Saturday July 24th, 2021

2009 Hall of Fame Classic Part 3

Diamond Blade/Angle Inn/Easton (Conf B from Baltimore, Maryland)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 3-4

Diamondblade was 2-0 against "A" teams and played some nice ball this week. With a veteran core of hitters like pitcher Billy Honeycutt, catcher Mike Dill, and outfielder Mike Taylor to go with younger players like Lee Bowles and John Robinson, you have to like this team.

2009 Outlook: DBlade sports the best uniforms in the game and have pieced together a team from their 2008 group with players from ABS and Angle Inn to produce a top 10 "B" team with a shot at the World title. Look for DBlade to defend their home turf in Maryland this coming weekend very well.

Diamondblade celebrates Lee Bowles homerun

John "Word" Robinson locked and loaded

Bud Light/TPS/LineDrive/Sports55 (Conf A from Plymouth, Michigan)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 4-4

Bud Light lost 3 straight games to "B" teams to start their quest for an "A" title this year. Then they recovered to rattle of 4 straight wins and score over 20 runs per game the rest of the way. The new Bud Light features more speed, more defense, and a nice mix of young and older players.

2009 Outlook: Bud Light is a player in the "A" division for sure. The addition of MI Willie Allen, 3B Brad Swain, and a revamped Brian Puckett to go with stadium power hitter Todd Pease and sought after outfielder Tyler Beuerlein make them a tough game for anyone. Their last game was a 23-22 loss to Resmondo and should give them some confidence against the top teams.

Chris Kirian bats as coach Bud looks on in the background

Willie Allen (middle) anchors the Bud Light defense who also has a new pitcher in Rick Sills

Josh Frank turns two

Logo Express/Bass Gloves (Conf B from Byron, Georgia)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 3-4

Logo Express had a highlite win over 24/7 Softball by a score of 54-27 over at the Fortune Road complex and finished the tournament 3-4. Logo is another welcome addition to the Conference "B" division and feature outfielders Brad Blankenship and Anthony Aceves. They also have a host of veteran players like the Autry's, Blanton's, Ricky Haymans, and Philip White.

Eagle Bonding/Easton (Conf B from Marietta, Georgia)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 3-4

Eagle Bonding struggled out of the gate but managed to win every second game they played and finished 3-4. Eagle is led by veteran hitters Stacy Howell, 3B Joshua Clemmons and Charlie Brown. They have a nice tablesetter in leadoff hitter Kevin Bush.

2009 Outlook: Another interesting team with a smattering of players from the Kirby team that won the "B" Worlds in 2005. I have this team finishing in the lower half of the "B" division although they seem to turn it on when it comes September. Lets see how they hit the Conference ball in upcoming tournaments.

Eagle Bonding team photo

Northwest Combat/Trojans (Conf B from Seattle, Washington)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 1-4

NW Combat gained some valuable Conference experience in this one although they finished 1-4. Highlite would have to include the 12-11 near win over GTL. NW Combat was playing without their star player Jon Oram and also feature catcher Danny Van Daele and Northwest legend Shane McCullough.

2009 Outlook: Keep playing hard and learning to win in the Conf. I like this team, however I think they will finish in the bottom half of the "B" division and will gain experience to make a run in 2010.

Frank Griffen of Northwest Combat

"Mr. McCullough"

Danny Van Daele

Pole Position/Line Drive Sportz (Conf B from Sterling Hts, Michigan)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 2-4

An interesting little team out of Michigan with some of the backup players from the 2008 "A" Champ Bud Light team. Woodard, IF Learned, and Pitcher Cathey lead a team with some heart and Conf experience. Pole Position went 2-2 against "B" division teams and may need to add some offensive punch. There are plenty of power hitters available.

Steve Woodard a former Bud Light player anchors the Pole Position lineup

Suncoast/RBK (Conf A from Sarasota, Florida)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 1-4

Suncoasts only victory was a 29-28 opening game win over 24-7 Softball. After that they fell victim to Woodlaw in both tournaments and cut short their intended path.

2009 Outlook: Suncoast picked up a couple of young players including outfielder Billy Moore and SS Kevin Bazat as well as veterans Randell Boone and left hand slugger Dale Roe. Another team with a good mix that just needs time to gell.

Matt Arlett returns to Suncoast

Magic/S&S/Sports55/Easton (Conf B from Plymouth, Mass)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 1-4

Magic is led by big pitcher John Hickey and newcomer Matt Albert. This team should run mid pack in class "B" in 2009 and had a rather poor showing in the opening tournaments. They are good enough to have played .500 in this one. Magic has a good mix of players and will play better in their home tournaments.

Big pitcher John Hickey of Magic

Sports55/Easton/3n2 (Conf C from Severna Park, Maryland)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 2-4

I didtn't get to see a lot of Sports55 although they had quality wins over Pole Position and a squeaker against Pipac. This team fininished 2nd at the "D" World in 2008 and has moved up to "C" this year. They seemed to have all the players needed to make a solid showing in the "C" division and upset some of the Conference teams throughout the year.

Sports55 should do well at the "C" level

24/7 Softball (Conf A from Jackson, Mississippi)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 0-4

24/7 Softball lost one run games to Suncoast and Diamondblade and were blown out by Logo Express and T&R Stucco. The team features a who's who of Class "A" softball with pitcher Brandon Murray leading the way. Vets like John Dutch, Mike Overholt, and Coleman Smith are also on the team. Obviously 24/7 needs to shake the rust off and get it going.

2009 Outlook: This team needs to scour the "C" ranks for some pickups up the middle and get a little younger and faster. (See Combat USA's 2008 season to understand the changes that need to be made). Other than that, they have the veteran leadership and experience needed to do well in the smaller Conference events and should have fun at the unlimited homerun event at the Smokey's. This team needs to push themselves every inning of every game or it will be a long season. They are a welcome addition to the ever shrinking "A" division.

PIPAC/TPS (Conf A from Waterloo, Iowa)
2009 Hall of Fame Classic Record 0-4

Pipac lost 3-one run games in these two tournaments. Ouch! Pipac seemed to adjust to the big fields and ZN ball pretty well offensively. However miscues defensively were as much mental as physical and led to a poor showing.

Pipac deserves a chance to redeem themselves and are a quality addition to the Conference.

2009 Outlook: Pipac added professional hitter Ron Fields, acrobatic pitcher Justin Mucciareli and 3B Ryan Parker to an already solid team from 2008. The veterans on this team like Ott and Fields need take control defensively on the field to pull Pipac out of this skid. Winning consistently in the Conference is something that comes with experience. I see a lot of talent on this team and a lot of potential. I know very few teams that make defense a priority when it comes to pre-tournament practice, but this team may want to think about it. Balls falling in between outfielders, infielders not covering their base on every play, and situational hitting and homerun management are things that need to be done every inning of every game in the Conference.

Pipac sports the tallest shortstop in the Conference with Aarron Middendorf

Mooch is pitching for Pipac

Justin Martel – Pipac

Unfortunately this is my last recap. We do not have sponsorship to continue on. My average travel expenses are around $265 per tournament for anyone interested in sponsoring. I am able to drive to most of them. Please have the company you work for check out and have them contact Keith at [email protected] or call 877-629-8351 to save lots of money every month on their cell phone and wireless device bills, and tell them DW sent you! If enough companies check them out, I may be able to continue on. Thanks for reading.

38 Teams in Conference USSSA this year:…=2&SeasonID=13

Tournament 1…amentID=529000

Tournament 2…amentID=529001

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