Monday December 17th, 2018
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2018 USA Softball ‘A’ Nationals tournament report!

 

 

2018 USA Softball

 

'A' Nationals

 

Ridgeland, MS

 

September 29-30

 

Filip Washington hits a walk off RBI double to score Ryan McClanahan from 1st base as WC Monsta/Team Chent beats Thunder/Flippin Keys 29-28 in the bottom of the 9th inning!

 

SoftballCenter 'A' picture album link

 

2018 'A' bracket link

 

2018 'A' stats and archived livestream link

 

Thunder's Kyle Pearson hits another base hit through the hole

The USA Softball 'A' Nationals were played in Ridgeland, Mississippi at the Freedom Ridge Park and featured 10 teams on 300 foot fields.  The weather was mostly overcast with temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's and they used the Dudley ZN 52 core ball and were allowed 10 home runs per team per game.  USA used 3 umpires per field.  Below is a winner's bracket and Sunday game by game report.

Thunder middle infielder Josh Brown turns a game saving double play to force another extra inning Saturday night.

 

Championship Sunday between Thunder in the grey and WC Monsta/Team Chent in the black and white

Game by Game Winner's Bracket

USA 'A' opens with Evolution/Primetime taking on Comatose/S2N/Monsta

 

Comatose who picked up Greg Connell and Kevin Bazat jumped on Evolution/Primetime with an 11 run bottom of the 1st inning and pushed the lead to 16-3 before Evolution got going with a 9 run 3rd inning.  Evolution never really got close in this one and lost 29-20.  Damon Wegner for Comatose was 4-4 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the win.  Donta Frazier hit 3 homers in the loss for Evolution.

 


 

Chris Greinert of WC Monsta/Team Jerber hits against Armed Forces

 

The Armed Forces All Stars did not hit in this one as they put up a zero in 4 different innings and only scored 8 runs in the game.  Meanwhile after a slow start, West Coast Monsta/Jer Bear – the 2nd Monsta team – got going with 16 runs in the middle innings and won easily.  They were led by LaCurtis Mayes who was 3-4 with a grand slam and 6 RBI.

 

 


 

T's 13 Chaun Demars hits against Team Racks

 

A tired Team Racks team that played the entire 13 hours of the Super Nationals the previous day was bolstered by a few fresh players (Steve Edwards and Nick Mitschke) who joined their 'A' team against T's 13.  T's basically had the same team they had at the Super.  T's as the home team had a 19-12 lead going into the top of the 6th where Racks exploded for 12 runs and a 24-19 lead.  Then in the bottom of the 6th T's 13 hit 2 homers and scored 3 runs to pull within 2.  In the top of the 7th Jason Martel hit a pinch hit 3 run homer for Racks and the defense let up 3 solo homers but got 2 ground outs and a DBO (dead ball out) when T's 13 ran out of homers and Racks won 27-26.

Racks Cory Newman 

 


 

Justin Mucciarelli helped put another great team on the field in Thunder/Flippin Keys

 

The best matchup of the early games was Precision who was the 2017 USA 'A' Champions against Thunder/Flippin keys which featured 9 Major List players.  Precision got off to a horrible start scoring 6 runs on 4 homers and Thunder came in and scored 18 runs on 4 homers and made Precision pay for an error with a base hitting clinic in the bottom of the 1st.  Then Precision failed to answer in the top of the 2nd as they flew out and then hit into a double play.  It was over at that point as Thunder left Precision on the field in the bottom of the 4th with a 20 run mercy rule victory.  Shannon Smith, Kyle Pearson 1.5, Zach Messer, and Josh Brown were all 4 for 4 in the game for Thunder.

 


The WC Monsta Super team from the day before split into two teams for the USA 'A' Nationals and the result for the 2nd team was the WC Monsta/Jer Bear team featuring Brett Rettenmeier, Chris Greinert, Lee Payne, Pilar Amaya, and a number of the west coast players like pitcher Jerrad Messersmith and Tim Martinez.  They played EGL Foundation who is some of the ASP players that won 'A' Nationals in 2015 and 2016.  This one was all WC Monsta as they jumped out to a 17-4 lead early and put EGL away with a 13 run top of the 4th, winning by the 20 run rule 32-8!  An impressive victory led by rookie Chad Erickson who was 4-4 and eventual tournament home run champion Daniel McClement who was 3-3 with 2 HR a grand slam and 6 RBI!

 


 

The West Coast Monstas main team was called Team Chent and they were the top seed and played Comatose at 1 PM who had beaten Evolution earlier in the day in a play in game.  WC Monsta scored 10 runs in the 2nd inning and 22 total in the middle innings to take a commanding lead and allowed their defense to take over in a 28-13 – 5 inning run rule win.  Chente Granados led the way 5-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI.

 


 

Winner's Semifinals

The semifinals of the winner's bracket began at 6 PM Saturday evening.  Thunder got off to another hot start scoring 12 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and a grand slam by Brian Logan in the bottom of the 2nd pushed Thunder to a 17-6 lead.  The offensive onslaught by Thunder was only halted by the most incredible diving stop of the tournament made by WC Jer Bear middle infielder Brett Rettenmeier.  But WC Monsta Jer Bear never gave up and outscored Thunder 16-4 in the middle innings to tie the game at 22 each going into the 6th.  In the top of the 6th Monsta scored 2 but in the bottom of the inning Thunder grabbed a lead on a Neil Haglund 3 run homer and then homers from Kyle Pearson 1.5 and Brian Logan made it 32-24.  Monsta failed to score in the top of the 7th.  Thunder was led by Josh Brown who was 4-4 with 2 HR and 5 RBI.

 


 

In the other semifinal WC Monsta Team Chent was led by their defense in the 1st inning when 2nd baseman Chente Granados and 3rd baseman John Williams both made great infield plays on hard shots and then MVP pitcher Danny Lopez struck out the last Racks batter of the inning – looking.  Then WC Monsta came in to bat and put up 3 runs on homers by leadoff man Steven Lopez and 4 hitter John Williams.  That was kind of the theme of the game as WC Monsta slowly pulled away and ended up mercy ruling Racks in the bottom of the 6th.  Steven Lopez, John Williams, and Ryan Dacko all had 4 hits.  Dacko had 3 HR and 8 RBI as well. 

 


 

Winner's Final

The winner's bracket final started at 9 PM Saturday night and it was as entertaining a game as we have witnessed this year.  Thunder lost the coin flip and was visitors.  They came out and were greeted by the defense of WC Monsta middle infielder Ryan McClanahan who made an incredible play on a tough short hop for the 1st out and then made a diving play for the 2nd out.  Thunder still managed to score 4 runs after that tough start and they led 8-6 after 2 complete innings.  In the 3rd inning Thunder middle infielder Josh Brown got into the defensive highlight groove as he made an incredible full out dive and knocked down a hard line drive and was able to still pop up and throw the runner out at 1st base!  But WC Monsta still was able to get a 3 run homer from Jared Hunt to tie the game at 11-11.  The game progressed to the bottom of the 5th inning with Thunder leading 17-11 when Thunder center fielder Brian Logan ran down a home run attempt in right center field and gracefully timed his take off and went up and over the fence to pull back the homer, making an incredible catch look so easy!  WC Monsta suddenly couldn't score.  In the top of the 6th Thunder added 2 more runs on a Riley homer and a Josh Brown single to lead 19-11 but they were letting Monsta hang around and that is dangerous.  In the bottom of the 6th Big John Williams hit a grand slam to cut the lead to 19-15 and Monsta still had a lot of home runs left.  For some reason in the cooler but humid air the ball was not flying as well as it was earlier in the day.  In the top of the 7th Thunders Jeremy Yates and Zach Messer homered to put Thunder up 26-17.  With Justin Mucciarelli on the mound, many felt that was an unsurmountable lead.  WC Monsta needed 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th to tie.  They started with setup singles leadin to 2 run homers by Chente Granados, Dave Johnson, and Mario Granados, and they tied the game in dramatic fashion on a solo homer by Ryan Dacko and yet they still only had one out!  Then Monsta made a crucial mistake.  Jared Hunt and Danny Lopez singled and Filip Washington went in as a courtesy runner.  The problem is he was coming up to bat soon.  So Mooch intentionally walked Steve Lopez to get to Washington who was still on base running and an out was declared for the 2nd out.  Needless to say the next hitter made an out and the game went to extra innings.  In the top of the 8th with both teams out of homers, Thunder managed to scratch across 1 run when Logan who was courtesy runner for Pearson who had singled, then scored from 1st on a Shannon Smith single to right and actually Logan stole home on an errant throw.  In the bottom of the 8th Monsta quickly tied the game on a walk to John Williams who scored on a Dave Johnson double.  Then a walk and a flyout setup and incredible doubleplay turned by Thunder middle infielder Josh Brown who fielded a hard grounder, took a couple quick steps and stepped on 2nd, and threw to 1st to force a 9th inning!   In the top of the 9th KP 1.5 singled and scored on Messers base hit but it wasn't enough as Monsta got singles from the bottom of the lineup – Danny Lopez and Ryan McClanahan – and they both scored on a clutch double down the left field line with 2 outs by Filip Washington to finally end the game 29-28!  Washington was 6 for 7 in the game with 3 doubles.  Dacko and Johnson each had 5 hits.

 


 

Loser's Bracket and Sunday Loser's Final

The loser's bracket had some entertaining games and upsets as a re-focused Armed Forces team knocked off T's 13 and Comatose by scoring 30 runs in each game.  The surge led by John Allen and Robert Fow.  Then they ran up against WC Monsta Jer Bear only to come up with a heart breaking 2 run loss.  In the lower half of the loser's bracket Precision beat Evolution and then lost to EGL/ASP.  And EGL went on a nice run making it to Sunday by knocking off Team Racks and WC Monsta Jer Bear.

On Sunday morning in the loser's bracket finals both EGL/ASP and Thunder were looking to make a run at the title.  Both teams scored 6 in the 1st inning and Ben Dunn in center for EGL did his best Brian Logan impersonation from the night before and tracked down and robbed a home run in right center field.  There was quite a few spectacular individual defensive plays in this tournament.  Thunder had an 18-14 lead in the 4th inning when they got a nice running catch by Jo Jo Bennett in right field to rob Mooch and Zach Messer at shortstop made a nice diving play on a grounder.   In the bottom of the 5th EGL left fielder Cory Briggs made a full out diving catch but Brian Logan hit a big 3 run homer to put Thunder up 26-18.  EGL left too many on base in the game though and Thunder pitcher Justin Mucciarelli hit a 2 run homer to put EGL away.

 


 

Championship Game

Coin toss for home team

Yates hits against D-Lo

 

Thunder got off to an early 7-0 lead in the championship but Monsta held them to zero in the top of the 2nd inning and tied it 9-9 after 2 complete.  Kyle Pearson and Shannon Smith hit 2 run homers to put Thunder up 13-9 going into the bottom of 3rd and it felt like there might be an "if" game when Monsta went down 1-2-3 with 3 ground outs.  But Monsta center fielder Jared Hunt made a great diving catch to start the top of the 4th in right center field and in the bottom of the inning Dave Johnson hit a 3 run homer to pull to within 1 run and Steve Whaley hit a 3 run homer to give Monsta their first lead 15-13.  In the top of the 5th Hunt in center field robbed a home run attempt by Logan and in the bottom of the inning Steven Lopez hit an RBI triple and Flip Washington an RBI double to put WC Monsta up 18-13.  Then John Williams and Whaley hit RBI singles to go up 21-13.  Thunder would close to within 4 runs but WC Monsta put them away with home runs by Jared Hunt, Ryan McClanahan, and a final 3 run blow by Dave Johnson.  WC Monsta had won the 'A' Nationals!  Dave Johnson was 4-4 with 4 HR and 11 RBI in the final game.

Championship Sunday – Thunder in the grey against Monsta in the Black and White

Monsta WINS

 


 

Oldscout pollers had Thunder to win! 

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

SoftballCenter video clips link from the 'A' Nationals

Softball 360 highlight video link from Joe Harewicz

 


 

USA 'A' Final Standings and Awards

USA Softball 'A' Nationals Final Standings:
1st WC Monsta/Team Chent 4-0
2nd Thunder/Flippin Keys 3-2
3rd EGL Foundation/Gillies Softball/VSP/ASP 3-2
4th WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear 3-2
5th Armed Forces 2-2
5th Team Racks; Yahhh! 1-2
7th Comatose/S2N/Monsta 1-2
7th Precision/H Auto/Sprizzi 0-2
9th Evolution/Primetime/Easton/Klutch 0-2
9th Ts 13/Monsta/Ductech 0-2

 

2018 Class A Slow Pitch All-Americans

Batting Champion – David Johnson, WC Monsta/Team Chent
Home Run Champion – Daniel McClement – WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear
Tournament MVP – Daniel Lopez, WC Monsta/Team Chent

David Johnson – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Ryan Dacko – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Johnathon Williams – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Filip Washington – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Steven Lopez – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Jared Hunt – WC Monsta/Team Chent
Josh Brown – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Kyle Pearson (LA) – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Kyle Pearson (FL) – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Zack Messersmith – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Shannon Smith – Thunder/Flippin Keys
Cory Briggs – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Davis Bilardello – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Marcus Thornton – EGL Foundation/Fillies Softball/VSP/ASP
Brett Rettenmeier – WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear

 

Tournament MVP – Daniel Lopez, WC Monsta/Team Chent

Batting Champ David Johnson from WC Monsta

 

Sorry I do not have a picture of WC Monsta Jer Bear's Daniel McClement who was the home run champion.

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

1st Place – WC Monsta/Team Chent

4-0 Record

WC Monsta won it with pitching, defense, superior base hitting, timely home run power, and home run management.  They came from behind in their last two wins which showed a ton of heart.  And they overcame all of those mistakes in the winner's bracket finals to win which makes it that much sweeter.  Congratulations to Carl the sponsor and Dennis and Chente who ran the team.  They played some very entertaining softball.

1B Steven Lopez, 2B Chente Granados, CF Jared Hunt

P Danny Lopez, SS Steve Whaley, MI Ryan McClanahan

 

Steven Lopez and Mario Granados came up with huge hits in that 9 inning winners final

  

John Williams and Ryan Dacko were All American

 


 

2nd Place – Thunder/Flippin Keys

3-2 Record

 

Thunder had the most stacked roster in the tournament but just couldn't put WC Monsta away on Saturday night.  They had a nice mix of lefties and righties and some stellar defensive players like Brown, Messer, Mooch, and Logan.  Since both Kyle Pearsons were on the team they called the veteran KP – KP 1.5.  Both were all tournament.

Kyle Pearson "1.5", Zach Messer, Josh Brown

   

Shannon Smith and Jeremy Yates

Pearson 2.0 led off and was 786 with 20 runs scored

 

2B Ryan Stovall and RF Neil Haglund


 

 


 

3rd Place – EGL Foundation/Gillies Softball/VSP/ASP

3-2 Record

 

EGL didn't have the magic of years past and dug themselves a big hole losing that first game.  But they didn't lay down and had a decent shot at making it to the championship after sending home 3 good teams – Precision, Racks, and WC Monsta Jer Bear – in the loser's bracket.

Melton and Dunn up the middle

Cory Briggs at 3rd and Marcus Thornton at SS

 

P Danny Evans

 


 

4th Place – WC Monsta/Team Jer Bear

3-2 Record

 

Jer Bear played very well for a "2nd Monsta team".  Like their sister team they had a good mix of base hitting, defense, and timely home runs.  That game against Armed Forces is worth watching in the archives.  Next year Monsta is rumored to be having a Monsta East and Monsta West team.

P Jared Messersmith

 

Greinert and Rettenmeier

Newcomer Chad Erickson

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Armed Forces

2-2 Record

Armed Forces really picked it up after that 8 run outing in their opener.  It was fun to watch them lace line drives all over the park and they almost used their adrenaline and team work to beat Jer Bear in their final game.  Allen and Fow are the guys with upper level experience and they both hit over 700.

John Allen is one of the better known Armed Forces players

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Team Racks: Yahhh!

1-2 Record

Racks was tired from the Super where they spent 13 straight hours on the field.  They still played hard and came close to making a run.

3B Lizcano and SS Cayton

Nick Mitschke was a fresh stick for a tired team on Saturday

 



 

Tied 7th Place – Comatose/S2N/Monsta

1-2 Record

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Precision/H Auto/Sprizzi

0-2 Record

Last years 'A' MVP Steele Lewis

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

I would like to thank all of my sponsors, USA, 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

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

Tied for 9th – Evolution/Primetime/Easton/Klutch 0-2

 

Detorren Means and Jarvis Riggins

 


T's Hall of Fame manager Terry Peterson

Tied for 9th – T's 13/Monsta/Ductech 0-2

Softball 360's Joe Harewicz and Monsta's Carl Pegnatori

Softball Guy

Kyle Pearson 1.5 and Kyle Pearson 2.0 were both all american

Saurday evening pano

The fields had a litle crown to them

Tim Barnes and Todd Ankney helped manage team usa and futures at the border battle

Mooch got DRILLED

 

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