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2013 Nationwide Conference USSSA “Windy City” Chicago Major tournament report!

 

 

 

 

2013 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

"Windy City" Major

 

Joliet, IL

 

June 7-9

 

 

Link to the Softballcenter.com picture album of the Chicago Major

 

Picture Links:

Link to SoftballCenter's pictures of the Windy City Classic

Link to Joel Craig's Windy City pictures

Erica's pictures from Windy City

 

It is "Sunday Money" for Laservision/Desert Falls/Boombah/Easton again as they used a walk off single by Chad Durick to cap an 8 run rally in the bottom of the 7th inning to beat Shoppe/TYJA/Louisville Slugger in the loser's bracket final and then did the unthinkable, they "double dipped" Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth in the championship by winning both games by the run rule 47-32 and 37-17!

The tournament festivities began with a home run derby on Thursday night which had a good turnout of participants.  Nearby Wisconsin and Laservision center fielder Mike Umschied won the derby over teammate and fellow Wisconsin native Travis Clark.

The tournament began on Friday at 7 PM with 35 teams from 17 different states.  20 of which were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA and 6 of those were the top 6 teams in the country. The upsets on Friday were minor but Cash House ATM/Louisville Slugger from Cleveland, Ohio knocked off P&P 333/Suburban/Larry/Mojo/Easton 39-30, South Texas Posse beat TG Brand/Mojo/Easton 29-14, and Trust/Detroit Elite knocked off B&B/Sears/BMW Insulation 37-22.  Also Polekatz Softball took Line Drive Sportz to the very end in a 23-22 loss.  But the best game of the first round was played on Saturday morning at 8 AM when local team KBI had the tying run on second base down 41-40 when they lost to local Conference team Precision.

The final 16 was all Nationwide Conference teams with some nice "B vs B" class matchups where Pure Romance/Chic's/Insanity/Easton knocked off Fence Broker/Hubs Pub/GTS/Worth 29-12.  Nordkap/Suncoast Reebok came from behind to knock off DEI/S&S/Scott's/Easton 25-22.  Precisision/Hang Rite beat Line Drive Sportz 24-22. Reds Astros/Slugger/Stucco/Dirty jumped out to a big early lead on Shoppe and knocked them off on a Wally Maybrier homer for the run rule 43-28.  GTL Doerflinger R&M/Easton beat Cash House in a 7 inning game 31-19 after an early "flip flop".  And Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger beat fellow 'B' team 3rd Street/Louisville Slugger 23-13.

In the final 8 Baugh Ford upset GTL on the show field 31-28.  GTL had the bats in their hands in the bottom of the 7th. And Pure Romance upset Nordkap 26-25 in extra innings when Kap made some defensive miscues.

Laservision and Resmondo both made it to the winner's bracket championship unscathed as the top 'A' teams as discussed were sent to the loser's bracket early by 'B' teams.  Resmondo knocked off a feisty Red's Astro's in the quarterfinals 30-20 and smoked BaughFord.com 31-1 in the semi-finals.  Meanwhile Laservision run ruled Precision/HangRite 26-6 and then fought off Pure Romance 32-26 in the semi-finals.  In the winner's final Resmondo dominated as they took advantage of multiple Laservision errors and scored 14 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning, all of which were scored after the 2nd out.  Resmondo won easily by the 20 run mercy rule 33-13.

Laservisions Brett Helmer tags out Resmondo's Jeremy Isenhower at the plate in the championship!

On Sunday morning the first game at 8 AM was the loser's bracket semi-finals between Line Drive Sportz and Shoppe.  A re-match of the same two teams from 2012 in this tournament.  It ended a little differently this time however.  Shoppe got 9 runs in the 2nd inning.  Line Drive fought back every time it looked like Shoppe might pull away but in the 3rd inning Line Drive pitcher Faron "Amish" Miller was hit by a liner up the middle in the knee cap and was removed from the game.  He will be back next weekend in Toledo.  But after that injury the momentum shifted big in Shoppes favor and they won 50-30.  The new 4 hitter for Line Drive Sportz, Keith Anderson, however hit 4 monstrous homers and had a double to keep things closer than the final score would indicate.

Then in the loser's bracket finals Robert Blackburns grand slam in the 5th inning gave Shoppe a 30-16 lead over Laservision.  But Laservision came back in the bottom of the 6th with a 19 run inning to pull within 41-39.  Shoppe scored 5 in the top of the 7th but Laservision, short on homers, managed to score 8 runs with the help of some Shoppe infield miscues and Chad Durick hit a walk off single to win the game 47-46.

In the first game of the championship Laservision scored 15 runs in the 2nd inning and Resmondo answered with 14 runs in the top of the 3rd.  A great play by Laservision 3rd baseman Sam Lopez ranging to his right stretching out and backhanding the grounder which was right down the third base line then in one motion twisting and throwing all the way back across the diamond to get the runner at first helped quell a big 5th inning by Resmondo.  Resmondo scored 3 more in the top of the 6th on a Dennis Rulli homer to tie cut the Laservision lead to 32-29.  Then Laservision scored 13 runs in the bottom of the 6th to leave Resmondo on the field by the 15 run rule 47-32.

In the "if" game of the championship Laservision out powered Resmondo enroot to a 37-17 run rule win and the Windy City championship.

The tournament was played using the Dudley ZN Classic M .40 core ball on the six 300 foot fields.  It was played in near perfect 70 degree weather and low winds until Sunday when the wind got up to 22 mph.  Bat testing was in effect with the buckets and a strong contingent of Nationwide Conference USSSA umpires was in attendance.  There was an abundance of extra-inning games, and there were many great conference vs conference matchups going on on all six diamonds from Saturday afternoon until Saturday evening.

Reds Astros in the blue finish off Shoppe for a big upset

Field #6 – Pure Romance takes on Laservison/Desert Falls 

DEI/Scotts Matt McCraw beats out a throw in the Nordkap game

The crushed limestone infields made for some bad hops


 

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Scott Kirby cleared those trees in LF onto the golf course for the longest bomb of the tournament.  It is 448 feet over the trees, so it probably landed 465!

 


 

 Major Final Standings & Awards

Player Tournament Awards Players Name Plays For
Tournament CO-MVP Travis Clark LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
Tournament CO-MVP Michael Umscheid LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
Offensive Tournament MVP Greg Connell Resmondo – Specialty Tank / Worth
Defensive Tournament MVP Brian Wegman LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Dennis Rulli Resmondo – Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team Brett Helmer LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Kevin Filby LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Sam Lopez LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Bryson Baker LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Scott Kirby LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas
All Tournament Team Billy Fulk Resmondo – Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team Jeremiah Isenhower Resmondo – Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team Ronald Mack III Resmondo – Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team Brian Rainwater LaserVision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Eas

Note:  The following pics were put up before the awards were put into the USSSA site:

Laservisions Travis Clark was most likely MVP

Offensive MVP was probably Scott Kirby.  He pretty much did whatever he wanted with the softball.

The defensive MVP lets give to Sam Lopez if just for that great play in the championship game!

 


Team by team notes brought to you by:


 

1st Place – Laservision/DesertFalls/Boombah/Easton

Conf 'M' from NY  7-1 Record

Consistent smash mouth offense is what Laservision has produced against Resmondo and Shoppe the last two weekends on Sundays.  Laservision played without starting pitcher Geno Buck who had a family commitment and went with Travis Clark who was left to sink or swim against the games top teams.  He persevered and came up with some big outs against Resmondo even after being drilled in the pitching hand in the championship game when a brief injury timeout appeared to have Travis and first baseman Ryan Thiede snapping fingers back into place!  But Travis fought on as did the Laservision offense and they mercy ruled Resmondo in both championship games.

The Laservision team this year has been on a bit of a roller coaster and has disappeared in a few games when they get down especially to Resmondo.  But something changed on Sunday against Jean Shoppe in the loser's bracket finals when Laservision scored 19 runs in the bottom of the 6th and 8 more in the bottom of the 7th to beat Shoppe 47-46.  And that something was the confidence that no lead was insurmountable and the offense which was billed as the best in softball to start the year is showing that now on both the baseball fields and finally at the 300 foot fields in Chicago.

Look for Laservision to pull close to #1 in the SoftballCenter.com computer rankings this week as they added another tournament win and 3 wins against Major teams which will boost their point's average!  More importantly they are withing 100 points of Resmondo in the Conference point standings.

Laservisions Chad Durick gets the game winning base hit vs Shoppe in the bottom of the 7th

Laservisions Bryson Baker sets the table again.  Baker carried a .780 onbase average with the wind gusting out and only used 2 homers to do it.  WOW

Laservision first baseman Kyle Moyer and 2B Scott Kirby in the winner's final game

 


 

2nd Place – Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth

Conf 'M' from FL  5-2 Record

 

Resmondo gets tripped up by Laservision after seemingly being in cruise control most of the weekend.  They were only really challenged by Reds Astros but still won that game 30-20.  Resmondo did not have as many big "bat around the order" innings as they were having in earlier tournaments and the chemistry after the two losses is now in question.  Purcell's defense up the middle, Jr who made an incredible diving play on a hard shot at SS, and the outfield defense for the most part were very good.  The hitting was a little inconsistent on Sunday and they could never completely catch up to the Laservision offensive green machine.  Outfielder Bobby Hughes is available to play now but isn't 100% and third baseman Jimmy Salas pulled a hamstring and sat out the last day in Chicago.  He will be back for the Dudley.

Resmondo usually comes together as a team at the Dudley and the Smoky which are the next two tournaments on the schedule.

The versatile Bubba Mack was playing 1st base and middle infield and we know he is a great center fielder.

 

 


 

3rd Place – Shoppe / TYJA / Louisville Slugger

Conf 'M' from TN  7-2 Record

 

Shoppe / TYJA / Louisville Slugger played 9 games and averaged 32 runs per game.  The whole team got in on the action and after being run ruled early by Reds Astros in the 3rd round 43-28 they fought back to win 6 straight games, 5 of which were against Conference opponents.  During this run through the loser's bracket, Shoppe beat Nordkap/Suncoast Reebok in extra innings 31-30, Baugh Ford late on Saturday 34-14, and held a feisty Line Drive team at bay 50-30 on Sunday morning.  This set up a rematch of last weekend in Columbus when Shoppe met Laservision.  Robert Blackburn hit a grand slam in the 5th inning to give Shoppe a commanding 30-16 lead but then watched Laservision score 19 runs in the bottom of the 6th and 8 more in the bottom of the 7th to lose the 2 hour and 10 minute game 47-46!

Shoppe looked a little like the 2012 Shoppe making the deep run through the loser's bracket but they were so close to making it to the finals again in Chicago.  If there is a team right now that is finding ways to lose the big games, it is Shoppe.  But if you knock on the door long enough you can break through and the timing may be right at the Dudley or even the Smoky!  Shoppe played without backup pitcher Shane Spicer who was banged up in a car accident.  We wish Shane a speedy recovery.  Andy Vitcak did a great job pitching all 9 games and got some of the Laservision hitter's way off balance in key spots.

 

Victor Cordova scores the winning run for Shoppe in extra innings vs Norkap

Shoppe celebrates a Vitcak HR

 

 


 

4th Place – Line Drive Sportz/SSS/Miken

Conf 'A' from MI  6-2 Record

 

Line Drive Sportz/SSS/Miken averaged 30 runs per game and score another top 4.  Linedrive pulled out a 23-22 win over a local 'D' team called Polekatz on Friday night.  Then on Saturday Precision squeaked out 24-22 win against them when Linedrive lined into a DP to end the game.  In the loser's bracket Linedrive sent 5 teams home including GTL, Reds Astros, and Pure Romance.  All 3 were shootouts with the last ending in a 46-39 win over PRI that was over at 1 AM in the morning.  

On Sunday Line Drive came to play Shoppe at 8 AM and held their own until pitcher Faron Miller was hit by a shot up the middle in the knee cap and was unable to continue.  Line Drive's other pitcher Billy Barrett is out with an achilles injury and was not there so Sal Formosa and Keith Anderson had to pitch and Shoppe lit them up 50-30.

Line Drive's stock is starting to rise in the 'A' ranks and the pickup of power hitter Keith Anderson may be the final piece to the puzzle if they can get Billy Barrett back as a second pitcher.  Line Drive should be the favorite next weekend in Toledo but will have to fight back when Albicocco gets them down.

Line Drive picked up former Xtreme and R&M slugger Keith Anderson who was 5-5 with 4 HR vs Shoppe

 

The Faron Miller fan club.  The amish are usually avid softball players.

 

 

Tied 5th Place – Pure Romance/Chic's/Insanity/Easton

Conf 'B' from OH   3-2 Record

PRI had 3 nice wins to start the tournament including an overtime win over Nordkap 26-25 in extra innings.  Beating pitcher TJ Thompson who they know well from the Cincinnati sand lot battles over the years.  They also hung with Laservision for a while before losing at the end 32-26 and had a late night shootout loss against Line Drive 46-39.

PRI is led by their pitcher Roger Drake, their professional hitting catcher Jon Jamison, and infielder Terry Rosenbalm.  PRI will look for a top 4 finish or better in Toledo next weekend.

PRI wins over Nordkap in extra innings

Former Suncoast infielder Terry Rosenbalm powers PRI

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger

Conf 'B' from AL  3-2 Record

Baugh gets 5th place as they knocked off their first 3 opponents including a signature win against GTL 31-28.  Then the major teams smoked them twice…but hey another solid points weekend for the team that currently sits 7th in the Nationwide Conference point standings.  Baugh has a nice pitching rotation in sponsor Tommie Baugh and former D2E pitcher Eric Byrum.  Both have exceeded expectations and have Baugh as one of the top 'B' teams in the country.  They have also done a nice job chasing points and remember they won Atlanta.
 

Tommie Baugh stabs the final out vs GTL

Baugh's 1B Andy Urban, 2B Dave Garcia, and CF Brad Blankenship

Baugh Ford got to be on the same field with Resmondo…unfortunately it didn't last long.  🙂

 


 

The Rest of the Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams

Tied for 7 MI TG Brand.MOJO.Easton  5-2  –  TG lost their opener to South Texas Posse by the run rule?  Then rattled off 5 straight in the loser's bracket but only 2 against conference foes before being sent home by Shoppe.  Those are sweet new uniforms.  I like the numbers.



Tied for 7 IN Red's Astros/Slugger/Stucco/Dirty   3-2  –  Red's knocked off Shoppe with big offense 43-28.  Then they almost gave themselves a chance to Shock Resmondo but came up short 30-20 with 5 homers left on the table.  Then they lost a late 38-31 game to Line Drive.  We saw a glimmer of the Red's from last year.  It is just bubbling up waiting to percolate in July…maybe Cincinnati.  Red's played without one of the league's leading hitters Chad Mullins who had a family event.



Tied for 9 MA DEI/S&S/Scott's/Easton   3-2
– DEI picked up former Dirty and Taylormade pitcher Brandon Jonas who made an immediate impact as they beat 3 conference teams including 'B' peers B&B Sears and FBI.  They also should have beaten Nordkap as Jonas shut them down at times.  It was good to see Daren Hunter back after he got hit in the face by a bat in Kissimmee.



Tied for 9 MN Nordkap/Suncoast Reebok   2-2
  –  Kap did not seem to have good energy like they did early in the season.  They barely came from behind to beat DEI early in the tournament 25-22 then lost in extra innings to both PRI 26-25 and Shoppe 31-30 on infield miscues late.  They played without infielder Matt Pesso who may be the best infielder in the league on those tough Chicago fields.  Remember his performance for GTL back in 2011 when they beat Resmondo!



Tied for 9th – IA GTL Doerflinger R&M/Easton  2-2  –  Whoa, GTL tied for 9th?  Chalk this one up to a bad weekend and forget about it.  GTL almost came from behind to beat Baugh Ford in the quarterfinals but came up short with the bats in their hands 31-28 after putting up 52 against a local team on Friday night.  In the loser's bracket they got "Line Drived" 33-22.



Tied for 9th – IL Precision/Hang Rite Athletics  2-2 – Had a 41-40 shootout win over rival Chicago team KBI early on Sunday morning.  Then shocked Line Drive 24-22 when they got a double play to end the game.  Then they dropped two in a row to Laservsision and the hot TG Brand.  Looks like Mike Rhines was back on the hill.  Nice!



Tied for 13th – MI P&P333/Suburban/Larry/Mojo/Easton  2-2 – P&P has yet to break through this season and Chicago was more of the same.



Tied for 13th – IL DEMOLITION Qualified  2-2 – Demolition lost to Shoppe and TG Brand but had a big upset win over 3rd Street 23-14.  I remember the 3rd baseman making a great play.  I think it was Saracino?  They were the highest finishing non-conference team!



Tied for 13 AR Fence Brokers/Hubs Pub/GTS/Worth  2-2
– FBI beat two locals and lost to two of their Conference 'B' peers…ouch.  Looks like they recently won the low scoring Wally Hall Triple Crown Invitational.  Pick up your custom arm sleeve at GameTimeSupply.com!



Tied for 13 MI Trust/ Detroit Elite/ Easton/ Mojo  2-2 – Trust run ruled B&B on Friday night then got smoked by Laservision and Michigan rival Linedrive with a win over WSC in between.  Trust was missing a few key players. Trust is taking their lumps running into Major teams at every stop.  But they are young and the experience is invaluable.  I have one of the 27 ounce Connells for sale that this player is using.  Hit me up.



Tied for 17 NC b&b/sears/bmw insulation/easton  2-2 – B&B beat two locals and lost to two Conference teams.



Tied for 17 WI WSC/Cazzi/Miken  2-2 – WSC picked up two non-conference wins but didn't compete against the conference teams in two run rule losses.



Tied for 17 OH Cash House ATM / Louisville Slugger  1-2
– Cash House scored consistently enough to win some games but lost in 7 innings to GTL early on Saturday and was knocked out by TG Brand in extra innings when they lost an 8 run lead late.  Cash House was playing without a number of starters and will try again this coming weekend in Toledo.



Tied for 17 TXS South Texas Posse  SPMensConfTBD 1-2  –  STP picked up the old Westshore Pizza battery of pitcher Greg "Shaggy" Neal and power hitter Dan Dillingham.  These pickups were good ones but the result wasn't much different although they started the tournament with a nice win over TG Brand 29-14.  Then lost to Resmondo as expected and then P&P 29-20 as they used up their home runs way too early.


Tied for 17th OH 3rd street/louisville slugger 0-2 – Won Friday opener by forfeit then dropped two straight losing to 'B' peer Baugh Ford 23-13 and a local Chicago 'D' team called Demolition 23-14?

 


 

More pictures below


 

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Some of the archived games from the Chicago Major can be found here

USSSA Chicago tournament link

Link to Softballcenter.com pictures of the Chicago Major

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to the 2013 Tournament Reports

Link to the 2012 Tournament Reports

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points Link

SoftballCenter.com Computer Rankings Link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

They had a concession golf cart roaming the park!

Two of the best, Jason Oberlag and Chuck "Doc" Beckwell

Beer truck

Tony tries to catch a shrimp in his mouth and Resmondo is betting on whether he can do it or not!

 There is the softballcenter livestream camera hangin on the fence

"Got Dirty?"

 

22% were right this week

 

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