Wednesday July 18th, 2018
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2018 USSSA Las Vegas Major tournament report!

 

 

 

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

8th Annual "Sin City" Classic

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

 

April 6-8

Winner's bracket championship between the two heavyweights Resmondo and Smash It Sports!

 

SoftballCenter Las Vegas picture album link 

 

2018 Las Vegas men's and women's bracket link

 

Crowd for the winner's final

The 13th season of the Nationwide Conference USSSA began in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend with the 40 team 8th Annual Sin City Classic double elimination tournament played at the Big League Dreams park and its 6 replica major league fields.  The fields had artificial turf infields and short home run fences.  The games that had 2 major teams in it played with a 16-home run limit, the games with an 'A' team in it played with a 12-home run limit, and the games with no 'A' or above teams played with an 8-home run limit.  The weather was perfect, although windy on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures were in the 80's but pleasant and sunny.  The tournament featured 16 Conference USSSA teams, all 3 Major level teams, and 7 very good 'AA' teams.

The Sin City Classic began on Friday afternoon at 4 PM with 16 lower local type teams playing to get into the round of 32.  Most all of those games went the full 7 innings and a 'C' team called Kava out of California scored 44 runs in one win.  The round of 32 in the winner's bracket began at 5:20 PM and 6 PM and each game had a non-conference team playing against a conference team.  In 14 of the 16 games a Conference team won the game as most Major and AA teams cruised through their first game of the season, but a pair of Conference 'A' teams were upset.  PonyTail Express a California 'C' team with veterans Chris Arredondo and Dan Norquist playing knocked off Conference 'A' team Tradesmen 48-32 over on Crosley field.  And a young Product team from California run ruled Chanticlear Pizza (MN-A) 33-18.  Product was the USSSA 'D' World champs at Disney last fall and has now been bumped to 'B' after a 30-4 overall record to start the season.

So, the round of 16 in the winner's bracket featured 14 Conference teams, the 'C' team Ponytail Express with its former conference player pickups, and upstart Product Factory who was becoming the talk of the tournament.  This round was played as well on Friday night and the most anticipated matchup was the two new 'AA' teams Pure Sports/Monsta from South Carolina playing TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken from North Carolina.  In that game the #7 team TDB in the Softball Center pre-season rankings got off to a slow start against #6 Pure Sports as Pure went up 11-3 in the first inning.  But TDB in the bottom of the 2nd used some nice base hitting by BJ Fulk, Jason Matusik, and Jason Martel to set the table for a Kyle Pearson grand slam and a 13-run inning led TDB to a 14-11 lead.  Pure responded though with a huge 24-8 inning in the 3rd and went up 35-22 and only a great stab by TDB pitcher Faron Miller was able to stop the bleeding.  But with the homer's gone for Pure Sports, TDB made a slow – never give up – comeback and had just enough homer's left to get a lead going into the bottom of the 7th and hung on to win the game 41-40.  As one chat room poster commented it was an "instant classic".  Check out that game on the archived video on youtube!  In the rest of the action the Major teams all run ruled their opponents – Smash It Sports over Cheap Suits (CA-B), Resmondo over L&S Glass (CA-B), and Dan Smith over Wileys (FL-B).  But the 'A' and 'AA' teams had some close games.  Nightmare (MO-AA) was in a battle against Classic Glass (CA-A) as Classic had 5 base hits in a row in the top of the 7th with no homers left to take a 32-30 lead.  But in the bottom of the 7th Nightmare shortstop Pat Burton doubled to tie the game and player/sponsor Nolan Fogle hit a sacrifice fly to win it 33-32!  Bay Area Legends (CA-TBD) in the last game of the night after midnight took Xtreme (MN-AA) to the wood shed 36-20.  Newbreed (WA-AA) held on to beat PonyTail Express (CA-C) 37-36.  And in the biggest upset of the tournament The Product (CA-B) just would not quit chipping away at their deficit against Racks' Astros (IN-AA) and finally broke through and beat Racks 35-32 when Racks could not stop hitting home runs for outs after they used up all 12 of their home runs.

So, the final 8 of the winner's bracket was set for Saturday's 3:30 PM showdowns.  #2 Resmondo who's offense with or without home runs left was starting to create an online buzz jumped all over Bay Area Legends and crushed them 51-20 in 3 or 4 innings (can't remember) with the wind blowing out on Fenway.  Newbreed held down the Product Factory 19-3 over on Dodger to advance to the final 4.  TDB got off to a great start offensively and defensively against #1 Smash It Sports but with the wind blowing in very strong on Yankee field Smash It was somehow able to come back, take a 1 run lead 20-19 and hold TDB scoreless in the bottom of the 7th to win…  And #3 Dan Smith had all they could handle with Nightmare over on Wrigley field but persevered and hung on to win 37-35 as Nightmare went down with the bats in their hands.

The final 4 began at 8 PM again with wind blowing in on Yankee and out on Fenway.  Resmondo used dominating offense to get Dan Smith down 24-5 and then closed them out a couple innings early 33-13 with defense and the 20-run mercy rule.  On Yankee Newbreed 1st baseman Victor Cordova and SIS middle infielder Luis Reyna traded great infield plays early on and Newbreeds Blake Lively and SIS's Adam Ussery the 2nd basemen made a bunch of plays and it was a 4-3 Newbreed lead after 2 innings.  Smash Its offense continued to struggle against Newbreed pitcher Cole Patterson and Smash Its defense and pitching by Andrew Vitcak did just enough to hold the line until their offense woke up and Smash It separated in the top of the 7th with 7 runs to go up 32-21 and held on 32-24.

The winner's bracket championship was then played at 9:30 PM with #1 Smash it taking on #2 Resmondo in their first of many meetings in 2018.  Resmondo's offense was clicking on all cylinders this weekend and they went up 12-5 on Smash It Sports in the first inning.  As the game went on it became clear that Resmondo's offense would be too much, although Smash It to their credit even though they were struggling with the bats they never gave up and made you think like in years past that they could pull off a miracle.  But it was not to happen as Resmondo was able to keep up the offensive pressure and win 40-32.  For Resmondo Wegman was 5-6 with 3 HR – Connell was 6-7 with 3 HR – Yates was 6-6 with 3 doubles – and Co-MVP Steele Lewis was 5-6 with 2 HR.  For Smash It Jason Branch was 5-6 with 4 HR.

In the loser's bracket Saturday Pure Sports/Monsta made a big run winning 4 straight including "in class" wins over Nightmare 34-20 and Racks Astros 49-34 in a game where they scored 18 runs in the 2nd inning.  Then they ran out of gas against Newbreed who sent them home 32-15 late Saturday night.  In the bottom of the bracket Classic Glass won two in a row before TDB sent them home and Xtreme won 3 in a row before TDB got off to a 16-2 lead and sent Xtreme packing 50-35.  The loser's bracket at these big conference events can be brutal as the next bigger dog drops down and knocks off the hot teams and Dan Smith late Friday advanced to Sunday with what appeared to be an easy win over TDB 40-14.  In that game TDB pitcher Faron Miller got DRILLED up the middle in his big catcher's gear shin guards to the ooh's and awes of the fans that were left.  Thank you shin guards!

Sunday morning bright and early at 8 am with perfect weather, although very windy and sunny, the final 4 teams battled it out.  Dan Smith used a great backhand by 3rd baseman Dale Brungardt to finally get Newbreed out early in the game and came in with a 16 run bottom of the 2nd inning to go up 23-21 and Dna Smith was up 38-27 as they got 9 runs without using their homer's much in the bottom of the 4th.  Newbreed never did give up even though they were playing shorthanded as a few players had to catch flights, but Dan Smith advanced to the loser's bracket finals 45-35.

Loser's Final – Dan Smith used their home runs better it seemed and held down Smash It Sports with some defense and double plays and good pitching by LC Watson.  The game could have gone either way most of the way, but Smash It never had that huge inning they needed in almost every game they played, and Dan Smith advanced to the championship with a long 38-29 win.  LC Watson was hit in the pitching hand in this game and backup pitcher Mike Nino started the championship against Resmondo.

Championship – In the top of the 4th inning Mike Nino the Dan Smith pitcher got a glove on a Resmondo line drive then dove for the loose ball and pitched it to 2nd base for the force out.  On the next play he stabbed a hard grounder and turned a double play to hold Resmondo to zero runs which didn't happen often at this tournament.  Dan Smith then grabbed a 20-19 lead on Smash It Sports in the bottom of the 4th on a Dale Brungardt home run.  But Resmondo scored 20 runs on 5 homer's in the 5th and 15 more on 2 homer's in the 6th to run rule Dan Smith 56-31 in a game where Dan Smith never gave up and seemed to still be in it until that last marathon run by Resmondo.  Resmondo's Brian Wegman was on base 8-8 (2 walks) in the championship game.  Co-MVP Jeremy Yates was 8-8 (all hits) with 3 HR.

Championship game handshakes

Las Vegas random thoughts:
1) The hardest balls I watched hit were by Dan Smith's Argen Dodds and Newbreed 3rd baseman Matt Vasquez.
2) LC Watson is a gamer going back into the championship game with a badly swollen pitching hand and hitting a double.
3) What/Who was doing the "billy goat laugh" on Dodger field that could be heard on the livestream?
4) Did anyone see the red van with the 2 machine guns on top driving around Vegas that said "Las Vegas Machine Gun Company"…wow
5) I wish I could get all the pitcher stabs of hard shots and all the great infield defense plays on one video clip, but it would probably take a week of full days to do.  There were some unbelievable plays in Vegas.
6) Ben Dunn and Jeremy Yates leaping against the Green Monster to make great catches!
7) How loud was that rock band at the Rio in the middle of the casino at 2 AM Friday night.  Wow…and they weren't very good.
8) Brungardt and Williams and those nasty backhands and throws from 3rd base!
9) Too many pitchers hit hard (Watson, Pinkham, Miller, and more), let's use the 52 on turf fields that are 300 feet or less home run fences.  What do you think?
10) Most of what is done in Vegas stays in Vegas except the softball played. 🙂

Team Breakdown:
40 Teams Overall
16 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
3 Major Teams
7 'AA' Teams
5 'A' Teams
6 'B' Teams
19 'C' Teams

Resmondo's Greg Connell hitting against Dan Smith in the semifinals

Resmondo in the blue finishes off Smash It Sports by 8 runs in the winner's final

All tournament performer LC Watson from Dan Smith homers against Newbreed on Sunday morning

Pure Sports John Williams hits

Pure Sports Filip Washington in that grudge match game against Faron Miller and TDB

Xtreme's Dirk Updike homer's in a 50-35 late Saturday loss to TDB

Pure Sports in the red knocked out 'AA' peer Rack's/Astros 49-34 to finish 5th

Smash It gets one by Newbreed pitcher Cole Patterson in their 32-24 semifinal win

 

 


 

Oldscout pollers had Resmondo at a 32% clip and picked the top 3 with a good percentage. 

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

I don't really have one.  When the stats come out I will give it whoever had the most RBI per at bat

20 or more plate appearances.

 


 

 Las Vegas Major Awards and Final Standings

Resmondo outfielders Jeremy Yates (above) and Steele Lewis (below) were tournament Co-MVP's

Resmondo middle infielder Brett Rettenmeier was Defensive MVP

Dan Smith LF Jordan Spaulding was Offensive MVP

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

1st Place Resmondo/RDD/H.Auto/All-In/Easton

Conf Major from FL  6-1 Record

Resmondo starts the season with what eluded them in 2017 – a win at a Major event with all Major teams present…  Resmondo used dominating offense and solid defense and pitching to beat their opponents.  Every time their opponents thought they might have a chance, the Resmondo offense would bat around the order and separate by double digits or more.  A true team effort.  The new guys Yates, Rettenmeier, and Lewis brought home all of the hardware.  Yates was hitting doubles like crazy, Connell and Wegman seemed to be in mid season form, and they have a nice lefty/righty balance in their new lineup.  They played without Kevin Bazat (back), and Bubba Mack (pulled muscle).  Brad Reckart played the super utility role and played 1st base the whole weekend.  I apologize I don't seem to have a picture of Reck… 

Trending Up!

Resmondo final lineup:
3B Bryson Baker
2B Greg Connell
C Brian Wegman
LF Jeremy Yates
P Travis Clark
Neil Haglund
Buddy Wolf
CF Steele Lewis
1B Brad Reckart
SS Mike Umscheid
MI Brett Rettenmeier

Yates leaps against the wall on Fenway field

Resmondo infield of 3B Bryson Baker, SS Mike Umschied, MI Brett Rettenmeier, 2B Greg Connell was solid

 

Resmondo lefties Neil Haglund and Buddy Wolf

 

SS Mike Umschied and 3B Bryson Baker

 

Travis Clark and Brian Wegman

 


 

2nd Place Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith

Conf Major from CA  6-2 Record

 

Dan Smith finished 2nd and beat a major team (SIS) and 3 AA teams (Nightmare, TDB, and Newbreed).  Jordan Spaulding is probably leading the league in hitting after one tournament.  Ben Dunn was running for extra bases like a mad man, Collins and Brungardt were mashing, Nino got battle tested at pitcher and did well, Whaley-Watson-Brungard-Dunn were all tournament and Spaulding Offensive MVP.  The team hit pretty well overall and just need to make a few more plays defensively to take the next step.  Overall a great weekend for Dan Smith and step 1 in the right direction.

Lee Powers was not in Las Vegas, he will join the team in Houston I believe.

Trending Up!

Sunday Dan Smith lineup:
2B Lloyd
CF Dunn
RF/C Collins
3B Brungardt
LF Spaulding
EH Dodds
1B Kanaby
RF/C Bilardello
SS Stovall
MI Whaley
P Watson/Nino

  

MI Steve Whaley and center fielder Ben Dunn were all tournament

 

Backup rookie pitcher Mike Nino did a nice job in relief

and made back to back plays up the middle in that big game against SIS.

 

One of Dan Smith's longtime friends and co-sponsor Ed Menosse.  Dale Brungardt made all tournament.

 

1B Erik Kanaby and 2B Steven Lloyd

 


 

3rd Place Smash It Sports/Thunder/Backman/S&S/Miken/Worth

Conf Major from NY  4-2 Record

 

Yes Branch sat Sunday (team decision), Harvey was out (rib?), and Purcell didn't pitch.  But those are not excuses you will hear from Smash It players or management.  They lost and often the Major champ from the previous year gets off to a slow start.  They simply had trouble batting around the order in a given inning which you have to do when you play on BLD fields against good competition.  This team will regroup and try to get healthy.  Reyna moved up to lead off their final game and Pearson, Vitcak, and Briggs were over 800 on base percentage and Briggs were all tournament.  And everyone got a chance to play and they did win some close games with the wind blowing in. 

Trending Down some only because they can't go up any higher

Smash It Saturday night winner's final lineup:
Jason Branch
EH Andy Purcell
1B Kyle Pearson
2B Adam Ussery
CF Brian McBryde
C Josh Riley
MI Luis Reyna
LF Brandon Dillon
3B Cory Briggs
SS Don Dedonatis III
P Andrew Vitcak

Smash It left side Cory Briggs, Don Dedonatis, Luis Reyna

 

Andy Purcell DH'd a couple of games but did not pitch.  Andrew Vitcak pitched all of the games.

 

Luis Reyna moved up the lineup all weekend long until finally he was leadoff for the last game.

 

 


 

4th Place Newbreed/Steel Sports/DeMarini

Conf 'AA' from WA  4-2 Record

 

Newbreed took advantage of a soft spot in the bracket where Product Factory upset Racks and they made the most of it.  They barely got by Pony Tail Express 37-36 in their second game Friday night, then beat Product Factory Saturday 19-3.  In their semifinal game against Smash It Sports they never gave up but lost 32-24.  In the loser's bracket they run ruled a tired Pure Sports team 32-15 and Sunday morning gave Dan Smith all they could handle in a 45-35 loss to finish in 4th as the highest 'AA' team.

The team is really young and the chemistry between the Texas guys from Steel and the Newbreed guys mostly from the great northwest seemed really good.  The team was a few big plays away from making the winner's final.  Cole Patterson is a warrior on the mound but had to leave to catch a flight on Sunday morning.  Veteran Vic Cordova filled in nicely at pitcher against Dan Smith.

Trending Up!

One of the Newbreed lineups:
CF Hollingsworth
LF/1B Williams
C Roberts
1B/P Cordova
SS Malay
3B Vasquez
MI Utley
RF Cornu
2B Lively
DH Dotson / Rodriguez
P Patterson

Newbreed powered by D Rock (Dusin Roberts)

 

The Texas connection LF/1B Everett Williams and SS Reno Malay

 

Newbreed newcomers LF Rick Cornu and 2B Blake Lively and 19 year old DH Nick Dotson

Victor Cordova was on the mound Sunday as starter Cole Patterson had to catch a flight

 


 

Tied 5th Place Pure Sports/Monsta

Conf 'AA' from SC  5-2 Record

Pure Sports lost a tough one 41-40 to TDB where they had a couple of big leads and didn't hit well with the homer's gone.  But they showed a lot of heart in the loser's bracket winning 4 games including wins over top 'AA' teams Nightmare 34-20 and Racks 49-34 before Newbreed sent them home 32-15.  Pure Sports tired out after a very long and good day of softball.  They never did run into a Major team in this one and it will be interesting when they do.  Maybe this coming week in Houston they will play Dan Smith?

I never did write down their lineup but Mucciarelli and Mcclanahan did the pitching.  Mcclanahan and John Williams played 3rd base.  It was good to see Filip Washington playing center field, Carlsen was in RF.  Heath Barnes played some outfield as well.  The infield played well when I watched.  Big John at 3B had one of the better backhands and throws.  Messer had some highlight film plays as well.

Trending Up!

 

3B John Williams, SS Zach Messer

 

MI Heath Barnes and 2B Chente Granados

 


 

Tied 5th Place TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  4-2 Record

TDB won that big game Friday night over Pure Sports 41-40 in a game they had to overcome double digit deficits multiple times.  Then they led almost the entire game against Smash It Sports only to come up empty late on offense with the wind blowing in and lost 20-19.  In the loser's bracket they scored 95 runs in two wins against Classic Glass and Xtreme before Dan Smith sent them home late Saturday 40-14.  The team seemed to have major level type offense at times and played a great low scoring game against SIS before giving it away at the end. 

Trending Even

One TDB lineup:
CF Zirkle
EH Hammonds
C Fulk
1B Martel
2B Pearson
SS Castillo
3B Wilson
RF Renno
MI Montano
P Miller/Titus
Stewart ph

 

BJ Fulk was slapping it around the yard for TDB.

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  4-2 Record

Xtreme has a core of players from Minnesota and a core from Texas and they played a lot of softball after losing to Bay Area Legends Friday night by 16 runs.  They regrouped to beat L&S Glass and The Product before running into an offensive buzzsaw TDB/FAI who beat them 50-35.  Cory Large batted leadoff with Smith, Ellwanger, and Baartman leading the way offensively.  They had former Bad Draw infielder Dylan Smith at 3rd base, Letak at SS, Newman MI, Skyles at 2B, and Bremer at 1st.

Trending up!

 

Danny Evans did most of the pitching for Xtreme

Xtreme left side of Dylan Smith, Toby Letak, and Brandon Newman

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Rack's/Worth Astros/Klutch/Troupe

Conf 'AA' from IN  4-2 Record

Racks Astros was upset by the upstart Product Factory team in their second game on Friday night and then won 3 games in the loser's bracket including a nice 35-30 win over Bay Area Legends.  Late Saturday they lost a shootout with Pure Sports 49-34.  Racks is another team with a lot of midwestern players that haven't been able to be outside much to play softball.  And yes that is a legitimate excuse.  

Krider was playing a lot of 3rd base.  Faria was up the middle with Lizcano at SS and Steve Edwards at 2B.  Rob Roop relieved the injured Pinkham at pitcher and big Jon Nelson was DH with Stephany at catcher.

Trending Even!

One Racks Astros lineup:
Stephany
Brambilla
Kirkwood
Edwards
Nelson
Faria
Roop
Newman
Krider
Lizcano
Ramirez

Troy Krider known for his middle infield play, put on a show at third base.

Rob Roop did all of the pitching for Rack's Astros after Bill Pinkham got injured by a line drive off the forearm

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

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

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to all 2009 to 2018 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

 

There were some long delays over the "out of the batters box calls" which were correctly called. 

The only issue was the lack of communication of the rule

and some fields didn't enforce the rule and some others did which made it confusing.

 


 

Pure Sports got the Saturday "Sun Game" on Yankee

The Product/Hitting Bombs/Black Ryno pulled off two huge upsets Friday night over Chanticlear and Racks Astros.

They were the 2017 USSSA 'D' World Champs and were bumped to 'B' this year after a 30-4 record to star the season.

A fun team to watch with their line drive hitting, base running, and youthful exuberance on defense.

If you are a California sponsor looking for a fresh team of unknown players, hit these guys up.

The Product Factory pulls the biggest upset of the tournament with their Friday night win over Racks Astros 35-32

 

Bay Area Legends new manager Charles Dyson and left side with Matt Fox and Pilar Amaya.

Bay Area won their first two games including a run rule of Xtreme Friday night. 

Then lost to Resmondo and was knocked out by Racks Astros 35-30.

Nightmare (MO-AA) tied for 9th  2-2  beating Classic Glass but losing to Dan Smith and Pure Sports

Classic Glass (CA-A) went 3-2 and finished tied for 9th. 

They run ruled Tradesmen and Big Ten and got knocked out by TDB

L&S Glass (CA-B) tied for 13th at 2-2 but did beat Aire/SLM who is listed as a non-conference 'A' team

California Conference 'B' team Cheap Suits finished 2-2. 

They lost to Smash Its Major team but did beat the CDZ 'AA' team.

 

Tradesmen was upset by Pony Tail Express a 'C' team but did beat Wiley's and finished in 13th at 3-2.

They have Candian utility man Justin Pennell who can play any position including left handed SS.

 

CDZ Apparel was put together by Clif Williamson and featured a number of free agents.

CDZ went 2-2, losing 33-30 to Xtreme

Chanticlear ran into that hot Product Factory team early and went home 0-2 but being from Minnesota they haven't

been able to get outside to play this year so lets reserve judgement on them until they get to play some ball.

Aire/SLM/Downtime Sports is listed as a non-conference 'A' team.  Way to step up!

Every year the sun and strong winds in Las Vegas make it tough on the outfielders

 

The Green Monster

There were a lot of great diving plays on the turf

Picture of LC Watsons swollen pitching hand after he got hit on Sunday

Championship game umpiring crew

The return of "softball guy" of the week…

I told you those guys only have one eye…

 

 

 

 

10 responses to “2018 USSSA Las Vegas Major tournament report!”

  1. Chris says:

    Anyway to watch the Sunday games? I see a couple of the feeds on youtube, but not all of it is on there. Why is that?

  2. T-Rox says:

    DW, did connell really not make the all tourney team or did the just forget to add him maybe? No one was better than him all weekend. He looked locked in, on a mission for redemption

  3. John says:

    Who are the following guys playing for?
    Rockoff
    Grienert
    Ruili
    Yeilding

  4. AA5112 says:

    What bat was Connell swinging?

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