2010 USSSA Hall of Fame Classic Recap Page 2
Albicocco/Worth 'A' 5-4 HOF Record
Albicocco's Steven Lloyd an up and coming 5 tool player
Albicocco celebrates a trouncing of AJS
The new 'A' team this year is Albicocco. The 'A' division vets are Tony Mack, Rich Gulash, Randall Boone, Rhodney Donaldson, Rick Sills, Robin Roberts and Chris Wilson. The rookies are players like Steve Wilson, Steven Lloyd, Doug Shanyfelt Jr, and Tony Norris. This group played well at times like their 20-0 opening game victory over AJS. They then lost to Sinister 22-7. In the loser's bracket they beat Logo and Elite before dropping to Wood Law 12-9 to finish 5th.
In the second tourny they lost a heart breaker to Wood Law 27-26 stranding the game winning run at 2nd base. Then in the loser's bracket they beat Delaware Hitmen before dropping to Dan Smith who was in the loser's bracket unexpectedly.
Albicocco will have some growing pains but should put together some nice tourny runs in the smaller Conference events.
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Elite Sports U.S.A./Combat 'A' from California, 4-4 HOF Record
Ed Vega caps a ridiculous comeback to beat Fowl Ball Sports 39-38
Elite SS Steve Whaley hits the sweetspot for a walkoff at bat
Elite's Chris Larsen is a member of Team USA
Elite opened Thursday with a 31-21 loss to Suncoast in a game with the wind blowing out. In the loser's bracket they knocked off Detroit's Own 18-17 and got off to a huge lead against Aubreys to win 34-19 over at Fortune before dropping 20-12 to Albicocco.
In the second tourny they started with two long comeback wins over Fowl Ball Sports, where Ed Vega hit a walk-off 3 run homer, and used 4 homer's in the top of the 7th to comeback and beat NW Combat 28-25. Then they lost to Logo 16-15 and Detroit's Own 21-19.
Elite played a bunch of close games. They have been moved to the 'A' division and should be .500 there. The current team has the west coast flavor because most of the players are from the old WCS, Johnny Blaze, and Combat USA teams. They also have some young upstart players like Aaron Martinez and small left handed power hitter Adam Nikolic to go with free agent pitcher Justin Mucciareli.
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Aubrey's/Taylormade/Mizuno 'A' from Virginia, 4-4 HOF Record
Aubreys started of Thursday with a 33-22 win over a very good FBI team, then was held in check by EWS 21-15 on the show field. In the loser's they dropped to Elite 34-19.
In the second tourny they beat Detroit's Own 22-16, FBI again 13-9 and won a fun game against AJS in the quarterfinals 23-20. In the winner's bracket championship they lost to Resmondo 30-13 and were upset by Logo Sunday morning in the loser's final when Logo went on a run in the first inning. Aubreys never recovered.
An up and down weekend for Aubrey's leaves them wondering "what could have been". Look for Aubreys to be there at the end of the Maryland tournament this weekend. They have the depth everywhere except pitcher to keep them in most tournaments. Brian Goins sat out with a work related injury. Newcomer's 3B Brian Justice, SS Kevin Bazat, and CF Billy Kugler make me forget who they even are missing from last season?
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Aubreys rallies around a Brian Justice homerun
LOGO EXPRESS 'B' from Georgia, 6-4 HOF Record
Logo Express, WOW! What can you say about this team. In the first tournament they kept themselves in all 3 games, losing to NW Combat and Albicocco, and beating Art Explosion. Coming back relatively fresh for the 2nd tournament they shocked Suncoast 14-2, Elite 16-5 and even hung with Resmondo before losing 27-23. Fighting injuries to a number of player's including the loss of Brandon Murray (pulled muscle), they went on to register a 39-24 RUN RULE over Dan Smith! Seriously did I just type that? Then Sunday morning the "walking wounded" knocked off EWS 20-16 in a spirited game, and then Aubrey's 36-21 after putting up a huge 1st inning. Then finally losing to Resmondo in the finals. Logo scores huge points and this team you have to say has offensive chemistry in a big way. When a couple guys get hits in a row, defenses were only able to sit back and chase the ball around the field. Logo's huge innings and big heart have put them in position, much like EWS to have a chance to make the Major World Series.
Congratulations to this entire team on a great run. Big Brian Autry and his 1st inning grand slam against Aubrey's, newcomer sensation Jesse Harrison and his relentless hits and hustle, Lee Daniels, Matt Bunn and the whole team, great job!
Logo's Frank Allen Yielding
Suncoast / Reebok 'A' from Florida, 1-4 HOF Record
Suncoast had a rough 4 days. They beat Elite 31-21 in their opener on Osceola #2 where the wind was blowing out. Then they lost one that got away against Dan Smith 25-24 on the show field. It was all downhill from there on as they dropped 3 straight to Resmondo, Logo, and NW Combat and only managed 7 runs in the last two.
Suncoast has a great team capable of winning some of the smaller Conference events. Look for Suncoast to rebound to a big points weekend in Maryland next weekend and try to put the HOF behind them.
Suncoast's SS Nelson
AJS/Easton/Supreme/Mike Foulks/Mojo 'B' from Florida, 3-4 HOF Record
AJS never got off the plane in their 20-0 loss to Albicocco in the first game. A scary moment when pitcher Jose Santiago was hit in the cheek/eye socket area. Jose was available and pinch hit and played some the rest of the weekend. In their second game they knocked off Fowl Ball Sports 37-27 before dropping a close one to NW Combat 23-22.
In the second tourny AJS beat a dead tired EWS team 31-5 and then pulled off a huge upset in beating Dan Smith 24-22. AJS used a 16 run inning, most of which was with 2 outs to beat them. They followed that up with a nice loss, if you can call a loss nice, to Aubreys 23-20. In the loser's bracket they dropped immediately to EWS in a revenge game.
AJS is a great merger between Mike Foulk's and Pete Campbell. Every player left it all out on the line in that Dan Smith game. A truly great effort. Kyle "Biggons" Yerkes pitched most of the weekend in place of starter TJ Thompson who wasn't able to make the trip. Kyle did a great job. Scott Zaciewski and Adam Rockoff were especially impressive offensively and defensively. This team had its ups and downs but overall a great weekend and start to the season.
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Scott Zaciewski of AJS hits a bomb 400 feet (yes the bat was tested)
Below are video clips of some of the key hits in AJS 16 run inning vs Resmondo
Art Explosion/Drash 'B' from Florida, 1-4 HOF Record
Art Explosion was missing a bunch of their player's Thursday and their slow start never improved. They did not manage a quality win in either tournament. This is a team that can definitely improve as the season goes on. They have a mix of veterans like Will Watson, Jeff Turnbow, and Chad Bryant to go with some of the solid players that finished the 2009 season with them. Hang in there. Remember to approach the Conference umpires without arguing so much. Concentrate on the positives and move forward, you'll be better off. Baby steps…7 innings, no mental errors, hitting strikes…the basics.
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Fowl Ball Sports/Gas-it/Easton 'B' from South Carolina, 2-4 HOF Record
I didn't get to see a whole lot of Fowl Ball Sports play. From what I did see they took a very professional approach to their games and the one game I did see in full was their 39-38 loss to Elite. Fowl Ball played so well offensively that they really have to walk away scratching their heads about how they could they have lost? Fowl Ball is a very solid 'B' team that can get on a roll offensively. They let up too many runs to Elite, Sinister, and AJS to give themselves a chance.
I may have lost the team photo, I'll add it if I find it. Sorry.
Detroit's Own/Bombers/Mizuno 'B' from Alabama, 3-4 HOF Record
DO opened the festivities with a win over Rogue on the show field then rolled over for Dan Smith. DO then exited the tournament with a 18-17 loss to Elite. In the second tournament they lost to Aubreys 22-16 in the first round and disapeared over to Fortune Road where they beat Sinister 26-25 with the help of a late 3 run homer by Charlie Anderson. Then they knocked off Elite 21-19 (revenge) and dropped to EWS.
Detroit's Own has a nice team that much like Art Explosion can improve week to week. Luis Reyna at SS, prospect list man Charlie Anderson, and the gap closing CF Denarra Jackson give this team a nice nucleus. Oh and they have the "secret weapon". They wouldn't let me see it though…
Curtiss "Wolf" Wilson, pitcher, Detroit's Own Bombers
Fence Brokers/Gametime Supply/Worth 'B' from Arkansas, 2-4 HOF Record
FBI dropped their opener and their spirits to Aubrey's 33-22 only to get matched up against and lose to Resmondo who was unexpectedly knocked to the loser's bracket. In the second tournament knocked off Art X 26-17, then used an early 18 run lead to hold off a Sinister charge. In their 3rd game they weren't able to muster much offense and lost to Aubrey's 13-9. In the loser's bracket they dropped to NW Combat 9-6.
FBI tweaked an already powerful and nearly complete team from 2009. Look for this team to do some damage in the Arkansas and Texas tournaments. It will take some big point weekends to get them into the Major World Series. EWS and Logo have a head start. FBI has a complete 'B' team and should play most 'A' teams even.
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FBI 3B John Glidewell
Rogue 'D' from Florida 0-4 HOF Record
Rogue has some Conference talent. Thanks for stepping up and playing. They had a spirited game with Detroit's Own to open the tourny. I didn't get to see much of the rest of their tournament.
De laware Hitmen/Sport55/Miken 'D' from Delaware 0-4 HOF Record
The Delaware Hitmen lost 4 straight over the two tournaments to Wood Law, Art Explosion, Resmondo, and Albicocco. Only 1 game made it 7 innings. Look for the hitmen to score their first Conference victory in Maryland closer to home…
A big thank you to my sponsors, USSSA and their hospitality, Gametime Supply, MojoSportsGear, and Down2Earth.
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Some more action photo's
This EWS player was actually safe!
Mike Umshied makes yet another play for EWS
Logo's Brandon Murray before the pulled muscle
Scott Lydy of NW Combat launches a no doubter
Wegs tries to catch the rebound
Gall-a-ghost the Westside Mexican
EWS with a game winning walkoff single