Added Awards —> 2016 USSSA Columbus B.A.T.S Major tournament report!
2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA
4th Annual Columbus B.A.T.S
A new sherrif in town? Andrew Vitcak and Backman take Columbus Major!
The 4th Annual Columbus Major featured 28 Nationwide Conference USSSA teams and 35 teams total and was played out over 3 days on 7 fields that had artificial turf infields. The tournament started on Friday at 6:00 PM with the wind gusting in on two of the main fields and out on the other two making for a wide range of scores. TM Sports (AA) came from a 24-11 deficit to take at 25-24 lead and held off Nightmare (A) 31-30. Rebel Sports (B) upset Above All Landscaping (A) 15-7 with the wind blowing in on the big Field #17. #18 seeded Resmondo (M) broke open a 15-15 tie with Bear Hollow Ranch (A) and went on to win 45-25 in a marathon game. Local Ohio non Conference teams Columbus Pipe (B), Xtreme Associates (C), and Old Bag (B) all won play their play in games and took their shot at the Conference teams Friday. At 7:30 PM Team Combat (M) was down 19-12 to Premier (B) in the middle of the game but came back to hold a 42-29 lead in the 7th inning and held off Premier 42-40 in one of the more entertaining games of the night. TG Brand (B) down a run to TG/Reds Astros (AA) going into the bottom of the 7th walked them off with a game winning base hit. Former 'A' and 'B' World Champion TJ Thompson did the pitching for TG Brand as a last minute pickup player. #1 seeded Backman (M) rolled through a Columbus Pipe (B) team that hung around for a while with the wind blowing in on the show field. Eurotech (AA) squeaked out a 10-8 win over Primetime (A) with the wind blowing in on Field #17. Newbreed (AA) ended up smoking STL (B) 37-13. 3rd Street (A) dropped 45 runs on All In (B) scoring 22 runs in the first inning. Linedrive (AA) run ruled SOL (C) by 22 in the start of the 9 PM games. #1 seeded Backman (M) after a slow start beat Columbus Pipe (B) by 21. Xtreme Miken (AA) crushed Bad Draw (AA) 37-9 and Vivid (AA) beat Buffalo Rings (A) by 3 runs late. Precision (AA) used an Evan Gallmeier bases loaded walk off single to plate two runs to beat Semper (A) by 1, and JBL/Tailgaters (A) used a late barrage of homers to beat Thunder (B) by 8.
On Saturday at 11 AM the winner's final 16 began as Vivid, Team Combat, Backman, Xtreme, The Scene, and 3rd Street all advanced fairly easily. The only really close game of the round of 16 was that big matchup between the Major super powers Smash It Sports and Resmondo. Smash It Sports was playing better for most of the game and took a lead into the bottom of the 7th but Resmondo loaded the bases and lefty Jeremy Isenhower hit a clutch walk off grand slam sending Smash It deep into the loser's bracket.
In the round of 8 Vivid pulled off a big one run win over Team Combat 34-33, Xtreme held off The Scene 15-14 and The Scene had the bats in their hands at the end. Backman knocked off Precision 31-21 and Resmondo had their hands full with 3rd Street in an ugly game with some gamesmanship going back and forth between players but Resmondo pulled away again late to a 27-23 win. 3rd Street had their chances but put up too many zeroes.
In the final 4 of the winner's bracket Resmondo jumped out to a 19-0 lead on Xtreme and won 36-19. Meanwhile Backman scored the last 10 runs of the game against Vivid mostly by hitting base hits to break a 21-21 tie and win 31-21.
In the winner's bracket championship game Saturday night with the wind blowing out Backman went up 13-4 on Resmondo after one inning of play. But Resmondo would come back with 12 runs in the bottom of the 4th to take a 23-21 lead. Backman went back up 7 runs on a Ryan Stovall 3 run homer and Resmondos Luis Reyna made a great diving stop to stop the bleeding. In the bottom of the 6th Backman left fielder Reggie Schulte made an incredible diving catch on a knuckling line drive to keep Resmondo in check. In the bottom of the 7th Resmondo used 3 home runs and had 2 runners on down 2 when they lined out and popped out to end the game with Backman winning 35-33.
Meanwhile in the loser's bracket Smash It Sports won 6 straight including a 31-16 win over Vivid Sunday morning to finish 3rd. When they played Resmondo in the loser's bracket finals quite frankly they must have been out of gas as they put up a huge zero with two runners on and no outs in the bottom of the 6th and couldn't muster a comeback in the bottom of the 7th. Buddy Wolf the Smash It Sports right fielder did make a great diving catch and a home run rob in that quirky nook in right center field in the same inning to give Smash It Sports a chance but the offense couldn't come through.
Resmondo then forced the "if" necessary game when little used reserve pitcher Dan "Dirty" Sanchez filled in for Greg Connell who had been ejected from the game and Dan hit two homers including a game winning walk off homer to win 35-33. In the final game of the championship though it was all Backman as they cruised past Resmondo and led the whole way in a 28-10 victory.
The wind was blowing at up to 18 mph off and on throughout the weekend which affected scores positively on some fields and negatively on others. The ball on the baseball fields in the winner's bracket was a Stadium ZN but was a lower compression batch I am told was a 380 compression. The ball on the 3 softball fields and the loser's bracket was the standard classic M which is a 325 compression ball and actually flew very similar to the stadium they were using. There were 11 bats listed to be cut open but I don't have results on those.
The action was fast and furious and the softball fun was only slowed by a little too much arguing with the umpires. But it did not overshadow the great games and matchups that were going on all over the Lou Berliner park in the sunny but cooler weather for the most part.
The softball world today especially in the Ohio area are thinking about Sam Kirk who was an upper level manager for many years as he battles health issues.
I also heard that Saul Simpson the longtime Resmondo scorekeeper is doing better and we may actually see him at a tournament soon!
This would be a good time to set the ground rules on questioning pitches and calls.
Only managers should comment or question calls in my opinion.
This leaping snare by Steven Lloyd of Isenhowers nasty line drive may have been worth 40 Conference points
35 Teams Overall
28 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
8 'AA' Teams
8 'A' Teams
9 'B' Teams
4 'C' Teams
1 'TBD' Teams
Resmondos Don Dedonatis Jr makes a sliding backhand on Smash It Sports Travis Clark
Smash It Sports lefty Buddy Wolf sneaks one past the diving Luis Reyna
Smash It Sports Buddy Wolf hits a walk off homer to beat Newbreed
The Scenes Brandon Dillon hitting against Vivid on Saturday night to try to make it to Sunday
Above All's Tony Elrod hits a clutch base hit to tie their game against Smash It Sports.
Smash It won in extra innings.
Resmondos Jeremy Isenhower hit a walk off grand slam to beat Smash It Sports in that highly anticipated #2 vs #18 2nd round matchup.
That set Resmondo up for a shot at the tournament while Smash It toiled the rest of the tournament in the loser's bracket.
Precisions Evan Gallmeier hits a walk off base hit to knock off Semper by 1 on Friday night.
A group of legendary softball players from the 80's and 90's got together to talk and watch some games.
Resmondo manager John Rector was finally tossed. Overall there was too much arguing this weekend.
Oldscout pollers were split on Backman and Resmondo
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
Someone said Chris Greinert one hopped the building in left field on F15 which would be a minimum of 430 feet.
Eye witnesses now saying Greinerts had another one that hit off the roof which would put it in the 460 range.
And Backmans Ryan Harvey put one on the middle of the road between the two trees in CF on F14 which is about 460.
I think Smash Its Pearson hit that road also in about the same spot.
Columbus Major Awards and Final Standings
Still waiting on the rest of the Awards
|Player Tournament Awards||Players Name||Plays For|
|Tournament MVP||Neil Haglund||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|Offensive Tournament MVP||Greg Connell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|Defensive Tournament MVP||Steven Lloyd||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Andy Purcell||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Tim Howard||Vivid|
|All Tournament Team||Jeremy Yates||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Travis Clark||Smash it Sports/ASP/H.Auto/Mr.Wiggl|
|All Tournament Team||Kevin Kennington||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Buddy Wolf||Smash it Sports/ASP/H.Auto/Mr.Wiggl|
|All Tournament Team||Addison Rayford||Vivid|
|All Tournament Team||Isaac Gonzalez||Vivid|
|All Tournament Team||Andrew Vitcak||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Luis Reyna||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Kyle Pearson||Smash it Sports/ASP/H.Auto/Mr.Wiggl|
|All Tournament Team||Ryan Harvey||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Nicolas Santana||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Lee Powers||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|All Tournament Team||Ronald Mack III||Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth|
|All Tournament Team||Ryan Stovall||Backman Shoppe Louisville Slugger|
|1||IN – Aurora||backman shoppe louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||1||0||222||147||31.7||21||10.7||36||300|
|2||FLS – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||2||0||236||206||29.5||25.7||3.75||45||225|
|3||NY – Cicero||smash it sports/asp/h.auto/mr.wiggl||USSSA-SPMensMajor||7||2||0||254||174||28.2||19.3||8.88||36||200|
|4||TXN – Frisco||Vivid||USSSA-Mens-AA||4||2||0||143||152||23.8||25.3||-1.5||34||175|
|5||NY – Commack||the scene/adiktiv/monsta/klutch||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||148||100||24.6||16.6||8||34||155|
|5||MN – Medina||Xtreme/Miken||USSSA-Mens-AA||3||2||0||108||106||21.6||21.2||0.40||37||155|
|7||DC – Washington||semper/demarini/klutch/timbuktu||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||134||102||22.3||17||5.33||33||130|
|7||WA – Bothell||newbreed/gts/beus excavation/dirtys||USSSA-Mens-AA||4||2||0||177||128||29.5||21.3||8.16||37||130|
|9||OH – Cincinnati OH & /Indianapolis IN||tg/red's astros/headlines/k&g/worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||3||2||0||146||118||29.2||23.6||5.6||37||110|
|9||WA – Kent||TEAM COMBAT/BAUGHFORD.COM||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||122||116||30.5||29||1.5||42||110|
|9||OH – West Chester||3rd street/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||121||90||30.2||22.5||7.75||45||110|
|9||IL – Chicago||Precision||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||84||91||21||22.7||-1.7||25||110|
|13||TXN – Gladewater||bhr/coppermine lodge/asp/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||129||121||25.8||24.2||1.6||32||70|
|13||MO – Branson||Nightmare/Miken||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||155||145||31||29||2||39||70|
|13||NY – Wading River||thunder/blowoutpicks.com/empire||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||82||102||20.5||25.5||-5||33||170|
|13||MI – Warren||Line Drive Sportz/Easton||USSSA-Mens-AA||2||2||0||90||76||22.5||19||3.5||37||70|
|17||NC – Wilmington||TM Sports/Mizuno||USSSA-Mens-AA||1||2||0||79||96||26.3||32||-5.6||31||40|
|17||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||47||78||15.6||26||-10.||23||140|
|17||NC – Greenville||Bad Draw/Broughton/Worth||USSSA-Mens-AA||1||2||0||42||80||14||26.6||-12.||27||40|
|17||MN – Minneapolis||eurotech-elite media design-easton||USSSA-Mens-AA||1||2||0||51||70||17||23.3||-6.3||36||40|
|17||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/ hang rite / miken||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||55||63||18.3||21||-2.6||24||140|
|17||NJ – Jackson||above all landscaping/evo9x/miken||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||63||57||21||19||2||32||40|
|17||PAW – Pittsburgh||all in/psb/wiggles sports/elite||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||67||82||22.3||27.3||-5||26||140|
|17||OH – Kent||JBL/Tailgaters/B&E/Worth||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||62||82||20.6||27.3||-6.6||31||40|
|25||OH – Columbus||xtreme associates/harpers/miken||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||48||81||16||27||-11||27||65|
|25||OH – Columbus||Old Bag/HDLN's/Miken||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||31||66||10.3||22||-11.||15||65|
|25||MO – Saint Peters||SOL Softball/CastleSports||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||21||63||10.5||31.5||-21||15||140|
|25||OH – Columbus||columbus pipe/cotner/mts nutrition||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||30||58||15||29||-14||22||65|
|25||IN – Indianapolis||STL/Mizuno/Sportsmanshop||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||22||64||11||32||-21||13||140|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||premier/easton/silvertowne/hdlns||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||55||58||27.5||29||-1.5||40||65|
|25||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton/Storm||USSSA-Mens-A||0||2||0||31||43||15.5||21.5||-6||23||40|
|25||KY – London||Buffalo wings and rings||USSSA-Mens-A||0||2||0||28||46||14||23||-9||19||40|
|33||PAW – Pittsburgh||la famiglia/elite/mr. wiggles/worth||USSSA-Mens-C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||65|
|33||OH – Barberton||Nager Law/Pepco/Worth||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||33||52||16.5||26||-9.5||23||65|
|33||OH – Grove City||mj lowe||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||50||53||25||26.5||-1.5||36||0|
There were lots of great diving plays by the likes of Luis Reyna and Isaac Gonzalez among others. But the best was probably Smash It Sports MI Kevin Bazat who dove for one full out to his right towards the shortstop and still threw the runner out at 1st base.
Bad Draws LF Mike Williams had a full out diving catch where the ball curved back into his chest at the last second and he still caught it. In the same inning CF Freddie Bynum had a sprinting diver straight in for the catches of the tournament.
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
Conf 'M' from IN 6-1 Record
Photo courtesy of Grand Slam Images
Backman won their 3rd straight tournament and ran their winning streak to 17 straight games before losing to Resmondo in the first game of the championship on that walk off homer. 16 of those 17 wins were against 'A' or above opponents and they had 4 straight wins against major teams. Backman is firing on all cylinders. Offensively the lineup goes 8+ deep and their defensive specialists like pitcher Andrew Vitcak and center fielder Brian Logan are having good years with the stick. Shortstop Ryan Stovall has proven he is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, Powers is holding down 3rd base, of course Lloyd at 2nd has the most range horizontal and vertical in the Conference, and middle man Orlando Castillo has "all the throws". Backman has the most power of any of the big 3 major teams and they beat Resmondo basically in the best 2 out of 3 this past weekend.
Backman played without Jeremy Yates for the second half of the tournament who was out with a slight muscle pull they didn't want to risk further damage to. And Haglund played with a swollen knee after teammates said he had enough room at the fence when he didn't. No warning tracks in Columbus either…
Backman has a bit of a grueling schedule in May as they travel to Euless next weekend and then the big tournament in Chattanooga in two weeks.
Backman lineup on Sunday:
3B Lee Powers
2B Kevin Kennington
C Neil Haglund
RF Ryan Harvey
EH Terry Baggs
MI Orlando Castillo
2B Steven Lloyd
LF Reggie Schulte
SS Ryan Stovall
P Andrew Vitcak
CF Brian Logan
Lee Powers, Ryan Stovall, Orlando Castillo, Steve Lloyd across the Backman infield
Lee Powers has been playing a nice third base.
Had a great grounder stab in the hole and whirling strike to 1st against Remsondo in the championship
2nd Place Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth
Conf 'M' from FL 6-2 Record
Resmondo stretched their win streak to 9 straight games as they started the Columbus major with 3 straight wins including a big second round win over Smash It Sports 22-19 on a walk off grand slam home run by Jeremy Isenhower. They fought their way past BHR, 3rd Street in a spirited game, and Xtreme to make the winner's championship on Saturday night. All of those opponents gave a great effort against them. In the winner's bracket finals they came from behind twice and had the winning runs on base with the hammer in their hands in the bottom of the 7th but came up short 36-35. On Sunday they scored big in the top of the 7th to knock off Smash It Sports and then in the first game of the championship against Backman used a walk off homer by Dan Sanchez to for the "if" game where they got trounced by a more rested Backman offense.
Resmondo played ok but not up to their championship form although they never gave up and fought hard throughout the tournament. They played without Howie Krause but used solid defense and it never felt like they were out of a game until th last one.
Trending Up, moved up 3 spots in the points
Salas, Dedonatis, and Reyna in Resmondo left side.
I like Santanas glove.
I say it every year, BJ Fulk is a professional base hitter
3rd Place Smash It Sports/ASP/H Auto/Mr Wiggles/Easton
Conf 'M' from NY 7-2 Record
Helmer played a lot in the second half of the tournament
Smash It Sports had a long weekend where they played 9 games and after losing to Resmondo in the 2nd round on a walk off homer they won 6 straight in the losers bracket including a 33-32 extra innings win over Above All, a 35-20 win over Team Combat, and a 28-27 win over Newbreed on a walk off homer by Buddy Wolf. On Sunday morning they handled Vivid after a slow start 31-16 and then against Resmondo with a chance to take a nice lead into the 7th they left runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs and the heart of the order up? In the top of the 7th Resmondo put up too many runs for a tired Smash It lineup and Smash lost 22-19.
Wegman had a swollen knee but the rest of the team seemed healthy. Smashit gets a week off before Chattanooga where they try to renew the fight for #1.
Smash It Sports Sunday lineup:
2B/3B Bryson Baker
LF Brian Wegman
1B Kyle Pearson
C Kevin Filby
EH Brett Helmer
P Travis Clark
SS Mike Umschied
RF Larry Wolf
3B Dale Brungardt
CF Ryan Parfitt
2B/LF Brad Reckart
Bryson Baker played some third base on Sunday
Travis Clark was running pretty good, the foot injury may have turned a corner for the better?
4th Place Vivid
Conf 'AA' from TX 4-2 Record
Vivid won their first 3 games. A wind blowing in 22-19 hard fought victory over a good Buffalo Wings and Rings team, a nice 34-22 win over upset minded TG Brand, and a huge 34-33 win over Team Combat to make the final 4 undefeated. In that semi final game in the winner's bracket they held their own with #1 Backman as the game was tied 21-21 before Backman scored the last 11 runs of the game. In the loser's bracket they pulled off a 16-15 win over The Scene late Friday night to make it to Sunday where they battled Smash It Sports for a few innings with a partial starting team to finish 4th as some players had to catch flights.
Vivid played without Foley, Jason Williams, Matt Fox, and Justin Stuart this weekend. They haven't played a 'AA' team a single game this year which is a rather odd occurence. Gonzalez played well in the middle infield and extended the lineup. But for the most part they just didn't give up and pulled out close wins. A huge points weekend for Vivid who moves to 10th in points coming into the Euless, Texas major this coming weekend.
Vivid Sunday Lineup:
RF Tim Howard
EH Zach Keene
2B Dennis Shrum
MI Isaac Gonzalez
LF Tom Crump
SS Chris Smith
3B Taylor Albrecht
1B Addison Rayford
C Jon Kilburn
CF Brian Elliot
P Stephen Cooper
Dennis Shrum still hitting it well after all these years
Vivids veteran outfielder Tim Howard knows how to get hits against the Major teams
Killbomber got in the game Sunday
Chris Larsen hits one past the diving Stovall in the winner's semi final
Tied 5th Place The Scene/Adiktiv/Monsta/Klutch
Conf 'AA' from NY 4-2 Record
The Scene moved to 3rd in the points standings with a 5th place finish. I have given them an incomplete on this young season as they seem to play poorly whenever a Major team is going to be their next opponent if they win. The Scene knocked off some lower level teams before Xtreme beat them by a run in the quarterfinals 15-14 with the wind blowing in. In the loser's bracket they blew a 21 run lead over TG/Red's before holding them off 33-31 and knocked off Semper to make the top 5.
The Scene played a lot of their games over at the 3 fields that were away from the main complex so I didn't get to see much of them. They seem to have trouble when the wind is blowing in though and we may not see them at a big event until the Smoky?
Davis Bilardello helped us out with scores on the livestream. 🙂
Jason Branch never gets cheated on a swing. A real masher.
Tied 5th Place Xtreme/Miken
Conf 'AA' from MN 3-2 Record
Xtreme had a tough draw in the bracket and rose to the occasion as they trounced Bad Draw 37-9 Friday night, shut down Newbreed 22-11 on Saturday morning, and held off The Scene 15-14 in the quarterfinals to make the final 4 undefeated. Their 3 biggest wins of their year all in a row. Then they lost to the two major teams Resmondo and Smash It Sports. Lossen White pitched with an injured foot but the defense which was in question early in the season played well and the offense did enough to win and rise to 9th in the point standings.
Xtreme shortstop Tim Nielson turns two
Quite the 70's trucker look for Shannon Smith
Other top finishing Conference teams
Tied 7th Place – Semper/Demarini/Klutch/Timbuktu/Buzini
Conf 'A' from USA 4-2 Record
Semper won 4 straight in the loser's bracket including big wins over TG Brand, Nightmare, and 3rd Street before they were sent home by The Scene. They also had that one run loss to Precision to open the tournament on Friday night. Semper is now 3-0 vs their peers in the 'A' division.
Tied 7th Place – Newbreed/GTS/Beus Excavation/Dirty's
Conf 'AA' from WA 4-2 Record
Newbreed played a lot of ball and had some nice wins over BHR 35-32 and Precision 36-18 in the loser's bracket. They led Smash It Sports for part of that game before losing on a walk off homer. Newbreed was sluggish against Xtreme for some reason but overall gave a good showing and could have beaten Smash but it wasn't meant to be. Gotta win those coin tosses.
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Some more pictures for you:
Lee Payne #27 has 3 legs on the pano shot!
I am not picking on Andy on this one, just wanted to show that umpires and players do care where the ball lands.
Even though umpires will say it doesn't matter where it lands everyone in the park including players and umps are watching it land.
Just one of those crazy things about softball.
3rd Street went 202 and had a huge 36-12 win over Line Drive. They also played Resmondo very well to a 23-27 loss.
Matusik for 3rd Street
Combat tied for 9th at 2-2. Barely beat 'B' team Premier 42-40 on Friday and lost a close 1 run game to Vivid which could have put them in the final 4.
A lot of what ifs this weekend for Combat…again.
Micah Schnurstein of Thunder hits one deep
TG/Red's Astros was my pick to click but they stumbled out of the gate with that 1 run loss to sister team TG Brand
Columbus the softball capital of the world? Maybe for one weekend. 🙂
Tarz, Ortiz, and the leading hitter in the nation coming into Columbus Brian Blay .938 🙂
Billy Maggard is now the 2nd pitcher for Combat after Tommie Baugh left
SOL Softball/Castle Sports MO-C
Buffalo Rings and Wings KY-A
Bad Draw/Broughton/Worth NC-AA
#15 BHR had the #18 Resmondo draw in their first game Friday
Rebel Sports pulled a Friday upset of Above All Landscaping
Louisville Slugger had a tent
Columbus has their own slo-pitch Hall of Fame.
Greats like Randy Kortokraz, Cliff Carpenter, and Tommy Thompson on the wall.
Red Moore styling with his 1974 World Tournament jacket
This umpire had a nice dry erase board with the score and how many homers
Future law firm of Maggard and Dunn
A little pano action with Vivid and Backman in the final 4.