Friday October 19th, 2018
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2018 USSSA Texas Legends Major tournament report!

 

 

 

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

18th Annual Texas Legends

 

Euless, Texas 

 

May 18-20

John Williams and Filip Washington join Smash It Sports!

 

SoftballCenter picture album link

 

2018 Texas Legends bracket link

 

Winner's bracket semifinals between Smash It Sports and Dan Smith

The 18th Annual Texas Legends Major began on Friday at 7 PM central time with 32 quality teams, with none of them below the 'C' Classification, and there were 19 Nationwide Conference USSSA teams, the most ever!  Hot weather was expected, and Friday's temperatures were in the high 80's which carried through on Saturday.  The wind was a non-factor Friday but on Saturday it blew in on the Black and Blue fields and out on the Red and Green fields.  The field of 32 teams in the winner's bracket each played one game Friday night and all 13 non-conference teams lost their opener.  In one of the better games Friday J&R Logitstics/Arkansas Mayhem (AR-B) tied the game 16-16 with Newbreed/Steel Sports/Demarini (WA-AA) in the 6th inning.  Then Newbreeds Dustin Roberts hit a big 3 run homer in the top of the 7th which gave them the lead 24-16.  In the bottom of the inning Newbreed got two quick outs but J&R Logistics persevered and scored 5 runs before losing 24-21.  Over on field Black, GVMS/OldSchool/Steel/24-7 Softball (TX-B) was down just one run in the bottom of the 7th with a home run to hit against Seminoles/TPS/NACSF/Easton (OK-A) but grounded into a double play to end the game!  Chanticlear/J&H/P5/JEC/Miken-Worth (MN-A) who played close games all weekend beat Cheap Suits/Republic Realty/CDZ (CA-B) 38-36 over on Green field.  Infamous/Salt Riot/NH (CO-B) team crushed fellow Conference 'B' team L&S Glass 35-5 on the show field, and in extra innings Wood Law beat Olmito Heat/DiamondKingz 30-27 in a battle between Texas Conference 'B' teams.  The rest of the games Friday were won by Conference 'A' and above teams who beat non-Conference 'B' and 'C' teams by 10 to 30 runs each.

The winner's bracket round of 16 began at 10:30 am Saturday morning where Newbreed put up 35 runs in the top of the 1st inning, led 47-1 after their at bats in the top of the 2nd, and won by the 30-run rule 53-16 after 3 innings!  Leadoff hitter DJ Hollingsworth batted 4 times in the first inning for Newbreed and Tradesmen made some really bad errors including an infielder that dropped a ball while running to step on 2nd and throw to 1st for an easy double play…  Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon (MN-AA) who has been an offensive juggernaut on the 300-foot fields in recent weeks hammered Seminoles 34-6 in 4 innings.  AllOut/A&A/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken (TX-TBD) the newly merged team jumped out to an early 12-1 lead on fellow Texas team Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton and won 30-13.  Nightmare/Miken (MO-AA) run ruled Wood Law (TX-B) 37-22.  Smash It Sports Major team run ruled Nally's/D&D/Beserk (MO-A) 33-9, and the Dan Smith Major team run ruled Infamous 38-16.  Bay Area Legends/Miken (CA-TBD) struggled for 7 innings to get past fellow Norcal team Classic Glass (CA-A) 31-24.  And in what may have been the best game of the tournament Chanticlear Pizza fought back from a 20-run deficit against TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken (NC-AA) and trailed just 31-30 going into the bottom of the 7th.  There they got a base hit, then an out, then another base hit.  And with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd they grounded into a 6-10-5 double play and TDB survived and advanced after using up all of their 12 home runs very early in the game.

The final 8 of the winner's bracket played out in the early afternoon on Saturday as Smash it Sports had their first challenge against Xtreme.  Smash It led with the wind blowing in on the Blue field just 16-12 early on and with Xtreme as the home team you just never knew what could happen.  But in the top of the 4th Smash It got a bases loaded double from tournament MVP Andy Purcell and that opened the flood gates as they batted around and had a 31-13 lead which would hold up for a 36-17 win as they outscored Xtreme 21-1 down the stretch.  Also, in the lower part of the bracket Dan Smith with their contingent of Texas players (SS Steve Whaley, P LC Watson, CF Dunn, 1B Kanaby, and C Argen Dodds) run ruled Bay Area Legends 37-12 on the main field.  In the top half of the bracket Newbreed went up 9 on Nightmare in the top of the 7th and held on to win 21-17.  And TDB turned a 15-14 deficit after 1 inning against AllOut into a 31-29 lead and then finished off All Out 46-31 as they put up a huge double-digit inning while using their last 2 home runs late in the game.

In the final 4 of the winner's bracket which began around 9:30 PM Saturday evening the crowds grew for the Major (Smash It) vs Major (Dan Smith) semifinal with the wind blowing out!  Smash It sustained the big innings and rolled the top of their lineup successfully as they won fairly easily over Dan Smith 52-36 in a game that most felt Dan Smith was never quite out of, but just didn't make enough plays on the hard infield shots to win.  And in the other semifinal which had no crowd at all, it was the 'AA' teams Newbreed and TDB with the wind blowing out on the Blue field.  The two teams traded double digit leads early on in the highest scoring game of the season.  TDB then grabbed control mid-way through the game and had multiple chances to win by the run rule but Newbreed kept matching them until the 6th inning when TDB finally put them away 64-49 in 6 innings.

Immediately following the semifinals TDB went over to the main field (Red) and played Smash It Sports in the winner's bracket championship.  Little did anyone know that the rain would come in on Sunday and this game would end up being for the championship!  The game started late on Saturday night as the crowds started to dissipate.  TDB was visitors and after having just scored 64 runs in 6 innings everyone thought they would put up a big inning.  But Purcell and the Smash It defense shut them down in the 1st and 2nd innings and grabbed a 12-0 lead which was not insurmountable for the potent TDB offense.  TDB scored 7 in the bottom of the 3rd but were making base running errors and Smash It Sports soon took control of the game and began batting around the order and ended up winning the game and the tournament 41-22 in 5 innings.

Meanwhile in the loser's bracket GVMS Old School won 2 games to become the highest finishing non-conference team.  Wood Law knocked off Big Apple and Old School and then they were beaten by a hot AllOut team.  L&S Glass after their 5-run performance on Friday night won over Dirty, Chanticlear, and Vivid before Nightmare sent them packing 35-8.  And All Out then came from behind to beat Nightmare 39-38 on a Kyle Bullock walk off single.  This top part of the loser's bracket was then won by Dan Smith 43-34 over AllOut in a game that finished after 2 AM in the morning.  In the lower part of the loser's bracket Nally's knocked off fellow conference teams Olmito Heat and Seminoles to have their highest finish of the year and lost to Bay Area Legends 30-19.  Classic Glass knocked off Jokers 32-15 and Norcal rival Cheap Suites 37-29 to finish tied for 7th after losing to Xtreme 27-18.  And Xtreme sent Bay Area Legends home 34-28 before advancing to Sunday with an after midnight 38-18 win over Newbreed which ended on a Matt McGowan walk off run rule grand slam!

Sunday morning the final 4 teams never did get to start as rain pushed the games over to a nearby turf infield park where the rain never stopped, and the games were cancelled around 10 AM.

The tournament was well played and hard fought.  The infields were pretty rough, and infielders had a tough time with 2nd and 3rd bounces on hard hits.  The wind affected all 4 fields positively or negatively as far as scores based on which field you were on.  I want to give a shout out to the umpires that did a great job giving score updates between innings and to Softball World director Chris Thames who did everything he could to get those games in on Sunday including opening up a park with a turf infield.  If that rain had just relented, we would have played all of the games shortly after it stopped.  The umpires for the most part were regional conference umpires with Levi, Tony, and Jason on the main field.

Some of the best plays were a full speed diving catch by the Cheap Suits center fielder, and Shannon Smith from Xtreme who is not known for his glove made an incredible backhand in foul territory at deep third base and made an incredible throw to get a runner.  Also, an underrated and relatively unknown middle infielder Josh Brown from Vivid continues to make incredible diving stops.  And in the AllOut vs Chanticlear game I think it was or TDB, can't remember, the pitcher caught a line drive that knocked his glove off.  The glove hit the ground and it was called an out which as I later learned from the umpires is correct.  There were lots of players taking strike three looking including major players on major teams.

Luis Reyna homer's for Smash It Sports in the winner's semi finals against Dan Smith

Team Breakdown:
32 Teams Overall
19 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
2 Major Teams
4 'AA' Teams
8 'A' Teams
13 'B' Teams
 5 'C' Teams

Winner's bracket championship coin toss between Smash It and TDB

TDB outscores Newbreed 64-49 in the winner's bracket semifinals

Smash It vs Dan Smith

 

Rain came in Sunday morning and washed out the games.

They tried to move it to a turf infield field across the street but it never stopped raining.

Fences there were 325-360-325 so it would have made for some great games.

Pictured above Dan Smith helps remove the portable pitchers mound.

325-360-325 field across the street from Softball World

Conference 'B' teams Wood Law and Olmito battled in the first round Friday night.  Wood Law won 30-27.

 

The crowds grew only when the Major teams played. 

Except for the winner's final below which was too late for the crowds.  🙂

 

The scoring in the heat was outrageous…

Newbreed scored 35 in the first inning against Tradesmen and finished the game with 53 in 3 innings.

Too much ball!

Bay Area Legends wins the 2nd round "Battle of the Bay" over Classic Glass 31-24

 


 

Oldscout pollers had Dan Smith to win by a 5% margin over Smash It. 

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

Joel Gonzalez of Bay Area crushed one back on the Black field that I thought deserved Long Bomber of the Week from a sponsor!

I did not get a picture of Joel, so here is one from last year.

 


 

  Texas Legends Major Awards and Final Standings

Tournament co-MVP's was Smash It pitcher Andy Purcell who was also a base hitting machine at lead off and 1st baseman Kyle Pearson

 

I didn't have a co-MVP picture for Kyle Pearson of Smash It so I hacked this one off of someones Facebook live video.  🙂

It was a rough weekend for Pearson with the truck and not getting a picture.  🙂  But he made the most of it with a Co-MVP!

Smash It Center Fielder Nic Santana was Defensive MVP

TDB 2nd baseman Kyle Pearson was Ofensive MVP

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

1st Place Smash It/Thunder/Backman/S&S/Miken/Worth

Conf Major from NY  5-0 Record

Is Smash It back?  They looked like they did a year ago for the first time in 2018.  They rolled through everyone in their path.  It didn't matter if the wind was gusting in or blowing out.  It didn't matter what the other team did, Smash It played their game, batted around the order, and won by the mercy rule.  Purcell looked like the best base hitter in the game which he has been since the beginning of 2017, and he set the table for Pearson and Harvey with the fastest guy on the team Cory Briggs running for him because of the pitcher/runner rule.  The new players Washington and Williams fit in nicely.  Washington continued his march to a new Conference record for walks in a season.  Smash It won their first game against a Major classed team this year, now 1-5.

Trending Up!  Could be the turn around they have been looking for.

Smash It Lineup:
P Andy Purcell
1B Kyle Pearson
EH Ryan Harvey
MI Luis Reyna
C Josh Riley
CF Nic Santana
LF Filip Washington
RF Brandon Dillon
3B John Williams
SS Don Dedonatis
2B Cory Briggs

Briggs, Dedonatis, and Reyna were across the left side of the infield on Friday night.

But Briggs moved to 2nd and newly acquired John Williams played 3rd the rest of the weekend.

 

Josh Riley batted 5th for a lineup that dominated in Texas.

 


 

2nd Place TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  4-1 Record

 

TDB survived bigtime scares from Chanticlear and AllOut as each of those teams held TDB's destiny in their hands…err their bats.  But both failed and TDB took advantage and made it to the semifinals where they put up the biggest score of the year against a tough and undermanned Newbreed team that just would not give up.  But TDB won that one too and then laid two eggs (zeros) during their "Golden Opportunity" to start the game against Smash It Sports in the championship game…ouch.  TDB did come back once in that game but nevertheless lost and came in second.  Their new pitcher Tom Bloom did a lot of the pitching along with Faron Miller and the whole team seemed to be healthy for the first time this year.  There is lots of talk around softball about TDB being a Major team.  This might be a case of a team that seems to have almost all of the pieces, just needing to make a couple moves to be in the mix in the Major division.  As we have witnessed with Pure Sports, sometimes its better to make the moves you need to play up, rather than play down and lose your players to the Major teams… For those that think they are Major, remember they are only 6-5 vs 'AA'  teams this season and 1-6 vs Major, so it may be premature to think they are a Major team.

I didn't grab a lineup, thinking I would see the top 4 teams play on Sunday, but Tyler Wilson it looked like was leading off and setting the table for Hammonds, Matusik, and Martel.  Also lots of people in the game commenting about Kyle Pearsons great play this season.

Trending Up!  Playing well on the 300's and Stadiums!

TDB with their backs against the wall against Chanticlear turned a game winning 5-10-6 double play to win!  

 

Brian Zirkle in CF and All Tournament performer 3rd baseman Tyler Wilson

 


 

3rd Place Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith

Conf Major from CA  4-1 Record

 

Dan Smith scored 35 or higher in every game but even as the #1 seed ended up in 3rd place because Smash It was the #4 seed and beat them in the semifinals.  Then with a feeling of revenge in the air the rain washed them out.  Whaley was moved to shortstop, Stovall to middle infield, and everyone kept asking where was Lee Powers but I didn't see him there.  The team has a good Florida and Texas contingent of talent and it would have been nice to see what they could have done on Sunday.  Brungardt, Dunn, and Dodds were all tournament.  Dan Smith is #1 in Nationwide Conference points.  

Trending Up!

 

The troops

Steve Whaley moved to shortstop and Ryan Stovall to middle infield.

  

Backup pitcher Nino with the "toy soldier pitch"

 


 

4th Place Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  5-1 Record

 

I guess it is still being disputed whether Xtreme is 4th or tied for 3rd.  The points say they tied for 3rd.  Anyways another solid weekend for a team that continues to put up big offensive numbers.  Infielder Dylan Smith and newcomer Curtis Stewart were all tournament.  Danny Evans and Dirk Updike shared the pitching.  Shannon Smith hammered some bombs, they beat 3 'A' teams, and only lost to Smash It (Major).  If only the rain would have stopped, I think they may of had something for Dan Smith…

Trending Up!

Xtreme Lineup:
OF/C Cory Large
3B Shannon Smith
RF/C Pat Ellwanger
CF Colin Baartman
EH Curtis Stewart
IF Joe Skyles / Brandon Newman
MI Dylan Smith
LF Matt McGowan
1B Alex Bremer
SS Toby Letak
P Danny Evans / Dirk Updike

 

Shannon Smith and Colin Baartman with back to back homer's

 

SS Toby Letak and newly acquired Curtis Stewart.  Stewart was all tournament in his Xtreme debut.

 


 

 


 

Tied 5th Place Newbreed/Steel Sports/DeMarini

Conf 'AA' from WA  3-2 Record

Newbreed played without injuried starting pitcher Cole Patterson who is out for "awhile".  They also played without middle infielder Nick Utley and shortstop Reno Malay.  They picked up tryout player Zane Migues from Empire and pitcher Chris Stamper from Sports Reach who both helped fill the holes.  Everett Williams was moved to 2B and Lively to shortstop with Cordova doing the backup pitching.  Newbreed after a slow start against J&R Logistics on Friday, then opened up the offensive flood gates scoring 53 against Tradesmen and 49 against TDB, but didn't adjust to the conditions (wind) against Xtreme or Nightmare.  They also picked up Gastineau who added depth to their batting order and he can have a long term affect on this team if he plays the rest of the season. 

Trending Up!

Newbreed Lineup:
CF DJ Hollingsworth
LF Jon Gastineau
2B Everett Williams
C Dustin Roberts
EH Rolando Rodriguez
MI Zane Migues
1B/P Victor Cordova
3B Matt Vasquez
RF Rick Cornu
SS Blake Lively
P Chris Stamper

 

 

Jon Gastineau is back in the show with Newbreed, and outfielder Rick Cornu.

 

CF DJ Hollingsworth and newly acquired middle infielder Zane Migues

 

Newly acquired Chris Stamper and backup Victor Cordova pitched for Newbreed.

 


 

Tied 5th Place All Out/A&A/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken

Conf 'TBD' from TX  4-2 Record

AllOut played a lot of games with the newly merged team (Allout and A&A) plus the addition of former Tailgater Jamie Simpson.  They had quality wins over Vivid and Nightmare and played well at times against TDB and pulled off a big last at bat win over Nightmare 39-38.  Then after midnight Saturday they lasted 7 innings with Dan Smith when they could have been run ruled a couple of times.  Overall a great weekend for this new squad that features 6 players from the BHR and Steel teams that have won the past two 'A' Worlds (Thornton, Potts, Schrage, Ferguson, Terry, Bullock), and guys like Bellamy that have been around the AA level, plus a veteran pitcher in Graus that has won it all at all levels, and the return of Wes Campbell who was one of the best hitters in the nation over 15 years ago!  Plus they have Watch List player Tyler Green, Kyndrich Doggett a journeyman slugger, and Lyf Nimmo who won AA Worlds with Xtreme last fall.  They are now 3-2 vs 'AA' teams.  All Out with their merger has been moved to the 'AA' division as previously they were TBD 'to be determined'.  A combination of roster strength, experience, and performance is the reason.

Trending Up!

 

Curtis Day and directly behind him Tim Barnes and Arturo Gonzalez the sponsorship/management group.

Pictured to the right is ASP Nation's Lyf Nimmo.

AllOut picked up Shortstop Brandon "I don't do interviews" Bellamy and former Tailgaters outfielder Jamie Simpson

 

Kyle Bullock gets a walk off single against Nightmare and Wes Campbell returns to upper level softball after many years away. 

Wes played for that great Long Haul team in the early 2000's

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Nightmare/Miken

Conf 'AA' from MO  3-2 Record

Nightmare was inconsistent but made a move in the right direction as they won a few games.  That last at bat loss to AllOut ruined a top 5 or better finish, and they also lost a wind blowing in game to Newbreed.  Everyone seemed healthy except for Maggard (leg) but they just haven't clicked yet as a team.  Gallmeier, Hughes, Melton, and Brown were all .800 or better on base percentage.

Trending Even

 

Tommy Melton hits a grand slam homer vs L&S Glass

 

An injured Billy Maggard did some backup pitching and Charlie Hinojosa celebrates a homer

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Bay Area Legends/Miken

Conf 'AA' from CA  3-2 Record

The team Flamingo picture is all the rage in softball these days.

The Legends had a fun weekend as they usually do in Texas.  They beat the local team BCD, won the battle of the Bay over Classic Glass, lost to Dan Smith, then beat Nallys before Xtreme beat them by 6.  Don't hold back is my advice.  🙂

Trending up!
 

2nd baseman Dameon Smith and infielder Carlos Vasquez have been in the conference a long time

Mike Williams, Pilar Amaya, and Matt Fox celebrate Matt's homer

 


 

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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:

 

Classic Glass/Easton (CA-A) finished 3-2 tied for 9th – Cayton and Ramirez putting up some big numbers.  Tim Martinez hit a crowd pleaser.  Middle man Brandon Traylor made one of the best plays on a ball off the pitchers glove.  Looks like Traylor also still needs readded to the roster because of the verification problems.

 

 

L&S Glass (CA-B) finished 3-2 tied for 9th – Two big wins over Chanticlear and Vivid

 

Nallys/D&D/Beserk (MO-A) finished 3-2 tied for 9th – a big win over Seminoles

 

 

Wood Law (TX-B) finished 3-2 tied for 9th – was 3-0 in class

 

 

Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton (TX-A) 2-2 tied for 13th – Didn't play competitively for 7 full innings

 

Cheap Suits/Republic Realty/CDZ (CA-B) 2-2 tied for 13th – nice win over Infamous but tough loss to Chanticlear

 

 

Seminoles/TPS/NACSF/INC/Easton (OK-A) tied for 13th – Rough weekend although Hansen and Matt Cochran hit well.

 

Infamous/Salt Riot/N.H (CO-B) 1-2 tied for 17th – Crushed L&S Glass

 

Olmito Heat/DiamondKingz (TX-B) 1-2 tied for 17th

 

Chanticlear/J&H/P5/JEC/Miken-Worth (MN-A) 1-2 tied for 17th – Lots of close games and are on the cusp of getting back to where they need to be.

 

 

Tradesmen/Louisville Slugger/SavOn (UT-A) 1-2 tied for 17th – Everyone needs to step up defensively.  Rauma moved to the 4 sport.

 

 

Brians Custom Detailing was that northern Texas 'C' team a year ago with the really good in class record.

They are 'B' this year.  Currently 6-6 in class.

GVMS Old School was the highest finishing non conference team at tied for 13th. 

They lost a 1 run game to Seminoles and beat Tradesmen.  They are 11-4 in 'B' this year.

Former Conference team Insidious beat Brians Custom and then lost a slugfest with Vivid 46-38

Candid Camera (anyone remember that show?  probably not) – Shannon Smith is "Softball Guy" of the week

Nice team name, lol

Midget throwing contest…furthest manager thrown gets to be home team!

This is Shea Nation who does the picks for the tournament previews…

In the preview he picked:

Shea's Final Picks for the Euless Major:
1. Smash It/Thunder/Backman/TDB/Miken
2. TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken
3. Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon
4. Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith
5. Newbreed/Steel Sports/DeMarini
   All Out/A&A/Steel Sports/ASP/Miken

He was almost perfect on the top 6 and if it hadn't rained and Xtreme had beaten Dan Smith and lost to TDB he would have had a perfect top 6!

Candid Celbrity Camera caught the Cooper's taking in a game Friday before the Derby Girls took to the field Saturday

Everett Williams signature bat!

 

 

 

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