Saturday August 13th, 2022

A look back at the 2009 Smoky Mountain Classic!


Some of these tournament reports from 2009 had bad picture links in them because the pictures were stored on an old SoftballKingdom server that is no longer around.  So I went back and put the correct pictures in the report and created a short highlight video of the clips that I had taken.  Enjoy.

2009 Conference USSSA


Smoky Mountain Classic


Sandy Springs Park

Maryville, TN

July 10-12

2009 Winner's of the Great Smoky Mountain Classic Softball Tournament – Resmondo!


Video Clips of the 2009 USSSA Smoky Mountain Classic


Link to all of the 2009 Smoky Mountain Classic pictures

The 41st Annual Smoky Mountain Classic was played this past weekend and I was able to attend games on Friday and Saturday. The tournament was won by Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth who went 5-0 in the tournament and beat Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters in the finals 30-28. Resmondo is now 34-2 in their last 36 games and the two games they lost were by 4 runs or less. Quite a run.

Long Haul player's wait for their game to start

Team Breakdown: There were 18 Conference USSSA teams and 30 teams overall from 17 different states at the Smoky:

3 Major Teams,
7 Class "A" Teams,
11 Class "B" Teams,
8 Class "C" Teams,
1 Class "D" Team

Maryville field notes: Sandy Springs park had two fields. The main diamond was 310 down the left field line and bowed out to 356 in centerfield and back to 315 in right. The field is surrounded by hills on both sides where the fans could sit and there is plenty of shade and trees. Homerun fences were around 12 feet high. The secondary diamond was 310 down the left field line and 315 to center with a 4.5 foot high fence except for the right field line which had about a 35 foot high net and is rumored to be 270 feet down the line. Both fields had a lot of foul territory. Everett Park also had two fields and some other games were played at the Maryville College baseball field and the Springbrook Elementary School.

Tournament Rules:
Homerun rules were as follows: UNLIMITED!

The tournament homerun leader was Greg Connell of Resmondo with 15 HR's



The Thursday night homerun derby champ was Vince Bisbee of Resmondo

Because the Smoky Mountain Classic is so difficult to cover because of the 6 different fields in 4 different locations, I decided to write my report from the perspective of a fan and recap the games I watched.

The following is a video and picture replay of my trip. I was only able to stay until 6:30 PM on Saturday:

I arrived in Maryville on Friday night around 6:30 PM. The way the seeding works at the Smoky it seems that the best first round games are always at the two Everett Park fields. So that is where I headed. I arrived at Everett just in time to see Gutterworks finish off their upset of Blitz 41-32 on Field #1 which was a homer dome. Over on field #2 PRI/MFAB was attempting to come back from a 21-7 deficit in the 7th inning against O&S Povs. PRI scored 9 in the 7th but came up short 21-16.

I then stayed for the 6:30 PM Hubs Pub vs Knights Softball and AJS vs Major League Games. Hubs Pub who usually comes out firing was off and lost 21-15 to a Knights Softball team that had some good talent and I believe was put together just for the Classic. At one point I believe I saw Tennessee softball legend Lonnie Fox Sr. over by the Knights bench. The Knights wound up tied for 9th in the tournament after beating Gas-It and Detroit's Own.

Over at the AJS vs Major League game, AJS never did get the offense going and quietly lost to a solid Major League team 11-6. Major League had a couple of big homer's and led the whole way. AJS did have a highlite homer by right fielder David Garcia who hit one over the fence in right, all the way up the hill over the fans who were sitting at the edge of the road, and into the front yard of some house across the street. That ball was hit in the vacinity of where I remember Mike Macenko hitting them when he played for Steele's Sports back in 1993!

Everett Park Field #1

Everett Park Field #2

Now that Blitz had lost and the Blitz vs T&R Stucco game that I had wanted to see was not going to happen in the second round. I decided to head over to the Maryville College Baseball field #5 for the Johnny Blaze vs GTL second round game that I hoped would happen. When I arrived at the College GTL had just finished off a feisty ATS Softball team 15-11 and Johnny Blaze was getting ready to take on Gas-It softball from South Carolina. Much has been made of Johnny Blaze folding up etc, but they were alive and well with a newly revamped roster. At pitcher Blaze had former Taylormade standout Mark Urbain, in the outfield they had Will Watson (formerly of FBI), Matt Bunn, and Jeremy Head (or one of the Head brothers). At catcher they had Brandon Murray and at shortstop they had Rafael Robledo Jr. The rest of the players looked like regulars Jason Hill, Ed Vega, and Chris Larsen. All in all they had a pretty solid team.

Johnny Blaze was in trouble most of the game which was low scoring. On the college field like they do on all the fields at the Smoky Mountain Classic, they used the 80 foot bases so double plays were commonplace. In the end Johnny Blaze won 6-5 on a walkoff homer by little left hand hitter Jeremy Head.

The win by Blaze set up the 2nd round matchup I was looking for with GTL. The game was again low scoring and the difference between winning and losing was GTL's Kevin Filby who slugged 4 homeruns en route to a 15-11 victory.

The College field dimensions were 325-362-400-342-330 and they used the ZN .47 core ball instead of the ZN .40 core ball they seemed to be using on the other fields.

Picture of the Maryville College Baseball Field #5

GTL's Kevin Filby hitting his 4th homerun of the game

At the conclusion of the GTL/Blaze game I jumped in the car and headed for the main diamonds at Sandy Springs Park. I got there in time to see Long Haul crush a listless Logo Express team 18-3 in the nightcap and then headed for the hotel.

On Saturday I spent the day at the main diamonds at Sandy Springs Park to watch all the key winners bracket games.

Sandy Springs Park Field #3 Main Diamond

Sandy Springs Park Field #4


First at 9:15 AM Jean Shoppe handled T&R Stucco 35-21. Shoppe showed that they may have a slightly better defense than T&R and Shoppe had some serious power from Todd Joerling who had 3 or 4 homer's in the game.

T&R huddles to discuss defensive strategy

Jean Shoppe's Brad Reckart hits a homer


Shoppe finishes off T&R in the first winners bracket game on Saturday


In the 2nd game on the main diamond Resmondo beat Major League 28-16. Major League had beat Suncoast 38-37 Friday night after they upset AJS. Major League played a spirited game against Resmondo and would wind up tied for 7th place and the highest finishing "C" team in the tournament. Major League joins a growing list of teams I feel would be better off playing at the "B" Worlds instead of the "C" Worlds due to the number of games they would have to play in the "C" to win it.


Resmondo finishes off a feisty Major League team

The 3rd game of the day featured Long Haul and GTL. Long Haul controlled GTL from the start and knocked starter Kevin Filby out of the game early and went on to win by the mercy rule 26-8. Jeff Haul, JC Phelps, and JD Genter leading the way.

One of the big differences in the way Long Haul is playing is the tremendous defense of middle infielder J.D. Genter


Long Haul Bomber J.C. Phelps hits a long ball


The 4th game of the day was Taylormade and Dan Smith. Taylormade showed early on that they were going to be in winning form when they scored 15 runs in the first inning! The onslaught was led by homeruns from Brent Haywood and Brian Floyd. Taylormade backed up their big early lead with some defensive work from newcomers Eric Byrum (pitcher) and the slick fielding shortstop Rick Wheeler. Anyone know if Rick Wheeler is any relation to the former Major softball player by the same name?

Taylormade would make the lead last as Dan Smith struggled offensively and TMade would end up winning 24-19 in one of the better games of the day.


Taylormade 3rd baseman big Brent Haywood before launching a homer


Dan Smith slugger Brett Helmer


I then watched the winner's semi-finals with Long Haul run ruling Taylormade and Resmondo run ruling Jean Shoppe before having to leave.


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