40th Annual Classique PIF tournament report!
2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
40th Annual Classique PIF
Sherbrooke, Ontario Canada
The 40th Annual Pif Major was played over July 4th weekend. The festivities kicked off with the All Star game between Nationwide Conference USSSA's "Red" and "Blue" team on Thursday night. Team Red quickly showed thier superior power and won the exhibition game 47-14 and entertained the crowd with some long homers. On Friday the Pool play began in the early evening with the Blue Stars knocking off Sherbrooke Honda 18-2 as Greg Connell was 5-5 with 3 homers and 9 RBI and BJ Fulk chipped in with 2 homers. The Red Stars made short work of Canadas top team Pharmapar 29-8 again on pure power and timely defense. On Saturday both the Red and Blue won 3 more games. Team Red beat Epsilia, DVQ, and Gateau by a combined score of 68-12. Blue beat Dirty Birds, PublicForme, and Checking. Only one was a run rule and Checking actually lost only 16-13 and had the bats in their hand on Saturday night. Red won with power, Blue won with defense. For Blue Dennis Rulli, Cory Large, Brian Wegman, and Lee Payne among others making great plays to preserve wins against PublicForme and Checking. For Red Lee Powers set a PIF record by hitting his second grand slam of the tournament.
On Sunday the top 3 teams from each pool played out a 6 team single elimination tournament for the championship. Pharmapar and Checking who were favorites to win the play in games both advanced easily vs Sherbrooke Honda and Epsilia respectively to move on and play the Blue and Red all stars in the semi-finals. The Blue Stars run ruled Pharmapar 22-7 to the dissapointment of the Canadian crowd. Then the Red Stars run ruled Checking 17-2 to advance to the showdown.
The championship game was a pretty good game with the Blue All Stars surprisingly jumping out to a lead and holding it for 6.1 innings. Blue led 16-10 going into the bottom of the 7th inning when the red hit a barrage of home runs off relief pitcher Billy Messina and the Blue team put back in starter Brad Reckart. With 1 out the Red All Star team got a game tying homer from MVP Lee Powers and a walk off 2 run homer by Chris Larsen to win the championship and snatch victory from the jaws of what looked like an upset victory by team Blue. The game featured a plethora of outstanding defensive plays including a home run rob by Red left fielder Neil Haglund, a diving catch by Red center field Nick Santana, a full out dive on the 1st base line by Blue infielder Jeff Flood who then dove head first into first base to get the out, and an incredible diving stab of a line drive on the third base line by Blue third baseman Mike Umschied.
The tournament featured the largest crowds in softball (I estimated at about 4,000 at its biggest point), a festival type atmosphere, a home run derby, and fireworks! There were 4 divisions, 2 local and 2 invitational. The women's Invitational was won by S&S Landscaping (Scott Sunderlands team) who defeated Twisted Sisters (Christan Dowlings team) in the finals 26-9. The men's Invitational tournament used a 12 home run limit except for the finals which was 16 and most games were played on the main field – Quintal – with 327-344-352-344-336 dimensions and the Conference ZN Classic M ball. USSSA rules were used and there were two conference umpires (Doc and Tony) that made the trip.
Team Breakdown – 10 Teams Total (2 Conference All Star teams)
Views of the main field Quintal
Teams and lineups were introduced before the big games
PIF home run champion Greg Connell and his hitting coach BJ Fulk
This guy just missed throwing a frisby through the windows of this car.
Had it been down about 6 inches he would of had this car free for one year!
Oldscout pollers were correct
Video Highlites brought to you by:
Long Bombers of the Week
Greg Connell HR Derby Champ
Francois Henry HR Derby runner up
Lee Powers HR Derby runner up
Brian Wegman at HR Derby
Brett Helmer at HR Derby
Neil Haglund at HR Derby
PIF Major Awards and Final Standings
PIF Final Standings:
1) Red All Stars 6-0
2) Blue All Stars 5-1
3) Team Pharmapar/Uniprix Simon Gregoire 4-2
3) Checking/Smash It Sports/Globe Cleaners 4-2
5) Gateaux 2-2
5) Sherbrooke Honda/LA Flamme Du Sport 2-3
7) Epsilia 2-3
8) Groupe Publicforme 1-3
9) Dirty Birds 0-4
10) Distribution VQ/Transport Herman 0-4
Scores – Pool play followed by 6 team single elim:
Team Red MVP Lee Powers
Team by team notes brought to you by:
1st Place Nationwide Conference USSSA RED
Conf 'M' from USA 6-0 Record
Team Red dominated all of their games including the exhibition game up until the finals when their offense disappeared for 6 innings and they scored 8 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win the 40th annual PIF Classique! Nic Santana did most of the pitching until Sunday while Andy Purcell played middle infield. Don Dedonatis at shortstop had to lead the tournament in total chances as he fielded ground ball after ground ball. Ryan Harvey and Chris Greinert had the longest homers according to the crowd on homers in the same inning. Kennington, Harvey, and "Booba" Mack as the announcer called him all shared the home run lead with 8. Powers moved to third when Salas pulled a muscle and did a nice job. Larsen was relatively quiet until the game was on the line and he hit the game winner, a no doubter.
Don Dedonatis Jr and Andy Purcell (Purcell played some middle infield)
Kevin Kennington and Neil Haglund
Ryan Harvey and Brett Helmer
Lee Powers and Bubba Mack
Chris Greinert and Chris Larsen
Nic Santana did a lot of the pitching and Jimmy Salas was playing 3rd until a slight muscle pull took him out
Neil Haglund hits at the Saturday HR Derby. Neil broke his forearm in two places bracing himself when he attempted to field a single.
Neil had Surgery Monday and I speak for everytone in the Conference when I say we are all Neil Haglund fans! And we wish you the best in your recovery and rehab.
Hope to see you soon!
Neil played a big part in the Red teams championship when he robbed a home run in left field during the final game.
2nd Place – Nationwide Conference USSSA BLUE
Conf 'M' from USA 5-1 Record
Team Blue was the underdog all weekend compared to Red and didn't seem to have the power. They did have the defense though and I give the Defensive MVP to the entire Blue team. They had at least 10 defensive highlite plays that could easily have been on ESPN. And Greg Connell at second base came up with some big plays in the championship game against his Resmondo teammates almost reading their mind on where they were going to hit the ball. Rulli also took the wind out of some of those teams in pool play with some line drive stabs. Payne, Flood, Umschied, Reyna, Wegman, and Dillon all had some great plays. Give Blue credit they came to play in the final game, just didn't score late when they could have put Red away. Blue played without pitcher Travis Clark who did not make the trip and Brad Reckart did most of the pitching.
Dennis Rulli and Greg Connell
Brian Wegman and Mike Umschied
BJ Fulk and Brad Reckart. Reckart was the starting pitcher
Jeff Flood and Luis Reyna
Cory Large and Lee Payne
Dillon gets a big hit for Blue in the Championship game
Tied 3rd Place – Team Pharmapar/Uniprix Simon Gregoire
'B' from Canada 4-2 Record
Pharmapar would be a decent 'B' team in the states. They had a number of players with conference experience like Andre Francoeur, Francois Henry, Olivier Forest, and Claude Chiasson. They just didn't play well after the first inning against Red or Blue.
Henry and Chiasson provided some of the power
Shortstop for Pharmapar made some great plays
Tied 3rd Place – Checking/Smash It Sports/Globe Cleaning
'C' from USA 4-2 Record
Checking played Team Blue tough and had a chance with the bases loaded to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th but a long home run bid came up just short in that big center field. Had the batter pulled the ball the game may have gone to Checking in pool play. But they did fight hard to finish tied for 3rd and have some good talent and a veteran pitcher in Norm Adair.
More pictures below
Other teams in the Open Invitational
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Some more pictures for you:
Womens winner's final between Twisted Sisters and S&S Landscaping
PIF Women's Invitational champs S&S Landscaping!
2nd Place Twisted Sisters and 3rd Place Xtreme
Dowling hits her 3rd homer in a row
Show field – A view from the 360 foot center field
In the home run derby Ryan Harvey hit a ball so hard, one of the baseball players shagging balls about 250 feet away could not get out of the way of the ball and it hit him in the foot.
He was down for awhile but Ryan came out with his interpreter Francois Henry to check on the kid who appeared to be alright.
She accidently shot the tshirt cannon straight up in the air
Jean Charles Dyon and Don Dedonatis
The mat was used for strikes in the womens and the local mens tournament but not for the mens invitational.
The mat worked well.