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2012 "Cactus Classic" – Phoenix Major tournament report

 

2012 "Cactus Classic"

 

 

Glendale, AZ 

 

April 27-29

 

West Coast Doerflinger/Easton based out of Los Angeles, California wins the Phoenix Major in dramatic fashion 35-32 over Team Combat/Pacific Headwear.  West Coast came out of the winner's bracket and lost the first game of the championship 25-9 to Combat.  Then Combat had a 28-14 lead in the bottom of the 6th and 3 different batters could have run ruled West Coast but didn't come through.  Then going into the top of the 7th inning they again trailed Combat 28-14 in the "if" game.  West Coast then got on an adrenaline fueled roll (much like the Sonny's comeback vs Laser Vision in Vegas) and scored an incredible 21 runs to take a 35-28 lead and held off Combat in the bottom half of the inning to win 35-32.

The tournament began Saturday morning with perfect weather at the Sahuaro Ranch 4 field complex.  The lower class local Arizona and southern California teams knocked each other off without many upsets.  As the tournament moved into the afternoon it did heat up into the 90's but with a slight breeze wasn't too bad.  The top 8 teams in the tournament nearly all won their games by the run rule over the locals.

At 3:45 PM the final 8 of the winners bracket began with the 8 teams picked to be there making it without upset.  Team Combat hammered OC Swats with a 20+ run inning, most of the damage with 2 outs, and won in 3 innings 37-3.  Sonny's knocked off AZM 19-3 with their usual hard hitting, line to line, speed attack and a suffocating defense.  The best final 8 match up was West Coast vs 4 The Fallen.  The two teams traded early inning scoring but West Coast separated mid way and 4 The Fallen couldn't keep up as West Coast won 23-8. 

Then the tournament had its first big upset as Classic Glass, a top 'C' team out of California and no stranger to upsetting Conference teams for the last several years, went up early on Demarini and held on to an impressive 24-16 win.  The scores in the afternoon were not all that high as the ball got a little soft and made for a more defensive game.

As the the day turned to perfect evening weather Team Combat matched up against Sonny's in the final 4 and put up a big 21 run 2nd inning.  Sonny's had the confidence that they could recover and chipped away at the Combat lead a couple of times but succumbed to a 27-12 run rule loss.  In the other semi-final game Classic Glass jumped out to yet another impressive lead on West Coast.  But West Coast never gave up and with the game in doubt in the top of the 7th West Coast scored enough runs to hold off a 2 out Classic rally in the bottom of the inning to win 26-23.

This set up a showdown between West Coast and Combat in the winner's bracket championship.  Both teams came out firing as the ball really started to fly again and neither team played the greatest defense.  There were some long homers, a manager ejection, rules violations, great plays, poor plays, great offense, bad base running, in other words a little bit of everything.  Both teams held 10 run leads at one point or another but West Coast carried a 50-40 lead into the bottom of the 7th and held off Combat in the end 50-46.  Basically a game where West Coast made less mental errors and won.  The game lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes.

On Sunday morning Sonny's knocked off Classic Glass after Classic had an early 7 run lead.  Sonny's won 23-10.  Then Sonny's battled Team Combat for the loser's bracket championship and came up short as Combat knocked them off for the second time of the tournament 29-27. 

In the first championship game Team Combat led West Coast the whole way and forced the "if" game 25-9. 

Overall this was a well run event at a great complex.  Between the Saturday start and hopefully a change in the Conference schedule to allow a week off for teams after the Hall of Fame Classic, this tournament should have more teams next year.

YouTube Preview Image

Video highlites of West Coast Doerflinger/Easton

West Coast Doerflinger/Easton after winning the Cactus Classic with a 21 run 7th inning.

Way to put on a shirt for the team pic Ric!

Phoenix bracket link

  2012 Nationwide Insurance Conference Schedule
 
 

Fields were great.  Outfields were 315 feet all the way around and fences were high.  This would be a nice location for an 'A' or 'B' world tournament

 

 

Here is the broadcast camera set up on the main diamond.  Now that I am happy with the quality of the video, I am accepting broadcast donations again.

Paypal is dale_weiser@yahoo.com or email for an address.  The broadcasts are funded completely by donations and I thank all of those who have donated.  The new laptop I used to broadcast in Phoenix is a Macbook Pro which instantly increased the quality of the video.    I hope to upgrade the Livestream.com service in the near future to get rid of the ads and give me some other new features.  By the mid season it may even be possible to broadcast a second field at some tournaments using the old laptop with enough donation support.

This was the view of the broadcast which I should be able to re-create at each tournament where I can get the internet successfully. 

There was only a small softball crowd to speak of


Remember to email pictures or scans of your stat sheets to dw@softballcenter.com for posting in a picture album and to be used to verify totals. Stats without pictures/scans of each score sheet will be removed from the USSSA site.



Video Highlites brought to you by:

YouTube Preview Image

 


7th Inning Comeback of the week brought to you by:

 The comeback of the week is an easy one.  West Coast came from a 28-14 deficit going into the top of the 7th and scored 21 runs including a bunch with 2 outs to beat Combat 35-32 in the Championship game.

 


The Mojo Masher of the week conference "newbie" is

the entire Classic Glass team that put on a line drive hitting show at times.

 

 




 

"Cactus Classic" Tournament Awards and Final Standings:

Player Tournament Awards
Players Name
Plays For
Tournament MVP
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
Offensive Tournament MVP
Team Combat/Pacific Headwear
Defensive Tournament MVP
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/Pacific Headwear
All Tournament Team
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
All Tournament Team
CLASSIC GLASS/EASTON/DSS
All Tournament Team
Sonny's / Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team
CLASSIC GLASS/EASTON/DSS
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/Pacific Headwear
All Tournament Team
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
All Tournament Team
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/Pacific Headwear
All Tournament Team
Sonny's / Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team
Sonny's / Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team
Team Combat/Pacific Headwear
All Tournament Team
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
All Tournament Team
West Coast Doerflinger – Easton
  
Place
State
Team
Team
Class
Wins
Loses
Ties
Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
1
CAS
SPMensB
5
1
0
163
134
27.1
22.3
4.83
50
300
2
WA
SPMensMajor
5
2
0
225
142
32.1
20.2
11.8
46
225
3
WY
SPMensA
4
2
0
157
91
26.1
15.1
11
43
200
4
CAN
SPMensC
3
2
0
105
78
21
15.6
5.4
27
175
5
CAS
SPMensA
3
2
0
114
94
22.8
18.8
4
30
155
5
AZ
AZM
SPMensB
3
2
0
68
52
13.6
10.4
3.2
24
155
7
AZ
SPMensC
3
2
0
57
89
11.4
17.8
-6.4
21
155
7
AZ
SPMensB
2
2
0
99
90
24.7
22.5
2.25
36
130
9
AZ
SPMensD
2
2
0
56
73
14
18.2
-4.2
16
110
9
NV
SPMensD
2
2
0
58
54
14.5
13.5
1
23
110
9
AZ
SPMensD
2
2
0
68
68
17
17
0
29
110
9
CAS
SPMensC
1
2
0
41
71
13.6
23.6
-10
20
110
13
AZ
SPMensD
2
2
0
62
84
15.5
21
-5.5
23
70
13
AZ
SPMensE
2
2
0
21
44
5.25
11
-5.7
10
70
13
AZ
SPMensD
1
2
0
55
42
18.3
14
4.33
25
70
13
AZ
SPMensE
1
2
0
26
62
8.66
20.6
-12
17
70
17
AZ
SPMensD
0
2
0
12
52
6
26
-20
8
40
17
AZ
SPMensC
0
2
0
21
36
10.5
18
-7.5
14
40
17
AZ
SPMensE
0
2
0
14
47
7
23.5
-16.
8
40
17
AZ
SPMensD
0
2
0
26
29
13
14.5
-1.5
18
40
17
AZ
SPMensE
0
2
0
12
28
6
14
-8
8
40
 

West Coast MVP was lead off hitter Steve "Stuhey" Lopez who is not only one of the leagues leading hitters but probably runs a couple of miles on the base paths every weekend scoring runs and getting a lot of doubles and triples.
 

Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place – West Coast Doerflinger/Easton  GTGGNo Nolkjdsa;lkajsdlkgajaljn

Conf 'B' from Los Angeles, CA    5-1 Record 

West Coast wins their first ever Major and do so in dramatic fashion with a never say die, "foxhole" mentality.  This team played the game the right way every inning of every game.  They were powered by Cal Ford who hit 4 homer's in the winner's bracket championship, defensive MVP Mario Granados who made a number of great running catches and assists, and tournament MVP Steve Lopez who continues to put up an .800 onbase percentage while placing the ball in whatever gap or hole that he wants to.

The team was also sparked by the presence of their new middle infielder Matt Pesso who moved over to WC after leaving Team 454.  West Coast has the perfect team at this point.  They have some depth, great defense, and a veteran offense.  But most importantly great chemistry.

West Coast LF Mario Granados gets an assist

Matt Pesso was back at home with West Coast.  Look at the picture below carefully.  The man floats on air before each pitch is hit.

 


 

2nd Place – Team Combat/Pacific Headwear  GTGG

Conf 'M' from Kent, WA   5-2 Record

Team Combat knocked off one of the top 'A' teams in the country, Sonny's, twice.  They turned the corner a little bit on beating the teams they are supposed to beat, but did shoot themselves in the foot a few too many times in the two losses to West Coast.  This is a big improvement over the first two tournaments of the year however where they were losing to 'C' teams.  Combat has some issues to work out and just need to get better all the way around but Phoenix was a step in the right direction.

On the bright side, the offense looked good.  The base running not so good, and the team needs to learn to close.  2nd place points should help them in the world series seeding though.

 Combat SS Jeff McGavin makes another play

Combats Joey Smith holds down the 3 hole in the lineup 

Franck Henry hits a single shortly before he was drilled by a line drive while standing on first base.  I hope Franck is ok.

 



3rd Place – Sonny's / Louisville Slugger GTGG

Conf 'A' from Casper, WY    4-2 Record 

Sonny's finally showed they are human as they lost to Combat twice.  Everyone else they handled well including a late Saturday night demolition of Demarini 43-21.  This team at times looks like a well oiled machine line driving the ball around the yard from line to line and gap to gap.  Then they throw in Greinert, Cunningham, and Ballard to blast some big homer's or bring Westy Guill in for a pinch hit bomb, then they fire up the track meet again.  A fun team to follow, with just the right rotation or players off the bench.  Should be interesting to see how this pans out in the end.  Sonny's has a grueling Conference and ASA schedule.

 

 

Lee Bowles is with Sonny's now.  We last saw Lee with Diamondblade back in 2010?

Chris Greinert mashing another homer 


 

4th Place – Classic Glass/Easton/DSSBats.com  GTGG

'C' from San Jose, CA    3-2 Record

Classic Glass is now the top 'C' team in country that I have watched play.  This team is young, seem hungry, and "can go around".  Meaning they can bat around the lineup with no easy outs.  These guys play the team in front of them and like to jump out to big leads early.  Their line drive hitting style will suit them well come September.

Link to the Classic Glass vs Sonny's game 

 

Lead off hitter DJ Hollingsworth sets the table for the Classic Glass mashers

Chris Terry of Classic Glass is a tough out every time he plays conference

 


 

Tied 5th – Team Demarini/FamousSports.com  GTGG

Conf 'A' from Santa Clarita, CA    3-2 Record

Demarini had a disapointing weekend.  This was a tournament where sheer offensive power should have won them the game against Classic Glass but after falling into the loser's bracket early, they were unable to hang with Sonny's who had them down by 35 runs at one point.  Demarini seemed a little burned out and could use a few weeks off.
 
 

CF Adam Elliot throws one in

Demarini left side 3B Dale Brungardt and SS Chris Larsen

 


 

Tied 5th – AZM GTGG

 'B' from Mesa, AZ    3-2 Record

AZM is now 29-14 on the season and today is just May 1st.  This team has played a lot of ball.  They beat the teams they were supposed to but didn't compete like they need to against Sonny's and Classic Glass with the Classic Glass game being one that would have slipped them into the final 4 and a Sunday finish.  There is a lot of Conference talent on the AZM team and they should be a tough draw at the 'B' World. oNOND

oNASDLFJSDALKJD

 AZM is led by their hard nosed pitcher Marcus Henninger

Michael Tarwater the middle infielder for AZM lays into one

 

 


 

Tied 7th – 4 The Fallen/Easton/3N2  GTGGied 7th 

Conf 'B' from Anthem, AZ     2-2 Record 

4 The Fallen had their whole team present and still only managed to beat two local lower level teams.  I didn't see the spirit and fight in 4 The Fallen this week.  Some defensive miscues and base running errors led to a big inning against West Coast and they lost.  Then in the loser's bracket they had the unfortunate run in with Demarini early on and finished 2-2.  The rest of 2012 will be an up hill battle for points for The Fallen.

 

"Captain America" Dexter Avery returned to Conference play

Daxton Mamuyac is the pitcher and lead off hitter for Fallen 

4 The Fallen didn't play with their normal enthusiasm 


 

Tied 7th – Maddskills/Watchyrlips  GTGG

'C' from ,    3-2 Record

Madd Skillz has the reputation for playing tough in the Cactus Classic ever since they knocked off Laser Vision a year ago.  This year they sent OC Swats home 21-18 but couldn't compete with Demarini or AZM in 20 run losses.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Rest of the Conference Teams:

 

OC Swats didn't have the weekend they were hoping for as Combat jumped out to a huge lead on them

More pictures below 

 

 


Hot Links section brought to you by:

I will be in Euless, Texas Friday night for the Major there.  Broadcast schedule to follow.

Link to all the photos from Phoenix

Link to SoftballCenter.com broadcast archive

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Euless, Texas bracket link when ready 

2012 Conference USSSA Schedule

Link to the 2011 Las Vegas Tournament Report

Link to the Hall of Fame Classic Tournament Report

As always send dw@softballcenter.com any errors you see in the report or links that do not work. Thanks.

 



Some more pictures for you:

 

John Heller a major list player got some swings for his local team

 

Mario was actually just out of play according to the video replay

The fields looked to be in great shape but we did see a few bad hops

 

Brownie shakes the umps hand for finally calling a 5 second count against his pitcher

Flood Impact Xperts had some athletic defenders

 

Sahuaro Ranch fields are a great place to watch softball.  Perfect weather at night.

 

Stro gets tossed.  And he did so without swearing which is impressive.

Softball guy picture of the week

Inflation Index:

2 Egg McMuffins and a small orange juice at McDonalds

$8.50 in Las Vegas

$7.65 in Orlando

$6.94 in Phoenix 

 


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