Tuesday November 12th, 2019
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2013 USSSA “Space City Classic” – Houston Major tournament report

 

 

 

 

2013 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

"Space City Classic"

 

Houston, TX

 

April 12-14

 

 

Link to Softballcenter.com picture album of the Houston Major

 

USSSA Houston tournament info and bracket link

 

USSSA Houston tournament archived games link

Livestream Note: it has come to our attention that there were some fans sitting close to the broadcast microphone at the Buzini vs ASPnation winner's bracket finals game on Saturday night during the Lonestarsoftball broadcast.  I would like to apologize on behalf of Lonestarsoftball for the inappropriate things which were said.  This should not reflect poorly on Lonestarsoftball or Softballcenter and we will make every attempt to keep this from happening in the future.  Thank you.

The 7th annual "Space City" Classic featured 64 teams, 7 from the Nationwide Conference USSSA, and was won by ASPNation.com/Easton, a 'C' team out of Dallas, Texas. This is the first time a 'C' team has won a Nationwide Conference event that was not rain shortened with "Co-Champions".  ASPNation did so in dominating fashion as they made quick work of a tired Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger team in the Championship game 24-4.

The tournament nearly took a drastic turn on Saturday night in the winner's bracket final between ASPNation and Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth, when ASPnation blew a double digit lead.  Buzini scored 15 runs in the top of the 7th to take a 4 run lead and then a rash of infield mistakes let ASPnation tie the game at 22-22 in the bottom half of the 7th.  In extra innings Buzini put up a zero and ASPNation got an inside the park home run from the speedy Ben Dunn on a base hit with two outs that deflected off the glove of the diving right fielder.  This wild 7th and 8th inning truly determined the outcome of this tournament and ASPNation made the most of it and came out firing on Sunday in the Championship game.

Congratulations to Lyf Nimmo, his staff, and the players of ASPNation for an exciting brand of softball and on being a first time Nationwide Conference USSSA tournament champion!

One of the great things about Nationwide Conference softball is the variety of competition that we see.  We use different balls at different parks.  We see games on softball fields and baseball fields.  We have Major vs Major games and we have just as hotly contested games with B and C teams.  Every team is fighting for every point and they all have a different agenda.  But in the end it is the best slowpitch softball on the planet.

The tournament began early on Friday night on all 6 fields at the League City BLD.  The near perfect weather, artificial turf infields, and scenic replica MLB stadiums coupled with the more even competition of the 'B' and lower field of teams made for a solid tournament.  There were very few upsets throughout the tournament however and they did use the "wall ball" rules after the tournament director asked the 7 Nationwide Conference teams to vote on it. (6 teams said yes).  I would say most teams did not use their 8 home runs in a given game and the "wall ball" didn't really get too much out of hand.  The wind blowing in on 3 of the fields may have had something to do with the reasonable scores during the "meat" of the tournament on Saturday.

Random News and Notes:

There were no Nationwide Conference USSSA umpires in attendance and although each team had their beef with a few close calls, the video shows that most of these were actually very close plays and almost impossible to get right in slow motion let alone real game speed in the heat of the moment in close games.  Teams needed to adjust to various strike zones, but they did seem consistent, once learned.

They tested bats for the final 16 teams.

The center fielder for Golds Gym Luke Morgan showed some great range.

Dennis Shrum had the best diving play on a grounder in the hole at shortstop and subsequent throw out at first base for Vivid.

Pitcher Tommie Baugh took a line shot off the helmet in the Baugh Ford vs Buzini game.  I hope to have that highlight as well as a number of the many close plays on a video post later in the week.

I am not sure who had the longest homer but I'll give it to big Shannon Smith of Buzini.  With the softer 52 core ball being used there were many home runs where you needed to wait and make sure to see if they were going to go out or hit the wall.  Shannon hit a couple that were "no doubters".  Clay Smitherman and Davis Bilardello from Baugh Ford also crushed a few but Shannons was probably longer.

I did not see any bad bounces as I walked around from field to field yet there were many infield errors.  Too many for playing on such nice turf.

South Texas Posse veteran Will Oneal was called out for a half swing.  His claim was that there was no such rule in the USSSA rule book.  Anyone know the answer?

Also the Vivid infield was impressive with Donte Lapoint at 2B, Shrum at SS, and the rest of the infield was making nice plays as well (at least when I was watching).

Saturday crowd above, Sunday crowd below

Yankee Stadium was the main field.  Baugh Fords Eric Byrum pitches in the championship game

Crosley Field

Ebbets Field

Sportsmans Park

Mike Wrenn takes aim in Wrigley Field

Fenway Park


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

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Houston Major video clips

 


 

The "Miken Masher" of the week is Claude Simoneaux!

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Pinch hitter extraordinaire!  Seemed like every game he was up in a clutch situation as a pinch hitter he did his job.

 


 

Houston Major Final Standings & Awards

Player Tournament Awards Players Name Plays For
Tournament MVP Christopher Lopez ASPNation.com/Easton
Offensive Tournament MVP Shaun Bridger Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
Defensive Tournament MVP Benjamin Dunn ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Team Michael Cervantes ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Team BRAD BLANKENSHIP Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team TODD THOMAS Sportscenter/MS Storm/Worth
All Tournament Team DAVID GARCIA Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team robert hendren Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Kelly Hartman Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth
All Tournament Team Steve McLin Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth
All Tournament Team Blake Terrell Sportscenter/MS Storm/Worth
All Tournament Team Tyler Vick Sportscenter/MS Storm/Worth
All Tournament Team SHANNON SMITH Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth
All Tournament Team Sean Greer Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Sean Greer Baugh Ford/Mojo/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Kyle Wilks Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth
All Tournament Team Nick Mitschke ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Team randal lee wallace LA CLASSIC / EASTON / BUZINI
All Tournament Team Matt Vern ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Team Marcus sutton DX
All Tournament Team Matthew Kainer ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Team Christopher Potts ASPNation.com/Easton
All Tournament Manager Tim Barnes ASPNation.com/Easton
Place State Team Team
Class
Wins Loses Ties Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
USSSA
Points
1 TXN ASPNation.com/Easton Qualified SPMensC 7 0 0 145 67 20.7 9.57 11.1 28 300
2 AL baugh ford/mojo/louisville slugger SPMensB 7 2 0 187 142 20.7 15.7 5 29 225
3 MS buzini/buffalowildwings/worth SPMensB 5 2 0 182 108 26 15.4 10.5 39 200
4 MS sportscenter/ms storm/worth SPMensC 5 2 0 130 100 18.5 14.2 4.28 29 175
5 TXS Old School/Elite SPMensC 5 2 0 176 76 25.1 10.8 14.2 41 155
5 AR fence brokers/hubs pub/gts/worth SPMensB 5 2 0 136 120 19.4 17.1 2.28 27 155
7 LA la classic / easton / buzini SPMensD 5 2 0 122 110 17.4 15.7 1.71 31 130
7 TXS texas threat/r.b.i./texas inks SPMensC 4 2 0 107 100 17.8 16.6 1.16 24 130
9 TXS BTX SPMensD 5 2 0 141 125 20.1 17.8 2.28 31 110
9 TXN vivid / softballmix.com / tyja SPMensB 5 2 0 127 81 18.1 11.5 6.57 24 110
9 TXN Gold's Gym SPMensC 5 2 0 117 76 16.7 10.8 5.85 25 110
9 TXS South Texas Posse SPMensC 3 2 0 112 47 22.4 9.4 13 32 110
13 TXS Allegiance SPMensD 4 2 0 77 89 12.8 14.8 -2 18 70
13 LA Toxic SPMensD 4 2 0 96 95 16 15.8 0.16 34 70
13 AR Arkansas Mayhem SPMensC 3 2 0 85 72 17 14.4 2.6 24 70
13 TXS Hit N Sit SPMensC 3 2 0 106 82 21.2 16.4 4.8 30 70
17 TXS Platinum SPMensD 3 2 0 88 92 17.6 18.4 -0.7 27 40
17 TXS Triumph SPMensD 3 2 0 72 83 14.4 16.6 -2.2 29 40
17 TXS South Texas Legacy SPMensD 3 2 0 77 59 15.4 11.8 3.6 23 40
17 TXS DC/Y&R/A&A Utility SPMensC 2 2 0 50 80 12.5 20 -7.5 25 40
17 TXS SA Amigos SPMensC 2 2 0 65 85 16.2 21.2 -5 31 40
17 TXS Slapaho SPMensC 2 2 0 89 73 22.2 18.2 4 33 40
17 TXS Dabomb Sports SPMensB 2 2 0 73 59 18.2 14.7 3.5 32 40
17 TXS Call Your Shot SPMensD 2 2 0 79 66 19.7 16.5 3.25 32 40
25 LA Smith optics SPMensD 2 2 0 77 55 19.2 13.7 5.5 29 40
25 TXS Olmito Heat / Miken SPMensC 2 2 0 68 70 17 17.5 -0.5 24 40
25 TXS Playoffs SPMensD 2 2 0 55 45 13.7 11.2 2.5 19 40
25 TXS Titans SPMensC 2 2 0 52 61 13 15.2 -2.2 17 40
25 TXS TEXAS HAZMAT SPMensD 2 2 0 61 50 15.2 12.5 2.75 23 65
25 TXS DX SPMensE 2 2 0 63 58 15.7 14.5 1.25 21 40
25 LA LA Strokers SPMensC 2 2 0 58 42 14.5 10.5 4 20 40
25 TXS Head First SPMensD 2 2 0 53 56 13.2 14 -0.7 19 40
33 TXS Goons/NES SPMensD 1 2 0 43 70 14.3 23.3 -9 26 40
33 TXS Team Cerveceros SPMensD 1 2 0 15 36 5 12 -7 7 40
33 TXS Texas Rampage SPMensE 1 2 0 45 39 15 13 2 24 40
33 TXS sell out sports / autoplex SPMensD 1 2 0 50 49 16.6 16.3 0.33 21 40
33 TXN team demarini/diamond sports SPMensC 1 2 0 58 71 19.3 23.6 -4.3 33 40
33 TXS Chop City SPMensE 1 2 0 29 38 9.66 12.6 -3 17 40
33 TXS tx rip/b.o.b custom designs/elite SPMensD 1 2 0 35 37 11.6 12.3 -0.6 24 0
33 TXS Back-Alley Strokers SPMensD 1 2 0 30 55 10 18.3 -8.3 14 40
33 TXS budweiser/franks/gooseneck SPMensC 1 2 0 80 82 26.6 27.3 -0.6 47 40
33 TXS Most Hated Hurricanes SPMensD 1 2 0 53 68 17.6 22.6 -5 26 40
33 TXS DRN SPMensD 1 2 0 40 62 13.3 20.6 -7.3 25 40
33 TXS Asylum Softball SPMensD 1 2 0 41 80 13.6 26.6 -13 33 40
33 TXS team hood/louisville slugger SPMensD 1 2 0 33 40 11 13.3 -2.3 22 40
33 TXS Texas Hold 'Em SPMensE 1 2 0 21 37 7 12.3 -5.3 12 40
33 LA YouWho SPMensD 1 2 0 30 47 10 15.6 -5.6 13 40
33 MS mississippi bonding/louisville slug SPMensC 1 2 0 44 61 14.6 20.3 -5.6 24 65
49 TXS Wrecking Crew SPMensE 0 2 0 15 42 7.5 21 -13. 9 40
49 TXS SA Hitmen SPMensD 0 2 0 8 48 4 24 -20 4 40
49 LA Westbank Legends SPMensE 0 2 0 21 32 10.5 16 -5.5 13 40
49 TXS Smoking Guns SPMensE 0 2 0 8 39 4 19.5 -15. 4 40
49 TXS Dyslexic skcuF SPMensE 0 2 0 7 55 3.5 27.5 -24 4 40
49 TXS Texas Crush SPMensE 0 2 0 22 49 11 24.5 -13. 15 40
49 LA 2seamdream / softball mafia SPMensD 0 2 0 0 14 0 7 -7 0 40
49 TXS Team MTS SPMensD 0 2 0 0 14 0 7 -7 0 40
49 TXS Guess Who SPMensD 0 2 0 15 45 7.5 22.5 -15 11 40
49 TXS OuttaControl/ParadiseLawn SPMensE 0 2 0 10 28 5 14 -9 10 65
49 TXS Hi 5 SPMensE 0 2 0 26 38 13 19 -6 22 40
49 TXS Team Worth It/Star Bar SPMensD 0 2 0 41 59 20.5 29.5 -9 21 40
49 TXS phenoms/burgerfi/nes-suspended4/13 SPMensD 0 2 0 0 14 0 7 -7 0 40
49 TXS A.T.M./TI Sports SPMensE 0 2 0 16 44 8 22 -14 11 40
49 TXS HEADRUSH/A&A UTILITY CO SPMensD 0 2 0 48 69 24 34.5 -10. 32 40
49 TXS South Texas Warriors SPMensE 0 2 0 4 28 2 14 -12 4 40

ASPNations MVP pitcher Chris Lopez slides in for a big run

Baugh Ford SS Shaun Bridger was Offensive MVP (I probably shouldn't have left him off the prospect list)

 

 

ASPNation CF Ben Dunn was defensive MVP

 

I know that the winning team gets 2 special awards like MVP and Defensive MVP and the 2nd place team gets 1 award (usually the offensive MVP) but I like to pick my own awards when I have time or feel a player deserves some press.

Although you can't disagree with Ben Dunn the centerfielder for ASPnation getting the defensive MVP, my pick is Robert Hendren of BaughFord.  He showed great range and an uncanny ability to complete throws from all different angles.

Also the Vivid infield was impressive with Donte Lapoint at 2B, Shrum at SS, and the rest were making nice plays as well (at least when I was watching).

I agree pick for Offensive MVP being BaughFord leadoff man Shaun Bridger who did not make many outs and had a consistent line drive swing most of the weekend.  I even mentioned on the broadcast on Saturday that Shaun was working on an offensive MVP weekend if the team could make it to the championship game.  Chris Potts the five hitter for ASPNation also could have probably received the offensive MVP.  Without looking at stats, it always seemed like ASP's Chris Potts was in the thick of any big offensive rallies or needed clutch hits.

No one can argue with the MVP selection of ASPNation pitcher Chris Lopez.  He worked hard on the mound, was a tough out at the plate, and held the 7 opponents to less than 10 runs a game on average.

 

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 


 

1st Place – ASPNation.com/Easton

Conf 'C' from Dallas, TX  7-0 Record

ASPNation has a young, fast, defensive minded team that will challenge most teams on the 300 foot fields.  They ran the table in Houston and one has to be impressed with this team.  It was truly a team effort as the middle of the lineup struggled at times.  ASPNation blew a big lead in the winners bracket championship but found a way to win the game.  Then trounced Baugh Ford in the finals by the 20 run rule.  ASPNation pushed their 2013 record to 26-3 and have a goal to compete at the Dual and avenge last years poor double tournament.

ASPNation third baseman Mike Cervantes was among the leading hitters

ASPNation gets off to a big start for 2013

Champions collage

Only 9% picked ASPNation to win

 


 

2nd Place – Baugh Ford/MOJO/Louisville Slugger

Conf 'B' from Clanton, AL  7-2 Record

 

Baugh Ford won their first 4 games including a 15-7 victory over South Texas Posse with the wind blowing in hard.  Then they came from a 14-6 deficit to score 8 runs on two outs in the 5th inning against Buzini in the semi-finals to tie the game but put up zeroes in the 6th and 7th and lost 29-14.

Baugh then ran the losers bracket with a late night win over FBI 29-24 in a game that finished around 2 AM.  In the morning at 8 AM they beat Sportscenter 23-19 and avenged their earlier loss to Buzini 27-22 before taking a dive in the championship game against ASPNation.

Baugh showed some real toughness, at times an impressive offense, and they have enough power to compete on the baseball fields in Florida.

 

Baughs Clay Smitherman hit some long homers

Tommie congratulates "Bob"

Tommie Baugh goes between the legs and gets the called strikeout


 

3rd Place – Buzini/BuffaloWildWings/Worth

Conf 'B' from Jackson, MS  5-2 Record

 

Buzini won their first 5 games.  In their 3rd game against a very good Slapaho team they found themselves trailing by two going into the bottom of the 6th but scored 17 runs and left Slapaho on the field.  Then in the semi-finals they used a Shannon Smith grand slam to take a 14-4 lead on Baugh Ford.  But Baugh came back scoring 8 runs with 2 outs in the 5th but Buzini held Baugh scoreless in the 6th and 7th while scoring 15 runs themselves and won 29-14 to advance to the winner's bracket championship.

In the winner's final they trailed ASPNation 18-8 before scoring an amazing 14 runs in the top of the 7th to take a 4 run lead.  Then Buzini misplayed a couple of infield grounders any one of which would have ended the game and ASPNation used the opportunity to force extra innings where they ASP won by a run.

In the loser's championship on Sunday morning, Buzini was unable to keep pace with Baugh Ford and finished a disappointing 3rd.

Buzini is built well for the 300 foot fields with lots of role players and a good mix of young talent and veteran leadership.

Buzini teammates congratulate Kelly Hartman on another homer

Buzini lineup

 


 

4th Place – Sportscenter/MS Storm/Worth

Conf 'C' from Booneville, MS  5-2 Record

 

I have been pretty hard on Sportscenter for awhile now.  But I have to say this team is much improved over 2012 and are much more scrappy this year.  Sportscenter beat very good Omito Heat and Arkansas Mayhem teams.  Then they blew away FBI 23-3 to set up their biggest game of their Nationwide Conference existence, a semi-final against ASPNation.  Unfortunately the offense disappeared in the wind in a 13-8 loss.

Late on Saturday night they beat a very good Old School team 19-17 but dropped a 23-19 game to Baugh Ford in the loser's semi-final on Sunday morning in a game they always seemed to be playing catch up.  Sportscenter scored their first top 4 finish, played 7 innings in every game they didn't win by the run rule and scored at least 19 runs in every game they played except the game against ASPNation, and let's face it ASP was shutting down a lot of teams.  So offensive improvement, defensive improvement, and some confidence for Sportscenter to start the season.  All good things.  Let's not get too excited about their chances at the Dual however…  🙂

 

 

Tied 5th Place – Old School/Elite

Conf 'C' from Spring, TX   5-2 Record

Old School/Elite was a game away from making the final 4.  They smashed LA Classic 34-3 late on Saturday and lost in the tournament to two Nationwide Conference teams – Buzini and Sportscenter.  The team outscored their opponents 176-76 in 7 games…WOW!

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Fence Brokers/Hubs Pub/GTS/Worth

Conf 'B' from Bryant, AR  5-2 Record

FBI beats Vivid on a Bowser walk off single

FBI is off to a lackluster start as a 'D' team called South Texas Legacy had them on the ropes in the 7th before FBI snatched a 14-12 victory.  They then beat a solid young LA Classic team before Sportscenter hammered them 23-3?  FBi recovered a little by beating Vivid 23-22 on a walk off single by Tim Bowser in a game that could easily have gone either way.  Late on Saturday night, FBI tried to salvage their tournament and get a Sunday finish but came up short against Baugh Ford 29-24 in a game that ended close to 2 AM.

FBI needs to get some more enthusiasm and play with more fire.  This team will have to scratch and claw to beat the 'A' teams.  Look for FBI to struggle on the big fields at the Hall of Fame Classic.


 

FBI's Dustin Boone

The "Hubs" in Hubs Pub, SS Scott Hubbard, and middle infielder Brandon Hubbard

 


 

The rest of the Houston Nationwide Conference teams:

Tied for 9th – Vivid / Softballmix.com / TYJA – TX-B – Vivid was upset late on Friday night by a Texas 'D' team named Call Your Shot 23-17.  Then they ran off 4 straight in the loser's bracket before dropping to FBI by one run 23-22 in a game they could have easily won.  Vivid as mentioned before has a B+ level infield defense and a top of the lineup that can carry the team through a few quality wins each weekend.  A work in progress…

Tied for 9th – South Texas Posse – TX-B – Won their first 3 games in total blowouts then dropped two straight.  They lost to Baugh Ford 15-7 with the wind blowing straight in hard on Crosley field.  Then dropped 18-17 to LA Classic.  I wouldn't consider the last game against LA Classic a very big upset.  South Texas Posse brought in former Dirty players Tony Elrod to pitch, and Mike Wrenn to play center field.  They also have veterans Mark Dennis and left fielder Will Oneal.

 


More pictures below


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

I would like to thank all of my sponsors, USSSA, the SoftballCenter and Oldscout advertisers, and Elliot Clark from Arizona USSSA!

Some of the archived games from the Las Vegas Major can be found here

USSSA Las Vegas tournament link

Link to Softballcenter.com pictures of the Las Vegas 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

Tournament director Greg Huchingson and USSSAToday's Stafford Connor


 

Some more pictures for you:

 

LA Classic/Easton, the top of the nations 'D' division.  LA's masher below.

Golds Gym had a nice team

Softball Guys of the week

 

Close Plays

'

Bridger was out

Looks like the ball (the yellow thing in picture #3 in front of #66's face) came loose?

This was big play in the Buzini vs ASP game

I think on the dropped ball on the turn at second, Mays probably picked it up in time

Childress was out at 2nd

 

This was a virtual tie in the Golds Gym game

Bascle – safe or out?  I'm not sure

Wilks was safe

5 responses to “2013 USSSA “Space City Classic” – Houston Major tournament report”

  1. Justin S. says:

    On the half swing it might be a mis-interpretation of Rule 7 Sec 2 Part C. Which deals with bunts and chops. Unless the umpire declared it a chop.

    • Jeff says:

      or a bunt. (As described in the definitions section)

      But like you I don’t see anywhere else in the rule book that talks about a half swing.

      • Oregon Red JM5 says:

        Guys don’t check thier swing in softball very much…I’ve seen it a few times in 15 yrs of umpiring Utrip softball.
        Rule 7 Sec. 3 B
        If in the opinion of the umpire, the batter swung, it is a strike.
        Most umpires in slowpitch have a baseball umpiring background and fall back on check swing rules in baseball…if the batter commits to a swing a strike should be called.
        Rule 10 Sec. 9 B
        This gives an umpire the authority to rule on plays that are not covered in the playing rules.

        Bottom line is guys should not check thier swing in slowpitch.

  2. Oregon Red JM5 says:

    Remember fellas…for a bunt or chop to be called the batter must make contact with the ball…either fair or foul…and that would result in the batter being called out.

  3. french dribbler says:

    How big are these fields?? They look tiny.

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