Wednesday June 26th, 2019
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2014 USSSA ‘A’ World Tournament Report!

 

 

 

 

2014 USSSA 'A' World Tournament

 

Kissimmee, FL

 

August 15-17

 

Link to the Softballcenter.com picture album of the A World

 

USSSA A World tournament info and bracket link

 

The 2014 USSSA 'A' World tournament came down to a best of 3 of sorts between eventual champion Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton based out of Michigan and Precision/Easton based out of Illinois.  Line Drive lost the first game to Precision which was the winner's bracket final on Saturday night 16-10, a game which Precision led 13-3 most of the way and only in the 7th inning did Line Drive put up a 7 run inning which was too little too late.  On Sunday, Line Drive regrouped and defeated Red's Astros 19-16 when Red's left the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th inning in the loser's bracket final.  Then in the championship Line Drive and Precision fought for almost 2 hours in the first game, trading big hits and defensive stops until the 7th inning when "Championship" Joel Ramos hit a clutch rbi single to center field to break a 19-19 tie and send the championship to the "if" necessary game!  

 

Line Drive's Joel Ramos breaks a 19-19 tie to win the first championship game vs Precision!

In the final game Line Drive found a second wind and used adrenaline and sheer will power to blast some big homers on the bigger fields at Fortune Road park (310-325-325-325-310) and jumped out to an 8-0 lead.  Precision never matched Line Drive's energy in the final game and was unable to use their home run advantage to get back into it and lost 21-14.  Line Drive wins the prestigious tourny, "double dips" a Precision team who's defense and pitching were dominating teams all weekend, and end up winning from the #5 seed.  Line Drive won 4 of their games by 3 runs or less, and 5 of 6 wins were by 7 runs or less.  Precision won all 4 of their winner's bracket games by 6 runs or less and even beat Red's Astros in a semi-final game by a shocking score of 8-3.

 

'A' World Championship Sunday – Precision taking on Line Drive Sportz

The tournament began with 14 teams (including all 7 'A' teams, and the 2 top 'B' teams in the country) at 7 PM eastern time on Friday night under the threat of rain which never materialized.  The normal Friday upsets did not occur as all of the favored teams won their respective games except for the #2 seeded Baugh Ford who lost to Red's Astros 27-25.  But first #7 seeded Red's Astros had to beat a very good non-conference 'B' team Sonny's.  Red's jumped out to a 21-11 lead and had a 14 run lead at one point.  Red's would beat Sonnys by a final score of 25-18.  Then the Red's Astros who only scored 9 runs in the first 5 innings against Baugh Ford came all the way back and ended up winning on a Buddy Wolf walk off homer 27-25 to advance to the final 4.  In the other games on Friday #6 seed Taylormade beat R.E.M/CK a local 'C' team 19-10 but not before REM had closed it to 15-10 late in the game.  #3 seed Precision won a low scoring game against Demarini Headbangers 11-7.  And #4 Buzini, #5 Line Drive, and #8 Combat/Blockers all won their games easily by the run rule.  In the night cap #1 Team Albicocco who got a bye from the first round like Baugh Ford did, ended up struggling to beat Combat/Blockers.  The game was tied 11-11 mid way through the game but Team Albicocco ended up advancing 25-19 to the final 4.  Survive and advance!

On Saturday morning the tournament resumed at 9 AM with all 4 local 'C' teams playing off against each other.  Then at 10:30 AM the winner's bracket started back up with #3 Precision easily advancing to the final 4 with a 24-9 win over #6 Taylormade.  The momentum swung when Precisions big right fielder Franck Fracek pounded a home run.  #4 Buzini was matched in a 2 hour long battle with #5 Line Drive Sportz over on field #1.  Buzini's Tim Bowser crushed a no doubter 3 Run homer to power Buzini to a small lead in the top of the 6th, but Line Drive came back to win when big Joey Formosa pounded a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 6th and Keith Anderson a solo homer and the Line Drive defense held in the 7th to win it 26-25.

The rain came in shortly afterwards around 1 PM and the tournament was delayed for 5 hours.  When it resumed the only usable fields were #2 and #4.  Over on #4 the wind was blowing in and the big fields, wind, and humidity led to some very low scores.  Precision beat Red's Astros 8-3 with great defense and pitching.  And Line Drive Sportz upset #1 Team Albicocco 18-12 with a late offensive surge led by a big homer by Cory Boothe.  Then in the winner's bracket championship game, Precision used some more great defense and pitching to suffocate Line Drive 16-10 although it was just 13-3 until the 7th inning.  In that game, Precision SS Keith Laski playing with an injured knee made an incredible dive to his left and made a half on the ground spinning-twisting-powerful throw to first for an out that may have been the defensive play of the year!

The tournament had a little bit of everything.  A triple play turned in the Combat/Blockers vs Demarini Headbangers game.  Some incredible defensive catches led by Baugh CF Brian Zirkle among many others.  Walk off homers, walk off hits, and multiple walk off defensive plays to preserve wins.  The heat on Saturday before the rain was about the hottest I have felt in Florida in some time.  The umpiring was great.  The field sizes made for a lot of legitimate close games.  And the conference ZN Classic M ball was used.   

Basically the tournament came down to about 5 teams (Line Drive, Reds Astros, Albicocco, and Baugh Ford) that all thought they were going to make a Sunday run at this title.  And to be honest as of late Saturday night none of us knew which team that was going to be.  But one thing was for sure, a rested Precision team with their incredible defense was waiting at the end of the losers brackets completion and they weren't going to roll over for anyone, and didn't.  Line Drive though is the team that actually did make the run and complete each game and fulfill their 'A' World dream!

Line Drive pitcher Brendt Newbill pitching to Reds Astros in the loser's bracket finals

Baugh Fords Brad Blankenship hits against Red's Astros in the first game Sunday morning

Cory Boothe hits a big homer against Albicocco in their 18-12 win!

Precision hitting against Line Drive in the winner's bracket championship Saturday night

 

Reds Astros Andrew Collins and Buddy Wolf hit big homers to finish off Baugh Ford on Friday night 27-25!

Primetime bats against Combat/Blockers on Friday night

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 

 


 

'A' World Tournament Awards and Final Standings

Player Tournament Awards Players Name Plays For
Tournament MVP Ryan Parfitt Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
Offensive Tournament MVP christopher geron Precision/Easton
Defensive Tournament CO-MVP Brendt Newbill Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
Defensive Tournament CO-MVP Faron Miller Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Donovan Pokraka Baugh Doerflinger Nat-Pawn/Easton
All Tournament Team Jason Branch Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Keith Laski Precision/Easton
All Tournament Team Joey Formosa Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Andrew Vitcak Precision/Easton
All Tournament Team Chris Hansen Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Andrew Collins Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Cory Large Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Seth Burgmeier Precision/Easton
All Tournament Team Francis Fracek Precision/Easton
All Tournament Team Vince Bisbee Baugh Doerflinger Nat-Pawn/Easton
All Tournament Team Steve Whaley Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Keith Anderson Line Drive Sportz/R&M Metals/Easton
All Tournament Team Wally Maybrier Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
All Tournament Team Ryan Joiner Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
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 6 1 0 141 108 20.1 15.4 4.71 27 650
2 IL – Chicago Precision/Easton SPMensB 4 2 0 92 70 15.3 11.6 3.66 24 350
3 IN – Indianapolis red's astros/louisville slugger SPMensA 4 2 0 117 99 19.5 16.5 3 28 300
4 AL – Clanton baugh doerflinger nat-pawn/easton SPMensA 3 2 0 131 108 26.2 21.6 4.6 33 250
5 WA – KENT combat/blocker/ptdesign/bat brigade SPMensA 3 2 0 86 83 17.2 16.6 0.59 27 200
5 NYD – Hunington team albicocco/scene/easton/elite SPMensA 1 2 0 60 61 20 20.3 -0.3 25 200
7 VA – Williamsburg taylormade/tm sports/d&i/mizuno SPMensA 2 2 0 75 82 18.7 20.5 -1.7 26 150
7 WY – Casper Sonny's berth SPMensB 1 2 0 72 79 24 26.3 -2.3 28 175
9 MS – Jackson Buzini/BWW/Miken SPMensA 1 2 0 77 60 25.6 20 5.66 27 110
9 FL – palm city Demarini Headbangers SPMensC 1 2 0 21 32 7 10.6 -3.6 10 110
9 FL – Clearwater S2S SPMensC 1 2 0 39 62 13 20.6 -7.6 29 110
9 GA – Macon Primetime/Easton SPMensB 0 2 0 25 46 12.5 23 -10. 15 110
13 FL – OCALA R.E.M/CK SPMensC 0 2 0 19 29 9.5 14.5 -5 10 70
13 FL – Melbourne API Plumbing SPMensC 0 2 0 20 56 10 28 -18 14 70

Line Drive's Ryan Parfitt was MVP!

 

Line Drive pitchers Brendt Newbill and Faron Miller were Co-Defensive MVP's

Tournament Offensive MVP Chris Geron from Precision

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:


 

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

Conf 'A' from MI  6-1 Record

Line Drive Sportz wins a world championship.  They do so with great heart, a lot of top 'A' players who know and stay within their roles, and they have a strong sponsorship and managerial group. The team has many past 'A' World champions like pitcher Brendt Newbill, MI Steve Whaley, and power hitter Keith Anderson who all won a few years ago with R&M Metals.  They also have power hitter Cory Boothe and IF/OF Jason Branch who won last year with Nordkap.  The team put it altogether with 3 big wins on Sunday after a hiccup in the offense sent them to the loser's bracket Saturday night.  Tarz Nation will celebrate this win for a long time.

Chris Hansen played what I thought was his strongest shortstop in a long time.  Joey Formosa was the best "heat of the day" home run hitter in the tournament.  Ryan Parfitts motor in center field never quit.  Whaley, Ramos, and the infield fielded the hard shots well and when they dove for the ball they usually came up with it.  Sal Formosa gave them a lot of versatilty and gap to gap hitting.  Newbill and Miller share the MVP and shared the pitchers mound well.

Congratulations to the sponsorship group, managers, and entire team on a well deserved championship!

Sponsor Tarz Lanzon – Linedrive Sportz
Sponsor Roger Tompkins – R&M Metals
Sponsor Easton – Brett Helmer
Sponsor Kenny Lowell
Sponsor James Troupe
Manager Fred Budnarowski
Manager Bill Reardon
Coach Donny Sikora
Staff Andrew Wojcik

Note I somehow missed getting a picture of Steve Whaley.  (I will make up for that)  🙂

 

Trending Up!

 

Line Drive/Sports/R&M Metals/Easton lineup:
#11 LF Cory Large
#36 1B Jason Branch
#7 CF Ryan Parfitt
#14 3B Joey Formosa
#24 EH Keith Anderson
#4 2B/LF Sal Formosa
#06 C Cory Boothe
#5 MI Steve Whaley
#8 SS Chris Hansen
#6 2B/1B Joel Ramos
Pitchers Faron Miller/Brendt Newbill

LF Cory Large

 

1B Jason Branch with a big home run!

 

3B Joey Formosa batted 4th and Keith "Dad" Anderson 5th

 

Sal Formosa and Cory Boothe

 

Chris Hansen played an impressive SS and Joel Ramos aka Championship Joel

Donny Sikora can still run.  One fan in Michigan said he was a better defensive SS than Don Jr.

 


 

2nd Place – Precision/Easton

Conf 'B' from IL  4-2 Record

 

Precision won 4 straight in the winner's bracket.  They did so with a rock solid defense led by pitcher Andy Vitcak and his dazzling knuckleball pitching to his defense.  They also had solid hitting, timely power, and kept pressure on their opponents by keeping a lead even if it was small in each game.  On Sunday their fresh swings made it look like they could not be beat but Line Drive just never gave up and in the end Precision comes up a play or two short of an 'A' World title.  The more we see of Precision the more we like.  From the effortless power of Chris Geron to the down and dirty defense of Matt Rear at third base and Keith Laski at shortstop this team knows how to win at all levels.

Obviously Precision took it pretty hard that they lost two in the finals, but this may make them hungrier for the big tournaments to end the season.  

Trending Up!

Precision
#12 Matt Rear
#01 Chris Geron 
#17 Keith Laski
1B Denis Fisher
#20 EH Mark Holstein
#31 2B  Seth Burgmeier
#99 RF Frank Fracek
#3 LF Dan Kirkwood
#18 P Andy Vitcak
#11 MI Jeff Keske
#28 CF Porter

Pitcher Andy Vitcak is the heart of the Precision defense and the leader of this team

SS Keith Laski was all tournament and turned in a couple ESPN highlite type plays.

I see some crazy in this guy.

Frank Fracek hit some big homers for Precision in their run

2B Seth Burgmeier showed some athleticism in the infield and some clutch hitting.

Was moved to the 4 spot for the final game.

Sponsor/Manager Bill Wax and veteran manager Todd Ankney have molded one of the best teams in the country in just 2 years.

 


 

3rd Place – Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger

Conf 'A' from IN  4-2 Record

In 3.5 hours of hard fought softball Friday night, Red's Astros who had struggled most of the season beat Sonny's and Baugh Ford to make the final 4 of the winner's bracket of the 'A' World and erased a season of frustration.  Then on Saturday night they put up a 3 spot against Precision and lost 8-3 when they probably should have adjusted to the wind and humidity conditions and been free swinging.  They recovered in the loser's bracket to finish 3rd and only a few runs separated them and a chance at the championship against Line Drive in the loser's bracket finals.  Collins hardly made an out (that I can remember) playing the game the right way, Sullivan-Riley-Krider in the infield are fun to watch play defense, and the big bats could have a strong world series. 

The Red's are a powerful team and I think only the fact they have no true backup pitcher is keeping this team from reaching their full potential.  That and some inconsistencies offensively.  Look for Reds to be one tough game the rest of the season.  

Trending Up!

Reds Astros Lineup:
2B Travis Dale
3B Josh Riley
CF Andrew Collins
LF Wally Maybrier
EH Chad Mullins
RF Buddy Wolf
1B Rob Roop
#1 CF Clay Norton
SS John Sullivan
C Tim Cocco
P Ryan Joiner
MI Troy Krider

LF Wally Maybrier was all tournament

Josh Riley at 3B and John Sullivan at SS were consistently good defensively

Troy Krider was hitting it well on Sunday as he seems to do every year

 


 

4th Place – Baugh Ford/Doerflinger/National Pawn/Klutch/Easton

Conf 'A' from AL  3-2 Record

 

Baugh Ford didn't sulk too long after their Friday night upset loss to Red's Astros.  They regrouped, won a couple games including beating #1 Team Albicocco Saturday night 28-26 with both the gloves and the bats late to make it to Sunday.  On Sunday it looked like they might be set for a run but came up just short in the first game 28-26 to Red's with the game winning run at the plate.  Baugh got an offensive boost from veteran Vince Bisbee, and had the usual contributions from the top of the lineup.  The team has fallen off some in the second half of the season but can still make some noise down the stretch.

Trending Even

Baugh Ford lineup:
#5 CF Brian Zirkle
# 3B JD Genter
#22 C Chris Larsen
#8 SS Brad Reckart
#24 LF Donovan Pokraka
1B Sean McDonald
EH Vince Bisbee
RF Kyle Pearson
MI Jeff Flood
2B Kevin Lucas
P Billy Barrett/Tommie Baugh

Brad Reckart has been a silent force in the 4 spot of the Baugh Ford lineup

Kevin Lucas worked his way into the Sunday lineup

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Combat/Blockers/PT Design/Bat Brigade

Conf 'A' from WA  3-2 Record

Combat/Blockers beat Primetime on Friday and Sonnys by 1 on Saturday night to make the top 5.  They had a couple of new faces and mixed up the infield and lineup quite a bit still desperately trying to find the mix that would produce some consistency.  They had #1 Albicocco tied at 11-11 half way through the game on Friday night before losing.  The win over Sonnys was a good quality win but I'm hearing this team may not play anymore this season?  I think they would be a force in the conference qualifier if they were to play?

Trending Even

 

Combat/Blockers brought in some new infielders.  Thats the veteran Rhodney Donaldson on the right

TMack!

Shawn Jones tries to stab a Kreider smash

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Team Albicocco/The Scene/Easton/Elite

Conf 'A' from NY  1-2 Record

Team Albicocco just didn't make enough winning plays to take advantage of their well earned #1 seed for the 'A' World.  The team had all of their horses and Fortune Road fields should have been the track they were best suited for.  But maybe it will be ESPN's Wide World of Sports instead.  Sponsor/Manager Toni Albicocco was in attendance so most of us thought Albicocco could go on a big run.  But it was cut short by Line Drive and Baugh Ford in close fairly low scoring games.
 

Trending Even

Some of the Team Albicocco lineup:

LF Steve Allen
1B Kyle Moyer
2B Chad Durick
RF Ryan Harvey
EH Terry Baggs
CF Lee Payne
SS Orlando Castillo
3B Eric Beattie

Chente bad back
Beattie played some 3B

Albicocco left side with Phillip White and Orlando Castillo

Albicocco right side 1B Kyle Moyer, 2B Chad Durick, MI Chente Granados

 

Pitchers Justin Mucciarell and Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance split the pitching duties

 

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Taylormade/TM Sports/Diamond & Ice/Mizuno

Conf 'A' from VA  2-2 Record

 

Taylormade beat a 'C' team and Primetime.  This team needs to start playing with some fire or pick up some energy bars on the way to the game.  Lifeless with a talented young team makes no sense. 

Trending Down

Tmade right side Jason Baxter 1B and Blake King at 2B

Derrick Roland 3B, and Clif Williamson SS for Taylormade

 

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Sonnys

'B' from WY  1-2 Record

Sonny's never got going offensively against Red's Astros until it was too late in an 8 run loss.  In the loser's bracket infielder Alexis Ramirez was 1-2 in game winning hits in a win over Buzini 28-27 and a late Saturday loss to Combat/Blockers 27-26.  This team will be one of the favorites to win 'B' Worlds with a loaded roster of top talent. 
 

Trending Even

Sonnys lineup
SS #3 Aaron Martinez
C #23 Julio Salazar/Dan Bean
LF #6 Nick Price
MI #9 Brian Faria
CF #12 Westy Guill
EH #29 Jason Kreider
RF #19 Chris Terry
1B #2 Kevin Ballard
3B Sammy Christensen
#7 Alexis Ramirez
P Johnathan Wheeler

Sonnys RF Chris Terry sets the table for a Sonnys comeback win!

Alexis Ramirez gets the game winning hit against Buzini in the bottom of the 7th

 


 

More pictures below


 

Other top finishing teams and Conference teams

Tied 9th MS – Buzini/BWW/Miken – 1-2 – Crushed the local 'C' team S2S 25-6 in a warmup game.  On Saturday lost two heart breakers in a row by 1 run.  26-25 to eventual champion Line Drive.  And 28-27 on a walk off hit to Sonnys.  Buzini competed well and walk away thinking of what could have been in both games.  The season isn't over, this is a talented team with a bright future and two big tournaments left to make a splash.  Loudon and Bridges shared the pitching duties.  The top of the offense with Wilks, Williams, Pearson (who was one of the top hitters in the country), and Billy Maggard is strong.

Buzini lineup:
EH Kyle Wilks
MI Jason Williams
3B Kyle Pearson
1B Drew Miller
2B Billy Maggard
RF Colby Hughes
CF Justin Stewart
P Jason Bridges
C Tim Bowser
LF Brady Bascle
SS Chris Smith

 


 

Tied 9th FL – Demarini Headbangers – 1-2 – Only lost to Precision on Friday night by 4.  Beat one of the other 'C' teams.  Then after the rain delay, Combat/Blockers shut them down 12-4 back on field #4 where the wind was blowing in some and nobody could score all night.

 


 

Tied 9th FL – S2S – 1-2 – Crushed by Buzini on Friday, beat a fellow 'C' team, then sent home by Baugh 23-4.  S2S third baseman pictured below made an unbelievable diving stop of a hard grounder toward the 3rd base line and popped to his feet and threw a seed to get a Buzini batter on Friday night.  One of the better plays of the tournament.

 


 

Tied 9th GA – Primetime/Easton – 0-2 – Run Ruled by Combat/Blockers on Friday, lost a lackluster game to Taylormade on Saturday.

 


 

Tied 13th FL – R.E.M/CK – 0-2 – The Florida 'C' State champs gave Taylormade all they could handle closing the lead to 5 (15-10) on Friday night before losing 19-10.  On Saturday Demarini Headbangers beat them early in the morning 10-9.  These infielders were tough.

 


 

Tied 13th FL – API Plumbing 0-2 – Run Ruled by Line Drive and S2S.

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

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

USSSA 'A' World tournament link

Link to Softballcenter.com pictures of the A World Tournament

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:

Two former 1st round baseball draft picks Dave Miller and Ryan Harvey

 

Rain delayed the games on Saturday for 5 hours

Fortune Road Athletic Complex

Herb was told to take a walk

The Chamionship umpiring crew.  I feel the umpiring was A+

Pete, Helmer, and Wegs work on building "tent city".  Pete packs the best cooler/tailgating truck in the game!

These must work

Baugh pitcher Billy Barrett shows off his new tattoo

 

The game must be over if "Cheese" heads for the exit

"Tarz, start the party bus!"

 

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