2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA Championship tournament report!
2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Conference co-MVP Jeremy Yates from Backman takes on Resmondo in the winner's bracket finals
The 2016 Conference Championship was an 8 team 3 game guarantee bracket played at the Osceola County Stadium with its 336-390-410-390-330 field dimensions and they also used field #2 which was 320-385-400-380-325 with a 30 foot high fence in left field. The tournament featured the top 8 teams in the point standings. The tournament began less than 24 hours after hurricane Hermine went through Florida but the tournament was only delayed from 5 PM to 6 PM on the back field and all games played on schedule and on time with almost no rain. At 5 PM on the stadium field the first game started with #8 Racks taking on #1 Backman. Racks actually held an 8-6 lead in this one when the home team (Backman) which was determined by who was the higher seed, left Racks on the field with a 17 run inning and beat them 23-8. Orlando Castillo was 4-4 in the game. At 6 PM there were actually 3 games played simultaneously as #2 Resmondo run ruled a surprisingly subdued #7 Newbreed team 27-7 on the stadium field, taking Newbreed out of the game early with a huge offensive bottom of the 1st. Bubba Mack and Andy Purcell were both 4-4 with 4 runs scored. #6 Scene and #7 TG/Red's Astros battled to a 15-15 mid game tie back on Field #2 but then Scene separated and won 33-19. Scene and Reds have battled all season with Scene now winning 4 out of 7. And they actually ended up using Field #3 for one game and that was the #4 Smash It Sports vs #5 Team Combat game where Smash It came from behind as both teams struggled some offensively but Team Combat led after the top of the 7th 18-16 and Smash It Sports shortstop Kevin Bazat hit a 2 run homer and their last batter Brad Reckart hit a walk off homer to beat Combat 19-18.
The semi finals were then played on the stadium at 8 PM and 9:30 PM while the 4 teams in the loser's bracket played those 3 game guarantee games where whether you win or lose you still advance in the bracket to Saturday morning. In the first semifinal Backman and Smash It Sports were tied at 23-23 after 5 complete innings. The game would continue to be close and Smash It Sports led 33-30 after the top of the 7th. But home team would prove valuable again as Backman got a solo homer from Ryan Stovall, a triple from Brian Logan, a single from pitcher Andy Vitcak, and Powers and Kennington at the top of the order got on and Jeremy Yates the Conference co-MVP hit a walk off grand slam homer! Yates and Harvey both had 4 hits in the game. In the other semi final Resmondo used an 8 run second inning to separate from Scene and won in dominating fashion 34-14. Bubba Mack had 4 home runs for Resmondo in the game. At this point with Resmondo putting up huge offensive innings it looked like they may have "turned it on" in September again and it felt like they could not be beat.
In the loser's bracket Friday night and Saturday morning Racks knocked off Combat 19-17 after being down 13-11. Newbreed run ruled TG/Red's Astros 31-15. Then Combat walked off Newbreed 23-22 on a walk off single by Dennis Rulli and TG/Reds walked off Racks 30-29 on a single by Chad Mullins. The close games would continue in the loser's bracket as Smash It Sports beat Combat again in a close one 18-15 when Combat failed to score late, and TG/Red's held off a late charge by Scene 27-25. And Smash It Sports knocked off a tired looking TG/Red's team 22-7 to advance to the loser's final.
The rest of the games were played on the Stadium field as the winner's bracket finals began around 11 AM. Resmondo answered a 12 run bottom of the first inning by Backman with an 8 run top of the 2nd. In the bottom of the 4th the speedy Backman center fielder Brian Logan hit an inside the park homer and team leader Kevin Kennington hit a 2 run homer to give Backman an 18-16 lead and they went on to win 22-17. In the loser's bracket finals immediately following, Smash It Sports jumped on Resmondo 17-1 after 2 innings as lead off man Bryson Baker had 2 homers and 7 RBI in the 2nd inning alone and Smash It cruised to their most dominating win of the season 37-8 and Resmondo was suddenly out of the tournament.
This set up a Sunday morning showdown between Backman and Smash It Sports which aired live on CBS Sports Network at 11 AM. In that game both teams battled and put on a good show but Backman edged out and held on to a solid lead at the end and won the Conference Championship tournament 27-22. Kevin Kennington was 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 runs scored in that final game for Backman. Kyle Pearson was 5-5 with 3 HR for Smash It Sports. Backman added to their seasons resume of winning the HOF Duals, Columbus Major, Dudley Major, Cincinnati Major, and the points championship and will be the #1 seed for the Major.
I hope to make a highlite video of the televised game soon.
8 Teams Overall
5 Major Teams
3 'AA' Teams
The final game was on CBS Sports Network live
Smash Its Bryson Baker and Travis Clark finish off Resmondo in the loser's final
Backman pitcher Andy Vitcak singles up the middle off of Smash It Sports in their semi final win
Smash It Sports and Backman Friday night
The grounds crew did some great work moving the bases back to 75 feet compared to the too short 70 foot bases at the hall of fame classic.
Made for a much better game.
Oldscout pollers had Resmondo at 39% to Backman at 31% to win
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Long Bombers of the Week
The stadium was using a technology called flight scope that measured distances and batted ball speeds.
I am not sure what was the recorded farthest ball but Howie Krause hit a bomb during the day Saturday.
Major Awards and Final Standings
|1||IN – Aurora||backman louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||0||0||109||80||27.2||20||7.25||37||300|
|2||NY – Cicero||smash it sports/asp/h.auto/mr.wiggl||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||151||112||25.1||18.6||6.5||37||225|
|3||FLS – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||86||80||21.5||20||1.5||34||200|
|4||OH – Cincinnati OH & /Indianapolis IN||tg/red's astros/headlines/k&g/worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||3||0||98||140||19.6||28||-8.4||30||175|
|5||WA – Kent||TEAM COMBAT/BAUGHFORD.COM||USSSA-SPMensMajor||1||3||0||73||78||18.2||19.5||-1.2||23||155|
|5||NY – Commack||scene/albicocco/worth/miken/monsta||USSSA-SPMensMajor||1||2||0||72||80||24||26.6||-2.6||33||155|
|7||WA – Bothell||newbreed/gts/beus excavation/dirtys||USSSA-Mens-AA||1||2||0||60||65||20||21.6||-1.6||31||130|
|7||WY – Casper||Team Racks/Miken/Sonny's||USSSA-Mens-AA||1||2||0||56||70||18.6||23.3||-4.6||29||130|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Backman/Louisville SluggerS
Conf 'M' from Indiana 4-0 Record
Backman is clicking on all cylinders. They have the pitching, defense, speed, and power to finish the season with a 1st place trophy! The team batted .597 for the weekend with 34 HR and was led by big Ryan Harvey .737, 8 HR, 14 RBI
3B Lee Powers and SS Ryan Stovall
Andy Vitcak knows how to pitch to a great defense
2nd Place Smash It Sports/ASP/H.Auto/Mr.Wiggles/Easton
Conf 'M' from New York 4-2 Record
Smash It Sports was healthy and showed some good heart and can now be considered a dark horse for the Major in two weeks. The lineup looked strong with 61 HR and a .611 team average in 6 games. They were led by pitcher Travis Clark .870, 14 HR, 30 RBI, SS Kevin Bazat .895, 7 HR, 20 RBI, and Kyle Pearson .789, 9 HR, 18 RBI. Wegman and Umschied looked healthy. Clark was mashing after his recent 14 point performance at the Long Haul Bombers, and the team persevered and made it to the tv game with that huge win over Resmondo 37-8.
Smash Its Buddy Wolf provides some left handed power
Brian Wegman appeared to be 100% healthy for the first time this season
Smash Its Brad Reckart hits a walk off homer to beat Combat on Friday night
3rd Place Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 2-2 Record
Resmondo looked to be in dominating form then the wheels came off in losses to Smash It Sports and Backman. Looked like Santana and Reyna might be nursing some injuries and some of the veterans struggled in different phases of the game. Resmondo did hit 29 HR in 4 games and were led offensively by Luis Reyna .818, 1 HR, 7 RBI, and Andy Purcell .733, 6 HR, 15 RBI.
Trending down some but still an even pick for the Major
Greg Connell won the Conference Triple Crown .810, 125 HR, 305 RBI
But what may be equally impressive is Co-MVP pitcher Andy Purcell who was .801, 92 HR, 245 RBI hitting directly behind Connell
Jeremy Isenhower gets all of this one and Jimmy Salas was back after missing 3 tournaments with a broken hand
Both Reyna and Santana seemed to be hurt late in the tournament
Friday night Resmondo received their 2015 Major World Series Championship rings
4th Place TG/Red's Astros/Headlines/K&G/Worth
Conf 'AA' from IN/OH 2-3 Record
TG played without pitcher Brandon Jonas and actually lost their first two games but because of the 3 game guarantee ended up winning close games over Racks and Scene and ended up 4th. Kind of like they have done all year they never gave up and found ways to beat quality teams.
TG/Red's turns two
SS Brandon Bellamy hits a double off the 30 foot high net in left field
TG/Red's Astros holds on to beat Scene
TG played with Ryan Noe at third and Rob Roop on the mound
Tied 5th Place Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta
Conf 'M' from NY 1-2 Record
The Scene cooled off some this weekend as they dropped a bad loss to Resmondo (not much you can do about Resmondo when they are on) and then couldn't quite come back against TG Reds. Scene still working on their "long" game on the baseball fields and learning to win there.
Scenes Jason Branch hits another bomb
Tied 5th Place Team Combat/BaughFord.com
Conf 'M' from WA 1-3 Record
Team Combat got walked off twice so they were close to a top 3 or 4 finish and something to definitely build on. Late inning offense will be key to any success they can have at the major world series.
The keys to the combat defense pitcher Loyd Watson and SS Zach Messer
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th Place – Newbreed/GTS/Beus Excavation/DirtySportswear/Worth
Conf 'AA' from WA 1-2 Record
Newbreed got "Resmondo'd" in their first game and then showed some life against TG Reds in a win and Combat in a walk off loss. Newbreed and Reds will be favored at the AA worlds in a week and a half. They played without pitcher TJ Thompson.
Hollingsworth packs the neatest bag I have ever seen and cleans with Scrubbing Bubbles
Tied 7th Place – Team Racks/Miken/Sonnys
Conf 'AA' from WY 1-2 Record
Racks was missing players who couldn't get off work. They got left on the field after leading against Backman which makes one wonder if the visiting team leading going into the bottom of an inning should be allowed to be run ruled that inning. Adam Smylie who was picked up to help at the Conference and the Major hit one off the batters eye on the stadium field and probably could have been added to the Long Bombers section.
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Some more pictures for you:
Friday night they had a ring ceremony as Resmondo received their 2015 Championship rings and a tribute to the late Frank Webb the former manager of Resmondo who passed away last spring.
Hurrican Hermine looked to wipe out the tournament but in fact it basically didn't rain the whole tournament.
I guess it was the "bracelet".
DW watching the Major bracket while watching the back field on his laptop. 🙂