Friday May 13th, 2022

A look back at the 2018 USSSA Houston – Space City Classic Major tournament report!




2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA


12th Annual "Space City Classic"


Houston, TX 


April 13-15

Tommie Baugh hits a big 3 run homer in the championship game against All Out!


SoftballCenter Houston picture album link


2018 Houston men's and women's bracket link


All Out middle infielder Curtis Cornett makes a diving stop

The Houston Major is known for its huge field of 64 teams, late nights, and March Madness type upsets.  This year's tournament did not disappoint!  The tournament began at 6 PM Central time on Friday with the round of 64 teams, 18 of which were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA.  The first round went as expected with I believe all 32 higher seeds winning although Conference 'B' team La Famiglia from Pennsylvania had to go to extra innings to beat Texas Natives 33-31 on a walk off homer.

In the round of 32 the upsets began.  Team Fan Apparel a non-conference 'A' team with JD Genter, Chris Walker, and some of the old Fence Brokers players beat Seminoles (OK-A) 37-35 in a shootout over on Ebbets field with the wind blowing out.  Seminoles had a 26-5 lead in that one.  Then Empire/Acadiana a young LA-B team with Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance in a guest pitching role knocked off TX-A team A&A utility 26-15 on Crosley field with the wind blowing in.  Nightmare (MO-AA) run ruled Brian's Custom Detailing, Stars (CO-A) beat fellow Conference team Wood Law (TX-B) by a run, ending the game on a double play, and Precision (IL-AA) run ruled former Conference team Insidious.  In a late-night Conference 'B' team battle La Famiglia had a nice 34-24 win over L&S Glass.  Tyler Espland in that game had a crazy inside the park homer when the ball ricocheted off the wood wall.  Baugh Ford outslugged Entourage 40-31 with the wind blowing out on Fenway and GVMS/OldSchool, with legend Wes Campbell returning to softball, upset Vivid (TX-A) 26-18 with the wind blowing in on Yankee field.  The Old School center fielder had a couple of nice diving catches to hold down Vivid.  In the lower part of the bracket All Out smoked All Star Plumbing from Oklahoma 20-3, Primetime (GA-A) run ruled C&R Express in a game that was still going at 1:30 AM when it started pouring rain, and Dan Smith (CA-M) and SNI Easton (FL-B) run ruled their opponents.  Pure Sports (SC-AA), Infamous (B), Riot Sports (FL-AA), and Olmito Heat (TX-B) were also Conference teams that advanced.

Rain overnight Friday cancelled games at the Houston Sports Park for the weekend which is where a number of loser's bracket games were supposed to be played.  So those were moved to the Big-League Dreams fields and the majority of the loser's bracket was played with a 30-minute time limit using 1 pitch rules.  Saturday the final 16 of the winner's bracket began around 11 AM.  Upstart Empire crushed Team Fan Apparel 21-4 in a non-conference team matchup.  Nightmare cruised past Stars 41-22 and Precision barely escaped with a 21-20 win over La Famiglia in one of those games that was interrupted by a rain and hail storm Saturday around noon.  Baugh Ford beat Old School 27-18, All Out used a walk off base hit by Cole Campbell to beat Primetime 24-23 for their second close call of the tournament, and Riot Sports run ruled Olmito Heat 39-10.  The final two games of the round of 16 were two of the biggest upsets of the year so far as SNI/Easton jumped out to a 20-run lead on Dan Smith and led most of the game.  Dan Smith did make a late charge after the hail storm but lost by 3 with the bats in their hands and a homer to spare.  And Infamous/Salt Riot a 'B' team hit a walk off homer to upset Pure Sports 30-28!

The round of 8 began around 4 PM Saturday afternoon in windy and cooler conditions.  The 52-core ball kept the home runs and scores down for the most part.  Cinderella struck again as Empire pulled off an incredible 25-9 upset of Nightmare jumping out to a 16-6 lead in the 4th inning.  Baugh Ford was trailing Precision 13-12 when they scored 16 runs in the bottom of the 5th to leave Precision on the field 28-13.  DW Note: I don't feel the visiting team while winning going into the bottom of an inning should be able to be run ruled, but the rule which I once proposed, never had any support.  All Out jumped out to 12-0 and 25-0 leads on a listless SNI team and won 36-13.  And Riot Sports continued to play well as they run ruled Infamous 31-8.

The final 4 started around 8 PM Saturday night in chilly temperatures.  Baugh Ford was up 7-4 on Empire after one inning and went up 16-12 after 4 complete.  But the scrappy Empire team was unfazed and had the lead going into the bottom of the 7th although they failed to add to it in the top of the inning.  Then Baugh Ford, down 3, loaded the bases and Chad Folsom hit a walk off grand slam to win it 22-21!  In the other semifinal All Out went up 15-5 on Riot Sports after 1 inning and pushed the run rule in the 5th winning 31-14.

The winner's bracket championship started immediately after the semi-finals as All Out got off to another hot start going up 8-0 after 1 inning and 11-5 after the 2nd.  A great catch by All Out center fielder Billy Waltrip held down Baugh Ford in the top of the 4th.  However, Baugh Ford would grab their first lead on a Ryan McCrory 2 run homer in the top of the 5th and used great infield defense to stretch the lead to 9 going into the bottom of the 6th.  In the 7th Baugh put more offensive pressure on All Out with a 7 run 7th and held on to win 27-21.

The loser's bracket was almost impossible to keep up with as 64 teams played 1 pitch 30-minute time limit games.  The top of the loser's bracket was littered with most of the top Major and 'AA' teams in the tournament.  Vivid won 3 in a row before getting beat by Pure Sports and Pure knocked off L&S Glass (B), Vivid (A), Nightmare (AA), Precision (AA) after they beat Dan Smith by 1, and Riot Sports (AA) to make it to Sunday.  Meanwhile in the lower part of the loser's bracket Stars knocked off Maniacs, Team Fan Apparel (A), Infamous (B), La Famiglia (B), and Empire (B) to make it to Sunday.  Those last games finished up at 3 AM Sunday morning with the Stars and Pure Sports having to be back at the fields at 8 AM to play each other.

On Sunday morning with the wind blowing in on Yankee field Stars grabbed a 5-4 lead on a Brian Therkildsen homer.  Then Pure got a defensive stab of a liner by Justin Mucciarelli and grabbed a 9-5 lead on a 2 out homer by Ryan Mcclanahan.  The Pure Sports infield defense then started to take over as they held Stars to zero runs on a double play.  Stars drew close on a big 3 run homer by Pat Farrell in a 5 run Stars bottom of the 5th.  But Pure Sports put the game away 25-18 on another Mcclanahan homer in the 7th.

Pure advanced to play a fresh All Out team in the loser's bracket finals.  All Outs Chris Potts 3 run homer cut Pure Sports lead to 6-4 in the 1st inning.  Then it was all Pure Sports as they went up 20-6 after 4 innings.  But All Out was not done as pitcher Jeff Graus sparked a big 5th inning with a 3 run homer and Chris Potts hit a 3 runner himself, and then they scored a couple more runs after a dropped popup to pull within 6.  All Out made a 22-3 run to end the game and got the go ahead run on a hit by Graus and put it away on a 3 run homer by Kyndrich Doggett.

The championship was set between All Out from Texas and the undefeated Baugh Ford from Alabama.  The game started around noon on Sunday with Tommie Baugh the pitcher and sponsor hitting a 2 out 3 run homer to give his team a 5-0 lead in the 1st inning.  All Out responded in the top of the 3rd inning with a home run barrage led by Waltrip to take a 15-5 lead.  But Baugh Fords MVP Brian Mays hit a couple of bombs and Bruce Dady hit a homer to cut the lead to 3.  The Baugh Ford infield defense took over with Sullivan and Sidebottom up the middle and Baugh's Ryan McCrory hit a 3 run shot to cut the All Out lead to 2 and All Out was "all out" of homer's.  The mood and momentum shifted with All Outs lack of home runs to hit and Baugh's John Zorich hit a 3 run homer, Brandon Hooks hit a crowd pleasing "no doubter", and Tommie Baugh himself capped it off with a 3 run shot enroot to a 31-24 come from behind win!

Sunday's Games!

Houston random thoughts:
1) Jared Messersmith for Pure Sports hit two grand slams in the same inning and came up a third time with the bases loaded and singled.
2) The hail actually pushed buttons on the iphone that was live streaming.
3) The 52 core ball didn't injure anyone like the ZN did in Las Vegas.
4) had over 100,000 views.
5) The 6 game videos shared on Facebook averaged over 30,000 views each.
6) Championship Sunday shared on Facebook had 63,000 views.
7) The Hall of Fame Classic starts Thursday morning at 8 AM Eastern time!

Team Breakdown:
 64 Teams Overall
 18 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
1 Major Teams
4 'AA' Teams
8 'A' Teams
16 'B' Teams
35 'C/D' Teams

Look where the ball is…skimming off  pitcher Justin Mucciarellis helmet.

We did not see any pitchers injured in Houston with the 52 core ball. 

It might be time to take a closer look at using this ball on 300 foot fields especially the turf ones.

Brian Therkildsen from Stars hits a big homer in their loser's semi final against Pure Sports!


Baugh Ford's Chad Folsom hits a walk off grand slam in the winner's bracket semi finals to beat Empire!

Riot Sports hits against All Out in the other winner's semi final on Yankee field.


SNI gets the final out to win the biggest upset of the year over Dan Smith 35-32!

Cole Campbell with a game winning base hit in extra innings as All Out beat Primetime

Team Fan Apparel a non-Conference 'A' team from Arkansas (old FBI) knocked off Seminoles (OK-A) 37-35

in the second round.

Who will make this catch?  The Left Fielder Mays or CF Zorich?  Answer further down the report.   🙂


Houston BLD Field Dimensions:
Fenway Park 274-303-303-291-256
Yankee Stadium 281-285-289-285-273
Wrigley Field 289-287-301-288-289
Ebbets Field 281-278-301-281-266
Crosley Field 273-286-298-275-268
Sportsman's Park 266-294-277-277-273


The 52 core ball was perfect for the fields.



Oldscout pollers had Dan Smith to win.  They finished tied for 9th. 

Baugh Ford did receive 5% of the vote.



Houston Video Clips brought to you by:



Long Bombers of the Week


Kyndrich Doggett from All Out and Brian Mays from Baugh Ford hit the longest crowd pleasers on Sunday

so they get the Long Bombers of the Week Award!



 Houston Major Awards and Final Standings

Baugh Ford Left Fielder Brian Mays was MVP

Baugh Ford Center Fielder John Zorich was Offensive MVP

All Out Pitcher Jeff Graus was Defensive MVP



Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place Baugh Ford/Pure Sports/Kincaid

Conf 'TBD' from AL  7-0 Record

Baugh Ford went 7-0 to capture its first Major tournament championship of the season.  They did it with solid offense, defense, and pitching and a never give up "survive and advance" team attitude.  Tommie the pitcher and sponsor probably played well enough to be the MVP to be honest.  Mays was hitting long bombs, Folsom and Baugh were clutch when needed.  Zorich was setting the table and hitting a few homer's of his own.  Gilfillan is now just a catcher so look for a big season out of him.  Sullivan and Sidebottom were turning double plays, and the team gelled well in their first outing.  They scored a whopping 222 Conference points with their win!  Sorry if I missed anyone in the pictures, it was a true team effort.

Trending Up!

Baugh Ford Sunday Lineup:
CF John Zorich
3B Chad Folsom
RF Brandon Hooks
C Jason Gilfillan
LF Brian Mays
2B Ricky Smith
P Tommie Baugh
1B Ryan McCrory
SS John Sullivan
EH Bruce Dady


Tommie Baugh and Chad Folsom had huge clutch home runs!


SS John Sullivan and MI Ian Sidebottome were All Tournament selections


Jason Gilfillan and Ryan McCrory


Dady and Smith



2nd Place All Out/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken

Conf 'TBD' from TX  6-2 Record


All Out won their first 4 games before losing to Baugh Ford in the winner's final.  In their loser's final game against Pure Sports they made one of the more impressive comebacks of the year to make it back to the championship getting two spark plug hits from Jeff Graus their pitcher.  They jumped out to that 15-5 lead on Baugh Ford and it looked like we might have an "if" game but All Out couldn't hit in that one without the homer's and lost.  Doggett was mashing.  We got to see some new Texas talent in Anninos and Waltrip.  Tyler Green, Shannen Green, and Chris Potts were stuffing the stat sheet in a good way.  And the defense at times flashed some good leather.  On a side note Lyf Nimmo one of their power hitters was hit in the head by a bp ball and was knocked out of the tournament.  Hopefully Lyf will be back soon.

Trending Up!

All Out Lineup Sunday:
SS Marcus Thornton
2B Chris Anninos
EH Kyndrich Doggett
C Shannan Green
3B Chris Potts
1B Tyler Green
LF Matt Schrage
RF Nick Stark/Cole Campbell
MI Curtis Cornett
CF Billy Waltrip
P Jeff Graus


Chris "El Nino" Anninos and Professional Hitter Shannen Green


3B Chris Potts, MI Curtis Cornett, and 2B Anninos


Matt Schrage in LF and Nick Stark in RF


Tyler Green was hitting all weekend and CF Billy Waltrip


The team and manager Tim Barnes already thinking about his lineup for the dual…



3rd Place Pure Sports/Monsta

Conf 'AA' from SC  8-2 Record


Pure Sports played 10 games, winning their first two before being upset by Infamous on a walk off homer.  Then in the 1 pitch loser's bracket they got on a roll playing into the wee hours of the morning knocking off 4 big name teams and making it to Sunday.  Then they beat Stars in a solid game before blowing a big lead over All Out to end their tournament.  Mooch was pitching fantastic, the infield defense could be up there with the best in the game, and Carlsen, Lopez, Washington, and Williams at the top of the lineup tend to be on base machines. 

Trending Up!

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


3B John Williams and left fielder Heath Barnes

Ryan Mcclanahan loves hitting on Yankee field in Houston.  Was last years MVP.


Messer and Mackey

Filip Washington an onbase machine.



4th Place Stars/VSP/Miken/Thunder

Conf 'A' from CO  7-2 Record


Stars played 9 games and beat 4 Conference teams to finish 4th.  They had a shot at Pure Sports on Sunday morning but just wasn't consistent enough offensively.  A good weekend for this new 'A' team.  They have some experience, a pitcher in Brian Therkildsen who has really stepped up his game on both sides of the ball, a center fielder in Barcelo with a great motor, and the Snyder brothers to power them.  They also have a few new names like Farrell and Corcoran who had good weekends.

Trending Up!

Stars Lineup Sunday:
CF Artie Barcelo
P Brian Therkildsen
Mike Snyder
OF Pat Farrell
Ryan Snyder
Hunter Ramirez
SS Wes Tallon
Nick Balentine
Grady Corcoran
Nicholas Runstadler
Tyler Garretson


Therkildsen on the mound, Artie Barcelo at the plate


Stars powered by the Snyder brothers

Stars all tournament award winners



Tied 5th Place Riot Sports/Broughton/Beckham/Worth

Conf 'AA' from FL  4-2 Record

Riot Sports was averaging over 30 runs a game in the winner's bracket but failed to score consistently against All Out and Pure Sports and ended up 4-2.  They were playing without starting pitcher Dan Sanchez which definitely hurt them.  Shortstop Patrick Donohue from last years One Payment team is an untapped talent and manager Dal Beggs will fix the pitching situation soon although backup Craig Rodriguez is an interesting player who is capable of stepping up.

Trending Up!

Riot Sports lineup:
Patrick Donahue
Mike Ortiz
Scott Langford
Keith Laski
Zane Trammell
Keith Martin
Jeff Roxby
Eddie Bolden
Jo Jo Bennett
Craig Rodriguez



Tied 5th Place Empire/Acadiana Bar & Grill

'B' from LA  4-2 Record

Empire from Louisiana beat two 'A' teams and a 'AA' team then lost by one on a walk off grand slam to eventual champion Baugh Ford.  This team has youth, speed, they all seem to have power when they needed, and they have a fearless defense.  Adding Buckshot on the mound as a guest pitcher for the weekend seemed to help them defensively as well.  This team only needs a sponsor and they will be at all of the big regional Major tournaments.  Maybe Chaps or BWW is out there and wants to jump on board this fun team? 



Buckshot and a kid who is not his son…   🙂


Empire fields against A&A Utility in the upset



Other top finishing Conference teams



Tied 7th Place – LaFamiglia/EliteSports

Conf 'B' from PA  5-2 Record

La Famiglia had that great Friday night win over fellow 'B' team L&S Glass after an overtime win earlier in the night.  They also won 3 games in a row in the 1 pitch loser's bracket which gave them a 7th place finish and they beat SNI and only lost by 1 to Precision.  A great weekend of softball by this team who seems to flourish in Texas (won winter worlds there as well).  Tom Wingard has put together an interesting team who could upset some people.

Trending up!


Walk off homer in extra innings.



Tied 7th Place – Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg

Conf 'IL' from   4-2 Record


Precision looked solid.  They got some BP in early with their two wins on Friday night.  Then they just did get by La Famiglia in the rain before being tripped up by Baugh Ford in a game they were winning 13-12 going to the bottom of the 5th and got left on the field in a run rule…  In the loser's bracket they sent home Dan Smith by a run in the 1 pitch 30 minute format before losing to Pure Sports in the same manner.  Drake did a lot of the pitching.  Kessler is returning from offseason shoulder problems.  But the team is deep and talented and should make another run at 'AA".

Trending Even!



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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:


The release point of pitchers in USSSA has been a recent topic.  Mooch clearly releases this ball from knee height.

While Therkildsen who is probably 6'4 releases from his waist.

"Out of the box" out calls were again a topic of controversy. 

All Out claimed they got called out 7 times in one game.

In the picture above this player was not called out.

A resolution should be coming at the HOF manager's meeting.



Chris Lopez of A&A made the best hard grounder stab on Friday night.

Tied for 9th – Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith (CA-M)

Lee Powers was there, LC Watson was playing hurt with that injured hand from Vegas, Nino did a lot of the pitching, and Lloyd was out with an arm injury but they just flat got beat by SNI.

In both of their losses they had the bats in their hand with a chance to win.  Ben Dunn in center field was putting on a defensive show though coming in on line drives on Friday night.

Tied for 9th – Nightmare/Miken (MO-AA) – They run ruled a couple of local teams then beat Stars 41-22 before an offensive outage against Empire sent them to the loser's bracket where they lost a one pitch game to Pure Sports 26-8.

Tied for 9th – SNI/Easton/SDA/Dynasty (FL-B) – SNI is the CTC team that pulled off a bunch of upsets a year ago in Atlanta and at the 'A' Worlds.  They run ruled J&R Logistics then pulled off the shocking 35-32 win over Dan Smith.  Then they were run ruled by All Out in the quarterfinals and lost a one pitch game to La Famiglia 13-8.


Tied for 9th – Infamous/Salt Riot/N.H (CO-B) – Won their first 3 games including a 30-28 win over Pure Sports on a walk off homer.  Then lost two one pitch games to Riot and Stars.


Primetime went 3-2.  They lost in the 3rd round to All Out in extra innings then sent home A&A Utility in the one pitch loser's bracket, then Dan Smith smoked them 22-3.

Wood Law went 3-2, losing to Stars by 1 when they hit into a doubleplay, and they lost that first one pitch game to Dan Smith 45-16 when Dan Smith hit for almost the entire 30 Minutes.


Big Apple gave All Out a run for their money on this big home run

Olmito Heat went 2-2 losing to Vivid and Riot

I can't remember the team but found this on facebook…

Pure Sports Craig Shaw and Dan Smith's Pat Dalsanders finally meet.  🙂

Clay Dickey the Women's Major director and Stafford Connor from Big Time Softball

Umpiring crews

This strike hit the black

Hard to see but a home run robbing catch by Big Apple.  This is in the video clips.

This is the left fielder but the center fielder for Big Apple also had one of the better diving catches of the tourny.


Jermaine Flythe still mashing but recently retired from the Military after 20+ years!

A view of the semifinals from the nice warm restaurant

The hail actually pushed buttons on the livestream iphone and messed up the colors on the main field…

That would be a crazy job…but I am glad someone does it.

Answer is left fielder Mays

Checkout and magazine



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