Saturday October 1st, 2022

2009 Columbus Major NIT Part 1

2009 Conference USSSA

Columbus Major NIT

Lincoln Park

Columbus, Indiana
May 15-17
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Resmondo wins again! Howie and Hughes celebrate a grand slam

The Columbus, Indiana Conference Tournament #6 was played under overcast and rainy skies on Saturday. The tournament was delayed 3 hours Saturday morning because of a large amount of overnight rain. The delay forced the majority of the loser's bracket to be played with games shortened to 5 innings or 1 hour time limit until they caught back up.

This tournament was dominated by Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth who run ruled all 5 of their opponents en route to their 3rd consecutive tournament championship of 2009. Since Resmondo's epic 45-40 loss to Bud Light in the winner's final back in St. Louis, they have won 13 consecutive games by an average score of 37-18 (10 of which were mercy rules). 11 of the 13 wins were against Conference teams. That is quite an impressive run! Resmondo clinched the tournament win with a 39-17 win over Long Haul in the finals. Long Haul came through the loser's bracket late in the tournament to beat Jean Shoppe, Linedrive, and Blitz to finish runner-up.

While Resmondo was cruising through the field of 29 teams, the rest of the tournament provided some great games, some close finishes, and some huge upsets. The upset parade was led by Blitz/Watanabe/Weller/Minges/Easton from Cincinnati, Ohio. Blitz, a "B" team, knocked off Bud Light/TPS/LineDrive (22-21) and Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters (28-15) in back to back games to make it to the winner's bracket final where they lost to Resmondo. Blitz wound up with a 3rd place finish.

Some of the other big upsets were Linedrive over Bud Light 25-10. Pipac over Jean Shoppe 21-15. Hubs Pub over TCP 27-26.

Resmondo's Jeff Wallace cleaned the table all weekend long

Tournament MVP ? (don't know yet)

Team Breakdown: There were 14 Conference USSSA teams and 29 teams overall from 11 different states at the Columbus, Indiana Major. 2 Major Teams, 3 Class "A" Teams, 10 Class "B" Teams, 10 Class "C" Teams, and 4 Class "D" Teams.

PIPAC's shortstop Aaron Middendorf and most of his teammates drove from Iowa to play

Lincoln Park, Columbus, Indiana

Lincoln Park notes: The complex had 6 fields all symmetrical with 300 foot fences.


Tournament Rules:
Homerun rules were as follows:
Major vs Major = 16 per game per team.
Major vs non-Major = 12 per game per team.
All other games were 8 per game per team.
Mercy Rules were 30 after 3, 20 after 2, 15 after 5.
The ball used was a .40 core and was hard as a rock.

The tournament homerun leader was Long Haul's Mike Rhines who was 26-29 .897 average with 10 HR's and 28 RBI

Team by Team Comments:

1st Place Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth (Conf Major, Winter Haven, Florida )
Columbus, Indiana Record 5-0
Overall Conference Record 24-5

For all the speculation about Resmondo being too old this year, they seem to be able to maintain a great team chemistry by having the same lineup every weekend and staying healthy. This team is really "playing the game" as they like to say. They don't hit a lot of solos and have some of the best "inside the park" hitters in the game with Rulli, Dedonatis, and Purcell. When this team is able to stay fresh during a tournament by staying in the winner's bracket they are seemingly unstoppable. When they play Dan Smith it always comes down to that one play here or there late in the game to decide the outcome. 3 out of 5 of Resmondo's meetings with Dan Smith have been decided by one run.

Resmondo gets set to win their third Conference tournament in as many weeks

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2nd Place Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters (Conf Major, Albertville, MN )
Columbus, Indiana Record 5-2
Overall Conference Record 12-6

Long Haul played without JC Phelps who was suspended for an illegal bat. They also played without Jeff Hall and Geno Buck who had other commitments. Billy Messina was brought in to help out and was pitching well in relief of Mike Rhines. The missing player's left Long Haul without the power needed to use all of their homeruns. The Hauler's were tripped up by Blitz/Watanabe 28-15 and then survived a 33-32 win over Jean Shoppe late Saturday night in the loser's bracket to earn a final 4 appearance. Sunday morning Long Haul knocked off LineDrive and Blitz in games they controlled from the start and finished runner up to Resmondo.

Long Haul played some fun ball and really seemed to buy into the team concept of getting runners on any way possible. Their homerun management was better.

Long Haul's Ryan Thiede takes over the leadoff spot

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3rd Place Blitz/Watanabe/Weller/Minges/Easton (Conf B, Cincinnati, Ohio )
Columbus, Indiana Record 4-2
Overall Conference Record 7-4

Blitz/Watanabe made a nice run through the winner's bracket with win's over Conference opponents Showcase "B", Bud Light "A", and Long Haul "Major". In the Bud Light game both teams tried to give the other the victory by dropping fly balls late in the game with Blitz coming out with a 22-21 victory.

This was my first look at the new revamped Blitz team in Conference play. Their lineup is now anchored by extra hitter Jon Jamison from the 2008 Columbus Pipe team who is the type of hitter that makes everyone around him better. I'd probably stagger the lineup a little more as they had Jamison, Roesch, and Junkyard Carter batting back to back to back. They also picked up Rob Menke who was making some great plays at middle infield, Jayson Scott at 2B and pitcher Bob Noeth.

2009 Outlook: Blitz has positioned themselves at the top of the "B" division now that Johnny Blaze and O&S have moved up to the "A" classification. With two veteran USSSA pitchers and a lot of interchangeable lineup pieces, Blitz can go with the hot hand or the hot stick and mix it up. They have a lot of team player's who understand what the final goal is.

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4th Place Linedrive/TripleSSS/Pipe/Easton (Conf B, Shelby Township, MI )
Columbus, Indiana Record 5-2
Overall Conference Record 9-4

Linedrive solidly beat 4 Conference opponents and only had losses on mercy rules to Long Haul twice. On paper this team has improved as they picked up a trio of former Columbus Pipe players in SS Steve Edwards, OF Mike Malesko, C/OF Tony Sharkins, and Jeff Schmitt. They also picked up MFAB's Jason Ferguson who they have used at about every position on the field. This infusion of new player's has led to the team playing a little more loose and fun. We'll see if it pans out in the end.

2009 Outlook: The outlook for Linedrive is similar to Blitz, they are now at the very top of the "B" division. They have the confidence and power to make a run even at the "A" Worlds and should continue pulling off upset win's in the Conference once per week.

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Tied for 5th Place PIPAC/TPS (Conf A, Waterloo, IA )
Columbus, Indiana Record 3-2
Overall Conference Record 5-8

PIPAC used a great draw to get some confidence and chemistry going and pulled off the upset of the tournament when they beat Jean Shoppe 21-15. Of all the games I watched it was Justin "Mooch" Mucciareli that seemed to get the timing of the most batters off with his pitching antics. With Mooch's pitching and a stiff wind blowing in, Pipac controlled the game and pulled off the win over Shoppe. They also beat Conference opponent Mobile One and showed some promise against Resmondo by scoring 21 runs in a short game.

PIPAC has a good young team for a nucleus and have added key veteran pieces like Ron Fields and Mooch. They are pretty strong defensively up the middle with Billy Kugler in CF and Aaron Middendorf at short. We'll have to see how this weekends success helps this team in future Conf USSSA tournaments. Rolling over and losing to Linedrive while only scoring 7 runs after dropping to the loser's bracket will hopefully be a learning experience. This team needs to fight for every point it can get if they want to qualify for the Conference Championship or Major World after a slow start in Florida. Bring it every inning of every game fellas. See Hubs Pub for details.

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Tied for 5th Place Jean Shoppe/Chaneys/Easton/Sports55 (Conf A, McKenzie, TN )
Columbus, Indiana Record 4-2
Overall Conference Record 11-4

Shoppe picked up veteran slugger Tim Cocco to replace the injured Hank Garris but still came up a little shy in the homerun department leaving a few on the table in losses to PIPAC and Long Haul. They also played a barn burner of a game against Hubs Pub which they won 32-31.

Jean Shoppe just didn't seem to have the bounces going their way this weekend and uncharacteristically missed a Sunday final 4.

Brad Reckart was moved to leadoff in place of the injured Hank Garris

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Tied for 7th Place Hubs Pub/Combat/Elite (Conf C, Bonne Terre, MO )
Columbus, Indiana Record 3-2
Overall Conference Record 4-4

Hubs Pub scratched and clawed their way to a 7th place finish by beating Pole Position in the first round, and then TCP in their last at bat of their second round game 27-26. They then got smoked by Resmondo but recovered to win a spirited offensive slugfest with Detroit's Own 33-25. That set up a great game with Jean Shoppe which went back and forth. Hub's wound up losing 32-31.

2009 Outlook: Hub's Pub is led by their heart and never say die attitude. When Hub's comes to a Conference tournament, they come with a chip on their shoulder. A David and Goliath mentality and they leave it all on the field. Hub's has made some nice pickups and have no easy outs in their lineup. Hub's would have to be considered a top 5 "C" team in the country and would gain a lot of experience for 2010 by adding the "B" Worlds to their schedule.

Hubs offense was led by Justin Hall who was onbase 18-23 with 8 HR's and 21 RBI.

Hubs Pub gathers during their upset win over TCP

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Tied for 7th Place Bud Light/TPS/Linedrive/Sports55 (Conf A, Plymouth, MI )
Columbus, Indiana Record 2-2
Overall Conference Record 13-10

Bud Light played without middle infielder Willie Allen. They gave one away against Blitz to drop to the loser's bracket and folded up offensively against Linedrive in the loser's bracket. Chalk this one up to a bad weekend and forget about it. Maybe go back and watch a replay of the St. Louis tournament on Nuff said.

The sun set a little early on Bud Light's tournament

&ap=%2526fmt%3D22&fmt=22&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0xe1600f&color2=0xfebd01" > Bud Light's Josh Frank hits one out as Blitz's Larry Wert climbs the fence

This Recap is continued in the post below!

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