2015 USSSA Las Vegas Major tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
"Sin City" Classic
Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas BLD Field Dimensions
Yankee (main field) 285-308-290-286-286
The "Sin City" Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada again opened the Nationwide Conference USSSA Major NIT schedule for 2015. The weather was perfect, the ball was flying, and the list of teams for this tournament was the best of any Major in the west in over a decade! On Friday and half of Saturday the tournament was played without any real upsets except Xtreme lost to AZM who was playing well 32-22 after a bench clearing when an AZM player made a bad choice on a suspect takeout slide. #2 ranked Smash It Sports had a scare from GTS when Smash It pulled out a 27-26 win. And Team Combat also had a scare when they held off a local team League Night 27-22.
With all the higher seeds pretty much moving on, the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon went as expected as well with the top 4 Major teams – Resmondo, Smash It Sports, Backman, and Team Combat all advancing. Backman scored a Conference record 45 runs in the first inning of their game against Elite. Some of the Backman players were 5-5 in the inning. Then some upsets began to happen on Saturday night in the semi-finals. Team Combat jumped out to a big lead on Resmondo by using up two thirds of their home runs. Then when Resmondo had a few low output offensive innings against pitcher Tommie Baugh, they left the door open for Combat to have a big bottom of the 4th inning and Combat took advantage and a Brian Zirkle single capped a Combat 20 run rule win! In the other semifinal Smash It Sports held a lead most of the way and won a slugfest over Backman 49-43.
Team Breakdown – 38 Teams Total (17 Conference)
Combats Tommie Baugh pitches to Resmondos Andy Purcell in the semi final upset
In the winner's bracket championship game Combat could not keep pace with Smash Its newly unleashed offense and Smash It won 45-30. The loser's bracket then became the focus of the tournament with some crazy things happening. Classic Glass won an extra innings game over OC Swats 24-23. Team Racks knocked off 4 The Fallen 38-29 and then beat Backman 37-14 when Racks scored 28 runs in the first inning! And Classic Glass jumped on a listless Resmondo team and sent them packing on the first flight out, 29-6. In the loser's semifinal late Saturday night, Racks out defensed Classic Glass to make it to Sunday 27-25.
Smash It Sports Kevin Filby hits the game winning single to run rule Combat in the championship game!
On Sunday in the loser's final Team Combat had too much offense for Racks and won 36-19 in spite of Racks defense which made 3 or 4 of the best plays of the tournament. But in the finals it was all Smash It Sports who took home the first tournament of the year with a 30 run rule victory 46-16 over Team Combat!
As I stated the weather was perfect. The fields and park were in great shape. There were 4 or 5 conference umpires in attendance, the crowds were bigger than normal, and the softball was well played and hard fought victories were earned. Smash It won without a lot of talking, just went about their business like they were supposed to be there in a very professional manner. Smash It of course takes the early points lead with 218 points but they may not even use this score as one of their top 6. The real story is the improvement in Team Combat who finished 2nd and the play of Racks (Sonny's) 3rd and Classic Glass 4th.
OC Swats was the highest finishing 'B' team at tied for 7th. I feel that each of the conference teams in attendance were actually better than I thought after seeing their rosters on paper. The normally strong Las Vegas winds did not factor into the tournament this year as they were calm.
Orlando Castillo of Backman had the best diving grounder play. Cory Newman of Racks had the best home run robbing catch. Aaron Martinez of Racks had the most range. Ryan McClanahan and Donald Plaisance fielded the hottest shots back at the pitcher. Of course remember I was only seeing 1/6th of the action at any one time. 🙂
Have a great Easter, the conference is off until Houston in two weeks. Tune in then!
Teams remember to get your stats in to Stacy and pictures or scans of your stat sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember sacrifice fly's are outs. Fielders choices are outs. And you must account for all outs in each game. If you batted 5 times, you need to have 15 outs accounted for on your score sheets.
I am working to see if any of the recorded games can be uploaded to USSSA's youtube page.
Team Combat upsets Resmondo on Saturday night
Yankee – Team Combat pitching to Smash It Sports
Angel Field – 4 The Fallens Chad Munger pitches to Rebel Sports
Racks pitches to Classic Glass late Saturday night at Fenway
Wrigley Field – Xtreme pitches to Team Racks
Dodger Stadium – OC Swats and Team Racks
Crowds were bigger than normal. I think having 5 Major teams had something to do with it.
Oldscout pollers were correct in picking Smash It Sports!
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Smash It Sports and Combat clips
Clips of other teams
Long Bombers of the Week
Combats Chris Greinert
Backmans Ryan Harvey
E.J. Pokorny won the GSL Home Run Derby against Jeff Hall in Columbus, Ohio!
Las Vegas Major Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament CO-MVP||Kevin Bazat||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|Tournament CO-MVP||Travis Clark||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Nick Sansone||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Luis Reyna||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Brett Helmer||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Chris Greinert||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|All Tournament Team||Brian Wegman||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Jeff McGavin||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|All Tournament Team||Bryson Baker||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Sean Boldt||Classic Glass/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Lawrence Wolf||TEAM RACKS EASTON|
|All Tournament Team||Steven Lloyd||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Filip Washington||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|All Tournament Team||Donald Hollingsworth Jr.||Classic Glass/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Stuart Snell||TEAM RACKS EASTON|
|All Tournament Team||Nicholas Manganaro||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|All Tournament Team||Jonathan Gastineau||Classic Glass/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Michael Umscheid||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Brian Lipman||Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com|
|All Tournament Team||Cory Newman||TEAM RACKS EASTON|
|All Tournament Team||Donald Plainsance||TEAM RACKS EASTON|
|1||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||0||0||227||146||37.8||24.3||13.5||49||300|
|2||WA – KENT||team combat/baugh ford/softball.com||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||2||0||223||205||31.8||29.2||2.57||48||225|
|3||WY – Casper||TEAM RACKS EASTON||USSSA-Mens-A||6||2||0||238||187||29.7||23.3||6.37||39||200|
|4||CAN – San Jose||Classic Glass/Easton||USSSA-Mens-A||5||2||0||173||123||24.7||17.5||7.14||40||175|
|5||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||182||113||36.4||22.6||13.8||47||155|
|5||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||129||95||25.8||19||6.8||40||155|
|7||CAS – Yorba Linda||OC Swats Doerflinger||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||139||111||23.1||18.5||4.66||33||230|
|7||AZ – Anthem||4 the fallen/miken/ca gear||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||197||167||39.4||33.4||6||49||130|
|9||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/linedrive sportz||USSSA-Mens-C||4||2||0||158||123||26.3||20.5||5.83||39||210|
|9||MN – Champlin||encompass / eurotech / easton / ca||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||126||129||25.2||25.8||-0.6||34||210|
|9||MN – Dayton||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||129||114||25.8||22.8||3||41||110|
|9||AZ – Gilbert||AZM/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||101||111||25.2||27.7||-2.5||32||210|
|13||KS – Wichita||MIDWEST HEARING/SYNDICATE||USSSA-Mens-C||3||2||0||122||106||24.4||21.2||3.2||38||170|
|13||CAN – San Mateo||SDI/ CA Grown||USSSA-Mens-C||3||2||0||104||81||20.8||16.2||4.6||28||70|
|13||NV – Las Vegas||leaguenight/majorapparel/prostytch||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||89||96||22.2||24||-1.7||27||0|
|13||CAS – Los Angeles||Magz Premier||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||82||86||20.5||21.5||-1||26||170|
|17||CO – Colorado Springs||peak / soco softball||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||97||84||24.2||21||3.25||30||140|
|17||CAS – Orange||toe 2 toe / power alley sports / pr||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||112||110||28||27.5||0.5||43||140|
|17||AZ – Phoenix||SALSA||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||56||72||18.6||24||-5.3||21||40|
|17||NV – Las Vegas||SNSPA/Notorious||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||62||83||20.6||27.6||-7||24||40|
|17||AZ – Gilbert||Tunie Sports / Top Choice||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||68||62||22.6||20.6||2||26||40|
|17||CAS – Ontario||Elite Sports||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||44||92||14.6||30.6||-16||28||40|
|17||UT – Spanish Fork||Vivint||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||44||73||14.6||24.3||-9.6||22||65|
|17||ID – Boise||GTS/Bues Excavation/AGD||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||79||70||26.3||23.3||3||33||140|
|25||CAN – Foster City||Sasquatch/Team Combat||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||36||77||12||25.6||-13.||26||40|
|25||NV – LV||Next Generation||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||49||74||16.3||24.6||-8.3||24||40|
|25||NV – LV||702 Premier||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||55||93||18.3||31||-12.||20||40|
|25||CAN – San Jose||L/S Glass||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||56||65||18.6||21.6||-3||21||65|
|25||CAS – Murrieta||Skillset/Superbad||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||65||68||21.6||22.6||-1||24||65|
|25||AZ – Tempe||MyAutoJack.com||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||28||50||14||25||-11||16||65|
|25||CAS – Temecula||Last Kings||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||31||41||15.5||20.5||-5||21||40|
|25||NV – Las Vegas||wounded warrior athletics/leatherne||SPMnAFA||0||2||0||30||47||15||23.5||-8.5||19||0|
|33||NV – Las Vegas||Infamous||USSSA-Mens-D||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|33||AZ – Kingman||Shaved-N-Painted||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||28||64||14||32||-18||24||0|
|33||NV – las vegas||sin city star's||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||14||46||7||23||-16||8||0|
|33||CAN – Sacramento||Safe Security||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||35||58||17.5||29||-11.||19||40|
|33||AZ – Tucson||SBOB/Pro-Orthopedic||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||11||54||5.5||27||-21.||6||65|
|33||CAS – San Diego||Gov't Issue/GTS/VOR||SPMnAFA||0||2||0||22||65||11||32.5||-21.||11||65|
Co-MVP Kevin Bazat (MI) Smash It Sports
Co-MVP Travis Clark (P) Smash It Sports
Defensive MVP Luis Reyna (SS) Smash It Sports
Offensive MVP Nick Sansone (OF) Team Combat
Sansone lives in Las Vegas
Team by team notes brought to you by:
Conf 'M' from NY 6-0 Record
Smash It Sports is the Laservision team from the last couple of years for those that do not know. They got out of the gate in almost a sleep walk on Friday night when they beat a 'D' team from California called Last Kings just 19-10. Later on Friday they held off conference 'B' team GTS from Idaho 27-26. After surviving these scares they proceeded to wake up on Saturday and Sunday outscoring their last 4 opponents 181-110 and won the Major with a 6-0 record. They beat AZM 41-21. Outslugged Backman 49-43 on Fenway field. Then beat Team Combat 45-30 in the winner's final Saturday night and 46-16 in the championship game on Sunday.
Smash It has their whole team back and their only change was to pick up reserve outfielder Mike Ortiz. (I was wondering where Ortiz went). Brungardt was out injured.
Smash It played well once they survived and advanced early on. The team is sound defensively as usual. Luis Reyna back from his injury at the Major World Series last year looks to be 90% and made some great plays, even game winning plays in the Backman game which was close. Travis Clark is a workhorse on the mound and with Bazat up the middle and Lloyd at 2B the infield has tremendous range and arm strength.
Smash It Sports lineup: (Correct me if I am wrong)
RF Bryson Baker
LF Brian Wegman
C Kevin Filby
1B Scott Kirby
EH Brett Helmer
2B Steve Lloyd
P Travis Clark
CF Brandon Dillon
SS Luis Reyna
3B Mike Umschied
MI Kevin Bazat
Left Side of the "D" – Mike Umschied at 3B, Luis Reyna SS, Kevin Bazat MI
Scott Kirby may be set for a batting title chase although he will have to fight teammates Wegman and Baker.
Smash It management – Billy Messina, Brett Helmer, Pete Campbell. Behind Pete is Bob Hortenbach.
2nd Place – Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com
Conf 'M' from WA 5-2 Record
Team Combat finishes 2nd at a tournament with 6 of the top 10 teams in the nation! They beat two local teams on Friday, struggling with the second team LeagueNightMajor who they beat just 27-22. Then on Saturday they took one step forward by beating 4 The Fallen in a slugfest 48-45 on Fenway field. They followed that up with their biggest win in years when they run ruled Resmondo in 4 innings 32-12. They came out and hit 12 homers early on and then after holding Resmondo in the early innings defensively, they finished the win with a huge 4th inning and the 20 run rule. In the winners finals they could not keep pace with Smash It and lost 45-30 but rebounded into the championship game Sunday by beating Racks 36-19 with consistent offensive pressure.
Team Combat took two big steps forward with their wins over Resmondo, 4 The Fallen, and Racks. They finished each of those games and are learning to win. I made this comment in the pre-season rankings "Combat and 4 The Fallen are the x factors in this years Conference. If either can make a Sunday finish at Las Vegas or the Hall of Fame Classic early in the season, then they will show they can fight to be a top 5 or 6 team." Well Team Combat finished on Sunday in Las Vegas so now they have to be considered a potential top 5 or 6 team.
The energy of Zirkle. The consistency of Sansone. The power of Greinert, Washington, Lipman, and Rogowski. The solid glove of SS Jeff McGavin. These are building blocks. And the other young players like Cox, Pearson, Manganaro, and Oliviera give Combat the potential for a promising season.
Trending Way Up!
Combat last lineup:
CF Brian Zirkle
C Chris Greinert
LF Filip Washington
2B Brian Lipman
1B Casey Rogowski
MI Kyle Pearson
SS Jeff McGavin
RF Nick Manganaro
3B Cameron Cox
P Tommie Baugh or Brian Titus
EH/OF Nick Sansone
Bryce Oliveira badly sprained ankle was out most of the tournament
Combat left side 3B Cam Cox, SS Jeff McGavin, MI Kyle Pearson
Filip Washington robs a homer in left field. Zirkle patrols center.
Pitchers Brian Titus and Tommie Baugh
3rd Place – Team Racks/Easton
Conf 'A' from WY 5-2 Record
What a weekend for Team Racks! Friday night they run ruled a local team to get to OC Swats. They hammered OC Swats 32-10. Then on Saturday they lost to Resmondo 35-14. In the loser's bracket they beat Xtreme 32-20 and 4 The Fallen 38-29 in long hard fought wins. But they weren't done. They then jumped on Backman with a 28 run first inning and cruised to a 37-14 win! Then late Saturday night the defense held off Classic Glass 27-25. On Sunday morning in the loser's final Team Combats offense was too much and Racks lost 36-19. Would have been worse but they got a diving catch from RF Buddy Wolf and a home run robbing catch from CF Cory Newman (the best catch of the tournament).
Racks played team ball and were paced offensively by leadoff man Cory Newman who was onbase nearly .800 and catcher Stuart Snell who was .824 onbase with 11 HR and 31 RBI. Wolf and Buckshot were also all tournament selections. Racks manager Rob Humphrey was pulling all the right strings with a new team…not surprised.
Team Racks lineup:
CF Cory Newman
RF Buddy Wolf
EH Kyle Moyer
C Stuart Snell
MI Aaron Martinez
1B Kevin Ballard
LF Nick Price
3B Sammy Christensen
P Donald Plaisance
2B AJ Montano
SS Brett Rettenmeier
Cory Newman CF for Racks had the best catch of the tournament when he climbed the Yankee fence and robbed a Combat homer
Right fielder Buddy Wolf halls one in before crashing into the wall. Also made another nice diving catch against Combat.
His defense has picked up and he was all tournament.
Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance was fielding the middle and had some great timely hits for Racks
Middle infielder Aaron Martinez is my pick for Defensive MVP.
He made 3 unbelievable plays against Classic Glass in the 3rd place game to win it.
4th Place – Classic Glass/Easton
Conf 'A' from CA 5-2 Record
Classic Glass had a tournament to remember. The California team has again re-tooled and come up with a great team which is showing real chemistry. Classic run ruled Next Generation 40-16 and Vivint 23-8 on Friday night. Then the Major team Backman hammered them on Saturday early afternoon 35-9. In the loser's bracket Classic really started to roll. A 23-8 win over Encompass with the sun in the batters eye on Yankee field. A 24-23 extra innings win over OC Swats with their defense on the field to end it. And a draw dropping 29-6 shellacking of #1 ranked Resmondo late Saturday night! Then in a game that ended at midnight Saturday, Classic Glass dropped a 27-25 game to Team Racks. The two teams were battleing evenly except Racks middle infielder Aaron Martinez made 3 of the best plays of the tournament to stop Classic Glass, otherwise they would have been playing Sunday morning!
This version of Classic is a great team. Pitcher Paul Winner was a workhorse on the mound. Marcus Thornton held down shortstop and the leadoff spot. They are just a fun line drive hitting team that are capable of making the routine plays consistently and they back down to no one.
Classic Glass lineup
SS Marcus Thornton
2B Dameon Smith
MI Chris Potts
1B Chris Terry
3B Michael Powers
LF Jonathan Gastineau
RF Donald Hollingsworth Jr.
CF Tyler Espland
C Tommy Formosa
EH Brandon Traylor
P Paul Winner
Sean Boldt was all tournament and in the middle of the lineup until a chest injury sidelined him.
Terry hits a homer
Boldt, Powers, and Gastineau have replaced the hitters Classic lost from 2014.
Mark it down.
Classic beat OC Swats in extra innings by 1
Classic Glass finishes off Resmondo 29-6
Tied 5th Place – Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 3-2 Record
Resmondo rolled through their first 3 games winning by a combined score of 111-34. Including a nice 32-12 trouncing of Team Racks. Then a strange thing happened – They met Team Combat in the semifinals and Combat came out free swinging and using up a dozen or so homers in the first two innings. Resmondo in a deep hole still had the feeling that they could step on the gas and overcome any deficit. But as the visiting team they had a couple of bad innings and Combat made some nice plays defensively and suddenly Combat had a chance in the bottom of the 4th to have a big inning and beat Resmondo by the 20 run rule. They did, and a stunned Resmondo team dropped to the loser's bracket. In the loser's bracket very reminiscent of the last couple years in Columbus where Resmondo lost to Line Drive and Precision after falling from the winner's bracket, they just didn't seem into it and Classic Glass jumped out and surprised them with a big early lead and a 29-6 loss in 4 innings.
Resmondo will regroup as they always do, but probably won't play their best ball until June or July. Howie Krause didn't play but they had the rest of their team including their new pickups pitcher Dan Sanchez and outfielder Andrew Collins.
Trending Down Enough to Tick themselves off…
Resmondo 1B Bubba Mack and 2B Greg Connell
Dennis Rulli makes a play up the middle.
Tied 5th Place – Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 3-2 Record
Backman got a nice draw and took advantage with 2 wins on Friday night over local teams and a 35-9 drubbing of Classic Glass on Saturday afternoon. Total in those 3 games Backman outscored their opponents 125-27! Wow. I actually made a comment that I felt Backman and Resmondo were playing the best ball out of the top teams… Things changed in the evening semifinals when Backman dropped a heart breaker to Smash It Sports 49-43. Then they dropped into the loser's bracket and Team Racks put up 28 runs in the first inning on them and they never recovered and lost 14-37. Backman I gave a "Trending Up" because I feel they were pretty sharp and ready to play. The offense scored a lot of runs. Former Taylormade center fielder Brian Logan was leadoff. Watson and Barrett both pitched a lot. The team should be a force on both small and big fields and show signs of surviving the loss of their offensive leaders Cocco, Powers, and Blackburn the last couple of years. This team is younger and faster which seems to be the trend of the top teams in recent years.
LF Kyle Cowart and CF Brian Logan patrol Fenway Park
Backman middle man Orlando Castillo had the best diving play of the weekend.
More pictures below
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th – OC Swats/Doerflinger (CA) 4-2
Chente Granados suited up for OC Swats and will be with them this year. Stuey Lopez and Matt Fox on the right side.
OC (Orange County) Swats went 4-2 and played 5 games against Conference teams. They lost the 2nd round showdown with rival Racks in embarrassing fashion. Down 17-10 early, they failed to score the rest of the way and lost 32-10. They beat the teams they were supposed to beat in the loser's bracket with wins over Peak, Midwest Hearing, and AZM to set up a late Saturday showdown with fellow California team Classic Glass. That game went to extra innings and OC Swats needed 1 to tie and 2 to win with the home runs gone in the bottom of the 8th inning and got a single and then 3 straight outs. Those 10 points in the standings could hurt at the end of the season. Overall though this is by far OC Swats best team ever. They have power and onbase guys. They have defensive stars and up and coming talent. Chente is now with them for the 2015 season. And they have some new talent in pitcher/infielder Ryan McClanahan from 4 The Fallen, and outfielder Caezar Camarillo.
Tied 7th – 4 The Fallen/Miken/CA Gear (AZ) 3-2
The Formosa brothers landed with 4 The Fallen
4 The Fallen beat a local team in its opener by the run rule then scored 40+ runs in 3 consecutive games. 49-34 over Encompass. 45-48 loss to Team Combat. And a 42-30 comeback win over Rebel Sports. On Saturday night though, a hot Racks team ended them 38-29. Fallen has their best team in Conference so far. The showdown with Combat resulting in a loss and the loss to Racks and the amount of runs they gave up per game show that they have more work to do and are a step behind the other 2nd tier major teams. But it is a big step in a positive direction over past years. Munger and Shaw were splitting the pitching duties. Miller, Crine, and Joey Formosa were providing a lot of power. Chris Hansen who is from Las Vegas was at shortstop, and the veteran Johnny Bailey returned from retirement. 🙂
Tied 9th – Rebel Sports/Linedrive Sportz (MI) 4-2
Bryan Goins gets a strikeout looking in relief
Rebel lost its first game to Salsa, an Arizona 'C' team 14-21 in their opener. Then they rattled off 4 straight wins in a soft part of the loser's bracket before dropping a tough loss to 4 The Fallen 30-42 after jumping out to a big lead. No big ticket wins but a good start for this team from Michigan who has sprinkled some veteran leadership into the mix for 2015.
Thomas Luna an underrated hitter for many years, bats against one of the military teams
Tied 9th – Encompass / Eurotech / Easton / CA (MN) 3-2
Encompass beat 3 local teams and battled 4 The Fallen to a tough 34-49 loss, and then imploded against Classic Glass 8-23 with the sun in the batters eye. A rough weekend overall for their conference hopes but they got some games under their belts and should do better back east. Baartman and Ellwanger are players to watch, and Newman in the middle, Nielson at shortstop, and Barber are great veterans. They added Blake Williams and Brian Farrar for more experience. This could all come together in a big way in the 'B' division.
Tied 9th – Xtreme/Miken (MN) 3-2
Left side of the Xtreme defense – Brown, Bauer, Lehman? for Xtreme
Xtreme beat 3 C/D teams but was upset by AZM on Friday night 22-32 and sent home by Team Racks 20-32. Poor homerun management led to their demise. All of the games seemed to be fun games though and overall got the start they needed before the Hall of Fame Classic. New first baseman Andrew Miller and right fielder Mark Havanko were mashing, 3rd baseman Seth Brown was flashing some leather, and they played without infielder Mike Rhines. This is another teams uniforms that were sharp with the Green and Yellow there…nice.
Tied 9th – AZM/Easton (AZ) 2-2
Cal Ford and a new crop of AZM'ers
AZM started out hot on Friday night with an opening close win over Magz Premier 31-26 and the only upset in the early part of the tournament in a 32-22 win over Xtreme. On Saturday they put up some fight against Smash It in a 41-21 loss and dropped a 5 run loss to OC Swats. AZM has made some great pickups with the power of Adam Smylie and Cal Ford, the all around play of middle man Richard "Flaco" Salazar, and the 4 The Fallen pickups of Kelleher and Gooding. They even have Billy Messinas son on the team in outfielder Vito Messina.
Tied 13th – Midwest Hearing/Syndicate (KS) 3-2
Midwest Hearing is still trying to figure it out. They went 3-1 vs local teams before OC Swats sent them home 9-24. They did score a lot of runs in some entertaining games.
Tied 13th – Magz/Premier (CA) 2-2
Magz Premier just joined the conference in the last few days before the Las Vegas Major started. I give them the best uniforms of the tournament award and there were a lot of nice uniforms out there in Vegas. Magz battled a hot AZM team on Friday night to a 26-31 loss. In the losers bracket they beat MyAutoJack 23-16 and Elite Sports 19-15 before Rebel Sports sent them home 14-24. Nieto, Simental, and Grissom are really the only "known" players nationally on this team but they had talent and speed, and played an entertaining brand of softball. None of their games were run rules and they are 8-5 vs the 'C' division this season.
Tied 17th – Peak/SOCO Softball (CO) 2-2
Softballcenter free agent Dan Norquist got picked up by Peak. Peaks PJ Garcia hits a homer.
Peak was upset by a good Vivint team from Utah who pieced together a team to play. Vivint beat them 22-21 after Peak blew a lead. In the loser's bracket they beat two 'D' teams and then played fairly well against OC Swats for parts of the game before losing 33-18. Peak had Weston Tallon from the old CSC team playing shortstop. It was good to see someone give him a shot. Peak has some pieces but have to get out of the gate faster, finish games against lower level teams, and compete every inning.
Tied 17th – Toe 2 Toe/Power Alley Sports (CA) 2-2
Legault and Huffman provide a lot of power for Toe 2 Toe
Little Gary Carrillo hits a line drive homer!
Toe 2 Toe went 2-1 against locals before jumping out to a double digit lead on Xtreme in the loser's bracket. Xtreme slowly overcame the deficit and sent Toe 2 Toe home 41-22 in a long game. My view of Toe 2 Toe could be jaded as I was there for that big 13 run outburst and was impressed with the lineup. A lot of hard nosed ball players on this team. I feel they are better than I gave them credit for in the pre-season rankings. Nathan Newman at pitcher has some Conference experience. Their lineup has a few Canadian players, including big Jason Legault who I heard is on the Canadian national team? And Wheeler Huff mashed a few balls in true Larsen/Brungardt/Flood style. 🙂 Toe 2 Toe is just 4-6 vs the 'C' division this year.
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Tied 17th – GTS/Beus Excavation/AGD (ID) 1-2
GTS scored at least 20 runs in all 3 of their games and never lost by more than 2. They knocked off Tunie Sports an Arizona 'C' team in their opener and then gave Smash It Sports the old "Friday night scare" but lost 27-26. I heard something about GTS leaving the bases loaded late… That would have been a huge upset, as Smash It of course went on to win the tournament. In the loser's bracket GTS lost 22-20 to SDI, a California 'C' team. I don't remember seeing Barabe but Hoshaw, Paschal, Joey Smith, Brian Fong, and Tim Pemberton give this team a veteran presence and that close call against Smash It give this team some hope.
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