2016 USSSA Chattanooga “Choo” Major tournament report!
2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA
2nd Annual Chattanooga Major
Beautiful Summit of Softball Complex
The "Choo Choo" Classic was delayed at the start as rain in the area forced the top notch grounds crew to wait to pull the tarps off of the 7 fields about an hour after the scheduled start time of 7 PM. So they only played the first two games on each field and saved the last game for Saturday morning. In that first round of 32 teams (23 of which were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA) Conference teams won 15 out of the 16 games with only CTS/FMT/Team Collision, a Tennessee 'C' team, winning 31-30 over Vivid as the only Non-Conference team to advance.
In the round of 16 Eurotech finally got a break through win by jumping on Team Combat and leading the whole way in a 36-34 win. They led 30-14 at one point. The Scene overwhelmed 'AA' rival TM Sports offensively and won by the 20 run rule 46-26. 3rd Street crushed yearly rival TG/Red's Astros 33-13. JBL/Tailgaters spent the better part of two hours leading and finishing off Major team and #2 seeded Smash It Sports 52-39. In the lower half of the bracket Thunder knocked off the only remaining non-conference team CTS easily 23-13. Resmondo run ruled BHR 37-21 as BHR had the unlucky draw of running into Resmondo early in Columbus and now in Chattanooga as well. Xtreme handled Nightmare 41-25 after Nightmare had won their first round game 32-31 over GPO Softball (some of the old OI Livingston players) on a walk off single by Argen Dodds. And #1 seeded Backman rolled through North Carolina 'AA' team Bad Draw 33-15.
In the round of 8 The Scene held down Eurotech in a 32-20 win. 3rd Street rolled through 'A' rival JBL/Tailgaters 31-16. JBL had brought just 10 players to the tournament and were pretty worn out after their win over Smash It Sports. Resmondo run ruled Thunder 29-14 and Backman 20 run mercy ruled Xtreme to make the final 4. In the final 4 of the winner's bracket which started fairly late on Saturday night 3rd Street who was mashing the ball in the cool weather jumped out to a 16-5 lead after 1 inning against the Scene. 3rd Street had put up 31 in the first inning Saturday morning against STL and 17 in the first inning against TG/Red's Astros so 16 in the first against the Scene was almost expected. Justin Evans the 3rd Street 3rd baseman made a nice diving stop to hold Scene to just 5. By the end of the 3rd inning 3rd Street had increased the lead to 26-9 and won by the 15 run rule in the 5th 40-20 to make it to the championship game. In the other semifinal Backman and Resmondo were tied at 31-31 going into the bottom of the 5th inning when Resmondo scored 14 and took a 45-31 lead and were able to hold off Backman who never gave up 46-43. The winner's bracket championship then started around midnight Saturday night and the huge offensive innings continued but Resmondo was too much for 3rd Street and won 51-36.
The loser's bracket was another wild one as Smash It Sports scored 6 runs with no homers in the bottom of the 7th to tie TG/Red's Astros including a shot by pitcher Travis Clark of the top of the fence and a big RBI double by Mike Umschied. But then TG got a great 4-6-1 double play to send it into extra innings. The game actually went 9 innings and TG pitcher Brandon Jonas had a big RBI double to make it 32-27 and that was the final score. TG/Red's then went on to beat Eurotech 46-23 and Team Combat 42-25 before losing to Backman at 3 AM 53-40. Quite a run for TG/Reds. On the lower part of the loser's bracket Thunder/Blowoutpicks beat Nightmare 56-55 in extra innings (Nightmare had a 25 run inning), then knocked off BHR 50-31, and lost to the Scene 63-48 scoring 164 runs in 3 back to back games to finish 5th.
On Sunday morning in the loser's semifinal The Scene had early leads of 10-4 and 26-4 in the 1st and 3rd innings respectively on Backman. But they didn't finish defensively in the 4th with some bad throws and Backman sort of climbed back into it down 35-19 after 5.5 innings. Scene outfielder Cory Newman though threw out a runner advancing to 3rd base during that 6th inning to hold Backmans comeback to 35-30 going into the 7th. In the top of the 7th Backman middle man Orlando Castillo made a great leaping stab of a line drive to keep Scene at 35 and Backman scored 4 but left the tying and winning runs on when Scene shortstop Steve Whaley made a nice backhand pickup of a hard grounder to end the game.
In the loser's bracket finals 3rd Street pitcher Bobby Noeth was removed in the first inning after taking a line shot to the bicep. Then the Scene left fielder Brandon Dillon hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first to put them up 6-3. But the 3rd Street offense would not be denied as they grabbed leads of 23-13 in the top of the 3rd inning, 30-20 going to the bottom of the 6th, and 30-25 after 6 innings. In the 7th with homers to burn 3rd Street got 2 run homers from Jesse Solomon, Bryan Daniel, and David Kessler, and a solo from Tommie Melton to take a 37-25 lead. In the bottom of the inning they got a nice double play turn by middle man Tommie Melton and a great catch in right field by Bryan Daniel to secure the 37-28 win and a rematch with Resmondo in the finals. That championship game had a wild first inning as Resmondo scored 29 runs in the top and 3rd Street playing without a couple of guys that had to leave scored 19. But Resmondo outscored 3rd Street 18-15 the rest of the way and the game actually ended when one of the 3rd Street players was ejected and they didn't have enough players to continue the game in the bottom of the 5th inning.
The tournament was played in perfect but cooler weather and the extra hard Dudley ZN Classic M 40/325 ball played more like a 47/500 ball. The hard infields and 300 foot fences that played like 270 foot fences made for the highest scoring tournament of the year. The rock hard ball also made for very high batted ball speeds and a number of top pitchers were drilled this past weekend including Andy Purcell and Bill Pinkham who were hit in the head but were wearing helmets. Resmondo scored 242 points pushing them up to 2nd in the Conference point standings and 3rd Street scored 202 points giving them a real shot at qualifying for the USSSA Major World Series come September. There was a full complement of conference umpires, some of the best in the business, and the high scores pushed games to 3 am in the morning Sunday with winning teams who had to come back and play at 8 AM. Hats off to the umpiring crews and all the teams for playing/working through those conditions without forfeits.
Scenes Cory Newman had the best assist from the outfield.
Chris Miller of JBL Tailgaters and Bryan Daniel from 3rd Street had the best outfield catches.
Resmondos Nic Santana gets one past 3rd Streets Cam Byars in the winner's final Saturday night.
Here is the team breakdown:
– 32 Total Teams
– 23 Are Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams which means 242 points to the winner!
– The teams are from 15 different states!
– 4 Major teams
– 5 'AA' teams
– 8 'A' teams
– 4 'B' teams
JBL/Tailgaters pulls off the 52-39 upset of Smash It Sports
The fields all had tarps
Resmondo vs 3rd Street winner's final
Scene shortstop Steve Whaley makes a backhand play on a hotshot to finish off Backman
Thunder knocks off Nightmare 56-55 in 8 innings!
Oldscout pollers correctly picked Resmondo at 30% and Derby Girls at 45%
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
Greg Connell of Resmondo and Cory Briggs get the long ball of the week.
Someone said Briggs cleared the parking lot in LC from field #5.
That would be about 450 feet.
Major Awards and Final Standings
Note not all the awards have been turned in by the teams yet
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament CO-MVP||Jimmy Salas||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|Tournament CO-MVP||Luis Reyna||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Ronald Mack III||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Don DeDonatis III||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Andy Purcell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Jason Branch||Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta|
|All Tournament Team||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Cory Newman||Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta|
|All Tournament Team||Andrew Collins||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Billy Fulk||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Brandon Dillon||Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta|
|All Tournament Team||Lee Payne||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|1||FLS – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||0||0||244||149||40.6||24.8||15.8||51||300|
|2||OH – West Chester||3rd street/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||5||2||0||257||224||36.7||32||4.71||47||225|
|3||NY – Commack||scene/albicocco/worth/miken/monsta||USSSA-SPMensConfTBD||5||2||0||281||230||40.1||32.8||7.28||63||200|
|4||IN – Aurora||backman shoppe louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||234||179||39||29.8||9.16||53||175|
|5||OH – Cincinnati OH & /Indianapolis IN||tg/red's astros/headlines/k&g/worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||5||2||0||248||200||35.4||28.5||6.85||46||155|
|5||NY – Wading River||thunder/blowoutpicks.com/empire||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||236||225||39.3||37.5||1.83||56||255|
|7||TXN – Gladewater||bhr/coppermine lodge/asp/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||201||173||33.5||28.8||4.66||44||130|
|7||WA – Kent||TEAM COMBAT/BAUGHFORD.COM||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||199||149||33.1||24.8||8.33||46||130|
|9||MO – Branson||Nightmare/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||182||166||36.4||33.2||3.2||53||110|
|9||OH – Kent||JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||140||146||35||36.5||-1.5||52||110|
|9||MN – Medina||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||126||143||31.5||35.7||-4.2||48||110|
|9||MN – Minneapolis||eurotech-elite media design-easton||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||110||126||27.5||31.5||-4||36||110|
|13||NC – Greenville||Bad Draw/Broughton/Worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||120||126||30||31.5||-1.5||42||70|
|13||NY – Cicero||smash it sports/asp/h.auto/mr.wiggl||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||158||115||39.5||28.7||10.7||51||70|
|13||NC – Wilmington||TM Sports/Mizuno||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||131||142||32.7||35.5||-2.7||50||70|
|13||TNE – CHATTANOOGA||CTS/FMT/TEAM COLLISION||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||97||106||24.2||26.5||-2.2||31||95|
|17||DC – Washington||semper/demarini/klutch/timbuktu||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||71||95||23.6||31.6||-8||37||40|
|17||SC – Charleston||HB/ATWL||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||65||93||21.6||31||-9.3||32||65|
|17||FLP – Pace||team adiktiv/energy system/worth||USSSA-SPMensConfTBD||1||2||0||81||94||27||31.3||-4.3||32||40|
|17||KY – London||Buffalo wings and rings||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||97||90||32.3||30||2.33||39||40|
|17||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton/Storm||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||89||89||29.6||29.6||0||35||40|
|17||GA – Covington||Southern Mayhem||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||76||79||25.3||26.3||-1||37||40|
|17||FLS – Port Saint Lucie||shirt doctors/bomb squad/combat||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||82||105||27.3||35||-7.6||36||40|
|17||FLS – Miami||PDI/Powerhouse||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||96||101||32||33.6||-1.6||41||65|
|25||GA – Peachtree City||GPO Softball||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||48||73||24||36.5||-12.||31||40|
|25||TXN – Frisco||Vivid||USSSA-Mens-AA||0||2||0||63||66||31.5||33||-1.5||33||40|
|25||MO – Saint Peters||SOL Softball/CastleSports||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||36||68||18||34||-16||22||140|
|25||TNE – Chattanooga||Athletic Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||5||61||2.5||30.5||-28||4||0|
|25||SC – Spartanburg||Cro||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||32||76||16||38||-22||18||65|
|25||GA – DALTON||BACKLASH||USSSA-Mens-E||0||2||0||11||90||5.5||45||-39.||6||0|
|25||NC – Fletcher||Worsham Athletics/Scott's||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||48||60||24||30||-6||29||65|
|25||IN – Indianapolis||STL/Mizuno/Sportsmanshop||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||46||71||23||35.5||-12.||31||140|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'Major' from FL 6-0 Record
Resmondo was 6-0, took care of business, climbed the point standings, and has now beaten Backman 4 straight times. BJ Fulk continues to sizzle, Collins and many others were offensive machines, and Reyna and Salas were Co-MVP's. A solid weekend all the way around and Resmondo does appear to be the best team in the nation this year on 300 foot fields. They had their entire team there this weekend and with Salas in there they field the hard shots as a team as good as anyone. Infielders on the hard ground and with the rocket shots that were coming at them didn't have a lot of time to react but middle man Luis Reyna probably showed the most range of anyone in the tournament.
Bubba Mack was defensive MVP
2nd Place 3rd Street/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'Major' from OH 5-2 Record
3rd Street is one of the highest scoring teams in the country. They never stopped hitting in big wins over JBL and The Scene twice. They are now 4-2 vs 'AA' teams this season and jump to 8th in the points. The pitchers Cam Byars and Bobby Noeth took a beating but kept on ticking. The top of their lineup with Daniel, Melton, Matusik, Tabler, and Kessler has been running on all cylinders. Out of their 12 losses this year, 6 are to Major teams, 3 to Resmondo. Look for them to jump in the Computer Rankings as well.
Jason Matusik was in beast mode for 3rd Street
Sponsor/Player Robert Mahaffey even got in a few swings against Resmondo and robbed Connell of extra bases in LF
3rd Place Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta
Conf 'TBD' from NY 5-2 Record
The Scene beat everyone they played except for 3rd Street who knocked them off twice. They had quality wins over TM Sports, Eurotech, and the big 35-34 win over Backman thus curing their early season "Majoritis". They played without Chente who couldn't make the last minute schedule change. If healthy look for The Scene to be the favorite in Atlanta this coming weekend and more roster changes coming.
Brandon Dillon has been on it this year bigtime. Cory Newman had the best assist from center field vs Backman.
Pinkham did a lot of the pitching. Steve Whaley played shortstop in Chentes absense (playing ASA with Monsta) and Laskis finger injury.
Erik Kanabay is Scenes new utility man and he batted second. Branch has been leading Scene offensively.
4th Place Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger
Conf 'Major' from IN 4-2 Record
Backman continues to struggle against Major teams on 300 foot fields. They played without Harvey (knee) and with their new manager Dal Beggs who replaces long time manager Larry Quartuccio in somewhat of a controversial move by sponsor Jerry Backman. They knocked off 'AA' teams Bad Draw, Xtreme, and TG/Red's and never gave up against Resmondo and The Scene but came up just short. Backman and most of the other top teams are scheduled for Chicago in two weeks.
Trending Even – 300 foot fields aren't their specialty
Lahair, Stovall, and Castillo left. Kennington and Lloyd right
Castillo had the good sense to throw to first when he knew he wasn't going to beat the runner to 2nd
Dal Beggs is now the new manager of Backman after Larry Q had been at the helm for many years.
Tied 5th Place TG/Red's Astros/Headlines/K&G/Worth
Conf 'AA' from OH/IN 5-2 Record
TG/Red's Astros had a wild weekend where they got hammered by 3rd Street who they continue to run into in the brackets of these big events for two years now. Then they went on a 4 game winning street beating PDI (The One Payment 'B' team), beat Smash It Sports in extra innings in the best game of the tournament, and then beat Eurotech and Team Combat with 40 run outbursts before losing to Backman at 3 AM 53-40. This team seems to have good chemistry, enough players (Scene take notice) to play through injuries and slumps, and enough interchangeable parts to keep everyone occupied and pulling for each other. TG at times looks like the best team in 'AA'.
TG/Red's Astros got the double play below to send to the 9th inning where they beat Smash It Sports 32-27
Staton "rolls the top"
Tied 5th Place Thunder/Blowoutpicks.com/Empire
Conf 'B' from NY 4-2 Record
Thunder in their opener showed what the weekend was going to be about on Friday night when they scored 45 runs against Shirt Doctors. Then knocked off CTS who had just upset Vivid on Saturday morning to make the final 8 where they lost to Resmondo in a relatively low scoring game. After that they beat Nightmare in a 56-55 extra innings win and smoked BHR 50-31 before dropping a 63-48 decision to The Scene. I am not sure about their ERA but they seem to be able to hit with all of the 'A' and 'AA' teams and Thunder which is a new Conference 'B' team after being bumped by finishing top 10% in 'C' in 2015 is now 12th in points…wow!
Zurawel and Gordon seem to be the vocal leaders of the Thunder
Goyette is one of the veteran offensive leaders
Other top finishing Conference teams
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Some more pictures for you:
BHR was 4-2
Bad Draw was 2-2
Tailgaters brought 10 players and beat Smash It Sports. When they went in the field there was no one in the dugout.
JBL was 2-2
JBL right fielder Chris Miller had the best diving catch of the tournament against Smash It Sports
Eurotech's Dirk Updike got the win at pitcher over Team Combat
Westy Guill made his debut in CF for Smash It Sports after Ryan Parfitts unexpected retirement
Derby Girls/ASP/Combat won the Women's Major
Team Easton (Enough Said) was 2nd
I went to take down the livestream cameras on an abandoned field and ran into this little Smash It Sports meeting.
Everyone put in their work, lets get em next time, yada yada yada…
The ground was so hard and there were so many bad hops that even the 2015 Conference Defensive MVP
was closing his eyes instead of looking it in.
Vivid and Shirt Doctors had the unfortunate bad luck of meeting each other in the 1st round of the loser's bracket
Andy Purcell giving an autograph
Former Backman infielder Matt Crawford was playing with CTS out of Tennessee
Worsham made it into the field of 32 teams after all and didn't play Backman too bad.