Saturday January 19th, 2019
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2014 Nationwide Conference USSSA – Houston Major tournament report!

 

 

 

 

2014 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

8th Annual

 

"Space City" Classic

 

Houston, TX

 

April 11-13

 

 

Keith Anderson swings for eventual champion Line Drive Sportz in an early matchup with ASPNation.com!

 

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

 

USSSA Houston tournament info and bracket link

 

 

Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton based out of Michigan put on a clinic in Houston to open their season outscoring their opponents 207-86 (149-38 in games other than against Albicocco).  They went 7-0 to win the 64 team marathon tournament at the Big League Dreams Park in League City, Texas.  Line Drive knocked off rival 'A' team Albicocco/The Scene/Easton/Elite (NY) in both the winner's final late on Saturday night 30-23 and again in the finals on Sunday 28-25.

The tournament began on Friday night at 6 PM with 64 teams from 10 different states including 10 Nationwide Conference USSSA teams. Everything went as planned for the conference teams in the first round as they all advanced unscathed, but with each subsequent round the "survive and advance" mentality would pick off 1 or 2 conference teams as the local 'B' and 'C' teams provided fair competition.  In the second round on Friday night local Old School knocked off Above All Landscaping/GWS from New Jersey 26-6 when Old School put up a double figure inning early on and ended the game with a 20 run rule.  LA Classic/Worth snuck past Bear Hollow 27-25, and Nightmare/Louisville Slugger came back to beat an always tough Olmito Heat team 18-15. Meanwhile TG Brand, Slattery, Vivid, Joco, ASPnation.com, Team Albicocco, and Line Drive all advanced to the round of 16 easily.  Line Drive put up a tournament scoring high of 50 runs in one game, Albicocco a 46, and JOCO put up a 45 runs in the early rounds.

Nightmare takes on Olmito Heat

In the round of 16, TG Brand somehow held Old School from scoring with one out and the game tying run on second and held on to win 22-21 in the bottom of the 7th. In a "logistical" matchup Slattery Logistics held off a feisty and veteran laden J&R Logistics team 24-17.  J&R had a number of ex-FBI players like Pennington, Lowrey, and Lance Smith among others.  I think I even remember seeing Greg Guess playing.  Chill Sports Bar & Grill a Texas non-Conference 'B' team knocked off Vivid/Worth/Shirt Doctors 26-15.  Vivid had a tough time in the outfield and Chill is Doug Woods team and you know they are always tough.  Team Albicocco crushed SportsCenter 46-21, ASPnation made quick work of Klutch/Docs 26-6.  Docs had a lot of new faces.  Line Drive used a 17 run first to squash Stars from Colorado 29-5 after Stars had put up a 44-37 victory over 3rd Coast the night before. And in the bottom quarter of the bracket Nightmare run ruled fellow Conference team LA Classic and JOCO beat Jokers to advance.

TG Brand holds on to beat OldSchool

In the round of 8, there was only one non-conference team left and that was Doug Wood's Chill Bar team.  Slattery Logistics forced extra innings against TG Brand.  There was some controversy when Slattery substituted for their shortstop then substituted for the substitute in the same lineup position, then put the original starter back into the game.  After a 10 minute break to find out a ruling it was decided that was legal.  Slattery ended up winning 20-18. Team Albicocco knocked off Chills Bar 42-24 after Chills came back about 3 different times. In the lower half of the bracket Nightmare beat JOCO 29-24 in a big 'B' Conference matchup (I missed this entire game, not sure the details).  And finally in the matchup of the tournament so far, Line Drive beat ASPNation 30-14 after ASP had cut the lead to 16-12 in the top of the 4th inning.  The problem with this game is that ASPnation should have been the #4 seed in this event but instead was mis-seeded and had to play a top 'A' team in the round of 8 instead of the round of 4.  The way the bracket works out with 64 teams, if the #4 seed isn't properly seeded then there is no way that the 4 best teams can all make the final 4 of the tournament. 

In the round of 4, Team Albicocco held down Slattery with the wind blowing in on Crosley field 22-14.  Slattery kept Albicocco within range though with a Brady Bascle outfield assist but came up with just a couple of runs in the 5th and 6th innings which really hurt them.  And Line Drive Sportz made quick work of Nightmare 19-4 over on Yankee field in the other semi.

Slattery pitcher Chad Loudon and Albicocco pitcher Dan Sanchez dual in the semi-finals

So the winner's bracket final late on Saturday night was between the top two 'A' teams Line Drive and Albicocco. A heavyweight matchup among two teams that I consider to be 'AA' caliber.  Albicocco put up 5 runs in the top of the 1st but Line Drive came back with 13 runs including two – 3 run homers by Mike Dill in the inning.  Line Drive also outscored Albicocco 6-4 in the second inning to take a 19-9 lead.  Albicocco opened the door to Line Drive's big start by fielding the hard grounders but not completing the out, either with a bad throw or a failed catch or scoop at the different bases.  I counted 6 miscues of this sort in the game.  Albicocco had a big home run advantage and scored 9 runs in the top of the 4th to close the gap to 20-19 but Line Drive answered with 8 runs over the next two innings and won 30-23.

Winner's final – Albicoccos Phil White (left), and Line Drive celebrates (right)

Teams in the losers bracket finished up around 3:30 AM Sunday morning and there were some great comebacks with both Nightmare coming from a double digit deficit against TG Brand to win 23-22, and Slattery coming from 16 down against SportsCenter to win 31-27.

Then the two teams had to be back at the field for the 8 AM loser's semi-final!  To their credit both teams put on a great effort.  Trey Gothard put Nightmare on the board with a 3 run homer in the top of the first.  But Slattery took the lead 11-8 in the second inning on a Billy Maggard 3 run homer.  Slattery separated in the 3rd inning after they held Nightmare to just 1 run and came in and got a grand slam from pitcher Chad Loudon to take a 17-9 lead. Slattery would win 29-14 advancing to the loser's final against Albicocco.

Sunday loser's semi final – Slattery bats against Nightmare

In the loser's bracket championship game which was the longest game of the tournament, Albicocco came out firing by scoring 14 runs on just 3 homers.  But Slattery Logistics answered with 17 runs on 7 homers!  In the top of the 2nd Albicocco responded with a bunch of doubles in a row and scored 8 runs to take a 22-17 lead.  Then they got Slattery to put up two zero's in a row in the bottom of the second with 6-10-3 and another doubleplay in the bottom of the third 1-10-3!  It was 29-19 Albicocco after 4 complete innings when Slattery got a much needed momentum shift on one of the greatest defensive plays in conference history!  Slattery center fielder Colby Hughes with runners on 1st and 2nd with great speed and grace ran down a ball in right center field and made a full out-outstretched diving catch.  It may have been the best diving catch of the season.  One of those that when you start the full speed dive you actually have no idea if you are going to catch it or not.  He did!  Then popped to his feet and threw out the runner going back to the bag at second and tagging to third.  May have been the best throw I have seen since Matt King threw out a guy from the fence to home in the Maryland Major in 2008.  Those that were in Maryland know what I'm talking about.  It may have even been better than Hague right fielder Mark Cobb who threw out a runner from the right field fence on a fly to 3rd base in a key situation of the 1994 USSSA "AA" World Tournament, which is still the greatest throw I have ever seen.  Even more impressive on this play was that Colby's momentum on the diving catch was going away from third base towards the right field line in the right centerfield gap!  To top it off Slattery made some sort of appeal play saying the runner at first I guess didn't tag up and they were awarded with a third out.  I am not sure how you score that!  But Slattery didn't fully capitalize on the momentum of the great defensive play and Albicocco turned on the offense and beat Slattery 39-22.

Loser bracket finals – Slattery pitching to Albicocco

In the championship game Albicocco took an early lead 7-4 on Line Drive Sportz after 2 innings with the help of a leaping stab by first baseman Terry Baggs and an unassisted double play.  But Orlando Castillo's 3 run homer in the 3rd inning was Albicocco's last lead as Line Drive turned on the line to line, gap to gap offense they were known for in 2013 and separated from Albicocco and won 30-23.

Championship game – Albicocco lead off man Jason Branch bats against Line Drive pitcher Brendt Newbill

Tournament Notes:
The Big League Dreams fields had all turf infields
The weather was 70 degrees and breezy but nice.  The wind in or out on a given field did affect scores and it was in on two of the main fields Yankee and Crosley and out on Fenway.

The ball used was the Thunder Hycor Classic Plus 52 core 275 compression.  It was bouncy on the turf and was tough for infielders to adjust to but may have keptwas better to keep the homer's down some.  Midway through the tournament there weren't many conference balls left so they went to a hot dot.  Then on Sunday they went back to the conference ball.

There were no conference umpires in attendance.  I know the Arkansas conference crew would have been there but they were working an important charity tournament which happened to be scheduled on the same weekend.  I can say as an impartial observer the Texas umpires did a good job.  Strike one at times was called a little flat but they had a more than fair strike two and got the majority of close calls right in the field.

The Highest Finishing non-conference team was SportsCenter/Worth.  Of course they have been a conference team the last couple years.

The highest Finishing Texas team was Chill Sports and JOCO who both finished tied for 7th.

 

 

Yankee Field – Nightmare batting against Slattery on Sunday

Fenway Park

Crosley Field, Olmito Heat taking Vivid to extra innings

Wrigley Field – ASPnation vs Klutch/Doc's

 

Sportsmans Park

Ebbets Field – SportsCenter hitting against ASPNation

 

 

Thunder Hycor and Hot Dot balls were used

Both teams in the finals were swinging Easton

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

 

The longest homers of the tournament (that I witnessed) were from Kyle Pearson of Slattery, Colby Hughes of Slattery, and Ryan Harvey of Albicocco.  With 123 games on the docket I'm sure I didn't see all of the long balls.

 

Kyle Pearson – Slattery Logistics

 

The Major softball world got its first look at Albicocco's Ryan Harvey

 

Slattery's Colby Hughes hit some bombs

 


 

Major Awards and Final Standings

 

Player Tournament Awards Players Name Plays For
Tournament MVP Brendt Newbill Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
Tournament CO-MVP Faron Miller Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
Offensive Tournament MVP Chente Granados Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
Defensive Tournament MVP Steve Whaley  
Defensive Tournament CO-MVP Chris Hansen Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Jason Branch Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
All Tournament Team JASON WILLIAMS SlatteryLogistics/BWW/Buzini/Miken
All Tournament Team Sal Formosa Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Cory Newman Nightmare/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Dean Derouen Fat Pat's
All Tournament Team Phillip White Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
All Tournament Team SHANNON SMITH Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
All Tournament Team Cory Large Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Toby Letak Nightmare/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team COREY TAPP Nightmare/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Colby Hughes SlatteryLogistics/BWW/Buzini/Miken
All Tournament Team Brady Bascle SlatteryLogistics/BWW/Buzini/Miken
All Tournament Team Ryan Parfitt Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Argen Dodds Nightmare/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Ryan Harvey Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
All Tournament Team Lee Payne Team Albicocco/Scene/Easton/Elite
All Tournament Team Billy Maggard SlatteryLogistics/BWW/Buzini/Miken
All Tournament Team Richard Salazar Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Cooper Vittatow Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton

 

Place State Team Team
Class
Wins Loses Ties Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
USSSA
Points
1 MI – Warren line drive sportz/r&m metals/easton SPMensA 7 0 0 207 86 29.5 12.2 17.2 50 300
2 NYD – Hunington team albicocco/scene/easton/elite SPMensA 6 2 0 266 163 33.2 20.3 12.8 46 225
3 MS – Jackson slatterylogistics/bww/buzini/miken SPMensA 6 2 0 199 157 24.8 19.6 5.25 36 200
4 MO – Branson nightmare/louisville slugger SPMensB 5 2 0 139 125 19.8 17.8 2 29 175
5 MS – Booneville SportsCenter/Worth SPMensC 6 2 0 256 190 32 23.7 8.25 43 155
5 MI – Flint TG Brand SPMensB 5 2 0 174 116 24.8 16.5 8.28 41 155
7 TXN – Grapevine Chill Sports Bar & Grill SPMensB 4 2 0 131 133 21.8 22.1 -0.3 31 130
7 TXN – LITTLE ELM TX. JOCO/ADIKTIV/EASTON SPMensB 4 2 0 187 161 31.1 26.8 4.33 45 130
9 TXS – Houston Texas Threat/TI Sports SPMensC 5 2 0 166 124 23.7 17.7 6 38 110
9 TXS – Conroe Texas Hazmat SPMensC 5 2 0 134 127 19.1 18.1 1 32 110
9 TXS – Spring Old School SPMensC 4 2 0 117 82 19.5 13.6 5.83 26 110
9 TXN – DFW aspnation/dynasty/reset/easton SPMensB 3 2 0 107 78 21.4 15.6 5.8 26 110
13 TXS – Olmito Olmito Heat/Diamond Kingz SPMensC 4 2 0 128 117 21.3 19.5 1.83 32 70
13 LA – Lafayette Fat Pat's SPMensD 4 2 0 110 99 18.3 16.5 1.83 29 70
13 NJ – rahway Above All Landscaping/GWS SPMensC 4 2 0 125 93 20.8 15.5 5.33 31 70
13 TXN – Fort Worth Jokers/F.T.P. SPMensB 3 2 0 98 88 19.6 17.6 2 29 70
17 MS – Hattiesburg HGC/Hemphill/Chili's SPMensC 3 2 0 102 104 20.4 20.8 -0.4 35 40
17 TXS – Houston Goons/DoubleDave's SPMensC 3 2 0 87 82 17.4 16.4 1 29 40
17 TXS – San Antonio STEEL/SUNCOASTSPORTZ.COM SPMensC 3 2 0 127 106 25.4 21.2 4.2 30 40
17 AR – Rogers J&R Logistics SPMensC 2 2 0 117 107 29.2 26.7 2.5 41 40
17 TXN – Frisco Vivid/Worth/Shirt Doctors SPMensB 2 2 0 89 63 22.2 15.7 6.5 31 40
17 FLP – Niceville klutch / doc's softball club SPMensC 2 2 0 93 77 23.2 19.2 4 31 40
17 LA – Haughton LA Classic/Worth SPMensC 2 2 0 77 76 19.2 19 0.25 27 40
17 CO – Denver stars/3g sports/moose softball SPMensC 2 2 0 84 86 21 21.5 -0.5 44 40
25 TXS – Houston Team Texas SPMensD 2 2 0 50 79 12.5 19.7 -7.2 22 40
25 LA – Clinton Faith&Hope/JN42/ECA SPMensC 2 2 0 84 77 21 19.2 1.75 27 40
25 MO – Mountain bear hollow ranch/coppermine lodge SPMensC 2 2 0 80 85 20 21.2 -1.2 25 40
25 TXS – Pearland Lone Star Sports SPMensC 2 2 0 89 72 22.2 18 4.25 31 40
25 TXS – Bryan Budweiser SPMensC 2 2 0 96 87 24 21.7 2.25 33 40
25 TXS – Corpus Christi Slaughterhouse SPMensD 2 2 0 22 46 5.5 11.5 -6 9 40
25 TXS – Houston State Farm/Advocare SPMensD 2 2 0 71 78 17.7 19.5 -1.7 23 40
25 TXS – Beaumont BTX/WEST LTD SPMensC 2 2 0 104 72 26 18 8 41 40
33 TXS – Seabrook Head First SPMensC 1 2 0 37 66 12.3 22 -9.6 30 40
33 TXS – Baytown Tapout SPMensE 1 2 0 60 72 20 24 -4 26 40
33 TXS – San Antonio OuttaControl/ParadiseLawn SPMensD 1 2 0 23 67 7.66 22.3 -14. 11 65
33 TXS – Houston Chop City SPMensE 1 2 0 62 71 20.6 23.6 -3 35 40
33 TXS – Dickinson Dirty Dozen SPMensD 1 2 0 24 36 8 12 -4 20 40
33 TXS – Houston New Era Softball SPMensD 1 2 0 53 78 17.6 26 -8.3 34 40
33 TXS – SAN ANTONIO stx militia/resmondo sports SPMensD 1 2 0 55 71 18.3 23.6 -5.3 23 40
33 TXS – LEAGUE CITY FSU / LIQUI-PRO IND. SPMensD 1 2 0 19 46 6.33 15.3 -9 9 40
33 TXS – Houston DC/Y&R SPMensC 1 2 0 54 55 18 18.3 -0.3 24 40
33 TXS – Houston C.P.S. SPMensD 1 2 0 36 60 12 20 -8 15 40
33 TXS – Houston Flatline SPMensE 1 2 0 42 50 14 16.6 -2.6 23 40
33 TXS – AUSTIN CAGE BOMBS SPMensD 1 2 0 56 74 18.6 24.6 -6 29 65
33 TXS – Seguin playoffs/kd logo/suncoast sportz SPMensC 1 2 0 52 74 17.3 24.6 -7.3 26 40
33 TXS – McAllen Team MTS SPMensD 1 2 0 59 62 19.6 20.6 -1 26 40
33 TXS – Houston UAS/USAS Softball SPMensD 1 2 0 27 41 9 13.6 -4.6 14 40
33 TXS – Humble 3rd Coast Stars SPMensC 1 2 0 64 78 21.3 26 -4.6 37 40
49 TXS – San Antonio SA Rattlers SPMensD 0 2 0 21 45 10.5 22.5 -12 15 40
49 TXS – San Antonio Smoking Guns SPMensE 0 2 0 31 47 15.5 23.5 -8 17 40
49 TXS – Beaumont CAS SPMensD 0 2 0 35 65 17.5 32.5 -15 27 40
49 TXS – Conroe Sandbaggers SPMensD 0 2 0 10 46 5 23 -18 8 0
49 TXS – Spring Got Em SPMensD 0 2 0 31 61 15.5 30.5 -15 19 40
49 LA – Jennings la swagg / aspnation / easton SPMensD 0 2 0 30 43 15 21.5 -6.5 16 40
49 TXN – Denison ok shockers/falloutsports.com SPMensC 0 2 0 26 66 13 33 -20 20 40
49 TXS – Conroe HR/DGK/TMT SPMensD 0 2 0 49 51 24.5 25.5 -1 30 40
49 TXS – Houston Hardfeathers SPMensE 0 2 0 23 45 11.5 22.5 -11 16 40
49 TXS – Lake Jackson Texas Terror SPMensE 0 2 0 10 42 5 21 -16 7 40
49 TXS – Houston Houston Giants SPMensE 0 2 0 22 57 11 28.5 -17. 13 40
49 LA – Carencro YouWho/ROTCO SPMensD 0 2 0 14 45 7 22.5 -15. 12 40
49 TXS – Spring Texas Scorpions SPMensE 0 2 0 5 38 2.5 19 -16. 3 40
49 TXS – Round Rock Call Your Shot SPMensC 0 2 0 49 65 24.5 32.5 -8 28 40
49 TXS – LaMarque 3 Plz SPMensE 0 2 0 12 32 6 16 -10 8 40
49 TXS – Alvin Texas Crush SPMensE 0 2 0 1 23 0.5 11.5 -11 1 40

 

Line Drive pitchers Brendt Newbill and Faron Miller (not pictured) were co-MVP's

 

Albicocco's Chente Granados was Offensive MVP

Line Drive's Steve Whaley was Defensive MVP

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:


 

1st Place – Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton

Conf 'A' from MI  7-0 Record

Line Drive did it all.  They came up with big defensive plays when they needed them.  They shut down lower class teams so they didn't even think of trying to pull an upset.  Everyone played their role and they did what they do best – laced liners all over the field and for the most part had timely home runs.  I would bet they led the tournament in 3 and 4 run homers.  Faron Miller and Brendt Newbill shared the pitching duties, Sal Formosa was used at about every type of position, and newcomer Cooper Vittitow was better than advertised.

Trending UPPPP!

Sunday Lineup
LF Cory Large
CF Ryan Parfitt
C Mike Dill
EH Keith Anderson
1B Kyle Yerkes
3B Cooper Vittitow
MI Steve Whaley
RF Sal Formosa
(Boothe played RF also until hamstring/neck issue)
SS Chris Hansen
P Brendt Newbill/Faron Miller
2B Richard Salazar
P Brendt Newbill or Faron Miller

"Touch Somebody"

Cooper Vittitow was impressive at third base with his quick release and at the plate with his quick hands

 

Salazar, Large, Whaley, and Vittitow are Linedrives Texas Connection

Kyle "Biggons" Yerkes is back in action after a year in retirement

 

 


 

2nd Place – Team Albicocco/The Scene/Easton/Elite

Conf 'A' from NY  6-2 Record

 

Albicocco has some work to do.  They did not pay attention to detail defensively and did not complete plays that have to be made to win.  Pitchers had a lot of walks, hitters didn't have the best home run management.  Harvey is legit, Shannon Smith is back after a year layoff, and everyone on this team is a tremendous talent.  Look for them to rebound quickly.

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Sunday Lineup
LF/P Jason Branch
MI Orlando Castillo
1B Terri Baggs
C/3B Shannon Smith
CF Lee Payne
SS Chente Granados
2B Phillip White
3B Matt Crawford
C/RF Ryan Harvey
P Dan Sanchez
LF/RF Jason Kendrick

Left side of the Albicocco defense – 3B Matt Crawford, SS Chente Granados, MI Orlando Castillo

Jason Branch relieved Dirty Sanchez for at least one game and beat Slattery

Albicocco manager gave the post game speech.  Put in the work, get better, be prepared.

Sounded similar to the Team Combat speech Jeff Wallace gave last week in Las Vegas…  🙂

 


 

3rd Place – Slattery Logistics/BWW/Buzini/Miken

Conf 'A' from MS  6-2 Record

 

Slattery beat the teams they were supposed to beat and came up short with a chance in both games against Albicocco.  They could use a backup pitcher.  Leach, Williams, Maggard, and Hughes were real productive at the top of the order.  Maggard finished the weekend with 25 straight onbase's in a row after a slow start.  Colby Hughes was impressive in every phase of the game.  It is hard to believe someone that big can play center field and run as fast as he does and still have great power.  He is a throw back to some of the great outfielders from the 1990's like a Larry Fredieu.  Pearson continues to improve quickly and the rest of the team contributes in their roles.

Trending up.

Slattery Sunday Lineup
#3 Ken Leach
#8 Jason Williams
#66 Billy Maggard
#6 Colby Hughes
#25 Tim Bowser
#21 Justin Stuart
#4 Chad Loudon
#11 Jake Mays
#14 Kyle Pearson
#2 Bob Hankins
#5 Miller
#9 Brady Bascle
#25 Scott Smith

Slattery lead off man Ken Leach reminds me of a young JD Genter spraying the ball all over the field.

Two hitter Jason Williams has moved up the lineup.  Sky is the limit for this guy.

Slattery LF Brady Bascle, MI Jason Williams, C Billy Maggard, and CF Colby Hughes were all tournament

 


 

4th Place – Nightmare/Louisville Slugger

Conf 'B' from MO  5-2 Record

 

Nightmare fought hard all weekend to finish 4th.  They won their first 4 games including two over Conference teams LA Classic and JOCO.  In the semi-finals they only mustered 4 runs against Line Drive?  In the loser's bracket after midnight Saturday they overcame a double digit deficit to beat TG Brand 23-22.

Nightmare was impressive.  The addition of Gallmeier helps the outfield defense and the offense of Argen Dodds a newcomer to the conference helps extend the lineup.  It looks like they were missing Charles Key and Kelly Hartman who would also help the offense?

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Nightmare Sunday Lineup
2B Nolan Fogle
CF Cory Newman
C Argen Dodds
1B Scott Short
OF Trey Gothard
RF Evan Gallmeier
Toby Letak
Bryan Branum
Corey Tapp
Shawn Wrinkle
Kirk Stafford

2nd Baseman Player/Sponsor Nolan Fogle

Nightmare masher Argen Dodds

Nightmares All Tournament – Argen Dodds, Toby Letak, Cory Newman, not shown Corey Tapp 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – SportsCenter/Worth

'C' from MS  6-2 Record

Once again I underestimated SportsCenter like I did last year when they finished top 4.  They knocked off Lone Star Sports then lost to Team Albicocco but played hard.  In the loser's bracket Sportscenter knocked off 4 good teams in a row in Steel 31-27, Olmito Heat 42-13, jumped on ASPNation early and sent them home 31-24, and beat JOCO 43-23.  This was SportsCenter's best run at a Conference event in their teams history.  Finally they squandered a double digit lead against Slattery at 3 am in the morning and ended up losing 31-27.  I guess you can say they made it to Sunday!  Great job for this team who has to be one of the favorites for 'C' Worlds come September.

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Tied 5th Place – TG Brand

Conf 'B' from MI  5-2 Record

It has been awhile since we've seen TG Brand really compete and play a lot of games.  They lost to two Conference teams, Slattery by just 2 in extra innings, and Nightmare by 1 well after midnight into Sunday morning when they blew a double digit lead.  They did however beat 3 Texas teams that were giving other Conference teams fits – Old School, Texas Threat, and Chill Sports Bar.

A team effort, a lot of games which is what this team needed, and they are knocking on the door for a big upset soon.  CF Adam Sorrell nearly had one of the best diving catches of the tournament against Old School but the ball popped out.

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One of their lineups went something like the following:

Rf Ryan Morrow

C John Radich

2b Dale Roe

Dh Joey Dorton

1b Adam Kaminski

3b Ryan Noe

SS Josh Masden

Mi Tony Payne

Lf Matt Tucker

P Brian Lakes

Cf Adam Sorrell

 


TG Brand beat OldSchool by about this much

TG Brand second baseman Dale Roe

TG Brand 1st Baseman Adam Kaminski

 


 

More pictures below

 


 

Other top finishing teams and Conference teams


 

Tied 7th Chill Sports Bar & Grill 4-2 – Chill Sports is Doug Wood's 'B' team.  They were a scrappy bunch who knocked off a very good Texas Threat team 21-20, Vivid/Worth 26-15, and Texas Hasmat 31-21.  They came from behind twice in a loss to Albicocco 42-24 but actually led the game early on.

 


 

 

Tied 7th JOCO/ADIKTIV/EASTON (TX) (Conf-B) 4-2 – JOCO averaged 31 runs a game as they knocked off Steel/SuncoastSportz 45-26 and Old School 25-17 but came up short against Nightmare and SportsCenter.  I didn't get to see a lot of JOCO but they had some new guys that were big hitters like catcher David Prahm and extra hitter Steve Ford.  This team reminded me of last years Adiktiv team probably because they had 4 players from last years squad.

JOCO's David Prahm and Steve Ford

 

 


 


Tied 9th – ASPNation/Dynasty/Reset/Easton TX (Conf-B) 3-2 – ASP is off to a tough start.  They beat their first 3 opponents by a combined 69-17 including a win over Klutch/Doc's Softball Club.  But then they ran into Line Drive who they played ok against to start as they trailed just 16-12 in the 4th inning but lost 30-14.  Then in the loser's bracket Sportscenter had them down double digits late on Saturday night and ASP couldn't make it all the way back in a 31-24 loss.

ASPnation played without pitcher Cam Byars (Honeymoon), slugger Jason Magnum (infection), and outfielder Nick Mitschke (achilles?).  Player/sponsor Lyf Nimmo did the pitching which really was pretty good (works too fast, slow down) but the team had too many throw away at bats against Line Drive.  Bad start but still big upside for this team.

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Player/Sponsor Lyf Nimmo held down the pitching as starter Cam Byars was on his honeymoon

 


 

 

Tied 9th Texas Threat/TI Sports (TX) (C) 5-2 – Texas Threat is the best 'C' team in a 'C' heavy state.  They played well after losing a close one to Chills Bar.  They sent home 4 teams including LA Classic from the Conference and played to a long 41-27 loss against TG Brand.  Threat has last years Houston Major MVP in pitcher Chris Lopez and they have already won 5 tournaments this year.

Texas Threats Chris Lopez

 



 

Tied for13th – Above All Landscaping/GWS (NJ) (Conf-C) 4-2 – Above All ran into a buzzsaw Friday night when Old School put them down by double digits early and 20 run ruled them 26-6.  In the losers bracket Above All knocked off a couple of 'D' teams and Klutch/Doc's before Texas Hazmat sent them home 32-31 in the bottom of the 9th.  Above All has some players with extensive conference experience like third baseman Chris Montenegro, middle infielder Willie Allen, catcher Patrick Riporti, and pitcher Russ Banasiak.  They will be one of the top 'C' teams in the nation regardless of what happened in Texas.

Trending down

 


 

 

Tied 17th – LA Classic/Worth (LA) (Conf-C) 2-2 – Had a spirited win over Bear Hollow 27-25 but lost to Conference peer Nightmare and a one run loss to Texas Threat.  LA Classic is a solid 'C' team led by the Chappel brothers, Clint Harris and big John Arthur.

 


 


Tied 17th – Vivid/Worth/Shirt Doctors (TX) (Conf-B) 2-2 – Vivid lost to a good Chill Sports 26-15 in the 3rd round and then turned around and dropped an extra innings game to Olmito Heat after third baseman Scott Perkins hit a clutch 2 out 2 strike homer to tie the game in regulation.  Too many dropped fly balls and Vivid grounded into too many untimely double plays to win.  Remember winning solves all problems.

Vivid pitcher PJ Garcia

 


 


Olmito Heat got game

 

 

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

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

Some of the archived games from the  Major can be found here at Livestream/Softballcenter1

USSSA Houston tournament link

Link to Softballcenter.com pictures of the Houston Major

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to the 2014 Tournament Reports

Link to the 2013 Tournament Reports

Link to the 2012 Tournament Reports

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points Link

 

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

 

Shannon Strong was a Texas player hit in the temple by a line drive while standing on third base.

He is in a coma.

 

 

 

Alfredo "D.J." DeJesus working the big game between Line Drive and ASPNation!

 

Those walls are 35-40 feet high

 

Lonestar Softball

Steel/SuncoastSportz and Perry Hensley pitching and their talented shortstop

Stars from Colorado scored a ton of runs

"Softball Guy"

 

5 responses to “2014 Nationwide Conference USSSA – Houston Major tournament report!”

  1. cb says:

    fun tour cant wait till next year

  2. KD says:

    Iseen that all the games werestreamed…..are hey archived anywhere that I can go watch some of these games hat were played??????

  3. KD says:

    My “T” and space bar are obviously having issues!!!!

  4. Raf says:

    Great to see DJ back from Afghanistan…WELCOME HOME BRO!!!!

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