Tuesday October 3rd, 2023

A look back at the 2018 Louisville Slugger / Demarini Classic NC Major tournament report!





2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA


Louisville Slugger / Demarini Classic


Charlotte, NC 


April 28th


Championship game between Pure Sports/Monsta and TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Filip "Flip" Washington batting

NC Major SoftballCenter picture album link


2018 NC men's and women's bracket link

Coin Flip


The Nationwide Conference USSSA Major in Charlotte, North Carolina sponsored by Louisville Slugger and Demarini was a 10 team – one day tournament which featured the 'AA' teams Pure Sports Pure Sports/Monsta and TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken.  The tournament began at 9 AM with 3 play in games.  B.O.T./TNT/Evo9x a 'C' Team out of New Jersey and CCP a 'B' team out of NC both advanced by the run rule, B.O.T. with a 31-16 win over Briggs, CCP (NC-B) over Carolina Smoke 30-10, and Killmans beat Clouds 29-17.  In the round of 8, Pure Sports annihilated B.O.T. 24-3, TDB beat a good Killmans team 39-19 after a slow start where they actually trailed by 4, Terry's/Holland/s/Louisville Slugger/T&ATools (NC-A) got off to a hot start against Insane Sports/Basement/Ray's/M24 (OH-A) on field #1 but used up all of their home runs and Insane came back but came up short 28-25, and Rapid Fire Athletics (VA-A) had all they could handle with CCP as they won 28-25 on a walk off home run by Hunter Young.  CCP has some of those Florida players like Devin Anderson and Mike Cirillo.

In the final 4 of the winner’s bracket played at noon in perfect softball weather it was Pure Sports with a solid 24-14 win on the baseball field #5 with its 310-345-370-345-310 dimensions over Terry's.  TDB meanwhile had a slugfest over on the 300-foot field #4 against Rapid Fire with the wind blowing out.  TDB gutted out the win 36-34 as Martel and Renno had a couple of big home runs.  In the winner's bracket finals at 4:30 PM, it was the two 'AA' teams on the baseball field with the Classic M balls.  Pure Sports and TDB got off to slow starts and Pure blanked TDB in the first 3 innings.  Pure then grabbed a double-digit lead but let TDB hang around and in the top of the 7th TDB was down 19-16 and scored 14 runs to win 30-19.    A shocked Pure Sports team went to the loser's bracket and waited a couple of hours to see who their opponent would be. 

In the loser's bracket B.O.T. beat Clouds and Insane Sports before Rapid Fire sent them packing 21-20.  In the lower half of the loser's bracket Killmans beat CCP 26-25 on a walk off homer and then run ruled Terrys 34-17 to make it to the loser's semifinal.  In that game they came from behind against Rapid Fire after Rapid had used up all of their homer's and almost pulled off the upset but came up 3 runs short 38-35 in a two-hour long game.  Then in the loser's final it was all Pure Sports over Rapid Fire 29-9 on the baseball field.

Tournament director Jeff Hall asked the teams if they wanted to finish the tournament on Saturday and the teams agreed.  So, the championship began around 8:30 PM on Saturday evening as the temperatures cooled off and the ball on the baseball field started to fly a little bit better.  In the first game Pure got off to a fast start scoring 11 runs in the first inning but TDB came back only to see Pure score 17 runs in the top of the 7th to force the "if" necessary game 36-21.  Pure DH Justin Mackey had 4 homers and 9 RBI in the game.  In the final game Pure Sports got a 5-5 with 2 HR performance out of Bradley Carlsen as he hit for the cycle, and 7 RBI from catcher Pat Price to put away TDB by the run rule 32-17.  TDB hit 8 home runs in the game and finished it off with some great infield defense by Zach Messer, Ryan Mcclanahan, and Chente Granados.  Filip Washington and John Williams were also on base 4 out of 4 in the final game.  

That "if" game was worth 40 points as the winners went home with a coveted 180 points and 2nd place just a 140.  Congratulations to Pure Sports/Monsta on their first Nationwide Conference tournament win and Pure now leads the Conference in points!


Pure Sports celebrating another great defensive play

Playlist of archived games

Team Breakdown:
10 Teams Overall
4 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
2 'AA' Teams
3 'A' Teams
1 'B' Teams
4 'C/D' Teams

The park at night cooled off

Chris Greinert opens the tournament for Rapid Fire against Terry's

CCP takes on Carolina Smoke

Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli goes behind the back to NJ friend Bobby McMinn from B.O.T.

Robert "Robo" Blackburn crushes one to center against Pure Sports

It was a perfect day for softball in Charlotte, North Carolina

Killmans bats against Rapid Fire in a marathon game for 3rd place

In the women's major Hitters Inc (VA-B) won the 5 team tournament over TDB/Bounty Hunters (GA-A) 9-4.

Bradford Park
17005 Davidson-Concord Road
Huntersville, North Carolina 28078

The 4 softball fields were 300 feet.

The main field was a baseball field 310-345-370-345-310.

The outfield on diamond #5 was big, very similar to the Smoky Mountain Classics main field.

High School baseball sized.


These are diamond #4 on the left and diamond #3 on the right.



Oldscout pollers missed this week. 



Video Highlites brought to you by:



Long Bombers of the Week

Jeff Hall the tournament picked up a bat before the HR Derby and launched the first two pitches

Pure Sports Justin Mackey was my long bomber of the week until his last swing of the tournament which is in the video clips…What was that?  Mackey did lead the tournament in homer's with 9 I believe and they were all on the baseball field with the classic m.  He also had an impressive 28 RBI.

That opened the door for Jason Martel and Jeff Renno from TDB to be the long bomber of the week.  Jeff led TDB in homer's with 8 and was the only player that I witnessed hit two homer's out of center field on the main diamond which was 370 feet at the fence.  Matusik, Big John Williams, Filip Washington and others also had some bombs.  Mike Cornell thought Ryan Mcclanahan and Kyle Pearson who also had some big homer's on the baseball field should be mentioned.


Martell hits a grand slam for TDB and Jeff Renno hits one out of center field on the baseball field which was rare with the Classic M ball.

The NC HR derby was won by John Huchingson 10 out of 10 last round
2nd Place – Dola Holt
3rd Place – Kenny "party time" Hart



  North Carolina Major Awards and Final Standings

Pure Sports pitcher Justin "Mooch" Mucciarelli was the MVP

TDB center fielder Tyler Marshburn was Defensive MVP

Pure Sports Brad Carlsen was Offensive MVP and is chasing another batting title. 

Carlsen was 24-28 with 4 doubles, 4 triples, and 4 HR. 



Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place Pure Sports/Monsta

Conf 'AA' from SC  5-1 Record

Pure Sports dug down deep and pulled off the double dip (both run rules) of 'AA' rival TDB.  They got a nice backup performance from outfielder Bradley Scott.  Some great pinch hits from Jared Hunt.  Mooch shut down teams when needed and the top of that lineup this week extended down to Mackey and Price as all of those guys just about were .700 or above with all of their games on the baseball field.  The infield defense also continues to be in the top of the conference and the outfield basically has 3 center fielders.  A great weekend for a tired Pure Sports team.

Trending Up!

Pure Sports lineup:
LF Brad Carlsen
SS Zach Messer
CF Filip Washington
3B John Williams
EH Justin Mackey
C Pat Price
1B Steven Lopez
RF Bradley Scott/Heath Barnes
MI Ryan Mcclanahan
2B Chente Granados
P Justin Mucciarelli


Messer at shortstop makes a great play in the hole and he was the most consistent HR hitter on the baseball field somehow keeping those moon shots fair down the left field line.


Washington and Williams behind Carlsen and Messer makes for a deadly top 4.

Pat Price was mashing


Right side of the infield MI Mcclanahan, 2B Granados, 1B Lopez.

Mcclanahan could have been defensive MVP and made some great double plays.

Also pictured Jared Hunt who had some clutch pinch hits.



2nd Place TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  3-2 Record


TDB played without starting pitcher Farron Miller and center fielder Brian Zirkle, and slugger Donnie Hammonds was hurt and only had 2 plate appearances.  But TDB except for one inning, the top of the 7th in the winner's final when they were down 19-16 and scored 14 runs to beat Pure Sports overall did not match Pure's offensive firepower which surprised most.  They lost the best of 3 battle with Pure Sports and hence the 180 coveted points.  Playing the big games on the high school baseball field with the Classic M should have been an advantage for TDB but it did not turn out that way.  Renno, Fulk, Matusik, Titus, Martel, and Pearson were all over .700.  

Trending Even

TDB lineup:
CF Tyler Marshburn
LF Jason Matusik
1B Jason Martel
2B Kyle Pearson
C BJ Fulk
SS Orlando Castillo
3B Tyler Wilson
C/EH Curtis Stewart
RF Jeff Renno
MI AJ Montano
P Aaron Lewicki/Brian Titus


Infielders 3B Wilson, MI Montano, SS Castillo, LF Matusik


Fulk played chicken with the 1st baseman most of the day but hit this homer

Aaron Lewicki did most of the pitching.  Faron Miller had to work.  Backup Brian Titus also pitched and hit over .800



3rd Place Rapid Fire Athletics/Sports Lounge

Conf 'A' from VA  3-2 Record


Rapid Fire played TDB tough in the winner's bracket but lost 36-34.  Then in the loser's bracket sent home B.O.T. 21-20 and had a long marathon win over Killmans 38-35 to finish 3rd.  A solid weekend for the highest finishing non-AA team and they got to play a bunch of close games which can grow a team in the right direction.  They picked up a number of players from the folded B&B Worsham team and things seemed to mesh pretty well.  Hunter Young hit a walk off homer to beat CCP in their first game.  I've said it before this is a hard nosed group and tough infielders like Jacinto and Racobaldo can make winning plays.  They have a veteran pitcher in Byars who has beaten Resmondo at the Major World Series, and a good mix of players from some of the past B&B and Bad Draw teams.

Trending up!

Rapid Fire lineup: Let me know if I got this wrong
LF Matt Bunn
2B Rich Rocabaldo
1B Jess Maloney
SS CJ Jacinto
3B David Forbes
EH Chris Issenock
MI Anthony Chavis
C  Chris Nann
P Cam Byars
CF Freddie Bynum (also hit some leadoff)
RF Hunter Young


Racobaldo continues to mash and made the best diver of the tournament at 2B.

Outfielder Matt Bunn.


Jess Maloney was supplying power and Chris "Doubles" Issenock made all tourny


CF Freddie Bynum and pitcher Cam Byars



4th Place Killmans

'C' from SC  3-2 Record


Killmans beat CCP on a walk off homer and run ruled Terry's impressively 34-17 before that long game where they lost to Rapid Fire 38-35 with the bats in their hands and they made a base running error in the bottom of the 7th.  They played a number of those games on field #4 with the wind blowing out.  Cooper, Loftin, Davidson, and Gardner had big offensive numbers.  The Killmans team gets that "feisty" local team tag but they have some good players and experience on this team.

Killmans lineup: 
(hopefully I got it right? tried to match the writing in the book with roster online)
Tony Ford
Mike Miller
Chris Cooper
Jesse Harmon
Josh Biershenk
David Bare
Matt Loftin
Dylan Davidson
Brad Gardner
Kaden Watson

Cooper was 23-25

Killmans infielder makes a great play


David Bare and Dylan Davidson

Killmans left side



Tied 5th Place B.O.T./TNT/Evo9x

'C' from NJ  3-2 Record

B.O.T./TNT/Evo9x is a good team from New Jersey run by long time coach/sponsor Frank Stout, and their team which has some conference experienced players like Donelson, Darling, McMinn, and Sorentino all play league together and live within a 10 mile radius.  They beat Briggs, Insane, and almost beat Rapid Fire. 




Tied 5th Place Terrys/Hollands/LS/T&A Tools

'A' from NC  1-2 Record

Terry's is full of ex Conference players and are probably one of the top non conference 'A' teams in the country.  They did not play all that well however in this tournament with only the opening victory over Insane Sports to put on the resume. 


Former Classic Glass pitcher Brandon Jonas and T&R Stucco infielder Randall Poplin


Former Conference players Matt Tindell and Robert Blackburn.  Robo was playing middle infield.

Former HDLNS infielder Jackie Corn



Other top finishing Conference teams



Tied 7th Place – Insane Sports/Basement/Ray's/M24

Conf 'A' from OH  1-2 Record

Insane played in their first Conference tournament as a new league team.  They struggled to score early against Terry's and then was upset by B.O.T.  


Insane Sports pictures



Hot Links section brought to you by:

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

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to all 2009 to 2018 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link



Some more pictures for you:


CCP in Orange takes on Rapid Fire in a close one.

Clouds infield.  Thanks for stepping up and playing.

Brad Carlsen did catch that ball in left

Jeff Hall the tournament director with tournament sponsor Mike Cornell

Tim Franks the TDB sponsor talks to Mike

Steven Lopez from Pure Sports works on the batters box

This flew by the fields

UIC Rob Mantlow with the strike call


Mike and Lee with the strike call

Andy Richards the NC State director umpired a few games

Umpires for the winner's final

2 responses to “A look back at the 2018 Louisville Slugger / Demarini Classic NC Major tournament report!”

  1. Jeff says:

    Only one mistake I noticed DW. You said a shocked TDB went to the loser’s bracket final, when it was Pure Sports that had to double dip TDB to win it. Other than that, great job as usual

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