Friday May 13th, 2022

2018 GSL ‘A’ World tournament report!




2018 GSL 'A' World Tournament


Cincinnati, Ohio


Mid America Ballyard 


August, 18-19

TG Brands Adam Kaminski gets his liner robbed by Premier's MVP pitcher Kyle Center in the Championship!


SoftballCenter GSL 'A' World picture album link


2018 GSL 'A' World bracket and results link


Premier's Chuck Lack homer's against Fish Head Saturday night in the winner's bracket finals!

The GSL 'A' Worlds began on Saturday morning at 11 AM after rain pushed back the start times a couple of hours.  The tournament was played at the Mid America Ballyard in Cincinnati, Ohio on 300-foot fields.  GSL 'A' has several unique rules.  They use a 5-foot floating rubber.  Each team is allowed 8 home runs plus a DHH (Designated Home Run Hitter) who can hit as many as they want without the HR counting against the team total.  If the opposing team walks the DHH then the first home run hit before the DHH comes up again does not count against the team total.  Pitchers are allowed to fake/juke and pitches had to have a minimum height of 5 feet and a max of 10.  They used the GSL Worth Extreme ball which was a little bit better than the Conference ball and did not mush up in the heat.  Teams were also allowed to use a pinch runner once per inning.

The tournament started with 11 teams, so there were 3 "play in" games and it was seeded by Class and then GSL points within Class.  In those play in games T&W Miken (OH-B) upset Sports Reach (KY-A) 21-19.  Titans/Truckin/CashHouse ATM (OH-B) knocked off Floors Unlimited (IN-A) 31-22.  And Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton (TX-A) used a nice 4-10-3 double play and then an unbelievable diving stop by shortstop Josh Brown in the 5-6 hole and throw to first base to set up a bottom of the 7th walk off homer by John Sullivan which capped a 6-run comeback to beat Headlines Sportswear/CSB (OH-B) 18-17!

In the "round of 8", #1 seeded Fish Head/Top Shelf/E Shore Sports (MD-A) held off T&W Miken 22-18 as they pitched out of a couple of tight jams against the DHH.  Pauer Sports/JBL/Tailgaters/B&E (OH-A) held off Titans 23-18.  TG Brand (MI-A) led La Famiglia/Elite Sports (PA-A) 28-25 in the 5th but then went up 13 runs and used better home run management to beat them 40-25.  And Premier/Easton/HDLNS (OH-A) was down 13-0 to Vivid after 1 inning and then held Vivid to zero runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings.  Going into the 7th the teams were tied at 20-20 and both teams put up 3 runs to force extra innings.  In the top of the 8th Premier made two quick outs and then got a walk by Joe Horsley, a double by Kyle Center, and a triple from Ryan Noe to go up 2.  In the bottom of the 7th they held Vivid scoreless and Premier won 25-23.  Premier outfielder Clay Norton was 5-6 in the game with a grand slam, 3 total homer's, 9 RBI, and 4 runs scored.  Kyle Center was also 5-5 for Premier and John Zorich was 5-5 with a walk for Vivid.

In the semifinals of the winner's bracket which was played Saturday evening TG Brand grabbed a solid lead on Fish Head and kept it with some good defense.  But in the late innings Fish Head who still had home runs left got a big go ahead homer from Dylan Shupe (not sure I'm spelling that right) and used an offensive barrage late in the game to beat TG Brand 25-22.   In the other semifinal Premier had a great diving stop by shortstop Pat Foster in the 5-6 hole and turned a 6-10-3 double play to try and hold down Pauer Sports as both teams scored at least 2 runs in every inning!  This was the best game of a tournament which was filled with great games and great matchups.  Rocky Staton was also fielding the middle at pitcher daring the Pauer team to hit it at him and Premier led 18-17 going into the bottom of the 5th and put up 8 more runs to go up 26-17.  But Pauer scored 7 in the top of the 6th and pulled to within 1 run in the top of the 7th before Premier shut the door on a 29-28 win.  Clay Norton and Ryan Noe had 4 hits apiece and pitcher Rocky Staton went 5-5 in the game with 4 runs and 3 doubles, one of which was with the bases loaded and two outs!

In the winner's bracket finals Premier trailed Fish Head 21-11 going into the 5th but they blanked Fish Head in the top of the 5th and scored 11 in the bottom of the inning to go up by 1.  Premier then outscored Fish Head 4 to 2 the rest of the way and won 26-23.  For Premier Ryan Disbennett, Pat Foster, Ryan Noe, and Brock Morrison all had 2 home runs apiece while Fish Heads Brian Garner and DHH Corey Napier were a combined 8-10 with 7 HR and 13 RBI.

In the loser's bracket Floors Unlimited won 2 games but for the rest of the tournament the team dropping down from the winner's bracket advanced.  Floors Unlimited and Vivid both ran out of gas to finish tied for 5th and just after midnight Saturday TG Brand finished off Pauer Sports 30-15 after scoring 23 runs in the first inning.  Thus Pauer finished 4th.  

On Sunday morning at 8 AM, TG Brand started the loser's bracket finals against Fish Head with 3 straight home runs.  Then they hit for about 20 minutes and jumped out to a 15-run lead which was capped off by a 3 run homer by TG middle infielder Justin Evans.  But Fish Head who looked like they were going to roll over, dug down deep and came back pulling to within 3 runs at one point going into the 5th inning.  But TG Brand had a big top of the 5th inning and went up 34-19.  Fish Head extended the game on a 3 run homer by Derek Mcleod but could only pull to within 7 and TG ended up winning 41-30.

That set up a finals showdown between the arch rival’s TG Brand and Premier.  Premier was automatically home team (if they wanted it) as per the GSL rule that the undefeated team gets a choice in the first championship game.  And Premier blanked TG Brand in the top of the 1st inning and scored 5 in the bottom.  The two teams would each score at least 1 run per inning the rest of the game but Premier got 8 in the 4th to take a 17-8 lead.  After a chirpy first couple of innings between the two teams the game settled down and going into the top of the 7th Premier who had gotten a bunch of double plays and a couple of strike outs led 22-11.  TG never gave up though as they scored 7 runs in the top of the 7th but they ended up losing 22-18.  Premiers Clay Norton and Ryan Uckotter each had 4 hits and Brock Morrison had 2 homers and 6 RBI.  For TG Brand Brady Hightchew was 5-5 in the championship game.

Congratulations to Premier on being only the 2nd GSL 'A' World Champ ever.  The first was in 2015 when Xtreme/Miken won.  This was a great event with evenly matched teams and I look forward to cover the GSL 'A' for years to come as it expands to 16 and then 20+ 'A' teams!

TG Brand pitcher Tyler Kincaid tracks down a ball he deflected up the middle and still gets the out in the loser's final

Team Breakdown:
 11 Teams Overall
6 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
8 'A' Teams
3 'B' Teams

F1 and F2 are 300 Foot Fields at Mid America Ballyard

TG Brand manager Jon Golich and Premier manager Kevin Forwith at the meeting before the championship with umpire Brian Voss

Premier MI/P hits a bases loaded double against Pauer Sports in the winner's bracket semifinals!


Vivid shortstop John Brown makes a full out diving stop in the 5-6 hole and gets the out at first base.


Crump lines one off of the Headlines pitchers helmet/glove?

The GSL 'A' World is underway after a 2 hour delay to let the fields recover from a downpour Saturday morning.

Titans hitting against Floors Unlimited

The Fish Head middle man makes a nice play to first base in their big win over T&W


Vivids John Sullivan hits a walk off homer to beat Headlines

TG management held their collective breath for a minute when Kincaid stayed on the ground some extra time



Oldscout pollers had Premier at 15% 



Video Highlites brought to you by:

Lots of great defense in these clips. 1:27 A great diving stop at shortstop. 1:47 Line drive off pitchers head followed by a walk off homer by Vivid. 3:45 A walk off homer by Titans. 8:48 A liner stabbed by the pitcher.



Long Bombers of the Week

Long Bomber of the week is Mike Mallory of Pauer Sports who fans say hit the longest homer on field #2.



  GSL 'A' World Final Standings and Awards


Premier pitcher/3rd baseman Kyle Center was MVP

Premier manager/sponsor Kevin Forwith was All Tournament Manager




Team by team notes brought to you by:

1st Place – Premier/Easton/Headlines

Conf  'A' from OH  4-0 Record

Premier went undefeated to win the GSL 'A' World going 4-0 but only outscoring their opponents 103-92.  All 4 of their wins were against the top 'A' teams in the tournament.  They beat Vivid 26-24 in extra innings.  Then they beat Pauer Sports 29-28 in probably the most entertaining game of the tournament.  In the winner's final they beat Fish Head 26-23 and on Sunday closed it out against their arch rival TG Brand 22-17 in a game they never trailed in.  The defense was sound, led by MVP pitcher Kyle Center, middle man Rocky Staton who also pitched a big win, and shortstop Pat Foster who was diving all over the place.  Foster was also the DHH.  Premier found ways to win and gained experience in close games which should help them in the rest of the post season. 

Premier Roster:
Patrick Center
Ryan Uckotter
Aaron Brewster
Brock Morrison
Dan Feichtner
Clay Norton
Patrick Foster 
Josh Ashcraft 
Kevin Forwith 
Ryan Noe 
Chuck Lack 
Bradlee Bruns 
Brian Lakes 
Rocky Staton


Premiers lefty outfielders Clay Norton and Ryan Uckotter were all tournament

Premier used different infields, here Kyle Center is at 3rd base, Patrick Foster who was all tournament is as shortstop and he was their DHH


Outfielder Ryan Disbennett and 2nd baseman Ryan Noe


1st baseman Brad Bruns and 3rd baseman Brock Morrison




2nd Place – TG Brand

Conf  'A' from MI  4-2 Record

TG Brand played without Josh Kirsten who was replaced by David Kessler.  Adam Kaminski was the DHH and did a good job of taking walks.  TG put up 40 runs to beat La Famiglia in an entertaining opening game.  Then in the semifinals got beat offensively late by Fish Head 25-22.  In the loser's bracket they rolled through Vivid 21-11 and then Pauer Sports 30-15 in a game that ended just after midnight.  On Sunday morning they got the revenge win against Fish Head 41-30 but didn't score as easily against Premier and lost the championship 22-17.

 TG Brand roster:
 J Green 
 Josh Onstott 
 David Kessler 
 Justin Evans 
 James Sparrow 
 Brady Hightchew 
 Justin Geiner 
 Ryan Morrow 
 Tony Payne 
 Nathan King 
 Tyler Kincaid 
 Adam Kaminski 
 Jonathon Golich 
 Todd Fairbanks 
 Clay Paul 
 David Stroud 
 John Franklin 
 Joshua Greer


TG Brand lead off hitter Ryan Morrow makes the game look easy was All Tournament with DHH and infielder Adam Kaminski who walked a lot eventhough he was DHH.

Center fielder Brady Hightchew moved up to 3rd in the order


SS Tony Payne was All tournament.  Right side Justin Geiner and Josh Greer


Josh Onstott had some clutch pinch hits and David Kessler was picked up to replace Josh Kirsten for GSL


These guys always mess up the pre game speech…

John Franklin's face looks fine after that bad hop he took in Cincy a few weeks ago…



3rd Place – Fish Head/Top Shelf/E Shore Sports

'A' from MD  2-2 Record

Fish Head was the #1 seed for the GSL 'A' based on GSL points and beat T&W 22-18 in their first game when they got the DHH to fly out several times in key situations.  Then they upset TG Brand when Dylan Shupe's? long home run gave them the lead late and they never looked back winning 25-22.  This put them in the winner's bracket finals where they led Premier 21-11 going into the 5th inning.  But Fish Head put up a zero in the top of the 5th and Premier put up 11 in the bottom of the inning and Fish Head ended up losing 26-23.  In the loser's bracket Sunday morning Fish Head let up 15 runs in the top of the 1st inning against TG Brand but fought back to pull within 3 runs but ended up losing 36-27.  A good weekend only losing to the top 2 teams. 

Fish Head Roster:
Jinho Kim
Brian Garner
Corey Napier
Preston Smith
Henry Faunce
Drew Counselman
Derek McLeod
Eric Drechsler
Tommy King
Kenny King
Keith Chaffman
Matt Montgomery
Brad Newell
Nick Cantwell
Jesse Campanelli
Bryan Koehler
Frank March



Fish Head pitcher Brian Garner was crafty and made good use of the floating rubber.  Garner and Counselman were All Tournament.


Corey Napier (Left) was DHH.  Derek Mcleod (right) in 2015 had a .769 on base in Conference for CGR.



Infield for Fish Head on Sunday




4th Place – Pauer Sports/JBL/Tailgaters/B&E

Conf 'A' from OH  2-2 Record

Pauer Sports got past Titans 23-18 in their opener and then in the winner's semi finals late Saturday they lost a close one to Premier 29-28 when the offense disappeared late in the game.  In the loser's bracket they sent home Floors Unlimited easily 30-15 before TG Brand squashed them with a 23 run first inning.  Radich was the DHH.  Bowser was not there. 

Pauer Sports Roster:
Anthony Dominic
Douglas Ruble 
Aaron Sandoval 
Jonathan Roberts 
John Radich 
Cliff Majni 
Frankie Andriola 
Timothy Sheeler 
Michael Dzanaj 
Michael Mallory 
Jonathan Dombrowski 
Phil Matte 
Tim Bowser 
Ryan Roppel 
Chris Miller 
Bill Lewis

John Radich was the DHH.  Tim Bowser was not there.

Roberts at shortstop and Doug Ruble are a couple of those great low to the ground defenders.


It was good to see Aaron Sandoval back after taking that bad hop at the Smoky. 




Tied 5th Place – Floors Unlimited

'B' from IN  2-2 Record

Floors Unlimited is a USSSA 'B' team plus 3rd Baseman Rob Roop from Racks/Astros.  They lost to Titans out of the gate 31-22.  Then upset LaFamiglia 18-14 and beat Headlines 28-11 before Pauer Sports run ruled them 30-15.


Rob Roop and Travis Dale played for Floors Unlimited




Tied 5th Place Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton

'A' from TX  2-2 Record

Vivid was a collection of players that had played with Jon Kilburn in the past plus pitcher Bill Pinkham.  They started off with an 18-17 win over Headlines when John Sullivan homered.  Then they lost to Premier 26-24 in extra innings.  In the loser's bracket Vivid run ruled Titans 24-8 before dropping to TG Brand Saturday night 21-11.  Tom Crump was the DHH and the team had a nice mix of pitching and defense but didn't score when they had to against TG Brand.

 Vivid Roster:
 Keith Lynn
 Nicholas Santos 
 John Sullivan 
 John Zorich
 Bill Pinkham 
 Jonathan Kilburn 
 Zachary Saint Pierre 
 Josh Brown 
 Thomas Crump 
 Justin Aldora 
 Steven Zemanek 
 Kenneth Turlington 
 Nicholas Stark 

Vivid picked up center fielder John Zorich


Vivid turns a big doubleplay against Headlines

Jon Kilburn hits it off the fence


Vivid picked up local players 3rd baseman Justin Aldora and pitcher Bill Pinkham



Tied 7th Place – Titans/Truckin/CashHouse ATM

'B' from OH  2-2 Record

Titans beat Floors Unlimited in their play in game 31-22.  Then dropped a close one to Pauer Sports 23-18 early Saturday evening in a game they could have won.  In the loser's bracket they came from behind to beat Sports Reach on a walk off grand slam and then got run ruled by Vivid 24-8.


Titan DHH Isaiah Worlow hits a walk off grand slam to beat Sports Reach 35-31.



Tied 7th Place – Headlines Sportswear / CSB

'B' from OH  1-2 Record

Headlines lost their opener to Vivid 18-17 after leading 17-12 in the last inning.  In the loser's bracket they upset T&W 24-23 on a walk off of their own before being run ruled by Floors Unlimited 28-11.

Manager Larkins gives the pep speech




Hot Links section brought to you by:

Link to the Youtube channel

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I would like to thank all of my sponsors, GSL, and Clif Majni for his hospitality at this event.




Some more pictures for you:

Tied for 9th – T&W/Miken (OH-B) (1-2) – Held on to win their opener 21-19 over Sports Reach and had their chances in a 22-18 loss to Fish Head where they left a lot of runners on base.  In their final game Healines sent them home 24-23 on a walk off.  There is a lot of talent on this team.  The Noeths, Ledenski in the outfield, Rosenbalm IF, and Lonzo Fields with the bat.  They just didn't quite finish at the GSL.  Lonzo Fields was the DHH.



Tied for 9th – La Famiglia/EliteSports (PA-A) (0-2) – La Famiglia had a tough draw getting tournament favorite TG Brand in their opener.  They trailed 28-25 in the 5th before TG Brand grabbed a 13 run lead and beat them 40-25.  La Famiglia had poor home run management in that one.  In the loser's bracket they were upset by Floors Unlimited 18-14.  Josh Fyffe I believe was the DHH.  

La Famiglia Roster:
Eric Challburg 
Ryan Dacko 
Justin Lutheran 
Marvin Parsons 
Michael Pennington 
Blake Miller 
John Robinson 
Pedro Sanchez 
David Durso Jr 
Brendan Mullen 
Rudy Nagy 
Cody Collins 
Josh Fyffe 
Justin Snider 
Tim Bouch 
thomas Wingard 
Zachary Ross 
Clayton Farrar 
Don McDuffee 
Mychael Evans




Tied for 9th – Sports Reach (KY-A) (0-2) – Lost a heart breaker in the opener 21-19 against T&W then in the loser's bracket they led by 6 runs against Titan Trucking but lost in the 7th on a walk off grand slam after intentionally walking a batter to get to the DHH?  It was good to see Sports Reach manager/sponsor Robby Speer back at the field after recovering from a stroke last month.  Cody Pack was the DHH.

Sports Reach Roster:
Benjamin Gambill
Jason Hatley 
Michael Kelley 
Clint Fox 
Edward Garcia 
Bill Chard 
Joshua Cummins 
Cody Pack 
Kaleb Wilson 
Shaun Ballard 
John Mocahbee 
Bryan Bradler 
Heath Barnes

Heath Barnes picked up with Sports Reach

This umpire liked to point out strikes.

Teams were given a dozen new balls and had to chase homers or buy more.

Usually the Miami river is so low in August you have to stand by the edge of the clif to see th water.  Not this year.

Sunday umpires Brian Voss and Eric "Slim" Rice


Fields were still in bad shape at 9:30 AM Saturday morning but Dave Maury and his one crewmember got them up by 11 AM.


GSL's Clif Majni, Mid America manager Dave Maury, GSL's Tom Bradley and a grounds crew.  They did a great job getting those fields ready after one small cell of rain dumped a ton of rain on the fields at 6:30 AM Saturday morning.  Below is GSL's Bill Lewis talking with an umpire.

Xtreme Miken won the first ever GSL 'A' World in 2015






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