2016 USSSA Cincinnati Major tournament report!
2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA
17th Annual Cincinnati Major
Backmans Steven Lloyd hits at the Cincinnati Major
The Cincinnati Major was a softball fans dream tournament. 20 of the top teams in the nation fighting it out in close quarters on 4 fields that you could watch in the shade of tall trees. And there were great games and matchups from the beginning until the end. Everyone played on Friday night and the upsets started early with Nasty Noles a local 'C' team knocking off Slayer 30-23, Xtreme Associates a Columbus 'C' team knocking off STL 21-7, and CincySoftball.com walking off TG Brand 23-22 all in the play into the bracket round. Then in the round of 32 it was primarily the 16 higher seeds winning except for Above All Landscaping beating TM Sports 23-19 and Bad Draw outslugging Thunder 41-30 back on field #4 with its short fences.
In the round of 16 which was a "who's who" of softballs national powerhouses, Eurotech run ruled 3rd Street 40-25 leaving them on the field, JBL/Tailgaters pulled a huge upset win over Scene with defense and pitching and timely base hitting and power 32-30. Newbreed pulled out a 28-26 win over Xtreme when Xtreme grounded into an unassisted double play with runners on and down 2 – Newbreed 1st baseman Victor Cordova with the pick-tag-and step on first. Resmondo who had beaten local 'B' team Premier by just 3 in front of a large crowd on Friday night jumped out to a 25 run lead on Nightmare but Nightmare came back and forced 7 innings in a 39-23 win for Resmondo. In that game Resmondo pitcher Andy Purcell threw his back out while playing 1st base and was out for the remainder of the tournament. TG/Red's held a lead over Above All Landscaping the entire game and won easily 39-20. Smash It Sports annihilated Line Drive 31-7. Precision who had beaten All In just 31-30 on Friday night squeaked out another big win over BHR 32-30. BHR had the hammer in the bottom of the 7th down 2 with no homers left and came up empty. And Backman somehow knocked off Bad Draw 24-23 even though Bad Draw had 2 runners on in the top of the 7th with 2 home runs left to hit?
The "final 8" of the winner's bracket started with JBL and Eurotech, both teams needed a win to qualify for the major world series. The game was hard fought but JBL came up with a 35-31 win. Resmondo knocked of Newbreed 38-13 in a game many thought could have been an upset. Smash It Sports finally finished off TG/Red's 39-24 and Backman cruised past Precision 30-10 to make the final 4. In the "final 4" JBL/Tailgaters the 'A' team from Ohio was actually leading Resmondo in the 5th inning before Resmondo put up some big runs in the late innings and JBL ran out of homers and Resmondo pulled out a 52-42 win. In the other semifinal Backman jumped out to an 18-15 lead after one inning then scored the last 29 runs of the game in a 47-15 rout. And in the winner's bracket championship game late Saturday night with the temperatures cooling off and the Dudley Classic M ball beginning to really fly Resmondo jumped out to a 22-9 lead on Backman after 2 innings and had a 27-17 lead going into the 4th inning. But Backman put up 16 runs in the 4th and held Resmondo scoreless when 3rd baseman Lee Powers made a great diving stop towards the 3rd base line and threw out the runner going to 2nd to end the inning. Backman would outscore Resmondo 37-13 from the 4th inning on and won the game 54-40 in 7 innings.
Meanwhile in the loser's bracket The Scene/Albicocco was rolling through any and all comers. They beat TM Sports (AA) 27-17, 3rd Street (AA) 38-23, Precision (AA) 44-26, Xtreme (AA) 47-39 after Xtreme was down 25 runs, and held off JBL/Tailgaters 34-33 after JBL came from 10 down in the final inning at almost 2 am in the morning to make it Sunday. Just a few hours later at 8 AM The Scene who had already played 7 games in the tournament came out and nothing seemed to phase them as they rolled through Smash It Sports (Major) 41-15, Resmondo (Major) 37-36 on a walk off hit by Erik Kanaby, and then scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th in the first championship game and a walk off hit by reserve pitcher Brian Titus to win 33-32. In the "if" game of the championship The Scene never gave up but came up short 31-23 to Backman and #1 Backman won their 5th tournament of the season.
Backman hits against Resmondo in the Winner's bracket championship game Saturday night
40 Teams Overall
28 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
9 'AA' Teams
9 'A' Teams
12 'B' Teams
6 'C' Teams
Side note on classification: there is a lot of talk about classification and teams doing well being bumped and teams struggling being moved down. I can say that 2016 has been about pushing teams up which was long overdue and teams are classified where they can compete for wins and not necessarily where they can win worlds especially in their first year in a new division. Sometimes teams just have a bad year, it doesn't mean they should be dropped down a division where they instantly become a favorite at worlds.
Scene scored 10 in the bottom of the 7th to beat Backman in the 1st game of the finals
The Scene's Steve Whaley singles off of Resmondo pitcher Dan Sanchez in the loser's final
Nice crowds on Friday and Saturday night.
JBL/Tailgaters upset Scene early on Saturday
Smash It center fielder Westy Guill climbs the fence
Above All middle man Willie Allen tore a bicep
TG/Red's outfielder Travis Dale tracks one down.
TG/Red's Rob Roop homers into the sunset
JBL takes on Bay Area Legends in the 1st round battle of top 'A' teams
Sunday morning at the Mid America Ballyard
Field #4 Bad Draw taking on BHR
Oldscout pollers had Resmondo 50% to Backman 18%
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
There weren't as many long bombs this week. I will give it to Bubba Mack who eye witnesses say hit one over the storage shed on F2
Cincinnati Major Awards and Final Standings
All Tournament awards have not been published as of the time of this article
|1||IN – Aurora||backman louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||1||0||256||152||36.5||21.7||14.8||54||300|
|2||NY – Commack||scene/albicocco/worth/miken/monsta||USSSA-SPMensMajor||9||2||0||378||288||34.3||26.1||8.18||47||225|
|3||FLS – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||240||201||40||33.5||6.5||52||200|
|4||NY – Cicero||smash it sports/asp/h.auto/mr.wiggl||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||208||184||34.6||30.6||4||59||175|
|5||WA – Bothell||newbreed/gts/beus excavation/dirtys||USSSA-Mens-AA||4||2||0||181||176||30.1||29.3||0.83||36||155|
|5||OH – Kent||JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||169||163||33.8||32.6||1.2||42||155|
|7||TXN – Gladewater||bhr/coppermine lodge/asp/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||179||121||29.8||20.1||9.66||39||130|
|7||MN – Medina||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-AA||4||2||0||220||185||36.6||30.8||5.83||46||130|
|9||NJ – Jackson||above all landscaping/evo9x/miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||119||128||23.8||25.6||-1.8||34||110|
|9||OH – Cincinnati OH & /Indianapolis IN||tg/red's astros/headlines/k&g/worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||121||112||30.2||28||2.25||39||110|
|9||IL – Chicago||Precision||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||99||134||24.7||33.5||-8.7||32||110|
|9||MN – Minneapolis||eurotech-elite media design-easton||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||132||124||33||31||2||41||110|
|13||NC – Greenville||Bad Draw/Broughton/Worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||106||106||26.5||26.5||0||41||70|
|13||OH – West Chester||3rd street/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||103||110||25.7||27.5||-1.7||31||70|
|13||MO – Branson||Nightmare/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||112||134||28||33.5||-5.5||33||70|
|13||MI – Warren||Line Drive Sportz/Easton||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||99||102||24.7||25.5||-0.7||33||70|
|17||OH – Cincinnati||premier/easton/silvertowne/hdlns Qualified||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||110||91||27.5||22.7||4.75||32||65|
|17||KY – Cincinnati||Nasty Noles||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||94||101||23.5||25.2||-1.7||30||65|
|17||KY – London||Buffalo wings and rings||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||111||111||27.7||27.7||0||38||40|
|17||FLS – Port Saint Lucie||shirt doctors/bomb squad/combat||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||107||108||26.7||27||-0.2||34||40|
|17||CAN – Hayward||Bay Area Legends||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||70||98||17.5||24.5||-7||26||40|
|17||NC – Wilmington||TM Sports/Mizuno||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||94||70||23.5||17.5||6||34||40|
|17||IN – South Bend||Streetkids/MSC||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||84||88||21||22||-1||30||65|
|17||IN – Depauw||Slayer/KB Construction||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||101||102||25.2||25.5||-0.2||41||140|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||fred's boys / louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||51||60||17||20||-3||29||40|
|25||OH – Columbus||xtreme associates/harpers/miken||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||31||67||10.3||22.3||-12||21||40|
|25||NY – Wading River||thunder/miken/blowoutpicks.com||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||78||89||26||29.6||-3.6||37||40|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||Tropics/Spanky's Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||90||87||30||29||1||42||65|
|25||OH – Columbus||columbus pipe/cotner/mts nutrition Qualified||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||55||82||18.3||27.3||-9||24||40|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||Cincysoftball.com / Hdlns||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||50||74||16.6||24.6||-8||23||65|
|25||MD – Baltimore||cgr/house money/jimmys seafood||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||80||106||26.6||35.3||-8.6||29||65|
|25||PAW – Pittsburgh||all in/psb/wiggles sports/elite||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||51||62||17||20.6||-3.6||30||140|
|33||IL – Chicago||ASP – Chicago||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||42||48||21||24||-3||23||65|
|33||OH – Columbus||Old Bag/HDLN's/Miken Qualified||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||27||63||13.5||31.5||-18||22||65|
|33||WI – Janesville||ASP/Venom||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||43||56||21.5||28||-6.5||24||140|
|33||DC – Washington||semper/demarini/klutch/timbuktu||USSSA-Mens-A||0||2||0||59||75||29.5||37.5||-8||33||40|
|33||IN – Indianapolis||STL/Mizuno/Sportsmanshop||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||23||55||11.5||27.5||-16||16||140|
|33||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||38||57||19||28.5||-9.5||22||140|
|33||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/ hang rite / miken||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||61||82||30.5||41||-10.||36||140|
|33||KY – Louisville||Cornerstone Softball||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||40||60||20||30||-10||22||65|
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Backman Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 6-1 Record
Backman probably wrapped up the Conference title and the #1 seed for the Major World Series with their big win in Cincinnati. The lineup was Powers, Haglund, Yates, Harvey, Castillo, Baggs, Lloyd, Stovall, Schulte, Logan, Vicak. Kennington was banged up and didn't play at the end. The defense was sound, the base hitting and base running allowed Backman to conserve home runs, and the defense did not allow opposing offenses any easy hits with their deep infield depth and good outfield range. Backman never got rattled when Resmondo scored big or Scene beat them in the first game of the championship.
Jeremy Yates played some first base
Powers and Kennington at the top of the order.
Kennington left with what is probably a minor injury late in the tournament.
Ryan Stovall has locked down the shortstop position. That was a question mark at the beginning of season.
At least for us outsiders who had only seen him play outfield.
2nd Place Scene/Albicocco/Worth/Miken/Monsta
Conf 'M' from NY 9-2 Record
The Scene made a run in the loser's bracket the likes of which we have not seen since Combat ran the loser's bracket at one of the Hall of Fame duals in 2015. They played each game as if it was their first it seemed and put up huge numbers all weekend scoring 378 runs (34.36 per game) in their 11 games. On Sunday their main lineup when they beat Smash It Sports and Resmondo was LF Branch, 2B Kanaby, RF Bilardello, SS Laski, MI Whaley, C Dillon, CF Newman, 3B Brungardt, 1B Costantino, P Pinkham. In the first win over Backman in the finals they used Titus at pitcher and Kirkland played and Kirkland also had some big pinch hits. Whaley was probably defensive MVP when the awards come out and the whole team just never gave up and just "played the game" each and every inning picking each other up and playing for the next guy. Quite an impressive run by a team that seems to get better and better every weekend with manager Jason Kendrick and sponsor Tony Albicocco pulling all the right strings with lineups, defenses, and roster moves. Shortstop Keith Laski also had one of the great plays of the tournament when a linedrive went off of middle man Steve Whaley's glove in the Smash It game Sunday morning and Laski hustling behind the second base bag picked up the ricochet and in one motion blindly tossed it between his legs a good distance to get the force out at 2nd base.
Davis Bilardello one of many Scene players having big seasons
Whaley was fielding the Saturday night missiles better than most and was probably Defensive MVP
Brandon Dillon helps finish off JBL around 1:30 AM Sunday morning
Bill Pinkham pitched most of the 13 games
3rd Place Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 4-2 Record
Resmondo won their first 4 games but not necessarily in dominating fashion. Purcell hurt his back in the 2nd game and most of their games went 7 innings. They also played without 3B Jimmy Salas out with a broken hand. Mack was at 3rd base. Payne played a lot of RF, Sanchez pitched and Krause played 1B. When they got to the winner's bracket finals they kicked into gear with a big lead early on Backman but Backman was too much this weekend and Resmondo ended up losing 54-40. On Sunday morning they were visitors in the loser's final against Scene and never put them away and allowed 10 runs in the bottom of the 7th to lose to The Scene and finish 3rd.
A rough finish for Resmondo who is nearly mathematically eliminated from the #1 seed at the Major now for the first time in many years. But Resmondo should still be at least even money to win the Major at this point pending a healthy Purcell. We wish Andy a fast and full recovery.
Dan Sanchez did most of the pitching after Andy Purcell went down with a bad back while playing 1st base Saturday
Dedonatis and Santana were both in the leadoff spot
Left side with Bubba Mack, Dedonatis, and Reyna
Veteran slugger Howie Krause got a lot of playing time with Resmondo
4th Place Smash It Sports/ASP/H Auto/MrWiggles/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 4-2 Record
Smash It Sports outscored their opponents just 208 to 184 and just plain let up too many runs. They won their first 3 games and beat good 'AA' teams Linedrive, TG/Reds, and Newbreed but went 0-2 vs Major teams. Hansen was playing SS, newcomer Jayson Williams from Vivid was at 2B, Reckart was at 3B, and Bryson Baker was in LF. The team continues to struggle for wins against other top teams and the defense has been less than stellar. Mike Umschied was out (eye procedure), and Wegman is still recovering with his knee and could be back in Michigan or the Conference Championships. So look for Smash It to try and have their whole team healthy at the Conference Championships and then be a dark horse for the Major.
Kyle Pearson and Scott Kirby
Hansen played a lot of shortstop and newcomer Jayson Williams played 2B
Tied 5th Place Newbreed/GTS/Beus Excavation/DirtySportsWear
Conf 'AA' from WA 4-2 Record
Newbreed played without pitcher Cole Patterson and defensive specialist Ryan Goodman. They had some nice wins and played a bunch of great competition but never had that break through win vs a big Major or AA team.
Trending up some
TJ Thompson pitched some in his home city for Newbreed
Antonio Sepulveda has carried a .700 plus onbase percentage in a 4th outfielder role
Tied 5th Place JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth
Conf 'A' from OH 3-2 Record
Tailgaters knocked off Bay Area, Scene, and Eurotech to start the tournament and then lost heart breakers to Resmondo and The Scene on Saturday but jumped to 12th in the Nationwide Conference USSSA point standings! They did it with timely hitting, power hitters that know their role, and clutch defense. They never backed down to Resmondo and never gave up even at 2 am in the morning vs The Scene. They played without power hitter Chris Hoffer (hamstring) and outfielder Darren Graham. Veteran Charles Cunningham leads the team in hitting (.708), and wheel man Jesse Young continues to close down the middle.
Bill Lewis is a player/sponsor for JBL
Simpson provides a lot of the JBL power
Young is JBL's slick fielding middle man
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th Place – BHR/Coppermine Lodge/ASP/Worth
Conf 'A' from TX 4-2 Record
BHR had another outstanding weekend winning 3 games in the loser's bracket over Buffalo Wings, Bad Draw, and Eurotech after losing a heart breaker to Precision 32-30 in the winner's bracket. BHR held Buffalo Wings and Bad Draw to 15 runs total in those two games.
Mike Brown is putting up the big numbers for BHR
Chris Potts with the hit in that big game against Eurotech
Tied 7th Place – Xtreme/Miken
Conf 'AA' from MN 4-2 Record
Xtreme Miken scored 36 runs per game and pulled off a big win over TG/Red's 46-31 late in the loser's bracket to finish tied for 7th. The team continues to tweak the defense moving Bremer to 1st and they have always had a big game offense so they continue to put up solid points and have proven they can play with anyone in the 'AA' division now 6-4 in class.
Shannon Smith homer's against Scene.
Brad Lunda was picked up by Xtreme
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Some more pictures for you:
Louisville Slugger family of teams
Linedrive turned a DP in the bottom of the 7th to extend their game against Above All to extra innings.
But misplayed a double play ball in the bottom of the 8th.
Eurtoechs Patrick Ellwanger gets a walk off hit against 3rd Street
Robert Blackburn looked like his old self for Bad Draw
Bay Area Legends manager Gary Perez had to go in in relief
Ben Cosgrove with the hit vs Above All
Dave Kessler homers in his hometown for 3rd Street
Jonas was auditioning for a Mad Max movie
The biggest crowd came for the Premier vs Resmondo game which was a good one.
Precision was 2-2
Big Mike Mallory giving me the 2 and barb e q signal… 🙂
Hangrite was in the house
ASP was in the house
Easton was in the house
Louisville Slugger was in the house
Nasty Noles a 'C' team from the Cincinnati area won the consolation bracket which had 4 Conference teams in it
Roger "Bear" Bias who some oldscout posters wanted to be an umpire was actually pitching for Bad Draw in relief
TM Sports went 2-2 which puts them into the Major as of now
Nightmare was 2-2 tied for 13th
All In went 1-2
Shirt Doctors was 2-2
Grant Grimmett or Cory Hines? They could be mistaken for brothers.