Wednesday October 18th, 2017
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2017 USSSA ‘AA’ World tournament report!

 

 

 

2017 'AA' World

 

Tournament

 

Kissimmee, FL

 

September 16-17

 

Link to 'AA' picture album

 

2017 'AA' bracket and info link

Team Breakdown:
10 Teams Overall
10 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
8 'AA' Teams
2 'A' Teams

The 2017 'AA' Worlds were moved unexpectedly to the Osceola Softball Complex in Kissimmee, Florida after the traditional venue at Fortune Road was closed due to unassessed damage from Hurricane Irma.  This changed the complexion of the tournament a little bit as teams had to adjust to the 300 foot fields with 5 foot home fences instead of the Fortune Road fields that are 8 feet high and 325 feet in distance.  But the teams seemed to adjust pretty well for the most part and most of the games played went 7 innings.

The tournament began on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM eastern time and finished up at 5 PM Sunday with 10 teams playing in a double elimination.  The tournament was played in great weather with sunshine, a beautiful Saturday evening, and a nice breeze throughout the tournament.  They used the regular Conference ball the Dudley Classic M.  Let's take a look at the game by game:

'AA' World Game by Game!

Game #1 – The tournament started with 10 teams and two "Play In" games.  The first was Primetime in the black shirts here taking on The Scene/HDLNS with their new retro Cleveland Indians? uniforms.  After an early lead by Scene/HDLNS based out of Cincinnati, the Primetime 'A' team pulled ahead 8-3 and held an 18-14 lead mid game.  HDLNS just could never catch up or shake off the rust as they hadn't played since the Columbus, Ohio major and Primetime kept hitting their way to a 30-22 upset.


Game #2 was the "Play In" game between Classic Glass in the Blue and TDB in the white.  Classic grabbed leads of 4-1 early, 15-7 after 5 innings, 22-10 after 6, and won fairly easily 27-10.  In the above picture Classic Glass's Mike Brambilla homer's.


Game #3 was a grudge match between two Illinois based main sponsors, Jason Wilkins of OA Apparel and Precision sponsored by Bill Wax.  A couple of the players from both teams actually play league together and take BP.  OA led 13-10 but used too many homers early on as their star players Filip Washington, Zach Messer, Steele Lewis, Brad Lunda, and Tim Bowser led the way.  But Precision batted for about 20 minutes in the 5th and pulled away to a crushing 39-24 win.

Above, Precisions Keith Anderson hits a homer off of OA Apparel in their big comeback inning.


In Game #4 Baugh Ford an 'A' team in red took on Xtreme in Yellow over on Field #2 which was the only field with the wind blowing in.  It was a bit of a pillow fight early but Xtreme grabbed an 11 run lead as Baugh Ford kept stranding base runners and made a bad base running error.  Xtreme held a solid lead in most of the mid and later innings and won 32-20.


Game #5 was Nightmare in the pink and grey against Primetime on Field #4.  Primetime hot off their upset of Scene/HDLNS then got off to such a hot start against Nightmare that they knocked out starting pitcher Wes Newell in the first two innings.  The teams were tied though in the 6th inning and Primetime still had 8 homer's left but Nightmare who had come back from a double digit deficit sent Primetime to the loser's bracket 20-16.


Game #6 – #1 Seeded Worth Astros jumped out to leads of 14-7 and 24-7 on Classic Glass as Astros batted around twice in one inning.  After Classic had played so well against TDB they were absolutely smoked so fast by Astros in this game 32-10 that I didn't get any pictures…


Game #11 the second round of the winner's bracket started as the lights came on.  #2 Nightmare got off to a 24-1 lead on a stunned #3 Precision team.  Everything was going right for Nightmare and they honestly looked to be rolling into the winner's bracket championship.  But Precision managed to hit a number of 2, 3, and 4 run homer's and climbed back into the game avoiding 3rd and 4th inning run rules.  Precision got some huge homer's down the stretch from Dan Bean and then in the bottom of the 7th with a homer left Precision Brett McCollum doubled and center fielder Travis Houseman pictured above hit a big double past the diving middle infielder Jason Trammell, and Kyle Cowart hit a walk off homer to win 28-26.  A controversial call went against Nightmare when Charlie Hinojosa appeared to hit a 2 run triple down the 1st base line at the end of the game and Precision claimed the ball hit the runner at 1st.  The umpires agreed after the play was over and called it an out.


Game #12 was the other semifinal between Xtreme and Worth Astros.  Astros scored 17 runs on 9 homer's in the first inning and were out of their allotted 12 Homer's by the 2nd inning, and Astro's led 23-0 in the top of the 3rd.  Xtreme never recovered and lost 23-7 setting up the highly anticipated winner's final late Saturday night.


Game #13 was a loser's bracket game late Saturday to make it to Sunday between Nightmare and Classic Glass. Classic Glass won 26-14 as they held Nightmare down with some nice infield defense.


 

In the loser's bracket TDB sent OA Apparel home 30-28, The Scene/HDLNS beat Baugh Ford 13-10, Primetime hit a walk off to beat TDB 24-23 after being down 6 late, and Classic Glass run ruled The Scene/HDLNS.  All of those games were going on during the final 4 so I don't have details.

 


Game #14 was Primetime against Xtreme to make it to Sunday.  Primetime gave Xtreme all they could handle but lost 31-26.


Game #15 was the winner's bracket finals Saturday night around 9:30 PM.  A much anticipated game between Precision last years 'AA' champ, although with a much different team, vs this years #1 seed Worth Astros.  The game was hard fought and there was some good defense, strategy, and pitching, and those frequent game stoppages by Precision…  And it was Precison who led 13-10 after 4 innings.  At one point it was tied at 15 each, and Precision grabbed a 22-20 lead in the 6th.  But Precision would separate and win 30-21 as Worth Astros left a number of runners on with homer's left in the second half of the game.


 

Sunday Final 4!

The Sunday final 4 started with Game #16 at 9 AM with Classic Glass and Xtreme playing the loser's semifinals.  The two teams both got off to quick starts and it was 12-8 Classic after 1 inning.  Classic Glass middle man AJ Montano and Xtreme middle man Brandon Newman traded some great plays defensively.  The game was about even going into the 3rd with Classic up 17-16 and both teams had hit 7 of their 12 homer's.  At one point DJ Hollingsworth in center for Classic made a full speed leaping home run rob attempt towards the fence and landed hitting his face on the yellow plastic on top of the fence and it jarred the ball loose and the ball went for a homer.  DJ was dizzy and had an injured knee and that is when the momentum changed to Xtreme.  DJ tried to hit and stay in the game but when they finally removed him it changed their lineup and defense.  In the 5th inning it was 24-24 and the wind started to blow straight in.  Classic grabbed leads of 28-24, and 32-24 but Xtreme scored 8 in the 6th to take a 34-32 lead, the big blow was a Newman grand slam!  With the homer's gone Xtreme outscored Classic (who had the hammer) 6-3 the rest of the way and advanced after a 2 hour marathon game to take on a fresh Worth Astros team.


Pictured is Matt McGowan hitting against Worth Astros

Game #17 was the loser's final.  Astros batted 13 hitters in the first inning and jumped out to a 9-4 lead.  Astros and Xtreme then proceeded to use up a bunch of homers in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings and it was 21-15 Astros going into the top of the 5th.  But Xtreme saved 5 homer's for the top of the 7th down 24-20 and even with the wind blowing in proceeded to score 10 runs and went up 6.  Astros with 2 homer's left and the hammer managed just 2 runs and Xtreme advanced to face Precision in the championship.


Pictured is Lyf Nimmo with yet another clutch pinch hit for Xtreme!

Games #18 and #19 were the championship games.  A tired but seemingly confident Xtreme team got off to 10-6 and 16-9 leads on maybe an over pumped up Precision team as they chased starting pitcher Dan Bean early on.  Xtreme maintained the lead 19-13 and 21-13 through the early innings.  Xtreme continued the offensive momentum and extended their lead to an impressive 16 runs in the top of the 7th using the rest of their homers and forced the "if" game 35-20

In the final game Xtreme started with an adrenaline filled 1st inning where they painted lines, hit gaps, hit clutch homer's, took advantage of errors, and went up 21 to 2!  To add to it Colin Baartman made the most spectacular catch of the tournament on a full speed fully perpendicular dive in the right center field gap, and SS Toby Letak was making some great backhanded picks, and defensive MVP Brandon Newman was locking down the middle.

Precision, the champions that they are, never gave up though and a Lossen White 3 run homer closed the gap to 28-16 and using their homer's well closed it to 28-23 late.  But Xtreme had one more outburst in them and 5 homer's to hit and exploded to a 41-35 win.  In the last inning they scored all of their runs after the first two batters made outs by being robbed of homers by Kyle Cowart in left field and and extra base hit rob by Travis Houseman in center.  

 


 

Oldscout pollers only had Xtreme 10%

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

Patrick Ellwanger from Xtreme gets the longest home run Sunday and the Long Bomber of the week!

 


 

 'AA' Awards and Final Standings

Note Precision still has to send in their all tournament awards and it looks like Larsen is in list twice

 

Xtreme's Shannon Smith was MVP

Xtreme Middle Infielder Brandon Newman was Defensive MVP

Xtreme award winner's

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

1st Place Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  6-1 Record

Xtreme beat most of the top 'AA' teams to win the worlds.  They played 4 full 7 inning games from 9 AM Sunday morning until 5 PM Sunday evening.  This was a TOTAL team effort.  Dan Evans was a warrior on the mound getting some big outs and hits.  Brandon Newman, Colin Baartman, Seth Brown, Lyf Nimmo, and Joe Skyles had some huge home runs.  The team competed early in those 4 games and closed out late against the top teams.  The managing was superb going with hot sticks and role players when needed and each player on the team seemed to elevate their game and rise to the moment in front of them.  And it took every one of those defensive and offensive plays to beat Astros and then Precision twice!

Congratulations to this organization, sponsors, managers, and players as they played some of the best softball for over 8 hours on Sunday that the 'AA' division has ever seen.  

Xtreme Sunday Lineup:
CF Colin Baartman
C/1B Shannon Smith
RF Patrick Ellwanger
3B Cooper Vittitow
2B Joe Skyles/Seth Brown
C/EH Lyf Nimmo/Dustin Palm
1B Alex Bremer
SS Toby Letak
LF Cole Campbell/Matt McGowan
MI Brandon Newman
P Danny Evans/Dirk Updike

Baartman hits a grand slam!

 

Brandon Newman ended the Worth Astros game with a grand slam and then started the Precision game with one!

Vittitow at 3B, Letak at SS, Evans pitching, and Newman up the middle.  McGowan in LF.  Not easy to get a hit.

 

Alex Bremer and Matt McGowan

 

Cooper Vittitow and Danny Evans

 

Joe Skyles and Toby Letak

 

Seth Brown hits a huge homer

 

 


 

2nd Place Precision/3rd Street/GBrand/Easton

Conf 'AA' from IL  3-2 Record

 

Precision beat rival OA Apparel again, came back from 24-1 deficit to beat Nightmare, and handled Worth Astros in the winner's final separating late.  They looked to be cruising to their second 'AA' title in as many years and made the finals for the 4th consecutive year.  But it was not their day as Xtreme poured it on them late in the first game of the championship and hammered them early in the second.  Precision never did give up though and nearly came back from 21-2 in the "if" game.

Precision Sunday Lineup:
3B Matt Rear
C/2B David Kessler
1B/2B Brett McCollum
CF Travis Houseman
1B Brad Tabler
LF Kyle Cowart
RF Jason Hoynowski
P Dan Bean
P Losson White
2B Alex Burkel
SS Kyle Kannenberg
PH Frank Fracke
PH/EH Tom Paturzo

 

Rear and Kessler homer

Houseman nearly robs a homer

Kyle Cowart hits a walk off homer to beat Nightmare in the semi finals

 


 

3rd Place Worth Astros/K&G/Klutch

Conf 'AA' from IN  2-2 Record

 

Astros crushed Classic Glass and Xtreme in their first two games and then didn't get the big homer's they needed in the winner's final against Precision or the loser's final against Xtreme.  Worth played without their middle man Troy Krider who is home with a young son who is fighting in the hospital.  Our thoughts and prayers go to the Krider family in this time of need.

Worth Astros Sunday Lineup:
2B Steve Edwards
RF Sid Stephany
C Chad Mullins
LF Mike Ortiz
EH Keith Martin
CF Josh Kirsten
1B Rob Roop
SS Ricardo Lizcano
P Bill Pinkham
MI Jesse Young

Sid Stephany slams a line drive

Josh Kirsten celebrates with newcomer Jesse Young

Dal Beggs and Ricardo Lizcano on the Astros left side

 


 

4th Place Classic Glass/Easton

Conf 'AA' from CA  -2 Record

 

Classic Glass made a little run in the loser's bracket after losing big to Astros in the final 8.  They knocked off 3 'AA' teams.  Classic who hit pretty well with the home run management just didn't get it done late against Xtreme on Sunday morning but a great game nonetheless.  A few of the Classic players have been added to teams for the Major who are allowed a pickup when players are missing or injured.  Traylor with Bay Area.  Hollingsworth with Newbreed.  Montano with Racks.

Classic Glass Sunday Lineup:
CF Donald Hollingsworth
1B Mike Brambilla
C Chris Larsen
2B Pilar Amaya
3B Matt Fox
MI AJ Montano
SS Clif Williamson
RF Trey Gillilland
LF Brandon Traylor
P Tyson Steele

AJ Montano made the diving stop of the tourny.

 

Brambilla and Larsen hit pretty good with the homers gone

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place Nightmare/Miken

Conf 'AA' from   -2 Record

Nightmare blew that 24-1 lead to Precision in the semi finals and it was all downhill from there.  Nolan Fogle at 2B did turn in some great back hand plays in that game.  They only scored 13 runs at night when allowed 12 homer's against Classic?

 


 

Tied 5th Place Primetime/Easton

Conf 'A' from GA  -2 Record

Primetime played loose and fun and upset Scene/HDLNS and walked off TDB, and nearly upset Nightmare and Xtreme.  They have been stepping it up at 'AA' worlds the last two years.

The Big Swole!

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

I would like to thank all of my sponsors, USSSA, and the SoftballCenter and Oldscout advertisers!

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to all 2009 to 2017 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points Link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

Scene/HDLNS 1-2

TDB 1-2, didn't have the magic in the loser's bracket

OA went 0-2 losing some long games with Precision and TDB

Baugh was 0-2, missing Rasberry and Ponder

Osceola did a nice job dragging and lining the fields

Hurricane Boldt.  Literally Boldt was leaning on the fence and it went over.

We all need to get kids to do this and less smartphone/video games

Conference umpires, the best in the business

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