Thursday April 11th, 2024

A look back at the 2018 USSSA ‘AA’ World tournament report!


Note the AA bracket is not working online so I was unable to put the scores in the report.  Also the all tournament teams online got wiped out so I will have to add those later.  I also made a rookie mistake and thought the boxscores and statistics being kept by USSSA would be available for the report but they are not working either so I had to wing it.


2018 USSSA 'AA' World


Viera, Florida 


September 15-16


Heath Barnes scores the winning run on Donnie Hammonds single and the celebration is on for Pure Sports!


SoftballCenter AA picture album link


2018 AA bracket and results link


2018 AA archived video link



Space Coast Stadium hosting the USSSA 'AA' Worlds for the first time!

Team Breakdown:
 13 Teams Overall
13 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
9 'AA' Teams
4 'A' Teams



Game by Game Report!



Saturday "Play In" Games

At 9:00 AM Saturday morning the 'AA' World began as Primetime a Georgia 'A' team grabbed a mid game lead against Newbreed (WA-AA) and then Newbreeds Dustin Roberts and Nick Utley each hit a couple home runs and closed the gap.  But Primetime got on a base hitting roll and extended the lead a final time and won the game with the gloves late.

All Out (TX-AA) beat Nightmare (MO-AA) and their sweet new uniforms in a game that could have gone either way back on the Rawlings-White field.  Fences for all games were 325 feet.  The Dudley Classic M ball was used and it did get really soft in the Florida heat and humidity.  With the ball and the wind blowing in or across on both fields the home runs and score totals were low for the most part.  No team used their 12 home run limit during the day games and most games had 6 to 8 homer's total between the teams.

In the first game Saturday morning in the stadium La Famiglia an 'A' team from Pennsylvania and Riot Sports a 'AA' team from Florida both came out of the gate swinging and La Famiglia came to play as they led 6-5 after 1 inning.  But the scoring slowed and it was 10-7 La Famiglia after 5 complete.  Riot Sports then tied the game on a Scott Langford 2 out single through the 5-6 hole in the top of the 6th.  Then Mike Ortiz hit one off pitcher Tim Bouch's glove for an infield RBI single to give them an 11-10 lead.  Riot added to their lead with a Keith Laski 3 run homer to make it 15-10 but La Famiglia's Zach Ross hit a 2 run homer to cut the lead to 2 and Justin Lutheran hit a walk off homer to win it in the bottom of the 7th!

In other "play in" action Racks Astros (IN-AA) led the entire way and separated with a 7 run inning late against SNI (FL-A) and won easily and quickly before I could even get there to take a picture.  And Xtreme (MN-AA) advanced when Premier (OH-A) forfeited.



Final 8 of Winner's Bracket

All Out playing without Chris Terry and Tyler Green faced #1 seeded Pure Sports/Monsta in the quarterfinals at 3 PM Saturday on the stadium field.  They just could not get any offense going against Pure pitcher Justin Mucciarelli.  "Mooch" dominated the All Out hitters geting them to foul out, strike out, and mishit the ball over and over again as Pure Sports won easily.

La Famiglia upset a Precision (IL-AA) team that felt they had a good shot at winning worlds.  La Famiglia scored when they had to and put continual pressure on Precision from beginning to end and finally won 18-15.  La Famiglia out homered Precision 3-2.  Dave Kessler was 4-4 in the loss.


TDB/FAI (NC-AA) got a lead off backside homer from Tyler Wilson and then Jason Martel and Wilson had RBI triples in the 2nd inning to put TDB up 7-0 on Xtreme (MN-AA).  Xtreme did enough to make the game go 7 innings but TDB scored 8 more runs in the top of the 7th to advance.

On the White Rawlings field in the back Primetime was in a pillow fight with Racks Astros.  Primetime led 2 to 1 going into the 5th inning.  But Primetime scored 6 runs in one inning with timely base hits and again pulled off the huge upset 9-4.



Final 4 of Winner's Bracket

In the first semifinal game Brad Carlsen and the Pure Sports offense took advantage of 3 Primetime defensive misplays in the first inning and pulled out to a double digit lead and run ruled them holding Primetime to single digit scoring.

In the final semifinal game Saturday on the stadium TDB overpowered La Famiglia.


In the loser's bracket Newbreed turned a 10-10-3 triple play against SNI in an easy victory.  Precision homers and Nightmare errors in the first inning led to 6 Precision runs and Precision added 13 runs in the top of the 4th to go up 27-2 on 11 homer's total and won 27-7.  Travis Houseman was 3-3, Jason Magnum 4-4, and Dave Kessler hit a grand slam.  Xtreme led Newbreed 16-2 in the stadium as left fielder Matt McGowan made a nice diving catch down the line and robbed a home run that he knocked into the air with his glove and then caught on the way down.  Xtreme won.  And late Saturday Racks Astros beat Riot Sports and Xtreme used a 5 run 7th and a Matt McGowan walk off double to beat Precision 39-38.  McGowan was 5-6 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the game and teammate Curtis Stewart was 6-6.




Sunday Last 6 Teams


On Sunday morning at 9 AM the final 6 teams battled it out for the 'AA' Championship with all games being played in the stadium.  It was also the hottest day of the week as temperatures reached 95 degrees with a "real feel" of 109.  The wind again blew right to left keeping scores low.  In the first game Racks Astros trailed the entire game until the top of the 7th when Ricardo Lizcano homered and then Rob Roop (pictured above) hit a clutch pinch hit homer to tie the game.  Then Dan Kirkwood (pictured below) doubled down the right field line passed the La Famiglia first baseman to give them the lead by one.  La Famiglia who failed to score in the previous 3 innings came up empty again in the bottom of the 7th and Racks advanced.  La Famiglia finished tied for 5th.


In the 10:30 AM loser's bracket game Sunday, Xtreme rolled through Primetime who didn't keep pace offensively and Xtreme won, giving Primetime a 5th Place finish.

At high noon it was the Winner's Bracket Championship game between TDB and Pure Sports.  Pure Sports led 3-1 after 1 inning on solo homers by Jason Branch and Justin Mackey.  In the top of the 2nd TDB right fielder Kyle Pearson made a full speed diving catch of a Justin Mucciarelli line drive in right center field for an out and hit the cut off to the plate to get a sliding Heath Barnes for a doubleplay.  In the bottom of the 3rd inning Jason Branch returned the defensive favor with the best catch of the tournament as he raced to the fence in right center field on a ball hit by TDB's Tyler Wilson and he timed a leap into the fence where he pushed off the middle of the fence with his right foot, essentially climbing it, and bringing back the home run ball!  Both of these great catches are in the video above.  Pure Sports led 7-2 going into the 4th and scored 4 more but left the bases loaded up 11-2.  TDB would score just 2 runs in the middle innings and trailed 11-4 going into the 6th and Pure Sports won 14-5 as Justin Mackey hit a 3 run homer to put the game away.  Mackey went 4-4 with 3 homers and 6 RBI in the game!  While the entire TDB team had just 1 homer.  

Branch climbs the fence to rob a homer!


At 1:30 PM it was the loser's bracket semifinal.  Brandon Newman the Xtreme middle infielder doubled off a Racks Astros runner on a linedrive where he caught it and stepped on 2nd base to end the 2nd inning down 3-2.  Then Xtreme's Pat Ellwanger hit a 2 out triple to give Xtreme a 7-3 lead.  In the top of the 3rd, Xtreme pitcher Danny Evans got a strike out looking and then stabbed a line drive up the middle to shut down Racks.  But in the bottom of the 5th down 10-5, Racks led by shortstop Nick Mitschke's 2 run homer scored 5 runs to tie the game at 10.  Xtreme answered back with 5 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th and won the game by a run in the bottom of the 7th when Racks hit a couple of fly balls trying to win it with a homer.

So Xtreme advanced to the Loser's final at 3 PM and a rematch with TDB.  In this one Xtreme's right fielder Pat Ellwanger made a diving catch followed by center fielder Colin Baartman's running catch near the fence to start the game but TDB scored 3 runs anyway.  In the bottom of the 2nd TDB's Brady Stewart hit a 2 out 2 run homer and in the top of the 3rd TDB went off, scoring 13 runs!  Brady Stewart hit one to center field and Jason Matusik hit a scoreboard shot to make it 16-3 and TDB went on to win easily.




Championship Game

The Championship game started around 4:30 PM  and the wind which had blown across the field from right to left all weekend suddenly changed to blowing left to right and evne blew in at times.   TDB started with home runs from Jason Matusik and Orlando Castillo and Pure Sports answered with homers from Justin Mackey and Lee Payne but TDB led 4-3 after 2 complete innings.  In the 3rd inning Matusik hit a homer to the left of the batters eye in center field that went over the baseball fence 385 feet away!  And Kyle Pearson added a solo homer to put TDB up 8-4.  In the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs, Pure Sports Jason Branch singled and Zach Messer hit a clutch 3 run double to put Pure Sports up 9-8.  In the top of the 6th inning TDB got a solo homer to tie the game and Tyler Wilson hit a 2 out double to give them the lead 10-9.  In the bottom of the 6th Pure Sports lefty Chente Granados tied the game up again at 10-10 with a solo homer of his own and Justin Muciarelli gave them an 11-10 lead on an RBI double.  In the top of the 7th TDB tied the game on a Matusik leadoff double and a Kyle Pearson RBI.    Almost every player on both teams lineups had a chance to win the game at the end and be the hero but it wasn't until the bottom of the 9th that either team scored.  Pure Sports Heath Barnes led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a sharp grounder past the diving Steve Whaley into left center for a double and Donnie Hammonds followed with a 1 out walk off single scoring Barnes and Pure Sports won the game 11-10 and the AA title!

Zach Messer hits a perfect bases loaded double to left center field


Heath Barnes hits a double passed Whaley into center field to set up the game winning run

Pure Sports celebrates Donnie Hammonds walk off single to win the AA World!

Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli wins the MVP award.




Oldscout pollers were correct! 



Video Highlites brought to you by:

SATURDAY video clips link!

SUNDAY final 6 teams video clips link!

This is the last 5 hours – TDB vs Pure, Racks vs Xtreme, Xtreme vs TDB, TDB vs Pure



Long Bombers of the Week

TDB outfielder Jason Matusik is the Long Bomber of the week.  He peppered the scoreboard and hit a ball just to the left of the batters eye in center field over the baseball fence at the 385 mark in the heat of the day with the wind blowing in and across and with the classic M ball that players were struggling to hit out.



  USSSA 'AA' Final Standings and Awards

Tournament MVP – Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli

Defensive MVP – Pure Sports 2B Heath Barnes

Offensive MVP – TDB's Jason Matusik





Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place – Pure Sports/Monsta

Conf 'AA' from SC  4-0 Record

Pure Sports cruised in their first 3 games.  The pitching and defense did not let up double digit scoring until the final game and even then TDB only scored 11 runs in 9 innings.  The power of Branch, Hammonds, and Mackey helped win those low scoring games and the entire team pitched in with the bats and gloves when needed.  Congratulations to Pure Sports/Monsta you were the "cream of the AA crop" all year long!  This was the 4th tournament win of the year also for the self proclaimed "misfits"…   Now lets see some upsets at the Major!

Pure Sports lineup:
LF Bradley Carlsen
RF Jason Branch
EH Donnie Hammonds
1B Justin Mackey
SS Zach Messer
C Pat Price
CF Lee Payne
3B Chente Granados
MI Ryan McClanahan
2B Heath Barnes
P Justin Mucciarelli

Jared Hunt also started and some huge pinch hits.
Bradley Scott came in to run and play defense.
Brian Dezern also subbed in


Branch made the play of the tournament with that HR rob of Tyler Wilson in the winner's final


Chente locked down 3B.  Hunt and Scott played their roles.


Messer makes a play that Mackey scoops

Pat Price was All World – on this swing he actually could have won the game but was robbed of a homer by the left fielder Renno.

Lee Payne also hit this one good enough to win the championship but it was just foul.

Justin Mackey's power really came in handy in the heat.



2nd Place – TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  3-2 Record 

TDB couldn't beat their rival Pure Sports but had great offense in their 3 wins over Xtreme, La Famiglia, and Xtreme again.  They mixed up the lineup on offense and defense from what they did most of the year.  Wilson laced extra base hits all over the park.  Matusik was offensive MVP for a reason – he killed it.  Miller pitched well in the clutch at the end of that championship.  But they just couldn't beat Pure…

Random TDB Lineup:
EH Tyler Wilson
3B Brady Stewart
RF Kyle Pearson
LF Jason Matusik
C BJ Fulk
2B Orlando Castillo
SS AJ Montano
MI Steve Whaley
1B Jason Martel
CF Brian Zirkle
P Tom Bloom / Faron Miller


Zirkle in CF.  Stewart, Castillo, Whaley, Pearson across the infield.


Wilson drives an extra base hit


Pearson and Castillo

Renno robs what would have been a championship winning homer


Martel going backside



3rd Place – Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  5-2 Record 

Xtreme won 5 games including that walk off win over Precision when they scored 5 with no homers left in the bottom of the 7th capped by a Matt McGowan double down the right field line.  Danny Evans did most of the pitching.  They played well enough but couldn't beat TDB who put up big offensive numbers against them.

Random Xtreme Lineup:
CF Colin Baartman
1B Shannon Smith
RF Pat Ellwanger
EH Curtis Stewart
C Todd Newton
2B Joe Skyles
3B Dylan Smith
LF Matt McGowan
MI Brandon Newman
SS Toby Letak
P Dan Evans

McGowan hits a walk off double against Precision late Saturday night


SS Letak, LF McGowan, 1B Shannon Smith, 2B Joe Skyles


MI Brandon Newman made some slick plays

Xtreme may have the best cheering section in upper level ball!



4th Place – Rack's/Worth Astros/Klutch/Troupe

Conf 'AA' from IN  4-2 Record


Racks struggled offensively all tournament long and weren't able to make the adjustments.  They had that clutch win over La Famiglia to give themselves a chance on Sunday though.

Random Racks lineup:
SS nick Mitschke
LF Dan Kirkwood
1B Jon Nelson
EH Steve Edwards
MI Brian Faria
3B Rob Roop
C Chad Mullins
2B Ricardo Lizcano
RF Troy Krider
P Bill Pinkham
CF Cory Newman

Mullins had some clutch hits which almost led to them winning over Xtreme Sunday

SS Mitschke moved to leadoff.  CF Cory Newman



Tied 5th Place – Primetime/Easton/Evolution

Conf 'A' from GA  2-2 Record

Primetime had their best start to a tournament all year when they outplayed Newbreed and then Racks in low scoring wins.  Basically out base hitting them in the heat.  Then they lost bad in the final 4 to Pure Sports Saturday night when they made too many misplays in the first inning and again Sunday morning to Xtreme.  This is 3 years in a row Primetime has upset AA teams at AA Worlds.

Primetime Lineup:
LF Kenny Hare
P Rod Armour
MI Aaron Jackson
2B Jarvis Riggins
1B Tory Means
3B Donta Frazier
C Ira Brown
EH Keith Austin
RF Chris Little
SS Jose Nunez
CF Lamarquis Blake


Rod on the left and Ira Brown returned after his leg injury


Turning two and Hare on the fence


Primetime management on the right with Tony Goodson



Tied 5th Place – La Famiglia/Easton/Elite Sports

Conf 'A' from PA  2-2 Record

La Famiglia plays well in Florida and better when they are the underdog.  They beat Riot Sports on a walk off homer by Justin Lutheran, then gutted out a big win over Precision to make it undefeated to the Final 4.  There they did get smoked by TDB Saturday night but played very well Sunday morning against Red's Astros but lost by one with the bats in their hands after putting up 4 straight zeroes.

Random La Famiglia Lineup:
RF Dave Durso
3B Zach Ross
SS Josh Fyffe
C John Robinson
2B Cody Collins
1B Don McDuffie
LF Justin Lutheran
MI Pedro Sanchez
P Tim Bouch
CF Eric Challburg

Lutheran robs a homer.

Middle man Pedro Sanchez makes a backhand play

Tim Bouch pitching, Sanchez middle, SS Fyffe, LF Lutheran

Sanchez, 2B Cody Collins, RF Dave Durso



Other top finishing Conference teams



Tied 7th Place – Riot Sports

Conf 'AA' from FL  1-2 Record

Riot was upset by La Famiglia, then beat All Out, and lost to Racks.  Tough weekend and they were without Dirty and Trammell.


Pat Donahue Riots normal shortstop pitched.  Dan Sanchez and Zane Trammell are no longer with the team.



Tied 7th Place – Precision/3rd Street/Bulldawg

Conf 'AA' from IL  1-2 Record

I picked Precision to win.  I thought they had the most heat of the day power but they struggled to score during the day game upset to La Famiglia and then got out slugged by 1 run against Xtreme late Saturday night on the back field when the ball was flying.

Brett McCollum

Bean and Kannenberg



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

Link to the 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 – AllOut (TX-AA) 1-2 – Ferguson was a heat of the day home run hitter but after an opening win over Nightmare they lost 2 straight.

Tied for 9th – Nightmare (MO-AA) 0-2 – Nightmare wasn't around long enough to get many pics


Tied for 9th – Newbreed (WA-AA) 1-2 – Dustin Roberts and Nick Utley had multiple homers but Newbreed fell to Primetime in their opener and ended up 1-2

Until the last game the wind blew across from right to left which is opposite of what it usually does there.

Some veteran softball fans in this picture

My view trying to watch the stadium wall following the livestream on White Rawlings


Lutheran didn't get this one but those temp fences play like permanent fences

Concession lines were not long

Plenty of shade at the White Quad


Some brought their own shade!

We are still looking for broadcasters for each of the major games.  Stro would like each team to provide an announcer or two for a game during the Major when they aren't playing.  Hit me up 440-715-3301 if you are interested.


Louisville Slugger has a new line of bats

Fulk, Whaley, Miller swinging the big D

New Demarini Line

Hangrite has the new shoes in

Conference Umpires everywhere

Arkansas Crew

Minnesota Crew

Ohio Crew

Mike from 805Sports putting in long hours on the new stats program

Tournament Director Strojan Kennison picking the music between innings

Thursday – Ravens, Bengals, Jello Shots, Long Islands, Anninos, All Out, Pure….ah the memories!

Til Wednesday…





















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