2015 USSSA “Choo Choo Classic” Chattanooga Major tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
"Choo Choo" Classic
Albicoccos Lee Payne hits against Red's Asros Brendt Newbill late in a close game in the winner's final Saturday nightA
The first annual "Choo Choo" Classic was played at the scenic Summit of Softball park in Ooltewah, Tennessee just outside of Chattanooga. There were 15 teams battling it out starting on Saturday morning and ending Sunday at noon. The weather may have been the best of any Conference tournament in the 10 year history of the league! At 9 AM Saturday morning Bear Hollow Ranch from Arkansas crushed The SportsmanShop 28-8 in 35 minutes. Sportsmanshop is a Conference 'C' team from Wisconsin that was playing in their first Conference event of the season. Primetime from Georgia slipped past Team Collision 23-16, and in a shootout of sorts Worsham from North Carolina separated from upset minded Showtime from Tennessee late in the game and Worsham won 34-23. In the 10:30 AM games in the first round Country Fresh Foods a 'D' team from Georgia upset Conference 'B' team KG/Slayer from Indiana 25-24! OI Livingston made short work of Athletic Shop 26-6, and Red's Astros batted for a long time in beating Tapout 35-9.
In the second round the favorite team Albicocco/The Scene/Easton, the only Major team in the tournament, jumped out to a huge lead on Bear Hollow Ranch but Bear Hollow avoided the run rule a couple of times before succumbing 43-28. OI Livingston with the wind blowing in on diamond #2 trailed the Georgia 'D' team Country Fresh 11-7 late. Then OI tied the game at 11 a piece and won the game in the bottom of the 7th on a Jason Gillfillan walk off homer into a strong wind 12-11. Broughton smoked Primetime 31-11 and had a two game total score of 60-13! And Red's Astros trailed the whole game against Worsham but won 24-23 on a botched DP ball by Worsham's that would have sent the game into extra innings.
So after all of the upsets and near upsets the final 4 had the top 4 teams in it. A major team Albicocco and 3 'A' teams. In one semi final Albicocco jumped on OI Livingston and made them pay for some early errors in a 30-15 run rule. And Red's Astros who trailed Broughton most of the game, came up big in the bottom of the 7th with some clutch hitting and won on a walk off hit down the right field line by infielder John Sullivan 26-25!
In the cool but perfect weather conditions and the harder than normal infields and short fences, the scores were up, and there really were no routine plays to be had by the defenses. They used the regular conference ZN ball and had a nice contingent of 6 Conference umpires in attendance. In the winner's bracket championship Saturday night which lasted over two hours both Red's and Albicocco used up all 12 of their home runs. Albicocco led 14-6 after one inning. But Red's came back to take a 22-16 lead after two innings but it could have been worse except for a great diving catch with the bases loaded by Albicocco center fielder Ryan Parfitt. Albicocco then took a one run lead 26-25 after 3 innings. In the bottom of the 5th Albicocco 1st baseman Josh Riley gave Albicocco the lead 38-37 on a 3 run homer and Red's couldn't muster any runs the last two innings as they hit 5 HRO's (home runs for outs) after the homers were gone and lost 42-37.
Late Saturday OI Livingston in the loser's bracket advanced to Sunday with a 5 run bottom of the 7th with no outs and no homers to use to send home rival Broughton 27-26. In the loser's final Sunday morning OI thought they were off to a nice start with 7 runs in the top of the 1st but Red's showed them who was boss with a 14 run bottom of the first on 5 homer's. OI's infield defense struggled and Reds held early leads of 21-10 and 24-11 before putting OI away by the run rule in a game which had some chirping between ex-teammates… 🙂
In the championship game Red's thought they had a nice 6 runs on 3 homer's in the top of the first inning until Albicocco showed them who was the big dog on the block when Brian Faria's 2 run homer gave them a 8-6 lead. Red's hit a bunch of solos in the top of the second to take a 12-8 lead on 7 homers. But in the bottom of the inning Albicocco used 2 homers by Chris Larsen and took a 23-13 lead as they batted around the order. Red's Astros wasn't done yet though as John Sullivan set the table with a two out bases loaded single that led to a Rob Roop 3 run homer to cut the Albicocco lead to 23-22. In the bottom of the third another Faria homer and table setting singles by Louden and Large led to a Parfitt 3 run homer and a 33-22 Albicocco lead. Larsen also roped a homer to center fielder that broke the ten's digit on the scoreboard. At least it was the last game of the day! In the 4th and 5th great defense by Parfitt in center field and two ricochet grounder plays by the infield for outs held down Red's. And in the 6th and 7th Justin Mucciarelli came on in relief and Albicocco held on by one run 35-34 after a Cory Booth grand slam by Reds and a great hands play by Brad Reckart at shortstop for Albicocco ended the game. Out of homers late Reds again struggled to score.
The tournament featured a lot of close games but in the end the "pecking" order was in full effect as each team lost to the team ahead of them in the pre-season rankings. There were some great individual plays defensively by center fielders Ryan Parfitt, Ben Dunn, and Adam Tennyson. A guy named Miles for Country Fresh had the best diving play in the infield at third base. There was a bunch of 1 run wins and quality softball played throughout. A number of teams like Albicocco, Red's, OI Livingston, and Broughton all played better after their slow starts at the Hall of Fame Classic and they should be set for the big Columbus tournament next weekend.
Albicocco finishes off Red's in the final game 35-34 at high noon Sunday!
Broughton takes on Bear Hollow late Saturday night.
Albicoccos Brad Reckart with an RBI single in the quarterfinals against Bear Hollow
The Summit was an awesome facility for a Major tournament.
Rumor is they are building another 6 field complex with longer fences just down the street from this one.
Teams should add this tournament to their schedule, it should grow quickly in 2016 and beyond.
The fields were in great shape and the park had lots of shade.
The net on some of the fields to protect the parking lot was not in play.
It was actually a few feet behind the fences.
Oldscout pollers had Red's Astros winning
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
Jason Branch with sponsor Herb Price and Snake
Albicoccos Jason Branch won the home run derby! 7-7 in one round.
Branch also won Offensive MVP!
Primetimes Kyndrich Doggett was 2nd place in the HR Derby. Also had a 7-7 round I heard.
Chattanooga Major Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Jeff Flood||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Jason Branch||Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Ryan Parfitt||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Brad Reckart||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||BRIAN FARIA||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||JD Genter||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Cooper Vittitow||OI Livingston/TNT Hauling/Brother's|
|All Tournament Team||Phillip White||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Cory Boothe||Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Daniel Lopez||Broughton Pharmacy/Bad Draw/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Chris Larsen||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Adam Tennyson||OI Livingston/TNT Hauling/Brother's|
|All Tournament Team||CHAD MULLINS||Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||josh riley||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Adam Rockoff||Broughton Pharmacy/Bad Draw/Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Troy Krider||Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Walter (Wally) Maybrier||Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Keith Martin||
OI Livingston/TNT Hauling/Brother's
|1||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||0||0||151||114||37.7||28.5||9.25||43||300|
|2||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||189||151||31.5||25.1||6.33||37||225|
|3||GA – Peachtree City||oi livingston/tnt hauling/brother's||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||126||130||21||21.6||-0.6||30||200|
|4||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||134||88||26.8||17.6||9.2||31||175|
|5||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||128||113||25.6||22.6||3||37||155|
|5||AR – Rogers||bear hollow ranch/cl/buzini/easton||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||123||104||24.6||20.8||3.8||28||155|
|7||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||85||81||21.2||20.2||1||24||130|
|7||GA – Peachtree City||Country Fresh Foods||USSSA-Mens-D||2||2||0||83||85||20.7||21.2||-0.5||28||130|
|9||NC – Fletcher||worshamathletics/klutchbrand/worth/||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||75||69||25||23||2||34||110|
|9||TN – Dickson||Showtime||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||81||78||27||26||1||31||135|
|9||TN – Chattanooga||Team Collision/CTS||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||54||46||18||15.3||2.66||27||110|
|9||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsmanshop||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||26||61||13||30.5||-17.||18||110|
|13||TN – Chattanooga||Athletic Shop/LVBC||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||7||47||3.5||23.5||-20||6||0|
|13||TN – Chattanooga||Backlash||USSSA-Mens-E||0||2||0||2||56||1||28||-27||2||70|
|13||TN – KNOXVILLE||tapout/ecological pest management||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||25||66||12.5||33||-20.||16||0|
MI Jeff Flood kept the ball in the park and made some great plays.
Just watching and not seeing stats I had Jeff as my MVP and now that the awards are out, my feeling is validated.
Jeff Flood – MVP of Chattanooga!
Albicocco center fielder Ryan Parfitt showed incredible range on this great running catch!
Ryan Parfitt was named Defensive MVP!
I am giving Rod, the pitcher from Country Fresh Foods 'D' team the Non-Conference teams MVP
The guy pitched and defended the middle great as well has hit the ball well in upset wins over KG/Slayer and Showtime.
And they gave OI Livingston and Bear Hollow all they could handle. Country Fresh played 4 great gmaes!
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Albicocco/The Scene/Easton
Conf 'M' from New York 4-0 Record
Albicocco had an even keeled approach to each and every game. They never got rattled. They scored 37.75 runs per game and used timely defense and relief pitching from Justin Mucciarelli to close out close games against Red's. A workman like weekend for Albicocco and a solid tournament championship which should have them clicking on all cylinders going into Columbus. Albicocco had better home run management than their opponents. This is another team that may think they are not a Major team, but they are definitely not an 'A' team either.
Albicoccos final lineup:
LF Cory Large "Real Tree"
CF Ryan Parfitt
C Chris Larsen
3B JD Genter
EH Kevin Ballard
MI Jeff Flood – great job keeping it down
RF Lee Payne
1B Josh Riley
SS Brad Reckart
2B Brian Faria
P Tyson Steele / Chad Louden / Justin Mucciarelli
Albicocco was trying out two new pitchers Tyson Steele and Chad Louden
Cory Large makes the game look easy
Yes, Mooch still pitched. Closed out most of the games and started the winner's final
2nd Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'A' from Indiana 4-2 Record
Red's Astros beat Worsham on a dropped double play ball in the bottom of the 7th, and beat Broughton 26-25 on a comeback capped by John Sullivans game winning single. In the winner's final and final they battled Albicocco to the end both times but when the homers were out for both teams, it was Red's that just couldn't keep the ball in the park, prompting one quote of "can't wait for the Smoky's". Nevertheless a solid showing and a lot of scoring for Red's as they and Team Racks make a bid for the top team in the 'A' division.
Red's Astros final lineup:
Note they did use a lot of players in and out of the lineup
LF Jason Branch
2B Steve Edwards
C Chad Mullins
EH Cory Boothe
SS Travis Dale
RF Wally Maybrier
1B Tom Crump
P Brendt Newbill
MI John Sullivan
3B Rob Roop
CF Ben Dunn
Red's Astros Cory Boothe with a grand slam to close the gap in the final game
Red's Astros John Sullivan gets the game winning walk off hit against Broughton as Krider scores!
Unheralded center fielder Ben Dunn from Texas makes a lot of nice catches
3rd Place – OI Livingston/TNT Hauling/Brother's
Conf 'A' from Georgia 4-2 Record
OI Livingston gutted out close wins over the upstart Country Fresh Foods 12-11 in the second round, Primetime 30-24 in the loser's bracket, and Broughton 27-26 late on Saturday night. They got an into the wind cutter homer from Jason Gillfillan to walk off Country Fresh. The scores were the lowest of the day in that game with the wind blowing straight in. They jumped out to a big lead on Primetime but Prime never gave up and OI had to earn that one. Then the last game of the night the loser's semi final, OI scored 5 runs with no outs and no homers left in the bottom of the 7th to beat Broughton.
OI Livingston persevered to finish 3rd. Survived and advanced in a few instances. They made a few crucial errors that hurt and could use more consistency from the entire lineup. Columbus should be a good guage for where they are at. Big Jamie Hancock keeps this team loose. They played without infielder Chad Folsom.
Trending Up (run rule losses aside)
One of OI Livingstons Lineups:
2B Matt McCraw
RF Jason Gillfillan
C Jonathan Scott
CF Adam Tennyson
3B Tyler Driskell
LF Keith Martin
MI Cooper Vittitow
EH Carlton Griffin
1B Jamie Hancock
P Jake Rushing / Shawn Jones
SS Branden Blake
OI Livingston pitcher Shawn Jones with middle infielder Cooper Vittitow behind him
Jake Rushing was also pitching for OI Livingston. Reminds me of an older Allan Ouellette… 🙂
Left side of the OI defense Tyler Driskell, Branden Blake, and Cooper Vittitow
4th Place – Broughton Pharmacy/Bad Draw/Worth
Conf 'A' from NC 3-2 Record
Broughton crushed Primetime 31-11 in the second round. Then lost a 1 run game to Red's Astros where they were leading most of the way and had some chances defensively in the bottom of the 7th to hang on. In the loser's bracket they beat Bear Hollow by a run and then lost to OI Livingston late on Saturday night 27-26 when they gave up 5 runs on no outs and no homers.
Broughton is actually very similar to OI Livingston. They have a lot of pieces needed to compete with 'A' teams, they just need to put it all together. 0-4 vs 'A' teams and 4-1 vs 'B' teams sort of puts them in that no mans land of classification. I think the best is yet to come from this team. Broughton played without Eric Thompson.
A half step forward. Lots of talent here.
One of Broughtons Lineups:
2B Shaun Bridger
MI CJ Jacinto
C Adam Rockoff
3B Matt Tindell
SS Robert Knoblauch
CF Freddie Bynum
EH John Dutch
OF Eric Beattie
P Danny Lopez
1B David Forbes
OF Matt Bunn
Broughton center fielder Freddie Bynum unleashed the cannon but it was off the mark.
Danny Lopez at pitcher and 1st baseman David Forbes were keeping Broughton in that close game against Red's
Tied 5th Place – Primetime/Easton
Conf 'B' from GA 3-2 Record
Primetime beat KG/Slayer 37-18 for their only real quality win. They were smoked by Broughton 31-11 early in the tournament. They were down big to OI Livingston and fought all the way back before losing 30-24 in one of the more entertaining games of the tournament. Michael Williams in center field was impressive with the range, Willis James is a nice addition to the infield, and Kyndrich Doggett finished 2nd in the home run derby. This is just a situation where each player no matter how well or poor they played, need to step it up a notch at the next tournament…
Primetime is 2-3 vs 'B' teams and 2-3 vs 'A' teams on the season. Not bad. And they had some tough losses this year to Semper, OI, and VCH.
One of Primetimes lineups:
MI Tony Mack
CF Mike Williams
1B Chivas Clark
C Keyma Wright
OF Tre Campbell
SS Willis James
2B Jerblonski Jennings
3B Lee Daniels
P Dennis Davison
OF Rashard Brown
Chivas Clark pounds a homer
Big Swole got some work in on the hill
Tied 5th Place – Bear Hollow Ranch/CL/Buzini/Easton
Conf 'B' from AR 3-2 Record
Bear Hollow is 26-14 overall this year. Thats a lot of games already. I finally got to sit and watch this team play some. Still trying to learn the team. BHR smoked Sportsmanshop 28-8 in their opener in about 35 minutes. Then they refused to succumb to the run rule twice against Albicocco in a 43-28 loss. They beat two non-conference teams in the loser's bracket including finally sending home that pesky 'D' team Country Fresh Foods 22-19 before Broughton beat them by a run late Saturday night 23-22. Rayford on the mound is a bit of a workhorse. This team, much like KG, Nightmare, and teams like Primetime is what the 'B' division should be.
One of Bear Hollows Lineups:
Kelly Davis celebrates a homer with teammates
Rayford a workhorse on the mound and the also the 4 hitter
More pictures below
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th – KG/Slayer/Wilson/Louisville Slugger (IN-B) 2-2
KG was upset in the first round by Country Fresh a very good 'D' team 25-24. They beat some 'C' teams including a 22-18 win over Worsham but lost to Primetime by 19. KG has a ways to go after a decent start with a couple of big wins in that first HOF Dual tournament.
SS Brandon Bartels makes a diving stop
KG has some lefties with great swings
Tied 9th – Worsham Athletics/Kultch Brand/Worth (NC-C) 1-2
What could have been for Worsham? They battled Showtime and beat them with a big inning late 34-23 in an entertaining opener. They couldn't complete a double play which would have sent them to overtime against Red's Astros and lost 24-23. A real heart breaker. In the loser's bracket KG got them by 4. Three hard fought games and nothing really to show for it. Still probably one of the top 'C' teams in the country but taking their lumps in the show with some tough losses. Worsham has lost 6 of 7 after winning that Georgia affiliate tournament in March.
Former Taylormade pitcher Stacy Bolton was battling on the mound for Worsham
Tied 9th – TheSportsmanShop.net (WI-C) 0-2
Mr. The Sportsmanshop himself Tim Sadler!
1st tournament of the season wasn't a good one. They did lose to two conference teams, KG/Slayer and Primetime
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I would like to thank Clay Dickey, all of my sponsors, USSSA, the SoftballCenter and Oldscout advertisers for making this trip possible!
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Some more pictures for you:
The score was actually 30-22 at this point but Chris Larsen hit a linedrive so hard it knocked out the Guests 2nd digit!
Country Fresh Foods 'D' team upsets Showtime
"Big Josh" and Showtime played some close games but came up short with a 1-2 record.
Greta Hayes director of Parks and Recreation for the city of Chattanooga
with tournament director Clay Dickey
Just because a batter tries to show its over the shoulder, doesn't mean its over the shoulder… 🙂
Showtime hits against Worsham in the first game Saturday morning
Bat testing station
Red's avoided extra innings on this error on a DP
That ipod hangingin on the fence is the USSSALive.com's "eye in the sky" view of these tournaments.
They have worked very well the last two weeks and anywhere the internet signal from ATT is strong.