Friday February 22nd, 2019
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2011 Las Vegas Tournament Report

 

 2011 Conference USSSA

  

"Sin City Classic"

  

Las Vega, Nevada

 

   April 1-3

The Big League Dreams facilities were first class.   EWS takes on Billy Messina (pitching) and Combat/Laser Vision

The USSSA Conference opener for 2011 was played this past weekend at the Big League Dreams (BLD) park in Las Vegas, Nevada.  There were 25 teams consisting of 2 Major teams, 3 'A' teams, 11 Conference teams overall, and 14 'B' – 'D' teams from the surrounding areas of Nevada, California, and Arizona.

GTL Cartel/Demarini based out of Othello, Washington ran the table (5-0) to sweep the first Major of the year.  They did so by knocking off the new 'A' powerhouse EWS/Shirts & Logos/Easton in the semi-finals, and beat Team/Combat/Laser Vision/Down2Earth in both the winner's bracket championship on Friday night 32-14 and the first game of the championship on Sunday 35-20.  

Sean McDonald hit a grand slam in the first inning for GTL and they never looked back on their way to the Championship


Third place went to EWS/Shirts & Logos/Easton who lost a heart breaker to Team Combat/Laser Vision in the loser's bracket championship when Combat's Scott Brown capped a 6 run rally in the bottom of the 7th with a grand slam to send the game into extra innings.  Then in extra innings Brown hit a 3 run homer to win the game.

4th was Famous Sports/Logo Express who looked real good in their epic battle with Laser Vision where they lost 41-40 in extra innings in a game that had more than its share of controversy.

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Video of the first inning of the GTL vs Combat Championship game

Team Combat's Scott Brown hits a 3 run walk-off homer in extra innings to send EWS home

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Random video: VFC, Southcoast, Sonny's, GTL, EWS, Combat, Fenway Field

 

GTL pitcher Geno Buck was a very deserving Tournament MVP

The weather was perfect and calm on Friday night and the ball was flying out of the BLD fields with regularity.  On Saturday and Sunday the wind kicked up some but that didn't phase the GTL players who were led by former Dan Smith pitcher Geno Buck who was MVP.  Buck's pitching recorded a number of strikeouts and on offense he held down the 3 hole in the lineup and was able to keep the ball in the park when needed.

One recommendation is to have this tournament either the weekend before or even better have it after the "Final 4" NCAA tournament.   Flights were pricey as the Final 4 weekend is one of Las Vegas's biggest weekends of the year, just behind the Super Bowl.

Doerflinger left fielder Joey Smith leads off the game against Linedrive at scenic Fenway Park

The crowd was only large for the Team Combat/Laser Vision games

 

The ball used was the Dudley .40 core ZN – Classic M just like last year.  The ball was very hard and made the already short fences even shorter.

alt

  

"Sin City" Tournament Awards and Final Standings:

Player Tournament Awards
Players Name
Plays For
Tournament MVP
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
Offensive Tournament MVP
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
Defensive Tournament MVP
Team Combat/LaserVision/Down2Earth
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/Down2Earth
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/Down2Earth
All Tournament Team
Famous Sports/Logo Express/Easton
All Tournament Team
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/Down2Earth
All Tournament Team
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/LaserVision/Down2Earth
All Tournament Team
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
All Tournament Team
GTL Cartel/DeMarini
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
 
Place
State
Team
Team
Class
Wins
Loses
Ties
Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
1
WA
SPMensMajor
5
0
0
153
82
30.6
16.4
14.2
36
150
2
WA
SPMensMajor
4
2
0
157
159
26.1
26.5
-0.3
41
110
3
IL
SPMensA
4
2
0
160
128
26.6
21.3
5.33
33
180
4
CAS
SPMensA
3
2
0
142
134
28.4
26.8
1.6
40
160
5
MI
SPMensC
5
2
0
174
139
24.8
19.8
5
30
170
5
WY
SPMensB
4
2
0
119
117
19.8
19.5
0.33
32
170
7
WA
SPMensB
3
2
0
119
84
23.8
16.8
7
30
160
7
AZ
SPMensB
2
2
0
82
88
20.5
22
-1.5
24
160
9
CAS
SPMensB
3
2
0
100
91
20
18.2
1.8
30
150
9
NV
Custom Truck frozen
SPMensD
2
2
0
62
57
15.5
14.2
1.25
21
100
9
TXN
SPMensB
1
2
0
46
49
15.3
16.3
-0.9
17
150
9
NV
SPMensA
1
2
0
66
50
22
16.6
5.33
35
0
13
NV
SPMensD
2
2
0
78
73
19.5
18.2
1.25
30
0
13
CAS
SPMensD
2
2
0
81
99
20.2
24.7
-4.5
32
80
13
CAS
SPMensC
1
2
0
45
68
15
22.6
-7.6
27
0
13
AZ
SPMensB
1
2
0
64
61
21.3
20.3
1
24
80
17
CAS
VFW
SPMensC
1
2
0
58
70
19.3
23.3
-4
26
40
17
CAS
SPMensC
1
2
0
44
68
14.6
22.6
-8
21
0
17
AZ
SPMensD
1
2
0
45
62
15
20.6
-5.6
26
40
17
CAS
SPMensD
0
2
0
32
59
16
29.5
-13.
21
0
17
CAS
SPMensD
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
40
17
NV
SPMensD
0
2
0
29
62
14.5
31
-16.
25
40
17
AZ
SPMensC
0
2
0
39
59
19.5
29.5
-10
20
40
17
CO
SPMensC
0
2
0
39
48
19.5
24
-4.5
20
120
25
NV
SPMensD
0
2
0
23
50
11.5
25
-13.
14
0
 

Geno Buck comes off the field in the Championship, congratulated by catcher Kevin Filby


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

alt


1st GTL Cartel/Demarini  GTGGGT 

Conf 'M' from Othello, WA   5-0 Record

GTL cruised by LCP Friday night 36-21, which earned them a nice rest until 1 PM Saturday where they went 7 innings with an impressive Gold's Gym team but won 18-14.  At 5:30 PM in the semi-finals they dismantled rival EWS 32-13 with a double figure first inning and beat them in every facet of the game.   In the winner's bracket championship they run ruled Team Combat/Laser Vision 32-14.   On Sunday they again flip flopped and run ruled Team Combat with a walk off homer by Victor Cordova.

The pitching of Buck was superb.  The chemistry out of the box was outstanding and the defense hasn't missed a beat even with a bunch of new players involved. 

Note: Donovan Pokraka tweaked his lower back and sat most of the tournament.

GTL approximate lineup:

LF R
Mike Bowlin 1
CF L
Tim Howard 2
P R
Geno Buck 3
EH/C L
Kevin Filby 4
C/EH R
Chris Larsen 5
1B L
Sean McDonald 6
2B L
Victor Cordova 7
3B R
Joey Formosa 8
RF R
Jason Branch 9
SS R
Anthony Dress 10
MI R
Matt Pesso 11

The GTL defense is looking strong, Formosa at 3B, Dress SS, and Pesso MI

GTL Center Fielder Tim Howard was Offensive MVP

GTL 3B Joey Formosa was all tournament

GTL 2B Victor Cordova laces a line drive in the Chip

GTL left fielder Mike Bowlin sets the table with a base hit in the championship game

GTL was loose before the Chip


 

2nd Team Combat/Laser Vision/Down2Earth  GTGGTe 

Conf 'M' from Kent, Washington   4-2  Record

A note about Team Combat/Laser Vision/Down2Earth and the other new Major division team called Team Combat/Pharmapar which is the Canadian based team.  When these teams are in the same tournament I will refer to them as Laser Vision and Pharmapar.  When they do not go to the same tournament I will refer to them as Laser Vision and Pharmapar or just use Team Combat.

Team Combat/Laser Vision blew out TAI in their opener Saturday morning 25-5.  In the afternoon game they battled Doerflinger to a 30-22 victory.  In the final 4 they had an epic battle with Famous/Logo which they eventually won 41-40 in extra innings on some clutch hitting by Scott Brown and Jeff McGavin among others.  In the winner's bracket final Saturday night they were spanked by GTL 32-14. 

On Sunday morning in the loser's bracket championship they trailed EWS most of the game.  In the 6th and 7th, EWS failed to increase their lead and Combat used Scott Brown's grand slam to tie the game 17-17 with a 6 run inning.  In extra innings Michael Stephany and Ryan Thiede of EWS hit big homeruns to give EWS an 8 run lead but Combat came all the way back in the bottom of the 8th and won on a 3 run homer by Scott Brown.

In the finals, a short handed Combat team rolled over for GTL 35-20. 

Robert Blackburn was injured in the tournament and has another foot injury that may keep him out for the season.  Combat will be looking for an outfielder. 

Team Combat/Laser Vision lineup:

CF L 26 Rick Baker 1
RF L 7 Jason Kendrick 2
EH L 44 Brett Helmer 3
2B/1B L
Seth Stephens 4
2B R
Brian Wegman 5
MI R
Dennis Rulli 6
lf R
John McCraw 7
C/P R
Scott Brown 8
1B/C R 16 Rusty Bumgardner 9
3B R
Dal Beggs 9
SS R
Jeff Mcgavin 10
P R
Billy Messina 11
OF R
Robert Blackburn

Seth Stephens was all tournament for Team Combat

The most asked question of the weekend was "Is Rusty, Wegman and McCraw there?"  Yes!

Here is Rusty

Here is Wegman

Here is McCraw

Team Combat has a new left side of the infield with Dal Beggs, Jeff McGavin, and Dennis Rulli left to right

 

Team Combat's Jeff McGavin was Defensive MVP but it was his base hit that won this game against Famous 41-40

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Pierre Alfred the Laser Vision part of the sponsorship


 

3rd EWS/Shirts & Logo's/Drgraphx/Easton 

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

EWS learned a tough lesson that all top 'A' teams learn.  You have to put a Major team away when you have the chance.

EWS put up 27 runs in two innings in their opener Friday night in beating local 'D' team Anytime Garage.  They then had a nice break until 1 PM Saturday when they let AZM stay in the game all the way to the end with some defensive miscues before winning 29-23.  In the semi-finals they were spanked by GTL from the outset 32-13.  

In the loser's bracket EWS pounded Sonny's using a marathon like inning which led to an easy 33-9 win.  Then they beat Famous 33-22 in a game that ended near midnight Saturday.  In the morning they led Team Combat/Laser Vision the whole way until the 7th inning when Scott Brown for Combat hit a game tying grand slam.  In extra innings EWS lost when Scott Brown again came up and hit a walk off 3 run homer.  Some early game wind and sun led to some outfield miscues that also hurt EWS.  That and the fact they didn't score much in the 6th and 7th.

EWS lineup at times was:

RF/2B R 8 Travis Clark 1
3B R 24 Jimmy Salas 2
1B L 44 Ryan Theide 3
2B/1B R 5 Sam Lopez 4
LF/C R 10 Scott Kirby 5
SS R 21 Brett McCullom 6
MI R
Terry Rosenbalm 7
C R
Chris Geron 8
OF R
Brandon Riese 9
MI/CF R
Mikey Umschied 9
CF L 14 Micheal Stephany 10
P R
LC Watson 11
EH L
Mark Holstein
LF R
Gary Lofton
P R
Justin Mucciarelli



Brady Noll

EWS third baseman Jim Salas was my pick for Defensive MVP

Travis Clark leading off for a deep EWS lineup

Sam Lopez batting 4th and playing 2B for EWS this year

Sam Lopex makes a diving catch


 4th FamousSports/Logo Express/Easton 

Conf 'A' from Alta Loma, California   3-2  Record

Without seeing the stats, Famous first baseman Ed Vega would be my pick for offensive MVP.  At the very least he had the most laser's

An impressive start to the merger between the Famous Sports and Logo Express 'B' teams from a year ago.  Famous spent their first 7 innings Saturday morning getting to know one another and beating a good VFW squad 29-17.  VFW had center fielder Nick Robertson formerly of Desert Falls and Alonzo Woodfin formerly with some of the good western 'B' teams.  VFW had beaten Southcoast on Friday night when they scored 14 runs in the first inning.  Famous surged ahead late against VFW and won 29-17.   

In their second game Famous beat a listless Sin City 'A' team 20-13.  

In the semi-finals Famous played in the best game of the day against Team Combat/Laser Vision.  Combat jumped out to a huge 35-11 lead and the flip flop rule came into effect where the lead is so large that the home team becomes the visiting team to see if they can keep the mercy rule from coming into place.  So Famous makes an incredible comeback and closes the gap to 40-36 after 6 innings.  In the 7th Famous goes up one, 40-39.  In the bottom of the inning Famous gets two outs with Helmer up and the 1-1 pitch from Chad Munger looked like it was strike three but the umpire doesn't call it.  Helmer ends up hitting a chopper and an infield hit and Laser Vision goes on to tie and then win in extra innings.  Famous would have been in the winner's championship with at least a 3rd place finish if that pitch had been called a strike.

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The controversial non strike call

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Clips from the Famous vs Combat game


In the loser's bracket Famous trailed Linedrive 19-7 before coming back to win 31-30 and then ran out of gas late on Saturday night and lost to EWS 33-22.

Approximate Famous lineup:

SS R 8 Chris Hansen 1
RF R 9 Jesse Harrison 2
1B R 24 Ed Vega 3
C R 5 Brian Autry 4
LF R 18 Matt Bunn 5
1B/EH L 88 John Gilmore 6
3B R 31 Frank Yeilding 7
2B R 2 Ricky Haymans 8
CF R 7 Adam Elliot 9
MI R 17 Johnny Gallegos 10
P R 24 Chad Munger 11

 

The left side of the Famous/Logo infield is Frank Yeilding at 3B, Chris Hansen at SS, and John Gallegos at MI

Is Famous shortstop Chris Hansen the next Chente?

My son thought this was a statue.  John Gilmore – Player/Sponsor of Famous

Famous/Logo has a center fielder Adam Elliot with a bright future in softball


Tied 5th Linedrive/Triple SSS Sportscards 

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

Linedrives manager Manfred Budnarowski formerly with Bud Light and Sinister gives direction before the game

Linedrive is a 'C' team out of Michigan.  It is good to see Linedrive's sponsors "Tarz" Lauzon and and Richie Davis back in the Conference fold.   This team is a mix of Conference veterans like pitcher Brian Ward and left fielder leadoff man Jason Ford, infielder Michael Haisenleder, and left hand power hitter Thomas Luna and some young players new to the Conference.  They also added former WCS player Quentin Collins who moved to Michigan recently.

Things didn't look good for Linedrive when their defense opened the door early which led to a loss to Doerflinger 29-17.   In the loser's bracket they made an incredible run Saturday using a big 6th inning to knock off a good little 'D' team Magz/Elite 29-21, then TAI Sports 23-13, handled Gold's Gym 22-15, and knocked off upstart AZM 29-21.  Then they took on a tired Famous Sports team in a late game Saturday night to decide 4th place.   Linedrive lasered balls all around Fenway Park to the tune of a 16 run 2nd inning to push to a 19-7 lead.  Then Famous scored 11 in the third and Linedrives offense came to a halt and Famous took a 27-23 lead.  In the 7th Linedrive lost by one, 31-30.

A fantastic tournament and a real confidence builder for a Linedrive team that did not appear to tire out.  They played the game the right way, never gave up, and proved they belong.

Linedrive Lineup:

LF R 33 Jason Ford 1
SS L 9 Charlie Anderson 2
C L 5 Thomas Luna 3
C/1B L 18 Quentin Collins 4
MI R 5 Michael Haisenleder 5
P R 24 Brian Ward 6

Linedrive middle infielder Mike Haisenleder

Linedrive's veteran 3B Shannan Green and shortstop Charlie Anderson


Tied 5th Sonny's/Beacon/Cowboys/Sidelines  

Conf 'B' from Casper, Wyoming   4-2  Record

Sonny's was upset Friday night 24-17 by AZM in a game where they used too many solo's early over at Fenway field.  On Saturday in the loser's bracket they beat Madd Skills and Anytime Garage before a showdown elimination game with Sin City.  

Sonny's outplayed Sin City and used a couple of Sin City errors to slip by 22-18.  They followed that up with an 18-17 win over Doerflinger when Sam Christensen hit a walk off homer.

In their final game, Sonny's was hammered by EWS 33-9 in a game that featured somewhat of a middle war in which Sonny's pitcher Danny Lopez came out on the short end when he was hit multiple times.

Charles Cunningham is anchoring the Sonny's lineup this year

Sonny's Alexis Ramirez formerly with WCS holds down the middle infield

Sonny's right fielder Mario Granados gets heckled by some Boston fans at Fenway

Former Wood Law 1B Kevin Ballard is back in the Conference with Sonny's


Tied 7th Doerflinger/TSC/Pro-Coat/Combat  

Conf 'B' from Seattle, Washington   3-2  Record

Doerflinger ends up with a disapointing 7th place finish but did play some good softball on the weekend.  They run ruled Kovach, a 'D' team Friday night.  They blew out fellow Conference opponent Linedrive early enroute to a 29-17 win.   In their quarter final game against the Major divisions Team Combat/Laser Vision, Doerflinger hung around long enough to make a game of it late but lost 30-22.

In the loser's bracket they picked up a quality win against Victory/Demarini 30-14 before losing to Sonny's 18-17 on a walk off homerun.

Doerflinger leaves some of those coveted Conference points on the table but establishes themselves as a top 5 'B' division team.

One of the Doerflinger Lineups

OF L #9 Joey Smith 
3B R #23 Julio Salazar 
1B/OF R #42 Cal Ford 
C/1B R #25 Daniel Van Daele 
Inf R #71 Jared Goetz 
Inf R #1 Aaron Martinez 
Inf/OF R #3 Shawn Pederson 
C/EH L #24 Wes Archie 
 P R #31 Robert Sena 
OF R #13 Brian Munson 
OF L #2 Brian Plenkovich 

 

Doerflinger infielder Aaron Martinez hits a homer

Pregame meeting with manager Strojan Kennison

 


Tied 7th AZM/Cartel 

Conf 'B' from Mesa, Arizona   2-2  Record

AZM upsets Sonny's on Friday night

AZM/Cartel battled fellow Conference 'B' team Sonny's in their opener late on Friday night.  They separated from an 8-8 tie and upset Sonny's 24-17 while making better use of their homeruns.  In there second game they hung tough for 7 innings against EWS and never gave up in a 29-23 loss.

In the loser's bracket AZM was taken to extra innings by a feisty local 'D' team called Custom Truck but managed a win 14-13.  Then they lost 29-21 to Linedrive.

AZM is a welcome 'B' addition to the Conference from Mesa, Arizona.  They have the heart to battle higher level teams and are now 5-3 vs fellow 'B' teams this year.

 


 

alt

More Below


A big thanks to my sponsor's :

USSSA

Down2EarthSports.com

GameTimeSupply.com

MojoSportsGear.com

Easton

Worth

TPS

DSSBats.com

The Space City Classic

GoSoftball.com

A special thanks to my sponsor's for the event – Elliot Clark from Phoenix USSSA

and Eric Weller from EWS

It was also great to meet USSSA Far West V.P. Doug Stark and BLD manager Ed Farmer

I will be in Kissimmee, Florida for the HOF tournament on April 14-17 for the double tournament next week.

Link to the rest of my pictures

Link to the  Bracket/Stats

Link to the Hall of Fame tournament #1 when ready

Link to the Hall of Fame tournament #2 when ready

Link to the USSSA Point Standings and Stats


Here are some other pics from Las Vegas:

That may have been a 2 out strikeout to end the game?

Fenway Park at the BLD

Angel Stadium

Yankee Stadium – Johnny McCraw in Left Field, Rick Baker in Center for Team Combat

Wrigley Field

Coop protested Jim Salas's bat for excessive cracks filled in with stickum spray.  To Cooper's credit he did this in a very low key and professional way and was well within his rights.  Jim Salas had a good comeback later in the game when he was thrown out at first base on a grounder, he jokingly said "can we check his glove"…funny.

Close up of the bat

Combat's Jeff McGavin had a case when arguing this strike call

Local 'D' team Custom Truck sends the AZM game to overtime

Las Vegas native and Long Haul Bomber Denny Crine and Tony "Mr. Sin City" himself put a team together for the tournament.

Sin City's Dan Norquist mashes one

I thought Tyler Beuerlein was taking the year off?  This would be a good pickup for Team Combat/Laser Vision

Hard hitting Trey Palacol of Gold's Gym

Gold's Gym lineup:

 


R 26 Preston Sprulin 1

R 7 Matt John 2
1B L 29 Kelly Hartman 3
2B R 97 Trey Palacol 4

L 24 Clay Smitherman 5
P R 21 Perry Hensley 6



Jake Mays 7



Rob Brantzeg 8



Cody Brooks 9



John McGavic 10

R 33 Scott Short 11

Greg Barrios is back in the Conference pitching for Victory/Demarini

VFW has a strong 'C' team out of San Diego but after upsetting Southcoast, they were eliminated by Custom Truck

Nick "Noodle" Robertson was playing center field for VFW.  Another good Conference pickup for someone?

JROB LF just missed robbing this homer that a Dodger fan gets hit by

Southcoast catcher Jay Hill missed the tag on this VFW runner

Peak Contracting's pitcher and lead off hitter Steve Garcia

Southcoast's pitcher Jose Nunez goes between the legs

Sal Sardina and the guys at Southcoast are a non-conference 'B' team playing a Conference type schedule

Free Agent infielder Greg Zayas was playing for Sin City.  Someone should give this guy a shot

GTL glove man Matt Pesso talks defense with Combat glove man Dennis Rulli

The umpires had targets on their backs as they were hit by missile type line drives on at least 3 occasions

Bye Bye Las Vegas!

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

DW@softballcenter.com


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