2015 USSSA “Circle City Classic” – Indy Major tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
"Circle City" Classic
Precision pitches to Brendt Newbill of Red's Astros in the "if" game of the championship
The "Circle City" Classic survived some nasty rain storms Friday night and started on time Saturday morning at 9 AM with cool breezy temperatures and a solid field of teams led by favorite and defending Indy Major champion Precision/Easton/DO based out of Illinois. The tournament followed a true "pecking" order as the top teams in each division pretty much handled the teams below them when they played. After the two "play in" games and the 8 first round games it was all conference teams in the winner's bracket. Pure Romance beat Cincinnati peer 3rd Street in extra innings 14-13. TG Brand beat Compound Athletics with their new CA Sports "pickups" 24-11. Both those games were on fields where the wind blew in for the most part. Over on the two main fields with the wind blowing out, Precision smoked KG/Slayer 31-6 and hometown Red's Astros 20 run ruled Precision/Recovery 'C' team 26-6.
In the semi-finals on Saturday evening Red's Astros outlasted Pure Romance 23-18 after using all of their home runs early on, and Precision/Easton held on to beat TG Brand 21-18 after jumping out to a big lead. The winner's final late on Saturday night had Red's Astros using their home runs poorly again and Precision kept it close and "let the game come to them" with better home run management. Red's never gave up though and had the sticks in their hands at the end of the game but could not score well with no homers left and lost 21-19.
Late Saturday in the loser's semi-final PRI advanced past 'B' rival TG Brand 24-8. On Sunday morning a short handed PRI team played 7 innings and never gave up, but Red's Astros offense was too much and Red's won 40-27 setting up the rematch with Precision in the finals (same as 2014). In the first game Red's Astros separated in the bottom of the 5th inning on a 3 run homer by Cory Boothe that made the score 19-11 and Precision was never able to get their offense going for that big inning that they needed like they were able to do early on in the tournament. In the final game of the tournament which was basically the conclusion of the "best of 3" between the two teams, it was a high scoring affair and Precisions Matt Rear hit a 3 run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to give them a 20-12 lead. Precision's Brett McCollum and Keith Laski added 3 run homer's in the bottom of the 5th to give them a 26-18 lead and they out base hit Red's Astros enough the rest of the way to win the tournament (their first of the year) 32-25.
There was some incredible line drive and grounder stabs by pitchers in this tournament. Precisions Andy Vitcak, PRI's Brandon Jonas, Compounds Jason Wilkins, and TG Brands Danny Evans. Also some great diving plays by TG Brand shortstop Josh Madsen, Red's shortstop John Sullivan, among many others. The tournament had 3 conference umpires. The park did a solid job of getting fields swamped with recent rains ready, and all the games or most should be in the USSSA Livestream archive for future viewing soon. The fences although 300 feet played very very short and it was tough to keep the ball in the park with the cool temperatures on the fields with the wind blowing out.
Team Breakdown – 18 Teams Total (11 Conference)
Frank Fracek hits a big homer for Precision in the championship against Red's Astros
Jason Branch of Red's Astros takes on Rocky Staton and Pure Romance in the loser's finals Sunday morning.
TG Brand shortstop Josh Masden makes a great diving play and throw out at home vs Precision in the semis
Check it out in the video highlites!
Pure Romance Brock Morrison hits against Danny Evans and TG Brand
The 6'8 pitcher for Seamless makes a great play on Compound Athletics Williams up the middle!
KG pitcher reacts slowly to McCollums shot up the middle. Get a helmet on.
Outfields were very very wet but the players were glad the tournament got played in full and ontime.
Almost a great catch by Street Kids left fielder
Midwest Sports Park is fairly fan friendly. Not a bad place to watch a tournament.
Oldscout pollers were correct.
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
Red's Astros Cory Boothe mashed a long distance homer against Pure Romance (not pictured) that still hasn't landed.
Pure Romance slugger Jimmy Carter again with a bomb that a fan insists went into the basketball court behind field #2.
444 feet to the basketball courts. Regardless of if it went into the court or not, it was a bomb!
3rd baseman Ty Goads for Street Kids was also given the long bomb of the week.
Indy Major Awards and Final Standings
Note: Awards have not been listed yet
|1||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||5||1||0||160||95||26.6||15.8||10.8||36||300|
|2||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||5||2||0||186||134||26.5||19.1||7.42||40||225|
|3||OH – Cincinnati||pure romance/foulks adjusting/headl||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||145||115||24.1||19.1||5||35||200|
|4||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||108||87||21.6||17.4||4.2||36||175|
|5||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||110||82||22||16.4||5.6||38||155|
|5||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||96||91||19.2||18.2||1||30||155|
|7||MO – St. Louis||precision recovery/hooters||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||84||84||21||21||0||31||130|
|7||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||57||76||14.2||19||-4.7||26||130|
|9||IN – Indianapolis||Westpoint Softball||USSSA-Mens-D||2||2||0||78||85||19.5||21.2||-1.7||34||110|
|9||IN – South Bend||StreetKidsSoftball.com||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||57||77||14.2||19.2||-5||22||110|
|9||IN – Fort Wayne||Seamless Flooring/Wildman||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||78||81||26||27||-1||36||110|
|9||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsman Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||51||69||17||23||-6||29||110|
|13||OH – Middletown||rsc/tom wood honda/ combat||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||44||72||14.6||24||-9.3||26||70|
|13||IN – Beech Grove||Circle City Tint||USSSA-Mens-E||1||2||0||43||85||14.3||28.3||-14||25||70|
|13||IN – Bloomington||bloomington moose #1081 / classic t||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||28||35||14||17.5||-3.5||16||70|
|13||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/linedrive sportz||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||24||46||12||23||-11||15||70|
|17||IN – Columbus||Got Beef?/OSOK Softball Qualified||USSSA-Mens-E||0||2||0||39||51||19.5||25.5||-6||20||40|
|17||IN – Indianapolis||Game On||USSSA-Mens-E||0||2||0||33||56||16.5||28||-11.||19||40|
Awards aren't out yet but I'm giving Precision center fielder Dan Kirkwood the Defensive MVP.
Multiple great running/jumping catches by the fence and a full out diver through the water on Saturday…
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 5-1 Record
Precision got to be the "Resmondo" for the weekend as they used an easy early #1 seed draw to get to the semi's quickly. I think lead off hitter Matt Rear batted 3 times in the first inning of each of their first two games! Similar to last year it doesn't matter who puts on the Precision uniform, they perform. They were missing 2B Burgmeier, MI Keske, CF Porter, and UT Reimolds and still won the tournament. I don't think anyone would say they played their best ball to do it either, just won, which is a little scary for the rest of the 'A' division. Precision is rumored to be shutting down the rest of their regular season after the Smoky (depending on points) and trying to get healthy for the post season.
3B Matt Rear
CF Dan Kirkwood
1B Brett McCollum
SS Keith Laski
2B Denis Fisher
C Curtis Stewart
LF Davis Bilardello
MI Tom Baird
RF Frank Fracek
P Andy Vitcak
CF Gary Lofton
Leadoff and 3rd baseman Matt Rear – Pitcher Andy Vitcak
Precision often brings in players for 1 weekend. This weekend they needed a middle infielder and picked up Tom Baird.
You would never have guessed he was a fill in. Diving stops, double plays, gap shots, runs like a deer…
Illinois area softball has a lot of talent.
Shortstop Keith Laski
Precisions defensive right side – McCollum at 1st, Fisher at 2nd, Baird in the middle
Slugger Curtis Stewart and LF Davis Bilardello
Utility man Gary Lofton and big Frank Frackek (RF)
2nd Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'A' from IN 5-2 Record
Red's Astros finishes 2nd in their hometown event and they finally beat Precision in a game. If they hit better when the homers are out, they could have gone undefeated in this tournament. Former Albicocco infielder Phil White joined the team for the first time and played a solid 3rd base. They used Travis Dale in about 5 different positions still trying to find that elusive balance between offense and defense that could spell success for them in the post season. Newbill was a workhorse on the mound, Krider played the best middle infield of any player in the tournament making big range plays and throws to first, and the team overall just seems to be 1 small play every couple innings behind Precision.
RF Jason Branch
2B Steve Edwards
EH Chad Mullins
C Cory Boothe
3B Phillip White
LF Wally Maybrier
CF Travis Dale
1B Brad Tabler or CF Ben Dunn
SS John Sullivan
P Brendt Newbill
MI Troy Krider
New addition Phil White played a nice third base for Red's
Travis Dale, Ben Dunn, and Wally Maybrier await a ruling on the ball that hit the runner on 1st base that was called "dead ball" and everyone safe.
Red's Middle man Troy Krider and SS John Sullivan may be the best in the game at throwin from off the feet
3rd Place – Pure Romance/Foulks Adjusting/Headlines/Easton
Conf 'B' from OH 4-2 Record
PRI finished ahead of TG Brand to be the highest finishing 'B' team. They were missing starting shortstop Nick Masur for most of the tournament and 3rd baseman Brandon Oneal. So they moved outfielder Jackie Corn to third base, John Zorich held down center field for the injured Mike Rogers, and middle infielder Rocky Staton even did some pitching when Jonas had to leave. The team persevered through the overtime win over 3rd Street and the late Saturday drubbing of TG Brand. On Sunday Red's jumped out to a huge lead on them but PRI came back and showed some heart in a 40-27 loss.
CF John Zorich
3B Jackie Corn
C Jon Jamison
1B Jimmy Carter
EH Stacy Mizelle
RF Butch Castor
2B Brock Morrison
SS Brandon Bellamy
MI Rocky Staton
P Brandon Jonas
LF Ben Cosgrove
PRI left side Jackie Corn, Brandon Bellamy, and Rocky Staton
Sluggers Jon Jamison and Stacy Mizelle
New slugger Brock Morrison had a big weekend
Sponsor/Manager/Uniform guy/Left Fielder Ben Cosgrove even had to hit the clutch homer before the fill in sponsor came up to bat!
And how about that long sliding catch through the lake on Saturday!
Rocky Staton had to pitch when Jonas left on Sunday for previously scheduled family stuff
4th Place – TG Brand
Conf 'B' from MI 3-2 Record
TG Brand had all of their players and picked up Jeff Payton to play center field. They had quality wins over Compound Athletics and 3rd Street but lost a comeback bid against Precision in the semi-finals and folded tent against PRI late Saturday. Facebook is showing power hitter Chris Hoffer has left the team and the they still don't have the "edge" necessary to win big games.
Maybe some free swinging at the Smoky is just what the doctor ordered?
RF Ryan Morrow
2B Justin Evans
1B Joey Dorton
C John Radich
EH Adam Kaminski
MI Steve Whaley
CF Jeff Payton
3B Ryan Noe
P Danny Evans
LF Jonathan Greer
SS Josh Masden
TG Brand picked up Jeff Payton who played center field.
And yes he was picked up the week before the 6 teams were re-classed to 'B' and the roster was approved for re-class with Payton on it.
Tied 5th Place – 3rd Street/Hubs Pub/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'B' from OH 3-2 Record
3rd Streets Ricky Potter can be an onbase machine at times!
3rd Street didn't pick up any big wins and lost that extra inning game in the wind to PRI 14-13. The team has changed do to injuries and is still tweaking with the addition of outfielders Rogers and Matusik and the departure? of Cody Gilbert. 3rd Street will have to make up points in Cincinnati. They did put up some nice offensive numbers overall.
"Diamond in the ruff" outfielder Jason Matusik is a 5 tool player
3rd Street middle infield – SS Curtis Cornett, MI Rob Menke, 2B Bobby Noeth Jr. Bobby had a great diver in that extra inning game vs PRI
3rd Street picked up former KG and Cash House center fielder Matt Rogers
Yes Bobby, you are on Candid Camera!
Tied 5th Place – Compound Athletics/Easton
Conf 'B' from IL 3-2 Record
Compound Athletics now has a ton of players with all of the recent pickups. Adding Pearson, Nimmo, and Stuart shored up the lineup but overall the team didn't produce against TG Brand or Pure Romance, scoring a combined 20 runs in those two games. It will be interesting to see how this team sorts things out as they have big hitters like Preston Spurlin, Johnathon Williams, Andrew Schiltz, and James Kersten vying for playing time with established players like Kyle Pearson and Keith Anderson. Compound recently released their leading home run hitter infielder John Howard.
The sought after CA Sports free agent Kyle Pearson played for Compound Athletics and I'd say struggled some.
That won't last!
There are a LOT of players on Compound Athletics now
Lyf Nimmo also donned the Compound Athletics uniform for the first time as did Justin Stuart
More pictures below
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th Place – Precision Recovery/Hooters
Conf 'C' from MO 2-2 Record
Precision Recovery beat 'C' rivals Rebel Sports 25-9 and The Sportsman Shop 31-11 but lost by the run rule to Red's and 3rd Street.
Tied 7th Place – KG/Slayer/Wilson/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'B' from IN 2-2 Record
KG has released a lot of players that they were counting on and replaced them with young talent. This is a work in progress.
KG's Cody Pack
Tied 9th Place – The Sportsman Shop
Conf 'C' from WI 1-2 Record
The Sportsman Shop is 2-3 vs 'C' teams this year. They need to play some big 'C' tournaments and see where they shake out.
Tied 9th Place – RSC/Tom Wood Honda/Combat
Conf 'C' from OH 1-2 Record
RSC still having player turnover and struggling in conference play.
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Some more pictures for you:
Lots of kids baseball teams were checking out the slowpitch. I heard a few asking about why they grip the bat with an overlap. Some were impressed by the long homers, speed of the players on the bases, and some of the diving stops and the hard shots through the middle. Others were less impressed by the speed of the pitch and what was and wasn't a strike.
I believe the #1 way to grow slowpitch softball is for local directors to give the kids baseball and girls fastpitch teams a one day, 2 or 3 game round robin slowpitch day, bat and ball provided. And make it so the teams just pay game fees at most. Each year these kids will have fun hitting and fielding the softball and it will plant a seed in their mind to give the game a chance later in their lives when they have exhausted all of their baseball and fastpitch carreers.
Mizelle, Jonas, and Boothe were comparing how to shave your head I think
Yes Zorich's ball was fair with two strikes and the bases loaded it hit the base of the fence just in bounds!
There were basically no upsets in the Indy Major. Usually Bloomington Moose (above) or Street Kids would be candidates to pull off an upset or two.
Don't Text and Infield at the same time…Dangerous!
Believe it or not the Motel 6 Rooms weren't bad. Refrigerator, microwave, and TV all good.
Beds, floors, and showers were clean. Cheap clean place on Michigan road by the restaurants for low budget teams.