended the inning tied. Precision then used some good base hitting and gap hitting to increase their lead through 4 complete innings but FBI tied the game at 15-15 in the top of the 5th and took a 19-15 lead on a Tim "bye bye" Bowser GRAND SLAM! In the bottom of the 5th Precision got a solo homer from pinch hitter Frank Fracek after a 6-10-3 double play and Precision found themselves trailing 19-16. From there on it was all FBI as Burton hit a 2 run double, Bowser hit his second GRAND SLAM, and Alex Henry hit a 3 run homer and FBI forced the "if" necessary game 33-17!
In the final game Precision base hit their way to 3 runs in the top of 1st. FBI grabbed a 8-3 lead in the bottom half on Bowser and Maggard 3 run homers. Then Precision in the top of the 2nd got a Jeff Keske RBI triple and a Keith Laski 3 run homer to pull to within a run but FBI right fielder Tim Howard made a great running catch into the fence to end the inning. FBI held a 10-8 lead on Henry and Burton solo homers and another great play by McBryde in the middle infield. Then Precision showed some life with a great play of their own by middle infielder Keske and got a pinch hit 2 run homer from Frank Fracek that actually hit on the driveway path behind left field for the longest home run of the tournament! Another diving stop and GUN by FBI's McBryde kept the game tied 10-10 going to the bottom of the 4th inning. FBI found a second wind in the bottom of the 4th as Bowser and Howard hit 3 run homers and relief pitcher Jason Bridges hit a solo to take a 18-10 lead. In the bottom of the 5th and top of 6th FBI's Billy Maggard and Precisions Matt Rear traded 3 run homers and Precision ended up scoring 6 runs to get back in the game down 24-22 but it was all FBI from there and they held off Precision 28-22 to win the USSSA 'A' World title! The entire Fence Brokers team were warriors from top to bottom in this most unlikely of championship runs and the win for player/sponsor Chris Walker who has been a part of the Nationwide Conference USSSA for all 10 years of its existence has to feel real good! No one thought Precision could be beaten once let alone twice and FBI found a way to dig deep and get it done! Congratulations again to Chris Walker, manager Mike Wilson, the players, and the sponsors of this great organization. Well deserved!
17 Teams Overall
13 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
8 'A' Teams
6 'B' Teams
3 'C' Teams
FBI gets the final out of the championship!
Albicocco pitches to Precision in the winner's final on Saturday
Red's Astros take on Team Racks early Saturday morning
The last game on 3 of the fields got washed out late on Friday night
Combats Chris Constantino hits a walk off homer to beat Red's Astros 23-20
FBI's Alex Henry hits a walk off homer to beat TG Brand 24-23
Shirt Doctors Saul Tijenaro hits a walk off homer to beat Compound Athletics 35-32
Compound Athletics center fielder Ben Dunn makes what was a game saving catch at the time vs ShirtDoctors
It does appear Geron tagged out FBI's Beard at the plate at least from this angle
3 People picked FBI to win. 1%. Oops
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Sunday video clips
Friday and Saturday video clips
Long Bombers of the Week
Frank Fracek of Precision for that 422 foot shot off the road behind field #1
FBI's Tim "Bye Bye" Bowser for the 2 grand slams and 2 three run homers in the championship!
USSSA 'A' World Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Chad Durick||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Keith Laski||Precision/Easton/DO|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Brian McBryde||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Jason Kendrick||Combat/Northwest Athletics|
|All Tournament Team||Chad Munger||Combat/Northwest Athletics|
|All Tournament Team||Brett McCollum||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Joe Gordon||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Alex Henry||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Tim Bowser||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Jake Mays||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Cory Large||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Colby Hughes||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Josh Riley||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Daniel Kirkwood||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||curtis stewart||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Davis Bilardello||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Jon Oram||Combat/Northwest Athletics|
|All Tournament Team||Lee Payne||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Mike Cervantes||Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth|
|1||AR – Bryant||fence brokers inc/buzini/worth Qualified||USSSA-Mens-A||7||1||0||206||146||25.7||18.2||7.5||33||650|
|2||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||141||121||23.5||20.1||3.33||34||350|
|3||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||119||94||23.8||18.8||5||32||300|
|4||WA – Kent||combat/northwest athletics||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||128||105||21.3||17.5||3.83||24||250|
|5||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||111||89||22.2||17.8||4.4||26||200|
|5||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||90||95||22.5||23.7||-1.2||30||200|
|7||WY – Casper||TEAM RACKS EASTON||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||91||80||22.7||20||2.75||26||150|
|7||FL – SEMINOLE||S2S/R.E.M. Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||60||76||15||19||-4||28||175|
|9||FL – saint lucie||Shirt Doctors/Bomb Squad||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||68||99||17||24.7||-7.7||35||135|
|9||TXN – Dallas||VCH Worth||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||69||71||17.2||17.7||-0.5||20||110|
|9||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||69||86||23||28.6||-5.6||34||110|
|9||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||33||61||11||20.3||-9.3||20||110|
|13||FL – KISSIMMEE||API PLUMBLING/SHIRT DRS Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||27||38||13.5||19||-5.5||14||95|
|13||MN – Dayton||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||0||2||0||27||40||13.5||20||-6.5||19||70|
|13||MN – Champlin||encompass / eurotech / easton / ca||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||28||45||14||22.5||-8.5||19||70|
|13||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||63||69||31.5||34.5||-3||32||70|
|17||FL – Gainesville||beckham brothers construction Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||32||47||16||23.5||-7.5||16||65|
FBI's Chad Durick was MVP!
FBI's Brian McBryde was the defensive MVP. The number of highlite reel plays he made may have been double figures!
His full speed dives and strong throws were as impressive as any we have witnessed this year.
FBI All Tournament selections Tim Bowser, Jake Mays, Joe Gordon, Bryan McBryde, Colby Hughes
Mike Cervantes, Chris Walker, and Alex Henry
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place – Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth
Conf 'A' from AR 7-1 Record
FBI wins their 3rd tournament of the season and do so in dramatic fashion walking off TG Brand with a Henry homer and beating Albicocco in 8 innings and then double dipping Precision who had only lost two games to 'A' teams all season! Wow. It was incredible infield defense by shortstop Pat Burton, middle man Brian McBryde, and third baseman Chad Durick that led the way. Solid pitching, timely hitting, and good use of the home runs as well. How about Duricks 3 run homer with two outs in the bottom of the 7th to tie Albicocco!
A true weekend to remember for FBI and its great players. If this is truly FBI's last year, then they went out with a BANG!!!!!!!!
C Mike Cervantes
CF Colby Hughes
3B Chad Durick
C/P Alex Henry
MI Brian McBryde
1B Tim Bowser
LF Joe Gordon
RF Tim Howard
2B Jake Mays
SS Pat Burton
P Jason Bridges
Worths Mike Cornell gives the team a nice after tournament championship congratulatory speech!
Tim Bowser had two grand slams in the first championship game and 2 three run homers in the second!
Fence Brokers Pitcher Alex Henry, SS Pat Burton, LF Joe Gordon
Zach Keenes hit sets up Pat Burtons walk off sac fly to beat Albicocco
Billy Maggard drives a big homer!
FBI LF Tim Howard and RF Joe Gordon
FBI leadoff man Mike Cervantes and 2B Jake Mays
Ryan Robbins pinch hitter extraordinaire
2nd Place Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 4-2 Record
Precision dominated 'A' teams all year and looked to be running the table at the 'A' Worlds until they ran into an FBI team that matched their energy and took away their big innings with defense. Precision has nothing to hang their head over, they got beat and need to regroup and turn their focus to ruining someone elses fun at the Major World Series.
SS Keith Laski
1B Brett McCollum
LF Davis "Luke" Bilardello
RF/CF Dan Kirkwood
C Curtis Stewart
C/2B Seth Burgmeier
2B/DH Dennis Fish/Chris Geron
3B Matt Rear
MI Jeff Keske
P Andy Vitcak
CF Brian Porter/Fracek RF
Precision defense 1B Brett McCollum, 2B Seth Burgmeier, MI Jeff Keske, CF Bryan Porter
Precision LF Davis Bilardello was striking it well and making a number of nice sliding catches
3rd Place – Team Albicocco/The Scene/Easton
Conf 'A' from NY 3-2 Record
Albicocco got their chance to play 'A' and were rolling offensively through the first half of the tournament. They let up 17 runs in one inning to Precision though in the winner's final and never recovered from that point on. They did make that incredible 12 run comeback on FBI in the top of the 7th inning to make one last bid to make it to the finals but came up short.
One of the Albicocco Lineups:
Albicocco left side 3B JD Genter, SS Brian Faria, MI Jeff Flood
Ballard goes backside
Albicocco celebrates a Jeff Flood homer
Lou on the phone with the man
4th Place – Combat/Northwest Athletics
Conf 'A' from WA 4-2 Record
Combat saved the best for last as they fought hard through the losers bracket and upset Red's Astros on a walk off homer by Constantino. This team has a lot of young talent mixed with some great veterans. Just started to come together a little too late in the season.
Beggs went out with a hamstring
Combat left side Chris Constantino and SS Clif Williamson
Combats MI Chris Hansen and 1B Tony Flores
Tied 5th Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'A' from IN 2-2 Record
Red's Astros struggled with 'A' division teams most of the year but most figured they could make another run at the 'A'. They fought through wins over API and Racks but ran into a buzzsaw against a strong Albicocco offense and was upset by Combat/NWA. Red's will take out their frustrations at the Major and ASA.
Reds Brad Tabler gets a big pinch hit
Tied 5th Place – TG Brand
Conf 'B' from MI 3-2 Record
TG Brand had a winning record against 'A' teams so they were looking to make a run. But they lost early to Albicocco and walked off Team Racks with a Radich homer but then got walked off themselves by FBI. TG Brand can and did play with the 'A' teams all year and could compete in the 'A' division like FBI did this year.
One of the TG Brand lineups:
Ryan Noe with a big homer
Jon Gastineau hits against Team Racks
Tied 7th Place – Team Racks/Easton
Conf 'A' from WY 2-2 Record
Team Racks hadn't played as a team in awhile and came back from a huge deficit against Red's Astros in the 2nd round only to come up short. In the loser's bracket their run was halted by TG Brand who walked them off. Racks has a great team, hopefully they can make some noise this week in the Major.
Racks middle infielder Brett Rettenmeier and pitcher Tyson Steele
Johnny Bailey still hitting it well
Team Racks went with the P-staches
Tied 7th Place – S2S/R.E.M.
'C' from FL 2-2 Record
S2S got smoked by Albicocco but then beat Encompass and run ruled Broughton. Great showing for another one of those talented Florida 'C' teams.
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Some more pictures for you:
Shirt Doctors upset Compound Athletics! They had Knoblauch, Turnbow, Jeff Roxby, and Steve Allen among others
VCH Worth had the Trammell inspired cool lightning shirts. Gonzalez was hitting the ball like it was a baseball
Dlo and Ramos for Broughton
Primetime got one of their biggest wins of the year beating Xtreme
Xtreme got the walk of shame picture…sorry 🙂
Encompass didn't have their usual upset mindset as they went 2 and Q
Compound can score runs with the best of them, check out the Compound vs Precision game at the Major this week
Super fan Robyn Fecke watching two 'A' World streams and the Buckeyes…NICE!
These FBI fans were doing the commentary on the livestream