2015 USSSA “Windy City” Chicago Major tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
"Windy City" Major
Carol Stream, IL
Smash It Sports Brandon Dillon bats against Resmondo in the Saturday night winners bracket finals
The "Windy City" Major this year was moved from Joliet to Carol Stream because of the poor infield conditions in Joliet and the tournament this year was a hit with the teams and the nice artificial turf they had on 4 of the main diamonds. 38 teams started out on Friday night with 3 big upsets of conference teams in the first round. All American Restoration, a very good 'C' team with loads of conference experience knocked off Michigan 'A' team TG Brand 44-23. The ball was flying in the crisp air. KBI, an Illinois 'C' team who has upset teams in the past knocked off Indiana 'B' team KG/Slayer 30-21. And Cartel, a Wisconsin 'C' team knocked off Wyoming 'A' Team Racks 30-27. The upsets continued in the second round with Cartel knocking off Rebel Sports 32-16, and KBI knocking off VCH 25-22 after jumping out to a big early lead. Meanwhile the "Big 4" Major teams of this tournament, Smash It Sports, Resmondo, Backman, and Albicocco all advanced to the final 4 of the winner's bracket. Smash It Sports, Resmondo, and Albicocco winning all three of their games by the run rule. Backman on the other hand was down in the 3rd round to local 'A' team Precision 22-1 before climbing back into the game late and winning 29-26 on a walk off homer by newly acquired infielder Matt Crawford.
In the highly anticipated "Final 4" Resmondo jumped on Albicocco and annihilated them 39-7 and Smash It Sports separated and walked through Backman 39-18. In the Resmondo game there was some controversy over whether pitchers hit by line drives – Justin Mucciarelli for Albicocco and Andy Purcell for Resmondo warranted the bat being retested. In the winner's final Resmondo, who had been putting up 20+ run innings in most of their games, came out blazing and had Smash It Sports down almost 20 runs. But Smash It never gave up and made it close with Resmondo pulling out a 43-39 win.
The real entertainment and better games were in the loser's bracket as Precision knocked off All Season 27-11, 3rd Street 47-33, KBI (in a league night matchup) 24-9, Red's Astros 29-13, and then avenged their earlier loss to Backman with a late night 39-24 win! On Sunday Precision sent home their second major team in a row with a 46-34 win over Albicocco after a rain/lightning delay and finally lost to Smash It Sports 41-22. Smash It Sports then rematched with Resmondo in the finals and trailed the first championship game the whole way until a big 7th inning led to a Scott Kirby walk off homer and forced the "if" necessary game 47-45. The second game was more of a roller coaster game where Smash It Sports led by as many as 18 runs but Resmondo made a couple of comebacks only to put up a zero in the 7th and Smash It held on 39-37 to win their 4th Conference event in 5 tournaments. They run their record against rival Resmondo to 5-3. Smash It Sports should take the Nationwide Conference USSSA points lead after Maryland when both teams will have the minimum 6 tournaments under their belts.
The weather was perfect for softball until the rain on Sunday morning. The ball was the conference classic M and was flying pretty good except on fields where the wind was coming in hard. There was conference umpires on all the main fields. The tournament was seeded by total points. Bat testing was in full effect.
VCH left fielder Zane Trammell was using his height to rob homers easily on the short fences. The best catch of the tournament was Red's Astros center fielder Ben Dunn with a diver coming straight in on a line drive hit by Pure Romance. There was some great diving stops but the best infield play was turned in by Resmondo 3rd baseman Jimmy Salas who got a shot in the 5-6 hole and spun from being half on the ground with his cat like quickness and got the runner. Also Red's shortstop John Sullivan who smothered a shot up the middle while being distracted by diving middle infielder Troy Krider and seemed to throw out the runner from his knees behind the bag at 2nd base but the batter was called safe.
"Win on Sunday Sell on Monday" at Smash It Sports!
Team Breakdown – 38 Teams Total (20 Conference)
Precisions Davis Bilardello bats against Red's Astros pitcher Brendt Newbill
Resmondo defending against Smash It Sports on the turf Saturday night
Albicocco taking on Resmondo in the semi finals
Precision batting against KBI in a game with a bunch of players from each team that play league against each other.
Pure Romance bats against Encompass/Eurotech
Back to the Thunder ZN Classic M ball this week
Oldscout pollers were correct again
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
The long bombers of the week are Jimmy Carter who hit one against Red's that went a long ways.
Reminded me of his bomb he hit into the junkyard for Blitz in St Louis back in 2008. 🙂
Resmondos Andrew Collins had a pair of bombs, one by day and one by night
And Resmondos Greg Connell hit a creature. Connell is working on his first batting title, leading the league at .819 coming into Chicago
Chicago Major Awards and Final Standings
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Michael Umscheid||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Travis Clark||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Brad Reckart||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Dennis Rulli||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Filby||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Bryson Baker||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Andy Purcell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Brett McCollum||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Bazat||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Justin Mucciarelli||Albicocco/The Scene/Easton|
|All Tournament Team||Steven Lloyd||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Jeff Keske||Precision/Easton/DO|
|All Tournament Team||Dale Brungardt||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Jimmy Salas||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Luis Reyna||Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics/|
|All Tournament Team||Matt Rear||Precision/Easton/DO|
|1||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||7||1||0||307||216||38.3||27||11.3||47||300|
|2||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||2||0||248||159||35.4||22.7||12.7||45||225|
|3||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||7||2||0||261||186||29||20.6||8.33||46||200|
|4||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||181||170||30.1||28.3||1.83||36||175|
|5||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||130||125||21.6||20.8||0.83||31||155|
|5||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||152||132||30.4||26.4||4||50||155|
|7||TXN – Dallas||VCH Worth||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||157||138||26.1||23||3.16||35||130|
|7||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||117||132||23.4||26.4||-3||35||130|
|9||DC – Washington||Semper Athletics/Demarini||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||89||88||17.8||17.6||0.19||26||110|
|9||WI – Racine||cartel||USSSA-Mens-C||3||2||0||132||124||26.4||24.8||1.6||32||110|
|9||OH – Cincinnati||pure romance/foulks adjusting/headl||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||104||119||20.8||23.8||-3||25||110|
|9||IL – Joliet||KBI (Ken's Beverage)||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||78||103||19.5||25.7||-6.2||30||110|
|13||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||149||101||29.8||20.2||9.6||47||70|
|13||MN – Champlin||all american restoration/combat||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||98||87||24.5||21.7||2.75||44||95|
|13||MN – Champlin||encompass / eurotech / easton / ca||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||99||85||24.7||21.2||3.5||34||70|
|13||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||87||70||21.7||17.5||4.25||25||70|
|17||IL – Hoffman Estates||Demolition Shirts & Logos||USSSA-Mens-D||2||2||0||60||86||15||21.5||-6.5||23||65|
|17||IL – Rockford||Miken/BD Softball||USSSA-Mens-D||2||2||0||100||65||25||16.2||8.75||31||40|
|17||MO – St. Louis||precision recovery/hooters||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||81||68||20.2||17||3.25||31||40|
|17||OH – Middletown||rsc/tom wood honda/ combat||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||54||71||13.5||17.7||-4.2||27||40|
|17||WY – Casper||TEAM RACKS EASTON||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||80||60||26.6||20||6.66||43||40|
|17||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/linedrive sportz||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||76||98||25.3||32.6||-7.3||33||40|
|17||MI – Lansing||p&p333/suburban/larry's tire/cmt/va||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||65||75||21.6||25||-3.3||32||65|
|17||MN – Ham Lake||all season / dsti / streakless / dc||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||47||62||15.6||20.6||-5||25||65|
|25||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsman Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||48||60||16||20||-4||28||40|
|25||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||57||77||19||25.6||-6.6||21||40|
|25||IL – Chicago||Ball Hogz Softball Qualified||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||57||84||19||28||-9||25||40|
|25||IN – South Bend||StreetKidsSoftball.com||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||43||65||14.3||21.6||-7.3||20||40|
|25||IL – Chicagoland Area||Polkatz Softball||USSSA-Mens-D||1||2||0||23||49||7.66||16.3||-8.6||15||65|
|25||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-A||0||2||0||40||76||20||38||-18||23||40|
|25||IL – Lombard||Fury Softball||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||10||64||5||32||-27||6||65|
|25||WI – Janesville||Venom/SNL||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||46||59||23||29.5||-6.5||23||65|
|33||WI – Stevens Point||Flatline||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||11||43||5.5||21.5||-16||7||65|
|33||IL – Carol Stream||Filthy Softball||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||18||45||9||22.5||-13.||11||40|
|33||IL – Joliet||Illinois Bombers||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||25||50||12.5||25||-12.||13||0|
|33||IL – Channahon||Trailstone Financial Qualified||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||37||56||18.5||28||-9.5||19||40|
|33||WI – Appleton||elite/dockside/a+||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||29||39||14.5||19.5||-5||15||40|
|33||IL – Frankfort||WinCity/HangRite||USSSA-Mens-D||0||1||0||19||28||19||28||-9||19||40|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/ASP/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 7-1 Record
Smash It Sports won two out of three hard fought games against Resmondo to win the tournament. Come from behind wins in the first two in fact. They played mostly without Bryson Baker who was sick and Brett Helmer who I was told had Lasik recently. Consistent offense and solid defense for Smash It led to their 4th tournament win of the year and they are 4 for 4 with a healthy pitcher Travis Clark. Overall Smash It runs their record to 31-4 going into Maryland this week.
Pitcher Travis Clark and 2nd Base Steven Lloyd. Clarks been moving his way up the lineup.
Mike may have slid to early on this one…
Bryson Baker played some but was sick
2nd Place – Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 5-2 Record
Resmondo drops to 28-9 overall and let this one slip away in the first game of the championship when they led Smash It most of the game but didn't finish them. On Saturday Resmondo had a 20 run inning in each of their 3 games and were clicking on all cylinders. Resmondo played without left fielder Jeremy Yates. Dan Sanchez did some of the pitching early on while Andy Purcell DH'd and Purcell continues to wear the helmet which is good for the game.
Nic Santana was back from the ankle sprain and moving good
1st Base Bubba Mack and 2nd Base Greg Connell
3rd Place – Precision/Easton/DO
Conf 'A' from IL 7-2 Record
Precision made a huge run through the loser's bracket after losing an early morning game to Backman in the last at bat. The hometown Precision team always plays well in the Chicago Major and they had all of their players for the first time this season. They beat 2 conference 'A' teams and 2 Major teams in 4 straight games to finish 3rd. Vitcak was a warrior on the mound as usual. This team will again be a thorn in the side of the major teams all year and they have moved into the #1 computer ranking spot out of the 'A' division.
4th Place – Albicocco/The Scene/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 4-2 Record
Albicocco put up 34+ runs in all but one game and that was against Resmondo where they only scored 7 in the semi finals? They held off Compound Athletics late on Saturday night 34-31 in extra innings but lost to Precision 46-34 after the rain/lightning delay Sunday morning to finish 4th. Steele and Mucciarelli pitched. Recent pickups Denny Crine and Robert Blackburn hit very well and infielder Chris Hansen played some. Josh Riley played some right field as they rotated players around. After the tournament JD Genter and Tyson Steele were released as Albicocco just has too many players all of whom are very good. Crine and Blackburn extend their lineup nicely and they averaged 30 runs per game eventhough 4 games were shortened by run rules.
Robert Blackburn is back in the game and remember he is SoftballCenter.com's Most Popular Player!
Chris Hansen and Denny Crine on their new team
Tied 5th Place – Compound Athletics/Easton
Conf 'B' from IL 4-2 Record
Compound Athletics is on a roll! Playing in their home state after their recent move to the 'B' division they came out and put up solid wins over Encompass/Eurotech 29-14, Semper Athletics 19-13, and VCH/Worth 26-23. In their night cap Saturday against Albicocco they trailed by 17 runs but came back to force extra innings but lost 34-31. This team plays the game the right way, have built a successful lineup after some tweaks, and are athletic up the middle of the field defensively. They may be a top 5 'B' team now, only short possibly on 'B' World experience but not lacking in anything else. Adding Budnarowski as manager should fill those experience gaps in quickly.
One of Compound Athletics Lineups:
MI Zach Messer
RF Brad Lunda
EH Keith Anderson
1B Matt Vern
SS Grant Grimmett
LF/P Jason Wilkins
3B Johnathon Williams
EH Andy Shiltz
2B John Howard
CF Ryan Czyz
P Stephen Cooper
Compound Athletics have added two big hitters Keith Anderson and Johnathon Williams recently
Brad Lunda was in home run hitting mode in the two hole
Jason Wilkins the team leader pitched and played left field
Compound Athletics picked up Fred Budnarowski the 2014 Conference manager of the year sparking a discussion
about whether or not a higher level manager should count as a "chip"? 🙂
Tied 5th Place – Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 3-2 Record
Recent addition Matt Crawford hit a walk off homer to cap the comeback against Precision early Saturday morning.
Matt who is a shortstop, played 2nd base. 🙂
Backman won their first 3 games including overcoming a 20 run deficit to beat Precision early on with a Matt Crawford walk off homer in the bottom of the 7th inning. But they couldn't keep pace with Smash It Sports in a 39-18 semi-final loss and dropped a late night 39-24 decision to Precision who had fought their way back all day long through the loser's bracket?
More heart needed when playing late and tired and this team cannot settle for anything less than Sunday final 4 finishes. I realize they are banged up pretty good with Sam Lopez, Brian Rainwater, and Dave Kessler out. Lahair and Kennington played 3rd base.
New addition Dustin Roberts
Terry Baggs was leadoff – .728 onbase coming into the tournament
Harvey hits a line drive homer
More pictures below
Other top finishing teams
Tied 7th Place – VCH Worth (TX-A) 4-2
VCH Worth got off to a slow start when a very good KBI team got them down 13 runs after two innings. But VCH came back and forced two extra innings before losing 25-22. They didn't give up on the tournament though and beat P&P 333, Broughton (getting a double play late in the game), and upstart Cartel 35-27 to finish tied for 5th. VCH played without middle infielder Jason Trammell who was stuck working because of all the rains in Texas. Shortstop Jesse Solomon moved to the leadoff spot.
Trending Even after that fast start to 2014
Tied 7th Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger (IN-A) 3-2
Ben Dunn had the best diving catch of the tournament
Red's Astros tie for 7th. They really didn't pull off any big wins. They were 1-1 against their peers in the 'A' division. Didn't play great, didn't play terrible. For once maybe this team will peak at the end of the season?
Tied 9th Place – Semper Athletics/Demarini (DC-B) 3-2
Semper had some new faces and some guys missing but beat 3rd Street and a good All American Restoration team. Semper has that new Conference team draw of running into the Resmondos of the world early on in tournaments.
One of Semper Athletics lineup:
CF Trent Simms
MI Tommy Melton
3B Mike Mallory
C Josh Wiggs
1B Dexter Avery
3B Clayton Shaw
RF Kevin Watkins
2B Chris Markey
SS Sherwin Lockridge
RF Lamarquis Blake
P Cam Byars
Cam Byars holding down the pitching duties
Tied 9th Place – Cartel (WI-C) 3-2
Cartel a 'C' team from Wisconsin won their first 3 games including upset wins over Team Racks 30-27 and Rebel Sports 32-16. They also played Backman and VCH Worth very well. I don't recognize one name on this roster so its good to see the new talent in the C division do so well here. 26.4 runs a game, nice!
Tied 9th Place – Pure Romance/Foulk's Adjusting/Headlines (OH-A) 3-2
Pure Romance was missing all of their outfielders for various reasons including injuries. But they did beat 3 very good teams in Precision Recovery 23-22, Team Racks in a pillow fight 13-10, and Encompass/Eurotech 25-23 in one of the more entertaining games of the tournament. They are now 5-5 vs the 'A' division. They even scored 22 against Smash It Sports. PRI added former Taylormade outfielder John Zorich starting in Maryland.
Brandon Oneal, Nick Masur, and Brandon Bellamy
Middle infielder Rocky Staton had to play center field.
Tied 9th Place – KBI (Ken's Beverage) (IL-C) 2-2
KBI beat KG Slayer and upset VCH Worth in 9 innings 25-22 after a quick 13 run lead. Some of these guys were on the USSSA 'D' World champs and they have been a good B/C team for many years.
Tied 13th Place – 3rd Street/Hubs Pub/Louisville Slugger (OH-A) 3-2
3rd Street won 3 straight in the loser's bracket after falling to Semper in their opener 24-23. They put up 47 runs against Rebel Sports and only lost by 3 to Precision. One fan watching on the internet thought 3rd Street was playing "better".
Tied 13th Place – All American Restoration/Combat (MN-C) 2-2
All American Restoration gave Red's Astros all they could handle in the second round after beating TG Brand 44-23 in their first game. All American is the Outpost guys from ASA and is a team loaded with Conference talent with the OConnell brothers in the middle of the infield, Brandon Krause in CF, and big Nick Peterson in LF. Add them to the list of 'C' teams that would have a much better chance at 'B' Worlds.
Tied 13th Place – Encompass/Eurotech/Easton/CA (MN-B) 2-2
Encompass/Encompass didn't beat anyone. In the picture above Ryan Hassler is the shortstop. Maybe Tim Nielson their regular shortstop isn't playing as well as I posted in the past. 🙂
That is Joe Ehnstrom at 3B, and the defensive wizard Brandon Newman at MI.
Tied 13th Place – Broughton Pharmacy/Bad Draw/Worth (NC-A) 2-2
Bad Draw picked up veteran Joel "googly eyes" Ramos to play 2B and Vernard Morency to play CF. Vernard had that cup of coffee with Resmondo a few years ago and I think played in the NFL?
The Broughton team does not seem to understand the concept of "Home Run Management".
They played without John Dutch and Eric Thompson
Others: Racks, Rebel, RSC, KG, Precision Recovery, and Street Kids didn't play well enough to talk about. Plus I am tired of typing and its Tuesday, got to get this to press!
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Some more pictures for you:
My favorite term during a livestream broadcast
Yes, TG Brand was in the tournament
Sorry, we weren't here to see Ball Hogz play. But you do resemble the logo on your chest, and thanks for the lunch recommendations! 🙂
Rebels Shannen Green – with permission 🙂
Beautiful weather until Sunday
The curve of the backstop fences made it tough to livestream. You can see the camera above the Field sign