Sunday May 19th, 2019
TEXT_SIZE

2011 Conference USSSA Chicago Recap

 

 

 2011 Conference USSSA

"Windy City Bud Lite NIT"

Joliet, Illinois

June 10 – 11

 

GTL takes on Resmondo in the Championship game of the "Windy City NIT"

GTL Cartel/Demarini based out of the Seattle, Washington area went 5-1 which included 2 out of 3 wins against Resmondo in the winner's bracket finals and championship games.   All 5 of their wins were by the run rule and it wasn't until they played Resmondo that they let up more than 8 runs in a game. 

The tournament opened up Friday night with a couple of upsets when Precision, a local 'C' team, knocked off RFC/Hubs Pub 29-9 and P&P a 'C' team out of Michigan dropped T's 13 by a score of 22-21.   Cool temperatures prevailed throughout the weekend and we didn't see the sun until Sunday.   The rain on Thursday and Friday actually made the fields softer and more playable for the infielders. 

On Saturday starting at 11 AM the winner's bracket resumed.   All at one time Suncoast found themselves in a 9 inning victory over Midwest Swing, Blitz came from a 14-0 deficit in the first inning to beat EWS 27-26 in 8 innings, and Sinister came from behind to knock off R&M Metals 31-30.   Then in the 3rd round the 4 top teams in the nation all advanced to the semi-finals.

In the semi's Resmondo kept ahead of Team Combat to a 27-19 victory and GTL 20 run ruled Team 454/Worth 35-5 in 4 innings.   In the winner's championship GTL used a Sean McDonald base hit to run rule Resmondo 39-24.

On Sunday, Team Combat/Laser Vision matched Team 454's 16 run third inning with a 16 run 4th inning of their own and took all of 2 hours and 42 minutes to finally put Team 454 away by the highest run total of the season 54-48!   Then Team Combat managed just 4 runs on 1 homer against Resmondo and went quietly home 28-4 in 4 innings in the loser's bracket championship.   Resmondo batted around and the top of the order hit 3 times in the first inning.   Greg Connell himself had 2 homer's and 7 RBI in the inning.

In the first game of the championship which pitted the #1 team in the nation, Resmondo, against the #2 team in the nation GTL, Resmondo came out and used all 16 of their homers to put GTL away 35-18.

In the dreaded "if" game GTL used a 2nd inning grand slam by Mike Bowlin to put up a 12 spot and GTL ran away with a 40-25 run rule in 6 innings.

The tournament team makeup was as follows: 3 – Major,  6 – 'A',  6 – 'B',  5 – 'C',  15 – 'D'    16 of the teams were from Conference USSSA.


GTL finishes off Resmondo in the "If" game of the Championship 40-25

GTL's Geno Buck pitches to Resmondo leadoff hitter Don Dedonatis Jr.

 

Soapbox topic of the week:  The length of games.   The Sunday games started just after 8 AM and the second game of the championship ended at 4 PM.   That is 8 hours for 4 games and the last 3 games all ended early with a run rule.    We need to keep things moving by cutting out the stall tactics by both batters and pitchers.   It is getting old real quick.   Start calling strike one on the batters that don't get in the box and ball one on pitchers that aren't on the rubber when the batter gets in the box.   The solution is as simple as that.   In no other tournaments in the country are you going to see these shananigans.

YouTube Preview Image

Random video clips from the tournament

Suncoast's Marty Malloy bats in extra innings against Midwest Swing

 Team Combat takes on Resmondo in the Winner's bracket Semi-Final

Late Saturday night Jean Shoppe pitches to Team Combat to see who makes it to Sunday

Resmondo's Greg Connell hit the longest bombs of the tournament.   One nearly hit me walking in from my car in the parking lot an estimated 470 feet.   Note the signs on the football field fence at the top of the hill read 339 in CF and the one in left field reads 396


Full bat testing was conducted for the whole tournament.   Great job!    Bats were re-tested on Sunday morning.


Wind blew straight in most of the tournament and affected games on the main diamond the most

 


"Windy City Invitational" Tournament Awards and Final Standings: 

Player Tournament Awards

Players Name

Plays For

Tournament CO-MVP

Matt Pesso

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

Tournament CO-MVP

Richard Buck

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

Defensive Tournament MVP

Anthony Dress

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Victor Cordova

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Rusty Bumgardner

Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme

All Tournament Team

Johnny McCraw

Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme

All Tournament Team

Jeff McGavin

Team Combat/LaserVision/D2E/Supreme

All Tournament Team

Tim Howard

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Sean McDonald

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Brent Griffin

Team 454 Emerald/Worth

All Tournament Team

Phillip White

Team 454 Emerald/Worth

All Tournament Team

Chris Larsen

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Donovan Pokraka

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

All Tournament Team

Jason Branch

GTL Cartel/DeMarini

 

 

Place
State
Team
Team
Class
Wins
Loses
Ties
Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
1
WA
SPMensMajor
6
1
0
235
106
33.5
15.1
18.4
42
150
2
FL
SPMensMajor
6
2
0
241
144
30.1
18
12.1
38
110
3
WA
SPMensMajor
5
3
0
249
174
31.1
21.7
9.37
54
90
4
VA
SPMensA
4
2
0
163
147
27.1
24.5
2.66
48
160
5
MI
SPMensC
5
2
0
172
119
24.5
17
7.57
38
140
5
TN
SPMensA
4
2
0
160
136
26.6
22.6
4
40
140
7
IL
SPMensA
4
1
0
129
94
25.8
18.8
7
37
120
7
IL
SPMensC
4
2
0
135
118
22.5
19.6
2.83
41
120
9
IN
SPMensB
3
2
0
123
112
24.6
22.4
2.2
30
100
9
MI
SPMensA
2
2
0
105
101
26.2
25.2
1
44
100
9
OHO
SPMensB
2
2
0
89
104
22.2
26
-3.7
33
100
9
FL
SPMensA
2
2
0
88
105
22
26.2
-4.2
35
100
13
NE
SPMensB
3
2
0
124
96
24.8
19.2
5.6
31
80
13
IA
SPMensA
2
2
0
109
90
27.2
22.5
4.75
30
80
13
MO
SPMensB
2
2
0
62
94
15.5
23.5
-8
27
80
13
KS
SPMensB
2
2
0
65
86
16.2
21.5
-5.2
26
80
17
IL
SPMensC
2
2
0
93
61
23.2
15.2
8
32
40
17
WI
SPMensB
2
2
0
95
64
23.7
16
7.75
33
40
17
IL
Ken's Beverage Qualified
SPMensD
1
2
0
49
65
16.3
21.6
-5.3
20
40
17
MI
SPMensC
1
2
0
51
77
17
25.6
-8.6
22
40
17
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
46
74
15.3
24.6
-9.3
18
40
17
IL
SPMensC
1
2
0
45
79
15
26.3
-11.
29
40
17
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
65
73
21.6
24.3
-2.6
28
40
17
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
45
69
15
23
-8
33
40
25
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
32
76
10.6
25.3
-14.
16
20
25
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
45
76
15
25.3
-10.
20
20
25
IL
SPMensD
1
2
0
29
88
9.66
29.3
-19.
14
20
25
IL
SPMensD
0
2
0
44
62
22
31
-9
24
20
25
IL
The Department Qualified
SPMensD
0
2
0
22
44
11
22
-11
17
20
25
IL
DEMOLITION Qualified
SPMensD
0
2
0
30
52
15
26
-11
16
20
25
IL
SPMensD
0
2
0
19
62
9.5
31
-21.
12
20
25
IL
SPMensD
0
2
0
18
73
9
36.5
-27.
13
20
33
IL
SPMensD
0
2
0
24
45
12
22.5
-10.
13
0
33
IL
Lumber Company Qualified
SPMensD
0
2
0
28
45
14
22.5
-8.5
14
0
33
IL
SPMensD
0
2
0
23
41
11.5
20.5
-9
15
0

 

 

 Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place GTL Cartel/DeMarini  GTGG 

Conf 'Major' from Othello, WA   6-1 Record


GTL gets back on track after a tough 0-2 performance in Atlanta.   They used a suffocating "amoeba" type moving defense, a matchup zone if you will, configured differently for each batter and each strike count which was led by defensive captain Matt Pesso who was Co-MVP with pitcher Geno Buck.   Pesso made every play known to man and did so with a quick paced fluidity the likes of which haven't been seen in upper level softball in many years.   At times it seemed there were 3 Pesso's on the field and while I was calling the game from the crow's nest scoring tower I often found myself starting to say "base hit center field" when out of nowhere there was Matt scooping and gunning an unsuspecting runner.   What you want to do if you are a fan of softball is find out when "Don's travelling circus" (The Conference as it was once called on the oldscout) comes to a town near you and get out and watch this GTL defense play, because it could become one of the best in softball history.   Don's "Circus" isn't the "greatest show on earth" but it is the "greatest show in slowpitch softball".

Pesso's play at middle infield I think inspires the rest of the team to raise their level as seen by some great plays turned in by Defensive MVP Anthony Dress, Victor Cordova at 2B and Chris Larsen at 3B.

GTL won their first 4 by the run rule including wins over 'A' power Sinister and Team 454, outscoring those 4 opponents 138-22.   Then they won the best out of 3 against Resmondo to take the tournament and possibly the #1 rank in the computer rankings when they come out on Tuesday.   In the Conference points they are now 12 points behind Resmondo and both teams have separated from the new 3rd place team Combat/Laser Vision.

 My pick for MVP is GTL's Matt "The Magician" Pesso who may have made more great plays in the tournament than the rest of the teams combined

Picture (above) and video (below) of Sean McDonalds walk off run rule hit vs Resmondo
YouTube Preview Image

Picture and video of GTL's Kevin Filby who hit this walk off run rule homer to beat Resmondo

YouTube Preview Image

GTL's Geno Buck makes for an imposing presence on the mound

GTL first baseman Sean McDonald uses all of his 6'5 frame to get Isenhower at first

GTL celebrates another great defensive inning

 


2nd Place Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'Major' from Winter Haven, FL   6-2 Record

Resmondo had their 25 game and 6 tournament straight win streak snapped by GTL.   They began by 20 run ruling their first 3 opponents including Suncoast.   Then they had a solid win over Team Combat/Laser Vision in the semi-finals before a late Saturday loss to GTL.   In the loss Resmondo led GTL 19-17 and GTL went on a 22-5 run to end the game in the bottom of the 6th.

Resmondo did a nice job smoking Team Combat on Sunday morning and forced an "if" game against GTL when they got in a nice offensive rhythm.   The two teams are very evenly matched and this should make for some great games in the weeks ahead at the Dudley and the Smoky.

Resmondo played with an injured Bobby Hughes (hamstring) and both BJ Fulk and Howie Krause were limping around.   Fulk in particular seemed to hit a foul ball in every at bat and was off his game.

 

Resmondo pitcher Andy Purcell was thinking about the NBA Finals but did make some acrobatic defensive plays

Resmondo outfielder Bobby Hughes fought through a pulled hamstring


Greg Connell hitting another bomb

YouTube Preview Image

Below, Bryson Baker takes one the opposite way


 

3rd Place Team Combat/Laser Vision/D2E/Supreme  GTGG 

Conf 'Major' from Kent, WA   5-3 Record


Team Combat runs their seasons record against Major teams to 0-8.   However their season record against 'A' teams is 8-1.   This leads one to see that they are really playing at a 'AA' level and not Major at this time.   Injuries to Brett Helmer (back) and center fielder Rick Baker doesn't help.   Pitcher Bill Messina and Dennis Rulli seemed to have nagging leg injuries as well.   This team has a long summer ahead of them and need to get healthy.   In the meantime they did win enough games beating Team 454 twice in order to advance to 3rd in the Conference points which is where they need to finish.

Dennis Rulli made some great plays and they run ruled all of their non-major opponents.   I don't see this team improving at the Dudley and only their power is going to give them a slim chance at the Smoky.   Most critics are writing this team off.   I am going to withhold judgement until the Last Chance tournament in Michigan in August.

Team Combat leader Rusty Bumgardner is starting to get back in the groove

Combat celebrates a Kendrick homer

YouTube Preview Image

Combat's Seth Stephens hits a big homer in their 54-48 win over Team 454


Combat's Brian Wegman was missing his "dynamic trio" teammates Brett Helmer and Rick Baker


 

4th Place Team 454 Emerald/Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Glen Allen, VA   4-2 Record

Team 454 run ruled DMC in the 2nd round then flip flopped but nearly lost to Shoppe 27-24.   In the winner's semi finals they were lit up by GTL 35-5 in 4 innings.   Sunday morning they played an epic 2 hour and 42 minute slugfest with Team Combat and came up short 54-48.   They had a rash of linedrives go off of their infielders gloves throughout key parts of the game, any one of which could have swung the game in their favor.

Overall Team 454 is the highest finishing 'A' team again.   They gain valuable points and played solid even without leadoff man Derek Perkins and 3B William Rhew.   454 is without a doubt your best 'A' team at this point of the season.

It may be time to give Team 454 manager Tim "The Architect" Taylor props for molding another great 'A' team


Team 454 celebrates a Kyle Moyer homer in the 54-48 slugfest loss to Laser Vision

454 shortstop Kevin Bazat held down the leadoff spot in place of the absent Derek Perkins


Tied 5th Place Linedrive/Triple SSS Sportscards  GTGG 

Conf 'C' from Sterling Hts, MI   5-2 Record

Linedrive opened their Saturday with a 26-17 loss to Shoppe in a game where they trailed the whole way and never could turn the corner and make a real run for the win.   In the loser's bracket they sent home Conference peers DMC and Suncoast.   Then they beat the red hot Joliet 'C' team Creative Design who had just beaten R&M and Blitz.   Late Saturday night to make it to the final 4, they made one nice run but stalled against Team 454 and lost 30-15.

Linedrive continues to defy all odds.   They almost have a little man's complex or a Sampson and Goliath mentality when it comes to these Conference events.   I can tell you one thing, my days of picking them to lose are over…

Linedrive shortstop Charlie Anderson holds down the 3 spot and is a name I've passed to many Conference teams over the last 2 years when he wasn't playing in it.   I bet they wished they had picked him up now.

Linedrive's Tom Luna is the second fastest catcher in the league behind Derek Perkins…

Linedrive veteran first baseman Ron Thompson


Tied 5th Place Shoppe/Team TPS/D2E/Elite  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from McKenzie, TN   4-2 Record

Shoppe led from the outset in their 2nd round game against Linedrive, then were flip flopped but nearly came back and won against Team 454.   In the loser's bracket they sent home Midwest Swing and somehow beat EWS 23-22 in extra innings when EWS had runners on first and second with no outs and needing only one run and still managed to lose?   Then late Saturday night Shoppe was pummelled by Team Combat 41-10.

Shoppe has another frustrating weekend.   They have come down a notch in their level of play since the Indiana tournament where everyone was excited to see if they could hang with Resmondo before the rains came and washed out that opportunity.   Shoppe is still without injured pitcher Shane Spicer and they have been letting up a lot of runs which puts their team in situations where the opposition has a chance to beat them in almost every game.

 

 

 

Shoppe's Chad McLamb

Jean Shoppe sponsor Greg Blackburn, disapointed but still looking forward to the rest of the season


Tied 7th Place EWS/ShirtsandLogos/Drgraphx/Eastonx  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Chicago, IL   4-2 Record

EWS let one get away when they lost in extra innings to a Blitz team that out dualed them when the homer's were gone.   Deep in the loser's bracket EWS ran off 3 straight including a nice win over Sinister before blowing an extra innings game with Shoppe late Saturday night with the hammer in their hands.

EWS continues to look less than sharp but are still hanging around 6th place in the points.   This team has a long way to go but a bunch of tournaments to get where they need to be.

 

EWS left side

Click Wegs or Helmer for Easton equipment


EWS sponsor Eric Weller and manager Todd Ankney still pushing different buttons trying to get one to work


Tied 7th Place Creative Design  GTGG 

'C' from Joliet, IL   4-2 Record

Creative Design beat Wheelhouse on Friday night as expected.   On Saturday a bad draw pitted them against the GTL juggernaught where they folded tent.   In the loser's bracket they put up a huge inning and stunned R&M 41-20 and came out with a 14 run first against Blitz and beat them 33-19.   Nice, two wins against Conference teams in a row and suddenly this team which has an EWS flavor to them suddenly they were the surprise 'C' team of the week.   With Dan Hall, Pat Hastings, Justin Wicinski, and Matt Rear they do have 4 EWS players from the past couple years.


Creative Design puts up a 14 run first against Blitz after scoring 41 to beat R&M

 

Creative Design's Matthew Rear hits against GTL


 

Sinister beats R&M with a walk off hit in the bottom of the 7th by Jason (Crain pictured 2nd middle)

YouTube Preview Image

 Sinister did not parlay their come from behind win over R&M into anything big as they dropped two straight to GTL and EWS.

{youtube{dRwYEPGiEaE[/youtube]

Blitz comes from behind to send game vs EWS into extra innings then wins it on Jayson "Red" Scott's base hit

Blitz – see Sinister comments above.   They did not parlay their clutch come from behind win against EWS in extra innings into anything big as they dropped two straight to Team Combat and Creative Design. 

Suncoast – see Sinister and Blitz comments above.   They did not parlay their extra innings win over Midwest Swing into anything big as they dropped two straight to Resmondo and Linedrive.

R&M = bad weekend.  They did add some defense with pitcher TJ Thompson and shortstop Carlos Vasquez.

YouTube Preview Image

Midwest Swing's Ricky Potter hits a game tying double against Suncoast to send it to extra innings

 Midwest Swing salvaged a heart breaking extra innings loss to Suncoast with a pair of wins in the loser's bracket but they are underachieving since that first spectacular tournament in Kissimmee back in April.

 T's 13 was beaten by P&P in their opener then rattled off 3 straight wins against locals before EWS run ruled them and sent them packing.

 

DMC didn't beat anyone and probably should have lost to Wheelhouse but somehow pulled it out 27-26 

 RFC was run ruled in 4 innings by Precision and only scored 7 against Midwest Swing…need to get back to competing every inning of every game.

 Wheelhouse almost got their best win of the season in a 27-26 loss to RFC.  I think Wheelhouse was up big in that one, ouch.


 

alt

MORE PICTURES BELOW!  


A big thanks to my sponsor's – Brenda Paulson, USSSA, Down2EarthSports.com, GameTimeSupply.com, MojoSportsGear.com, TPS, Easton, DSSBats.com, SoftballToday Magazine, BatReviews.com, and BPAthletics

I will be in Minneapolis, Minnesota next week for the Dudley.

Also don't forget to click the "like" or "share" on facebook buttons for any articles you particularly enjoyed.  Thanks.

2011 Chicago Major pictures link

2011 Chicago Llama's pictures link

Link to the  Bracket/Stats for the Chicago Major

Link to the tournament in Dudley when ready

Link to the USSSA Point Standings and Stats

Here are some other pics from the Chicago Major:


Precision 20 run ruled RFC in their Friday night opener


I'm not a big fan of the Polekatz Charlie Brown uniforms


Plumbers and Pipefitters knocked off T's 13 22-21 as predicted


Paul Davis Restoration nearly beat Midwest Swing on Friday night but ended up losing 30-28


Fury was drinking after a short weekend

 

Joel "Llama" Craig a former Mountain Top pitcher takes some great photos

DW bringing softballcenter.com fans a free broadcast.  8 games in all.

An oldscout post said that one of the plane's in the nearby airshow crashed.

 

As always send question, corrections, comments, and criticism's to

DW@softballcenter.com


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.