Thursday November 15th, 2018
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2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA Championships tournament report!

 

 

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

Championships!

 

Viera, Florida 

 

August 31st – September 2nd

Resmondo's Jeremy Yates scores the game winning run in the Winner's bracket finals against Smash It Sports!

 

SoftballCenter Conference Championships picture album link

 

2018 Conference Championships bracket and results link

The 2018 Nationwide Conference Championships were played on the "Red" quad (325-365-385-365-325) baseball fields at the back of the Space Coast Complex.  The fields were all turf and used the Dudley Stadium ZN ball.  There were 11 of the top 12 teams in the Nation in the tournament – 3 Major classed teams, and 8 'AA' classed teams.  The first three rounds were played on Friday starting at 4 PM.  Racks Worth Astros a 'AA' team based out of Indiana beat Newbreed/Steel Sports/Demarini (WA-AA) 25-23, an undermanned All Out (TX-AA) team upset Precision/3rd Street (IL-AA) 33-26 as Matt Schrage was on base 5 out of 5 with 2 home runs, and Xtreme/Miken (MN-AA) knocked off Riot Sports (FL-AA) 33-26 in the "play in" games.  Riot Sports was also missing a couple of players.

In the 2nd round the top seeds began as #1 Resmondo/Easton (FL-Major) beat Racks 26-25 after being tied at 21-21 going into the bottom of the 6th.  Greg Connell was 4-5 in the win with a double, a triple, and a home run!  #2 Dan Smith/Menosse (CA-Major) won their opener 30-14 over Xtreme.  #3 Smash It Sports/Thunder (NY-Major) run ruled All Out 38-23.  And TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken (NC-AA) stomped rival Pure Sports/Monsta (SC-AA) 19-5 although Pure Sports didn't have/use any of their pitchers.

When the 2nd round ended the "Final 4" of the winner's bracket began at 8:30 PM as it cooled off a little bit and Resmondo beat TDB 26-15 scoring 7 runs in the 1st inning and Neil Haglund hit 3 home runs in the game.  In the other semifinal which ended after 11 PM Smash It Sports grabbed an 18-4 lead and scored 10 more runs in the 6th inning to put away Dan Smith 32-16.  Kyle Pearson batting leadoff was 4-6 with 4 home runs and made the big fields look like little league fields a couple of times.  John Williams hit 4 homers, Ryan Harvey 2 homers, and Filip Washington hit 3 home runs and drove in 7.  The team had 2 innings where every batter scored a run!

Most of the loser's bracket and the winner's bracket finals were played on Saturday before breaking in the late afternoon to get ready for the Conference banquet.  In the winner's bracket finals Smash It scored 8 runs in the top of the 6th to go up 20-13 but Resmondo in the bottom of the 7th needing 4 to win, scored 3 runs to tie and used a walk off single by Steele Lewis to beat Smash It 23-22 in the bottom of the 7th.  In the loser's bracket Precision knocked off Pure Sports 48-33, Racks 19-3, and upset Dan Smith 27-20 to win the top half.  In the bottom half Newbreed came from behind to beat Xtreme 19-17 before TDB scored 26 runs in one inning to send Newbreed home 43-20.  In the loser's bracket semifinals at 2 pm Saturday afternoon TDB knocked off a tired Precision team 40-25 to make it to Sunday.  Saturday evening was the Nationwide Conference Awards banquet held at the stadium where 55 awards were distributed and drinks and food was consumed.

On Sunday morning in the loser's final Smash It beat TDB 21-13 and advanced to the championship against Resmondo.  In the final game Resmondo jumped out to a 19-14 lead scoring 13 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning.  Smash It then grabbed a 21-20 lead in the top of the 4th but only scored 1 run in the 5th and none in the 6th.  Meanwhile Resmondo scored 3 in the 5th and 3 in the 6th to take a 26-22 lead.  In the top of the 7th Smash It got a clutch 3 run homer from Ryan Harvey with two outs and a solo homer from Josh Riley to tie the game at 26-26.  But in the bottom of the 7th needing just one run, Resmondo's Neil Haglund drew a walk and pinch hitter Travis Clark hit a game winning gapper with one out for the 27-26 win!

Resmondo's Steele Lewis hits a walk off single to win the winner's final on Saturday

2018 Conference MVP Travis Clark hits a walk off single to win the Conference Championship!

Team Breakdown:
11 Teams Overall
11 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
3 Major Teams
8 'AA' Teams

Smash It 2nd basemen Brian McBryde makes a play on the shift from shallow right field

McBryde and Smash It Sports may have been this close to winning the tournament

 

2018 Conference MVP pitcher Travis Clark took one off the body and recovered to get the runner with an underhand toss from his glove to 1st base.

TDB's Kyle Pearson hits one past Precisions Dan Bean

Precision batting against All Out

 

The park has two different feels to it.  The day time feel and the night time feel.  🙂

 


 

Oldscout pollers had Resmondo at 45%! 

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

Link to the 2018 Conference Championship video clips

Link to the Conference Championship Archived Games!

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

Smash It Sports Ryan Harvey is the long bomber of the week.  He hit one to right center in the heat of the day Sunday that local NASA satellites are still tracking.

 


 

 Conference Championships Final Standings and Awards

 

 

 

Resmondo pitcher Travis Clark won the prestigious Nationwide Conference Player of the Year!

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA Awards – 9/1/2018

JOHN GLIDEWELL AWARD 2018 Brett Helmer
AWARD OF MERIT 2018 Strojan Kennison
FRANK WEBB MANAGER OF THE YEAR 2018 Craig Shaw Pure Sports
HOME RUN CHAMPION 2018 Kyle Pearson – 118 Smash It Sports
BATTING AVERAGE – ON BASE 2018 Kyle Pearson – .807 Smash It Sports
DEFENSIVE PLAYER 2018 Ryan McClanahan Pure Sports
OFFENSIVE PLAYER 2018 Davis Bilardello Dan Smith
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER 2018 Travis Clark Resmondo
UMPIRE OF THE YEAR 2018 Rob Mantlo  
ROOKIE UMPIRE OF THE YEAR 2018 Philip Taylor

The finalists for Nationwide Conference USSSA Rookie of the Year were:
Infielder Chris Anninos from All Out
Shortstop Daniel Cayton from Classic Glass
Outfielder David Durso from La Famiglia
Pitcher Mike "Nino" Echeverria from Dan Smith
Outfielder Taylor Nichols from Riot Sports

CONFERENCE ROOKIE OF THE YEAR 2018 Mike "Nino" Echeverria Dan Smith

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA Awards Banquet Video Link!

 

Brett Helmer and Travis Resmondo receive the Conference Championship trophy

Smash It Sports and Miken's Kyle Pearson wins the home run and on base percentage award!

Dan Smith's Davis Bilardello was Outstanding Offensive Player in the Conference

The 2017 Rookie of the Year Jordan Spaulding and the 2018 Rookie of the Year Mike "Nino" Echeverria

Pure Sports Manager Craig Shaw receives the Frank Webb Manager of the Year award from Shirl Webb

Conference Umpire of the Year was Rob Mantlow

Brett Helmer receives the John Glidewell award

 

This is a chart of the awards that are given out per team based on where they finished in the standings.

I fully understand players frustrations that think they should be 1st team or get an award etc.  But you are competing only against the other players on your own team for the awards the way they are currently set up and have been for 13 years.  So if you think you should have received an award then you have to think about it in terms of who you should replace from your own team.  I am open to discussing changing the way the awards are given so please if you want to discuss changing them please bring it up at the managers meetings, convention, or the Hall of Fame Classic meeting.

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

1st Place – Resmondo/RDD/H.Auto/All In/Sprizzi/Easton

Conf Major from FL  4-0 Record

Resmondo is now 14-5 vs Major teams and 11-3 vs 'AA' and they won a bunch of close games this past weekend which always helps the confidence.  They rested players here and there including Travis Clark, and Jeremy Yates looks like he is back to 100% so Resmondo is locked and loaded for the Major where they will be in an unusual spot as the favorite…  They have a great record on the big fields also… 

Trending Up!

 

Connell and Wegman set the table for a Resmondo win on Saturday

 

Baker and Yates

 

Lewis and Haglund

Mack and Rettenmeier

 

Infielders Kevin Bazat, Neil Haglund, and Mike Umschied

 

Watson and Wolf

 

 


 

2nd Place – Smash It/Thunder/Backman/TDB/Miken

Conf Major from NY  3-2 Record

 

Smash It Sports is now 9-13 vs Major teams and 15-3 vs 'AA' teams.  They also rested some players and Kyle Pearson tweaked a muscle on his left side and sat out Sunday.  Smash It was unable to move up in the standings and will be the #3 seed for the major which means they will have to play through Dan Smith most likely to get to the winner's bracket finals.  

Trending Up!

Smash Its normal left side – Williams, Dedonatis, and Reyna

   

All Conference performers Josh Riley and Filip Washington extend the SIS lineup with elite power

Dillon makes a catch

Pearson was hammering long home runs until he pulled something in his left side lower rib or below rib area.

He should be back and healthy for the Major.

 

 


 

3rd Place – TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  3-2 Record

 

TDB was the highest finishing 'AA' team and their two best tournaments of the year seem to have been at Viera on the big fields.  They are just 1-9 vs Major teams this year and 11-9 vs 'AA' but have some momentum for the 'AA' Worlds coming up September 15-16.

Trending Up!

The original Kyle Pearson collecting some well deserved hardware

Third baseman Tyler Wilson was All Conference

BJ Fulk swinging the Demarini this year!

 


 

4th Place – Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg

Conf 'AA' from IL  3-2 Record

 

Precision got a lot of swings in this weekend and are 10-7 vs 'AA' teams this year and 4-5 vs Major teams which is a better winning percentage against major than Smash It has!  Precision is trying to make the 'AA' World finals for the 4th straight year and are primed and ready to do so.

Trending Up!

Precision pitcher Dan Bean, SS Kyle Kannenberg

Flood and McCollum

Kessler and his slugger

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Newbreed/Steel Sports/DeMarini

Conf 'AA' from WA  2-2 Record

Everett Williams has some serious stadium pop

Newbreed was understaffed for the Conference Championships as they weren't expecting to go.  But they did end up going and played ok.  They are now 9-5 vs 'AA' teams which is a nice record to have going into worlds.  They have not beaten a Major team though, 0-6.

Trending Up!

 

Cordova playing some third base

 

Hollingsworth and manager Lekness pitching?

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith

Conf Major from CA  1-2 Record

The roller coaster year continues for Dan Smith who tied for the win in Cincinnati and then won Columbus.  They did not come to play in Viera this past weekend when they had a shot at still getting the gold nugget, the #1 seed for the Major.  Dan Smith has a 16-5 record vs 'AA' this year and a 7-12 record vs Major.  They do appear healthy for the Major.  

Trending down some

Jo Jo Bennett

 

Stovall makes a play on the fence.  Reyna shot one through the wickets.


Collins is not Harvest, Harvest is not Collins…Einhorn is not Finkle

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Rack's/Worth Astros/Klutch/Troupe

Conf 'AA' from IN  2-2 Record

Racks is 1-4 vs Major teams this year and 10-7 vs 'AA' and have played better since pitcher Bill Pinkhams returned.  I have been told by people all over the Conference that the Awards committee really blew it by not picking Jon Nelson who led the team in offense.  My apologies to Jon.

Trending Even

Dan Kirkwood and Steve Edwards were All Conference

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  1-2 Record

Last years surprise 'AA' champ is 9-9 in class and 1-3 vs Major teams.  They will try to play spoiler again in 2018

Trending Even

Danny Evans wa back doing some pitching

Infielder Dylan Smith

 


 

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:

Tied for 9th – All Out/A&A/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken (TX-AA) 1-2 – All Out finished 7-6 vs 'AA' and 0-4 vs Major teams.  They had a nice win over Precision. 


Tied for 9th – Riot Sports/Broughton/Beckham/Worth (FL-AA) 0-2 – Dal Beggs was 2nd team manager of the year.  Riot is just 4-10 vs 'AA' teams and 2-4 vs Major but was 13-2 vs 'A' teams.  One of those "tweener teams" that remember won that Chattanooga Major tournament and has come down some since.


Tied for 9th – Pure Sports/Monsta (SC-AA) 0-2 – Pure Sports played without McClanahan (baby) and sat Mooch.  They are 17-9 vs 'AA' teams and should be the favorites at worlds.  They are 2-3 vs Major teams and are in that spot of the Major bracket where them or TDB should make the final 4 undefeated and take their shot at Resmondo.


This was called a 4 base award but the ball did not hit Wegmans glove and instead hit the fence and then the scoreboard then bounced back into play.  But it is hard to see balls to the outfield during the day on such a big field.

Those incredible Musco lights that don't give off a halo

Conference Director Strojan Kennison received the Award of Merit

 

A lot is made about the batters boxes in Viera being painted to small.  This photo shows they do seem to small as the batters back foot is fully behind the front of the pate but his stride is way out of the box.

They told me at the awards banquet Edwards doesn't play 1st base…  🙂

No 'F' Word

Levi made me a shirt that had the oldscout "out of the box" thread on the back.  🙂

Hall of Famer's Mike Cornell, Don Dedonatis Sr, and Don Dedonatis Jr

Many viewers said the stream didn't work so I went to the head of 805sports and he brought it up on a desktop, a laptop, a pad, an android, and an iphone.  Then we asked two people that were walking by if they could bring it up on their smart phone and they did.  So I know its frustrating but when I can't show them it doesn't work its tough to troubleshoot.

Wreckless golf cart driving

 

 

 

 

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