Friday February 22nd, 2019
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2009 Conference USSSA Championship Recap

 

2009 USSSA Conference Championship Recap!

 

Osceola County Stadium at Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida

 

September 4-6

The 2009 Conference Championships were again held in Kissimmee, Florida. Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth went undefeated and beat Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters 16-14 in the final game. Resmondo run ruled Jean Shoppe and Long Haul to get to the finals and were led by Conference Season Co-MVP's Bryson Baker and BJ Fulk.


Congratulations to the 2009 USSSA Conference Champions Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth! Ok the photo is actually only coach Frank Webb, Resmondo's kids?, and Resmondo's personal umpires…just kidding. Seriously take it easy, I'm just kidding about the umpires. Congratulations.


The Championships were broken into three separate brackets. The Major which we now know was won by Resmondo. The 'A' division was won by Taylormade/Titan/PAS/Mizuno who used a miraculous 12 run 7th inning to beat Combat USA 29-28 in their first round game. Then Taylormade stumbled in a loss to GTL 22-5 before turning on the defense and defeating Johnny Blaze 14-6 and beating GTL in the championship game 17-6. The second game of the championship was not played as GTL which was short handed already had to catch flights.


Your 2009 Conference 'A' USSSA Champions Taylormade


In the third bracket, the 'B' division, A.J.S./Easton/3N2/DssBats defeated WCS/LCV 8-3 in the championship game. AJS was undefeated and used the pitching of Billy Barrett and the contagious acrobatic defensive play of shortstop Luis Reyna and center fielder Adam Rockoff to shut down their opponents.


Your 2009 Conference 'B' USSSA Champions AJS/Easton/DSSBats.com


Picture of the 'B' Conference Championship trophy won by AJS


Combat USA takes on Johnny Blaze Sunday morning


Team Breakdown:
There were 6 teams – 3 Major and the top 3 'A' teams in the Major Bracket:
1st Resmondo
2nd Long Haul
3rd Dan Smith
4th T&R Stucco
5th Jean Shoppe
5th Bud Light

There were 6 teams – 5 'A' Teams and the top 'B' Team in the 'A' Bracket
1st Taylormade
2nd GTL
3rd Johnny Blaze
4th Combat USA
5th Wood Law
6th Northwest Combat

There were 6 teams – 6 of the best 'B' Teams (that could make it) in the 'B' Bracket
1st AJS
2nd WCS
3rd FBI
4th PRI
5th DiamondBlade
6th Showcase

Osceola County Stadium notes: The stadium field where the Major/A and finals were played had 8 foot high fences all the way around. The dimensions were 330 390 410 410 390 330. Easily the biggest fields in softball. This complex is the spring training home of the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball. The facilities were first class and the fields were kept in good condition.

The 'B' division was played at the Fortune Road softball complex which had nice fields as well with 325 foot fence distance all the way around.


Osceola County Stadium, spring training home of the Houston Astros and home to the USSSA and USSSA Hall of Fame


This is the view from the batter's box on Field #1 on Saturday and Sunday morning. Note to bracket maker's, don't play games on this field early in the morning!


Field #2 behind the Osceola County Stadium


It is always fun to travel to a softball tournament that has palm trees


Baseball Field #1 at Osceola County Stadium where the wind usually blows in, is the most difficult place for a right hander to hit a homerun in all of the country. The fence is 330 feet down the line, bows out to 390 and is 30 feet high. I witnessed only 5 homer's on this field all weekend.


The Fortune Road Complex where the "B" division played was also a beautiful facility


Short video of the Fortune Road Complex field where the 'B' Worlds will also be played in two weeks

Tournament Rules: Homerun rules were as follows: 16 per game when Major played Major, 12 per game when Major played an A team and 8 per game for all other games. Mercy Rules were 30 after 3, 20 after 2, 15 after 5. The ball used was the ZN and was a fair ball on the baseball fields fields. In the 'B' Division they used the classic M Dudley ball which did not fly well and the 8 homerun limit did not really come into play.

Team by Team Comments for the Major Bracket:

1st Place Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth (Conf-M from Winter Haven, Florida)
Conference Championship Record 3-0
2009 Overall Record 58-8
Wins – Shoppe[A], Long Haul[M], Long Haul[M]

Resmondo dominated this tournament and maintained their #1 ranking. They were really only challenged on the weekend by Bud Light in the Friday night pool play which had no bearing on the tournament anyways. Resmondo used some timely homeruns to power the offense. In the final game Long Haul couldn't muster enough offense to put the needed pressure on Resmondo.

The Conference Championships were played in extreme heat and as long as Resmondo can stay fresh in the winner's bracket they are the favorite for the Major World at the end of the season.


RF BJ Fulk won the Co-MVP of Conference USSSA


MI Bryson Baker won the Co-MVP of Conference USSSA


Resmondo first baseman Howie Krause returned quickly from his elbow injury


2nd Place Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters (Conf-M from Albertville, MN )
Conference Championship Record 3-2
2009 Overall Record 38-14
Wins – T&R[A], Dan Smith[M], Dan Smith[M]
Losses – Resmondo[M], Resmondo[M]

Long Haul used a big top of the 7th to put up enough runs to hold off Dan Smith 27-22. Long Haul beat Dan Smith twice and lost to Resmondo twice. The Bombers played without 2nd baseman Jeremy Isenhower but proved for the 2nd time this year they can play top notch stadium ball which bodes well for them come Major World Series time. Matt King was making some great plays in CF, Robert Blackburn hit some nasty linedrive homers and JD Genter continues to be the leader of an offense that is adapting to the bigger fields.


Long Haul gets ready to finish off Dan Smith 27-22


Long Haul SS Brett McCollum made All Conference


3rd Place Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat (Conf-M from San Jose, CA )
Conference Championship Record 2-2
2009 Overall Record 48-17
Wins – Bud Light[A], T&R Stucco[A]
Losses – Long Haul[M], Long Haul[M]

Dan Smith dropped two games to Long Haul and only made it to the loser's bracket championship because of a 2 out, 3 run clutch homer by Scott Brown to beat T&R Stucco. Dan Smith is definitely at their low point of their season coming into the Major World Series.

The question is, how does the Smith team get their edge back and defend their Series Championship? We'll see how this soap opera plays out in 3 weeks time. I think each player needs to look down deep, put in some extra practice time, and get things going at the Major World with some hustle runs and positive attitude. How about some sliding and some diving and some fence climbing for starters.
 


Scott Brown hits one off the monster with the bases loaded


A Dan Smith players upends the T&R fielder and prevents a double play to save the game


Scott Brown of Dan Smith celebrates his walk off homer over T&R. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th and Dan Smith down 2, Brown hit a mammoth homer over the giant fence in left field on diamond #1


Scott Kirby hits his 4th homer of the game vs Long Haul


Dan Smith's Jason Kendrick rips one for extra bases


4th Place T&R Stucco (Conf-A from Polk City, FL )
Conference Championship Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 42-16
Wins – Shoppe[A]
Losses – Long Haul[M], Dan Smith[M]

T&R Stucco was an out away from a 3rd place finish in this one. Mike Rose, some wind blowing in, and a diving defensive play by 1B Rich Gulash did a nice job containing Dan Smith until the wind stopped for one magical moment in the 7th inning with 2 outs and Scott Brown crushed a clutch homer over the monster net in left field over on diamond #1.

T&R has been on the cusp of some upsets over major teams all year. Lets hope they break through in the World Series like they did last year against Dan Smith.

T&R reminds me of the Raiders of the NFL, they re-tool players that other teams don't want, they are hated by all (not sure why) and they usually get fired up over some verbal sparring (which to me is all in good fun). They are definitely "different" than other teams but thats what makes them fun and on the field they bring it against all comers.


T&R Stucco's first baseman Rich Gulash has had a nice year with the stick and made one of the better diving stops of the tournament against Dan Smith in their near upset.


Tied 5th Place Jean Shoppe/Chaneys/Easton/Sports55 (Conf-A from McKenzie, TN )
Conference Championship Record 1-2
2009 Overall Record 51-16
Wins – Bud Light[A]
Losses – Resmondo[M], T&R[A]

Jean Shoppe continued their subpar performance on the stadium fields. One run against Resmondo in the winner's semi-final shows me this team wasn't in tune with the Conference format. Shoppe was missing a few players and could only muster a win against Bud Light 18-10.

Lets look for Shoppe to have a similar performance at the Major World although they can use what should be a soft spot in the bracket to do something special at the Series.
 


Jean Shoppe MI Marty Malloy


Tied 5th Place Bud Light/TPS/Linedrive/Sports55 (Conf-A from Plymouth, MI )
Conference Championship Record 0-2
2009 Overall Record 38-25
Losses – Shoppe[A], Dan Smith[M]

Bud Light played without left fielder Jason Wetmore and shortstop Tony Mack. In their pool play Friday night they gave Resmondo a nice run early and I felt that would lead to at least one Saturday upset for Bud. This was not to be the case. Bud Light is underpowered for the big fields but like Shoppe they could use a soft spot in the projected Major World bracket to get a couple of quick wins and have a shot at upsetting Resmondo late on Friday night after the homerun derby. With Mack at short, Willie Allen up the middle, and the athletic Beurlein and Musselman in the outfield, they have the defense that could hang with Resmondo if the wind is blowing in.
 


Bud Light middle infielder Willie Allen


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