2015 USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
47th Smoky Mountain Classic
Precisions Andy Vitcak pitches to Smash It Sports Scott Kirby in the championship game in the rain Sunday
A view from Center Field at Sandy Springs main field #3
The 47th annual Smoky Mountain Classic was taking a familiar path when #1 Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth and #2 Smash It Sports/Compound/H Auto/ASP/Laservision/Easton each won their first 4 games by the run rule and met on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,000 people in the winner's bracket finals. The two teams have squared off in the finals of many of the recent Smoky Mountain Classics and Resmondo has come out on top 7 years in a row either through the winners bracket or the loser's bracket. But this year Smash It Sports got Resmondo down in the winner's final and capitalized on some Resmondo miscues and never let up as they won 45-27. Also on Saturday night another great story was beginning to unfold as 4th ranked Precison/Easton/DO a 'A' team out of Illinois was starting an impressive run through the loser's bracket. First they knocked off #3 Major Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com 39-23 in the fog, then early Sunday morning they beat arch rival Major team #5 Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger 39-23, and then upset #1 Resmondo 43-38 in the loser's bracket finals! They advanced to the championship game which was anti-climactic however as a fresh Smash It Sports team jumped out to a 7-0 lead and beat Precision in 4 innings by the 20 run rule 29-9 playing the last couple innings in the rain. Smash It Sports hit 21 homers in just 3 innings. Brian Wegman was 4-4 with 4 HR.
The Smoky Mountain Classic of course features unlimited homers and 80 foot bases and the main field is an old high school sized baseball field where all the top legends of slowpitch softball have created a name for themselves. One of those players is Smash It Sports Bryson Baker who started things off on Thursday night by outslugging Lee Powers in the final of the annual home run derby. Bryson hit 9 out of 10 in the final round to Lee's 8 out of 10. 20 Major players hit in the derby and 2 local derby winners joined them. After the first round they paired it down to the top 6 which included Baker, Powers, Wegman, Helmer, Umschied, and Castillo. Bryson continued the onslaught when the tournament started as he was onbase 30-33 times (.909), hit 23 homers, and drove in 38 RBI. So he collected both the tournament MVP and the presigious most home runs award! He beat out Smash Its Scott Kirby who had 20 and Precisions Davis Bilardello.
The crowds were maybe a little bit bigger than in 2014. They came back Saturday night even after that torrential downpour in the early evening. The crews did a great job getting the fields ready after the storm in about an hour and a half. The stadium ZN ball was used on the main field and the conference ball on the other 5 fields. I went to 3 of the parks and 5 of the fields and witnessed walk off homers by Travis Dale of Reds Astros over Encompass over at Everett Park which was one of the best games of the tournament. I watched OC Swats Chente Granados hit a walk off homer against Fence Brokers and his brother Mario Granados hit a walk off shot into the net to beat Semper on field #4! I watched Adam Kaminski from TG Brand walk off 3rd Street, local 'D' team Solway send home VCH 16-13, Xtreme knock off Peak and Racks on Friday over at the Denso fields, and Pure Romance power hitter Stacy Mizelle walk off Combat NWA. I also witnessed Albicocco beat Fence Brokers 56-37 and combine for 58 home runs. Albicocco hit 38 and FBI hit 20! I watched long bombs from many of the top hitters but a few stood out. I thought Tim Bowsers homer against Albicocco may have been the furthest. Colby Hughes of FBI may have hit the highest. Howie Krause I thought may have hit one further than Bowser. For the lefties I witnessed Jeremy Isenhower hit the far fence on the tennis courts we "google earthed" at 465 feet and many players like Davis Bilardello short hopped that second fence at around 460. I know Kevin Filby, Greg Connell and many others wowed the crowd with some creatures.
Team Breakdown – 34 Teams Total (31 Conference)
It rained again during the Smash It Sports vs Precision finals
Historic Smoky Mountain Classic Winning Teams List:
2015 Smash IT Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/ASP/Laservision/Easton
2014 Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
2013 Resmondo-Specialty Tank Worth
2012 Resmondo-specialty tank worth
2011 Resmondo-specialty tank / worth
2009 Resmondo-specialty tank-worth
2008 Resmondo/specialty tank/worth
2006 Resmondo – KME Softball
2005 Bell Corp/Backman/Taylor/Easton – Tampa, Florida
2003 Hague / Resmondo / Taylor Brothers
2002 Dan Smith / Backman / Menosse / Easton
2001 Long Haul / Taylor Bros. / Shen Corp. / TPS
2000 Team TPS/Louisville, KY
1999 Team TPS, Louisville, Kentucky
1998 Sierra/TPS, Reno, NV
1997 Ritch's/Superior/Tri Gems/Beloli/TPS, Windsor Locks, CT
1996 Sunbelt/Easton, Centerville, GA
1995 Ritch's/Superior/TPS, Windsor Locks, CT
1994 Ritch's/Superior/TPS, Windsor Locks, CT
1993 Ritch's/Superior, Windsor Locks, CT
1992 Bell Corp, Tampa, FL.
1991 Bell Corp, Tampa, FL.
1990 Steeles Silver Bullets, Grafton, OH
1989 Superior-Apollo, Windsor Locks, CT
1988 Starpath Systems, Monticello, KY
1987 Steeles Sports, Grafton, OH
1986 Steeles Sports, Grafton, OH
1985 Elite Coatings, Gordon, GA
1984 Elite Coatings, Gordon, GA
1983 Elite Coatings, Gordon, GA
1982 York/Ken Sanders, York, PA
1981 Howards Western Steer, Denver, NC
1980 Jerry's Caterers, Miami, FL.
1979 Campbell's Carpet, Concord, CA
1978 Dave Carroll Sports, Sherrills-Ford, NC
1977 Howards Furniture, Denver, NC
1976 Howards Furniture, Denver, NC
1975 Nelson Painting, Oklahoma City, OK
1974 Howards Furniture, Denver, NC
Smash Its Luis Reyna
A nice sunset
Fog rolled in for the late Saturday games
FBI and Albicocco locked in a game that had 58 homers!
Precisions Robert Blackburn congratulated by his new teammates
Field #4 Sandy Springs park Saturday night – TG Brand vs Precision
The big net on the short porch in right field on F4
The new fence installed at Everett #2
Denso field with Xtreme taking on Peak
Resmondo takes to the show field for the first time against local team Ecological
Before and after the rain. This is only 1.5 hours after that torrential downpour
The ball is always a question on the bigger fiels. The stadium ZN was used.
I estimated the largest crowd to be around 2,000 between the two fields
This was the crowd over at Everett to watch the 3 local teams play Friday. About 250 people
Oldscout pollers were WRONG
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Video Clips of the Smoky
Bryson Bakers final round at HR Derby
Lee Powers final round at HR Derby
Some other videos from fans:
Long Bombers of the Week
Bryson Baker won the HR Derby.
Picture by Jolanda Jansma/Blount Press Row
Howie Krause been doing this bomb hitting for a long time
Precisions Davis Bilardello hit one 460 and was among the home run leaders
Jeremy Isenhower hit one 465 of the back tennis court fence according to eye witnesses.
FBI's Tim Bowser launches another homer
Smoky Major Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Bryson Baker||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Ryan Parfitt||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Brett Helmer||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Filby||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Brian Wegman||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Travis Clark||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Scott Kirby||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Luis Reyna||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|1||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||0||0||236||127||39.3||21.1||18.1||50||300|
|2||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||7||2||0||236||198||26.2||22||4.22||43||225|
|3||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||221||150||36.8||25||11.8||44||200|
|4||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||174||149||29||24.8||4.16||39||175|
|5||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||5||2||0||195||166||27.8||23.7||4.14||39||155|
|5||WA – KENT||team combat/baugh ford/softball.com||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||136||123||27.2||24.6||2.6||34||155|
|7||WY – Casper||TEAM RACKS EASTON||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||111||92||18.5||15.3||3.16||41||130|
|7||MN – Dayton||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||164||143||32.8||28.6||4.2||41||130|
|9||WA – Kent||combat/northwest athletics||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||126||110||25.2||22||3.2||34||110|
|9||CAS – Yorba Linda||oc swats doerflinger/miken/lcp||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||117||121||23.4||24.2||-0.8||35||110|
|9||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||136||139||34||34.7||-0.7||51||110|
|9||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||118||118||29.5||29.5||0||56||110|
|13||OH – Cincinnati||pure romance/foulks adjusting/headl||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||101||112||25.2||28||-2.7||35||70|
|13||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||81||47||20.2||11.7||8.5||37||70|
|13||MN – Champlin||encompass / eurotech / easton / ca||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||123||108||30.7||27||3.75||48||70|
|13||DC – Washington||Semper Athletics/Demarini||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||93||71||23.2||17.7||5.5||34||70|
|17||TN – KNOXVILLE||tapout/ecological pest management||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||81||106||20.2||26.5||-6.2||29||0|
|17||VA – Sutherland||SFI/SAL/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||88||79||22||19.7||2.25||40||40|
|17||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||56||88||18.6||29.3||-10.||20||40|
|17||NC – Fletcher||worshamathletics/klutchbrand/worth/||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||48||68||16||22.6||-6.6||25||40|
|17||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||53||60||17.6||20||-2.3||25||40|
|17||NJ – Jackson||above all landscaping/evo9x||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||55||76||18.3||25.3||-7||29||40|
|17||AR – Bryant||fence brokers inc/buzini/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||103||109||34.3||36.3||-2||37||40|
|17||GA – Peachtree City||oi livingston/tnt hauling/brother's||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||47||69||15.6||23||-7.3||23||40|
|25||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||59||69||19.6||23||-3.3||26||40|
|25||TN – Solway||Solway Hardware||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||31||67||10.3||22.3||-12||16||40|
|25||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsman Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||11||59||5.5||29.5||-24||8||40|
|25||OH – Middletown||rsc/tom wood honda/ combat||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||8||66||4||33||-29||7||40|
|25||MO – St. Louis||precision recovery/hooters||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||37||48||18.5||24||-5.5||24||40|
|25||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||24||54||12||27||-15||14||40|
|25||AR – Rogers||bear hollow ranch/cl/buzini/easton||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||40||66||20||33||-13||21||40|
|25||CO – Colorado Springs||peak softball/rockland llc||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||34||72||17||36||-19||26||40|
|33||TXN – Dallas||VCH Worth||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||30||35||15||17.5||-2.5||17||40|
|33||TN – Rutledge||DeadEnd BBQ/GoTeez||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||36||44||18||22||-4||19||0|
Smash It Sports Ryan Parfitt was defensive MVP
Precisions Dan Kirkwood had the running diver of the tournament on Saturday against Backman
He climbs the fence here.
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Smash It Sports/Compound/H Auto/Laservision/ASP/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 6-0 Record
Smash It Sports moves into first place in the points by 40 over Resmondo. They stretch out their lead in the computer rankings and add a Smoky Championship to their resume. Smash It won every game by the run rule and wasn't really challenged in any of their games. Xtreme actually probably gave them their best challenge 50-34. They outscored their opponents 236-127. The defense was sound, the home runs were plentiful (154), and everyone pretty much deserved all tournament. Travis Clark played with a deep bruise on his foot and had a hard time running.
Brian Wegman homering at another Smoky!
Bryson Baker won Derby, MVP, and he hit the most homers!
Smash middle man Kevin Bazat dives for a ball.
Umschied and Reyna on the left side. Clark pitched and played with a bad bruise on his foot.
2nd Place – Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 7-2 Record
Precision became the first 'A' team to make the finals of ths Smoky Mountain Classic since the Major division was formed I believe. I hope I am not rewriting history when I say this…
Precision beat the who's who of softball. They beat a hot OC Swats team. A hot TG Brand. They knocked of Team Racks, Team Combat, Backman, and the mighty Resmondo!
A true team effort. Kirkwood was a machine in center field, Bilardello was a home run machine at the plate, and Andy Vitcak was a warrior on the mound. They used guys in different positions and different lineups, it did not matter who played or where, they just stepped up and performed. This team has a lot of talented players and a lot of moving parts and they all buy in to what the leadership is doing, they go with the flow, and they play the game the right way. I gave Precision a hard time on the classification chat last year, but I am a fan and as I've said before Conference sponsors need to take notice of how this team is run and was built with the nucleus of players from the same area.
Trending Way Up!
One of Precisions lineups
3B Matt Rear
CF Dan Kirkwood
1B Brett McCollum
LF Keith Laski
2B Tristan Reimolds
LF Davis Bilardello
SS Denis Fisher
EH Curtis Stewart
C Robert Blackburn
MI Jeff Keske
P Andy Vitcak
The win over Resmondo. Yellow is a homer
Right side Tristan Reimolds and Brett McCollum
Precision moved veteran Denis Fisher to shortstop and shortstop Keith Laski to RF
Robo walked off run ruled his former team Backman
3rd Place – Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 4-2 Record
Resmondo had their 11 game winning streak snapped by Smash It Sports on Saturday night when their defense was just a step slow. It wasn't they necessarily made errors but more that they just didn't come up with their usual great plays. Resmondo beat OI Livingston, Red's Astros, and Backman soundly before the winner's final loss to Smash It Sports 45-27. On Sunday morning they may have taken Precision a little too lightly and needed 12 runs in the bottom of the 7th and only got 6. Resmondo was just a little "unsharp" in the final two games to get accomplished what they needed.
Trending Down some
Purcell hit 5 homers in his first 5 at bats against Precision
Nic Santana had a couple of clutch hits to extend their game against Precision
Resmondo left side Salas, Dedonatis, Rulli
4th Place – Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 4-2 Record
Backman had a nice win over Precision in the quarter finals 39-19 and then lost to Remsondo and Precision with a win over TG Brand sandwiched in between. They got the injured players Sam Lopez and Brian Rainwater back. The injury to Neil Haglund (broken arm) hurt them at the Smoky. Best of luck to Neil in his rehab of the arm and recovery. There seems to be some unrest with this team I don't want to ask about. They are still a valid threat in the Major division if everyone could buy in like Precision does…
Backman left side Lopez, Lenz, and Castillo
The core of Albicocco who finished #3 last year is now the core of Backman.
Castillo, Baggs, and Harvey
Backman pitcher Billy Barrett after being hit in the forearm Saturday night.
Apparently he caught the bounce off his arm behind his back and made the play.
Tied 5th Place – TG Brand
Conf 'B' from MI 5-2 Record
TG Brand dropped the scarlett letter 'A' and low and behold they played very well as we thought they would. After an early loss to Precision, TG Brand beat Worsham, PRI, Albicocco by the run rule, and had an epic win over Xtreme 39-35 late on Saturday night. They played well over on that field #4. They lost the last game Saturday to Backman by just 9. They played without recent pickup Jeff Payton. The infield defense made a lot of great plays (at least when I was watching) and they also had that 9th inning win over 3rd Street. TG has a great team, they just don't know it.
Trending Up (got rid of the scarlett letter)
TG Brand middle infielders shortstop Josh Masden, MI Steve Whaley, 2B Justin Evans
Adam Kaminski hits a walk off homer to beat 3rd Street in the 9th inning
Tied 5th Place – Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball.com
Conf 'M' from WA 3-2 Record
Combat won their first 3 games, barely getting by Semper 26-19 and man handeling Albicocco in the quarterfinals 34-14. But then got beat by Smash It in the semis and Precision sent them home Saturday night. It felt like this team was ready to take the next step when pitcher Tommie Baugh and the defense shut down Albicocco but they slipped back a notch and didn't over power Precision to make it to Sunday. Combat is not playing Cincinnati which I think hurts them for the stretch run. They are now 5th in the point standings.
Combat 3B Frank Yeilding, SS Jeff McGavin, MI Kyle Pearson
More pictures below
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th Place – Team Racks Easton
Conf 'A' from WY 4-2 Record
Racks Nick Price
It is great that Racks is going to finish the season. This is a fun team to watch. Jason Kreider took over the managerial duties for Rob Humphrey. They beat Swats, Above All, Compound 8-7?, and came from 12 down to beat Red's Astros 41-40 in maybe the best game on the show field. It looked like they had their whole team there and those first 3 wins they gave up just 24 runs with new pitcher Tyson Steele. Pretty impressive.
Trending Up – good to see them at the tournament!
Tied 7th Place – Xtreme/Miken
Conf 'A' from 3-2 Record
Xtreme brings a lot of family members to the big tournaments
Xtreme had a great Friday winning games over Peak 41-26 and Racks 28-15. In the final 8 on Saturday on the show field they had a lead over Smash It and gave them a run for their money eventhough the final score of 50-34 doesn't reflect the closeness of the game. Hopefully that one is archived from the livestream because it was a good game. Xtreme had Geno Buck on the mound and with Geno, Miller, Shannon Smith, Newton, and Palm and the younger guys stepping up their game, they are a deep team. Could be a dark horse in 'A'. Another team with good chemistry and a nucleus from the same region.
Hot Links section brought to you by:
I would like to thank all of my sponsors, USSSA, and the SoftballCenter and Oldscout advertisers!
I would like to also thank directors Joe Huff and Chris Clark for their help
Send corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org
Some more pictures for you:
Albicocco was hot for 3 games then wilted
Albicocco left side Genter, Faria, and Flood
Red's Astros center fielder Ben Dunn makes an incredible attempt on a ball
Peak shortstop just misses.
3rd Streets Jason Matusik robs a homer.
Red's Astros Travis Dale hits a walk off to beat Encompass 51-48
Oc Swats Chente Granados and his brother Mario had back to back walk off hits to beat FBI and Semper
Semper fighting hard to get to the Major World Series
FBI picked up Billy Maggard and Colby Hughes and jumped to the 'A' division.
Pure Romance Stacy Mizelle walked off Combat NWA
Above All Landscaping picked up David Miller
Some interesting release points of the top pitchers. These guys are releasing pretty low which means the pitch only has to go about 6 feet.
The rule is 3 feet from the release.
"Smoky Mountain" Chad helping the ladies!