Added All Tournament Awards —> 2015 USSSA Cincinnati Major tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
16th Annual Cincinnati Major
We have another surprise winner! Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger finally broke through after a couple of years of frustration at the Major level and beat heavily favored Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth in both the winner's bracket finals 34-33 Saturday night and the championship game 32-26! Backman used a few big innings, some timely defense, and a warrior’s mentality to win in the blistering 93 degree temperatures with high humidity.
The tournament began with 34 teams including a whopping 25 from the Nationwide Conference USSSA. The games were played on fields with 300 foot fences except F3 and F4 which were shorter, and used for the most part the Dudley Thunder ball which did not fly all that great making for lower scores, less run rules, and closer games. The upsets started on Friday night when Ohio 'C' team JBL/Tailgaters upset major team Albicocco 33-31 on an Alan Dina walk off homer! Also Conference 'B' team Deluxe Bakery's Chris Nann hit a walk off homer to beat slight favorite Semper Athletics 20-19. The rest of the final 16 were all Conference teams setting up some great matchups on Saturday.
Saturdays round of 16 started at 9:30 AM with Red's Astros run ruling VCH 30-15, Precision winning "ugly" 23-14 over 3rd Street (3rd Street played tough), Resmondo dropping Broughton 23-8 fairly easily, and Compound Athletics getting a DP to end the game against TG Brand with the bases loaded to win 20-19. Compound made better use of their homers than TG Brand. In the 11 AM games FBI won 26-16 in an entertaining game over Pure Romance, Smash It Sports run ruled Worsham 28-11, JBL/Tailgaters run ruled Deluxe Bakery in a mild upset 27-12, and Backman dropped Primetime to the loser's bracket 36-21.
In the quarter finals Saturday afternoon Precision separated late and beat Red's Astros 24-18 in what many think will be the USSSA 'A' World finals matchup. Resmondo run ruled Compound Athletics 25-10, Smash It Sports had to finish strong to beat FBI 30-24, and Backman beat upset minded JBL 21-11.
In the semifinals Resmondo unleashed the power in the bottom of the 6th against Precision in a low scoring game and pulled away to win 17-9. In the Backman vs Smash It game, Smash It Sports batted around in the top of the 6th to lead by 3 but Backman never gave up and came back and won 18-15 to advance to the finals.
In the winner's bracket championship game both Backman and Resmondo batted around the order in the first inning as night time set upon the field and the ball started flying a little better. Backman fought hard the entire game but Resmondo being the home team loomed large. In the bottom of the 7th Resmondo had the bases loaded and home runs left down 1 run and Backman got a hard grounder to third where Sam Lopez dove and popped to his feet to beat the runner to the bag for the third out and a 34-33 Backman victory.
On Sunday all of the Major teams and I think even Precision had their heart set on making it to the finals and "double dipping" Backman. The loser's semifinal started things off when Smash It Sports quietly jumped out to a 22-7 lead on Precision using most of their homers. In the 5th the "flip flop" rule went into effect and Precision scored 16 runs to take a one run lead 23-22… Smash It would come back but Precision out base hit Smash It the rest of the way with key hits from middle infielder Jeff Keske among others. Precision also got Scott Kirby on a broken play at the plate on a full head first slide tag out to end the 6th, and the two teams also traded great diving plays by corner men Dale Brungardt and Matt Rear and suddenly Precision found themselves up 4 going to the bottom of the 7th prompting Smash Its Mike Umschied to say "if no one makes the first out we win"…classic… 🙂 But Smash It did make 3 outs without scoring and Precision moved to the loser's finals 29-25. Messina had another funny one liner I think even the umpire thought was funny. On a pitch I think Messina felt was not too high, the umpire called high and Messina asked him if he "dunks at home" (referencing the 10 foot height limit in usssa). lol.
In the loser's finals Precision went toe to toe with Resmondo but got out to a slow start. In the heat all weekend tensions were high and tempers were short all over the park. Precision came back though to pull close but Resmondo got an RBI single from Andy Purcell in the bottom of the 6th to go up 32-31 and Precision didn't score in the 7th. Great Sunday effort by Precision though.
In the finals the game was close most of the way but then Backman separated with a 10 run 5th powered by Brian Logan who hit two homers in the inning and Resmondo just could never step on the gas when they needed to and Backman left fielder Reggie Schulte made 3 nice plays late to end it. Backman also got two full out divers towards the third base line by Sam Lopez and good throws and picks at 1st base by Kennington during the game. ESPN highlight quality plays!
Congratulations to the Backman team, sponsors, and management on a well-deserved Major victory. You guys showed a lot of heart, clutch play on offense and defense and some great pitching to seal the deal!
Maybe we now have 4 teams competing for the big prize at the end of the year? We'll see…
As I walked around the park I thought besides the great defensive plays listed already that Dee Hornesburger of Worsham made the best diving play over at 2nd base vs Smash It Sports. The Right fielder for Berties Jordan Johnson made the best running/diving catch against Resmondo on Friday night. We witnessed some solid play out of P&P 333, SFI/SAL, and Deluxe Bakery. And the atmosphere at the Mid America Ballyard is always first rate. Somehow we avoided any rain delays.
Backmans Sam Lopez congratulated after making the game saving bases loaded diving play at third base to win the winner's final 34-33!
Team Breakdown – 34 Teams Total (25 Conference)
Backman takes on Resmondo in the finals!
Precision takes on Resmondo in the loser's finals
Smash It Sports defends against Precision in the loser's semi finals
Field #3 – Albicocco defending against Worsham
Field #4 – Pure Romance pitching to Fence Brokers
Crowds were pretty big on Friday night and a bit unruly on Saturday night
Git your Slugger gear!
HangriteAthletics.com was onsite with their new shoe!
Only 1 person picked Backman to win? They stuck it in our eye!
Video Highlites brought to you by:
In the video Parfitt hits a car with a homer, walk offs, Lopez game winning play and more!
Long Bombers of the Week
Obviously I am watching one or less games at a time and there were over 60 games played in Cincinnati this past weekend but I thought Greg Connells homer against Precision was the longest over on field #2 Saturday evening. The ball hit the front of the trailer parked in left center field. Lets google earth it and see how far that is?
425 Feet! And remember it was 93 degrees and the Dudley Thunder Heat ball
Cincinnati Major Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Orlando Castillo||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Lloyd Watson||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Brett Helmer||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Filby||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Sam Lopez||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Andy Purcell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Brett McCollum||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Keith Laski||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Kennington||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Jeff Keske||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Andrew Collins||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Dale Brungardt||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Matt Crawford||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Brian Logan||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Jimmy Salas||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||curtis stewart||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Ryan Harvey||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|All Tournament Team||Brian Rainwater||BACKMAN/SHOPPE/LOUISVILLE SLUGGER|
|1||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||0||0||171||132||28.5||22||6.5||36||300|
|2||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||2||0||180||144||25.7||20.5||5.14||33||225|
|3||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||5||2||0||182||137||26||19.5||6.42||33||200|
|4||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||175||111||29.1||18.5||10.6||48||175|
|5||AR – Bryant||fence brokers inc/buzini/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||158||139||26.3||23.1||3.16||30||155|
|5||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||124||121||20.6||20.1||0.5||34||155|
|7||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||123||82||24.6||16.4||8.2||30||130|
|7||OH – Kent||jbl/tailgaters/b&e||USSSA-Mens-C||3||2||0||135||110||27||22||5||40||155|
|9||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||124||116||24.8||23.2||1.6||41||110|
|9||NJ – Runnemede||Deluxe Bakery||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||76||97||15.2||19.4||-4.2||27||110|
|9||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||144||93||28.8||18.6||10.2||36||110|
|9||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||95||110||19||22||-3||26||110|
|13||OH – Cincinnati||pure romance/foulks adjusting/headl||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||81||80||20.2||20||0.25||27||70|
|13||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||84||61||21||15.2||5.75||22||70|
|13||VA – Sutherland||SFI/SAL/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||72||75||18||18.7||-0.7||34||70|
|13||TXN – Dallas||VCH Worth||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||83||85||20.7||21.2||-0.5||30||70|
|17||MI – Lansing||p&p333/suburban/larry's tire/cmt/va||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||92||102||23||25.5||-2.5||27||65|
|17||KY – Etown||Berties/Hubcity Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||69||58||17.2||14.5||2.75||28||65|
|17||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsman Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||45||67||15||22.3||-7.3||20||40|
|17||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||63||89||21||29.6||-8.6||23||40|
|17||NC – Fletcher||worshamathletics/klutchbrand/worth/||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||45||73||15||24.3||-9.3||19||40|
|17||OH – Cincinnati||premier services/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||43||48||14.3||16||-1.6||23||40|
|17||KY – Louisville||cornerstone / dizzy roosters Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||44||66||14.6||22||-7.3||18||65|
|17||MD – Baltimore||CGR/House Money||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||46||60||15.3||20||-4.6||25||40|
|25||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/linedrive sportz||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||69||82||23||27.3||-4.3||26||40|
|25||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||49||55||16.3||18.3||-2||26||40|
|25||MO – St. Louis||precision recovery/hooters||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||15||57||7.5||28.5||-21||8||40|
|25||MO – Branson||Nightmare/Miken||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||33||35||16.5||17.5||-1||21||40|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||EAP/TigerFitness/HDLNS||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||36||55||18||27.5||-9.5||26||40|
|25||DC – Washington||Semper Athletics/Demarini||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||29||50||14.5||25||-10.||19||40|
|25||OH – Middletown||rsc/tom wood honda/ combat||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||25||51||12.5||25.5||-13||18||40|
|25||OH – Columbus||old bag/global/clubhouse/easton Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||25||44||12.5||22||-9.5||16||65|
|33||OH – Cincinnati||cincysoftball.com/buffalo joes/hdln Qualified||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||19||40||9.5||20||-10.||14||40|
|33||OH – Columbus||clubhouse/sandy's/ion fire protecti||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||19||48||9.5||24||-14.||12||65|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 6-0 Record
As with most Conference tournament wins, Backmans was a true team effort. Great pitching from Watson and Barrett. Watson had some great line drive backhand stabs. Sam Lopez made two great divers at third in the championship against Resmondo and completed the long throws plus that big play in the winners final with the bases loaded to save the game. Schulte with his divers and home run robs in left field, Lahair made some big plays at shortstop and Castillo in the middle made a play where he threw from his knees on the deep cut infield to get a runner at first. Logan showed some clutch power, the team went on home run binges where they would hit three to five in a row. This team looked like they were unaffected by the Thunder Heat ball and the high temperatures this weekend. Terry Baggs has become a force at the top of the lineup. Kennington helps power the team, Rainwater is the veteran presence in the middle of the lineup. Harvey continues to hit the long ones and Matt Crawford solidifies the right side of the defense. Warriors from top to bottom of this lineup.
C Terry Baggs
1B Kevin Kennington
MI Orlando Castillo
RF Ryan Harvey
EH Brian Rainwater
3B Sam Lopez
CF Brian Logan
2B Matt Crawford
P LC Watson
LF Reggie Schulte
SS Jeff Lahair
LC Watson and Reggie Schulte
Brian Logan was hitting a lot of big homers
Larry Quartuccio deserves credit for keeping this team going after all the injuries.
Jerry Backman (sponsor) and Dennis Turner of Louisville Slugger
Larry Q talking to the team about how they each picked each other up all weekend.
Reggie Schulte goes over the fence to try to rob a homer
2nd Place – Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 5-2 Record
Resmondo had to win the tournament to gain in the points and take over first place in the Nationwide Conference USSSA. Instead their quest for their 11th straight league title will come down to Michigan where there would need to be 26 Conference teams present and a Resmondo win in order for them to tie for the championship (if my math is correct). Don Dedonatis Jr made play after play at shortstop including fielding one of the hardest grounders of the year hit by Backmans Ryan Harvey. The outfield had some trouble with some nasty knuckle balls, but over all Resmondo did not play that poorly, they just didn't have the big innings they are used to having when they need it.
Resmondo Lineup for last game:
MI Dennis Rulli
2B Greg Connell
P Andy Purcell
3B Jimmy Salas
1B Bubba Mack
C Lee Powers
SS Don Dedonatis Jr
RF Andrew Collins
LF Jeremy Yates
CF Nic Santana
Fulk and Krause also played.
Resmondo left side Jimmy Salas and Don Dedonatis Jr
Resmondo right side Bubba Mack, Greg Connell, and Dennis Rulli
3rd Place – Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 4-2 Record
Precision did what Precision does – played like a Major team in an 'A' teams body… 🙂 Keske and Rear led the way defensively, Vitcak pitched great and the team picked each other up offensively, was patient with their home runs, and out base hit their opponents when the homers were gone. They also came back against Smash It Sports after being flip flopped. Wow.
Jeff Keske in the middle covers a lot of ground defensively and he is putting up big numbers and clutch hitting with the stick
Andy Vitcak survived a ridiculous line drive to the wrist/chest area. One tough pitcher!
Precisions left side Matt Rear, Keith Laski, and Jeff Keske all very underrated.
4th Place – Smash It Sports/Compound/H Auto/Laservision/ASP/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 4-2 Record
Smash It maintains their points lead even though they had their worst finish of the season. Clark can't run because of the bruised foot but otherwise they were just out played and didn't adjust to the ball which was not flying. They flip flopped Precision on Sunday morning only to lose…gotta get rid of the flip flop rule.
Mike Umschied may be pushing Salas and Lopez for the best overall third baseman in the game
Dale Brungardt did some pitching while they try to give Travis some rest with that bruised foot
Can't have a Cincy Major without a picture of the park owners. Helmer top, Wegman bottom.
Tied 5th Place – Compound Athletics/Easton
Conf 'B' from IL 4-2 Record
Compound knocks off Red's Astros late Saturday. Had to take this picture with the sunset…
Compound had big/close wins over TG Brand when their defense got a double play with the bases loaded in a one run game, and over Albicocco and Red's Astros. They just continue to add to their mystique as an upset minded team.
Compound right side Kyle Pearson and John Howard
Zach Messer turns a game winning DP
Lyf Nimmo helps Compound take the lead against TG with a homer
Tied 5th Place – Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth
Conf 'A' from AR 4-2 Record
Fence Brokers beat PRI, Broughton, and JBL. They had their chances against Smash It Sports in a 30-24 loss as well. Big points for FBI!
FBI's Billy Maggard apparently bleading from the face. 🙂
Player/Sponsor and hall of famer Chris Walker gets an extra base hit against Resmondo!
More pictures below
Other top finishing teams
Tied 7th Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'A' from OH 3-2 Record
Red's could not get past Precision in a 24-18 quarterfinal loss and got knocked out by Compound Athletics late Saturday. This team always peaks at Michigan, we'll see if they can do it again. Newly acquired center fielder Brandon Dillon made his debut.
Home town slugger Brad Tabler and the Red's Astros take on VCH
Red's Astros new center fielder Brandon Dillon
Tied 7th Place – JBL/Tailgaters/B&E
Conf 'C' from OH 3-2 Record
JBL had a great run. Knocking off Albicocco to start the tournament and adding wins over Conference 'B' teams Deluxe Bakery and 3rd Street. Looks like they are 4-1 vs 'B' teams this year and 5-1 vs 'C' teams and have a number of conference 'B' experienced players so the reclass to 'C' is a questionable one? A hard nosed team who played great softball all weekend.
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Some more pictures for you:
Sid Stephany has joined Albicocco who finished tied for 9th
Broughton played hard, beat TG Brand and finished tied for 9th
Pure Romance left side Jackie Corn, Nick Mazur, and Rocky Staton finished tied for 13th
Dave Kessler and 3rd Street finished tied for 9th
Chris Nann? hits a walk off homer to push Deluxe Bakery past Semper Athletics. Deluxe tied for 9th!
Mike Williams of Primetime and Brian Logan of Backman
Last week on oldscout these two were mentioned as the fastest in the Conference
Tony Verdugo entertains the crowd between innings. 🙂
Elliot Clark oversees the smooth operation of the biggest tournaments in the Conference
Robo gets some extra work in with his dad
Tailgating at the Cincy Major with a boom box