Thursday October 18th, 2018
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2018 USSSA “Windy City” Invitational Major tournament report!

 

 

 

 

2018 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

"Windy City" Invitational

 

West Chicago, IL

 

June 1-3

Dan Smith against Smash It Sports in the championship at beautiful McCaslin Park

 

SoftballCenter Windy City Major picture album link

 

2018 Windy City Major bracket link

 

2018 Windy City Major stats link

 

Smash Its Josh Riley bats against Dan Smith's Mike Nino in the semifinals Saturday

The Windy City Major started on Friday night with the 29 teams playing the first two rounds of the tournament in cool temperatures.  The top of the bracket had no Major teams and the upsets came early and often.  TG Brand (MI-A) beat Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg (IL-AA) 35-20 on the main field.  Premier/Easton/HDLNS (OH-A) beat Racks/Worth Astros/Klutch/Troupe (IN-AA) 40-34.  And in the lower part of the bracket Comatose/S2N/Subway (WI-B) knocked off Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton 33-32.  Bay Area Legends/Miken (CA-TBD) beat Newbreed/Steel Sports/Demarini (WA-AA) 48-39.  And in the biggest upset of the tournament Rapid Fire Athletics/Sports Lounge (VA-A) run ruled Resmondo/RDD/HAuto/All In/Sprizzi (FL-M) 28-13!!!  That is a LOT of upsets!  Meanwhile TDB, Pure Sports, Smash It Sports, and Dan Smith all advanced as well to the final 8.

On Saturday Dan Smith scored 23 in the first inning against Bay Area Legends who closed the gap to 23-27 at one point before losing 39-23.  Smash It Sports likewise struggled with Rapid Fire in a game that Rapid Fire had every chance to challenge but botched a couple of infield plays and then used up too many solo homers and SIS scored what seemed like the last 10 runs and won 31-21.  In the top half of the bracket the 'A' teams were at it again as TG Brand won 33-27 over TDB who didn't use their home runs well and benches cleared after some middle shots, but nothing came of it.  And Premier with the wind blowing in led 22-19 and got a popup and a double play against Pure Sports to win it in the 7th.

This advanced the two 'A' teams at the top of the bracket to the semifinals.  There TG Brand steadily pulled away from Premier and won 36-26.  And in the other semifinal the two Major teams played.  Smash It Sports got off to a hot start as they scored double digits in each of the first 3 innings and led 46-18 at one point and won 46-32.  Luis Reyna was 6-6 with 3 HR including a grand slam and 10 RBI.  In the loss Steven Lloyd was 4-4 with a walk, 3 HR, and 5 runs scored.

The winner's bracket finals was a bit anti-climactic as TG Brand who's starting pitcher had been hit too many times decided to pitch seldom used James Sparrow and it was all Smash It Sports from the beginning and they won easily 32-11.

The loser's bracket was interesting with Vivid, Chanticlear, Pure Sports, Resmondo, TDB, and Dan Smith all on the top side and Precision, Bay Area, Seminoles, Racks, and Premier on the bottom half.  On the top side Vivid won 2 in a row including sending home Newbreed 49-32 early Saturday.  And then Vivid got off to a huge lead on Chanticlear only to see Chanticlear score 24 runs on just 2 home runs in one inning and beat them 41-36.  Then TDB dropped down and beat Chanticlear 33-26 in a hard fought win.  Also, Pure Sports ran into Resmondo early on in the 3 PM game and put up 24 runs before the 1st out in the top of the 1st inning, and ended up with 34 runs on 11 home runs!  It had to be the biggest inning a Major team has ever allowed in the history of the Conference, at least at a non-Smoky Mountain Classic event.  Resmondo didn't give up but they lost 36-15 and then Pure Sports put away rival TDB 39-34 after leading 36-15, before Dan Smith dropped down and beat them 39-30.  In the lower half of the loser's bracket Racks won 3 in a row and Precision won 3 in a row including an overtime win over Bay Area Legends to meet each other.  Bay Area actually scored 5 runs to tie that one in the bottom of the 7th on a Laser Dave homer.  Precision then came from behind to beat Racks 35-33 before losing a close one to Premier 33-29 when Premier had better home run management.  Late Saturday night in the loser's bracket semifinals Premier jumped out to a nice lead on Dan Smith using up all of their home runs but Dan Smith made a steady comeback and eventually run ruled Premier 43-28.

On Sunday morning in the loser's final Dan Smith was up on TG Brand 6-2 when a hard shot up the their third pitcher and they ended up forfeiting after some sort of ejection.  In the championship Dan Smith and Smash It Sports traded double digit innings.  Dan Smith with 13 in the first and 10 in the 4th.  SIS with 10 in the 2nd and 18 in the 3rd.  Dan Smith used their 16 home runs more efficiently though and going into the bottom of the 6th Dan Smith led 44-35 and Smash It Sports had no home runs left.  But Smash It Sports had kept the lead to 9 with some great infield defense in the 5th and 6th innings.  In the bottom of the 6th SIS took advantage of Dan Smith infield errors and a number of walks caused by the strong winds and scored an amazing 10 runs on no homers with the big singles coming from Kyle Pearson to tie and Ryan Harvey to take the lead 45-44 and the defense got Dan Smith to go 1-2-3 in the top of the 7th for the win and the tournament championship!  Defense, base hitting, and the will to find a way to win has returned to the Smash It Sports team.

The weather was near perfect for softball except for the wind that kicked up on Sunday.  The classic M balls were a little too much for the 300 foot fields but the park is beautiful and scenic and the games were high scoring except for the wind blowing in on MC2 a little bit on Saturday.  The umpiring was solid and the number of upsets was probably the most of they year.

I would like to thank director Brian Mayfield and his crew for their hospitality.

Championship game final score and boxscore


Dan Smiths Andrew Collins homers in the final game

Team Breakdown:
29 Teams Overall
17 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
3 Major Teams
5 'AA' Teams
8 'A' Teams
6 'B' Teams
7 'C' Teams

 

Benches cleared in the TDB vs TG Brand and Smash It vs Dan Smith games but nothing came of it…

TDB's Kyle Pearson homers in their loss to Pure Sports in a battle of 'AA' teams

Premier's Cory Boothe adds to their lead against Precision late Saturday

Co-MVP Luis Reyna homer's against Rapid Fire

TG Brand defends TDB in their upset victory


Smash Its Andy Purcell, SS Don Dedonatis, MI Luis Reyna, and outfielder Brandon Dillon

 

 


 

Oldscout pollers were wrong! 

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

Dale Brungardt gets the long bomber of the week as he got a few oohs and ahs from the crowd.

Brungardt was 6-7 with 3 HR and 8 RBI in the championship game.

 


 

 Chicago Major Final Standings and Awards

 

Smash Its Luis Reyna and Filip Washington were co-MVP's…

Smash Its Andy Purcell was Defensive MVP as once again his ERA in the late innings was the difference.

Andy was also 6-6 with 6 singles and a walk in the championship.

Dan Smith second baseman Steven Lloyd was the Offensive MVP

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

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

Conf Major from NY  6-0 Record

Smash It struggled past Rapid Fire in their 3rd game and Dan Smith in the first championship game.  But in both they base hit it better late in the game and the pitching and defense shut down their opponents when it counted.  Smash It now has 10 wins in a row over two tournament championships (Euless and Chicago) and are back on top of the Conference USSSA point standings.  The new guys Washington who was co-MVP and Williams who was making some fantastic stops and throws at 3rd base contributed.  And when they were out of homers they went with Mcbryde in right field and Ussery at 2nd base and moved Briggs to 3rd to go with more defense and base hitting.  Purcell also continues to be the best base hitter in the country, setting the table for Pearson and Harvey.  McBryde, Briggs, Dedonatis, Washington, Harvey, and Reyna were all over 800 on base percentage.  Filip Washington is now approaching the record for walks in a season and it is just early June.

Trending Up!

 

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

Subs
2B Adam Ussery
RF Brian McBryde
P Andrew Vitcak

 

Pearson and Harvey

 

Briggs showed the most range of any 2nd baseman.  Big John Williams at 3rd was making great plays as well.

 

 


 

2nd Place Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith

Conf Major from CA  5-2 Record

 

Dan Smith continues to put up big offensive numbers but the defense struggles and the pitching had trouble with the wind on Sunday.  They beat Chanticlear, Bay Area, and Premier by the run rule and had a nice 39-30 win over Pure Sports.  But lost to Smash It twice including the first championship game where they led the entire game until the bottom of the 6th when they were out defensed and out base hit.  They picked up Dennis Rulli pitcher Losson White, released LC Watson, and played without Lee Powers.

Trending Up!

Dan Smith lineup
2B Steven Lloyd
OF/1B Davis Bilardello
3B Dale Brungardt
RF Andrew Collins
MI Dennis Rulli
C Argen Dodds
EH/1B Eric Kanaby
LF Ryan Stovall
CF Ben Dunn
SS Steve Whaley
P Mike Nino/Losson White

 

 

Dennis Rulli made his 2018 debut at middle infield.

  

Brungardt, Whaley, and Rulli across the infield

 

Davis Bilardello continues to hit it and is now playing some first base

 

Nino and Losson White did the pitching

Andrew Collins

 

 


 

3rd Place TG Brand

Conf 'A' from MI  4-2 Record

 

TG Brand (MI-A) beat Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg (IL-AA) 35-20 on the main field then TG Brand won 33-27 over TDB who didn't use their home runs well and benches cleared after some middle shots, but nothing came of it.  This advanced the two 'A' teams at the top of the bracket to the semifinals. There, TG Brand steadily pulled away from Premier and won 36-26.   The winner's bracket finals was a bit anti-climactic though, as it was all Smash It Sports from the beginning and they won easily 32-11.  On Sunday morning in the loser's final Dan Smith was up on TG Brand 6-2 when a hard shot up the middle hit their third pitcher and they ended up forfeiting after some sort of ejection.

I received an email this morning saying that they had 3 injured pitchers and only the manager and another player that could go in.

Trending Up!

 

All of the TG Brand pitchers got hit.  May be time for that .52 core ball, especially on the turf.

 


 

4th Place Premier/Easton/HDLNS

Conf 'A' from OH  4-2 Record

 

Premier upset Racks 40-34 on Friday night and followed that up with a huge win over Pure Sports when they got a popout and a doubleplay to end it in the 7th.  This put them in the final 4 against fellow 'A' team TG Brand where they trailed the whole game and lost 22-19.  Premier then dropped to the loser's bracket and beat their third 'AA' team of the tournament Precision!  Late Saturday they were knocked out by Dan Smith but not before they jumped out to a big lead.  When you put a good line drive hitting 'A' team on 300 foot fields in cooler temperatures with the classic M ball, this is what you can get.  Some great upsets!  Patrick Foster and Cory Boothe lead the team in hitting through their first 13 games.  Both over 700 onbase.

Trending Up!

Premier Lineup:
Clay Norton
Ryan Disbennett
Cory Boothe
Ryan Uckotter
Brock Morrison
Chuck Lack
Patrick Center
Rocky Staton
Brian Lakes
Joseph Horsley (I think)
Austyn Dawe

Pitcher Brian Lakes and 2B Brock Morrison

Ryan Disbennett

 

Rocky Staton throws out a runner from his knees

 


 

Tied 5th Place Precision/3rd Street/Bull Dawg

Conf 'AA' from IL  5-2 Record

Precision had a long day Saturday in front of their home crowd (if you can call it that) after losing early in the tournament in their second game Friday night to TG Brand.  They then beat a local team, Seminoles by 6, Bay Area in extra innings by 1, and Racks by 2 before running out of gas it appeared against Premier who had the home run advantage on them the whole game.  Those were long games and a solid finish for Precision who continues to rank at the top of the AA division.

Trending Up!

Roger Drake

 

Kessler (pictured here), Lunda, Bean, and McCollum are all over 700 and Magnum is over 800 coming into Chicago

 


 

Tied 5th Place Pure Sports/Monsta

Conf 'AA' from SC  3-2 Record

The Pure Sports team played well.  That one upset they suffered at the hands of Premier, or you could say it was self inflicted with the bats in the 7th, but otherwise a solid weekend with a big win over TDB, and that huge win over Resmondo.  In the Resmondo game they scored 34 runs on 11 HR in the first inning and that was the first Major team they had played this year.  Pure Sports remains as the top AA team in points and computer rankings.  They got another great performance on defense by Ryan Mcclanahan who could easily have been defensive mvp and they played without Justin Mackey as the Mackey's finally had the baby.  Congratulations!

There is a good clip of Mcclanahan doing the "team teasing" thing Pure does as he gets on Branch who made a couple of errors.

Trending Up!

 

Pure Sports new pickup is infielder Brian Dezern from The Product

 

Mcclanahan made multiple diving stops on plays up the middle at pitcher.  Mooch hit 4 homer's!

Barnes, Messer, and Grandado again played great defense

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

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

Conf 'AA' from IN  4-2 Record

Racks was upset by Premier on Friday night and fought through wins over Rebel Sports and Rapid Fire before being sent home 35-33 in a long game by Precision.  Racks still doesn't have pitching depth as Pinkham still can't grip a bat so we don't know how good this team can be.  They played without Brambilla and backup pitcher Carl Blank.  Krider had a .920 on base percentage and Nelson, Edwards, and Mullins were all 800+.

Trending Even

 

Three shortstops on the left side, Lizcano, Ramirez, and Faria

Kirkwood robs a homer in left field

 


 

Tied 7th Place – TDB/FAI/Klutch/Miken

Conf 'AA' from NC  2-2 Record

Another frustrating weekend for TDB, which drives their sponsor to eat, as they lose to TG Brand on Saturday and to arch rival Pure Sports.  They only beat two 'A' teams, Seminoles and Chanticlear, and neither were easy wins.  TDB can play better but seem to only do well on the bigger fields…

Trending Even

Wilson and Castillo

Martel

 


 

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 – Chanticlear/J&H/P5/JEC/Miken-Worth (MN-A) 3-2

Chanticlear continues to improve as the season goes on as expected.  They soundly beat Cheap Suits 35-19, then after losing big to Dan Smith, they knocked off fellow Minnesota Team Stoop, then scored 24 runs in one inning to come from behind against Vivid, and then lost a long 7 inning battle with TDB 33-26.  A solid overall weekend for Chanticlear as they build towards the Dudley in their home state.

 

Tied for 9th – Resmondo/RDD/H.Auto/All In/Sprizzi/Easton (FL-M) 3-2

Resmondo had one of the worst tournaments in their teams history after they were run ruled by Rapid Fire Athletics an 'A' team on Friday night and sent home by Pure Sports 'AA' team early Saturday.  Resmondo had all of their players including their new backup pitcher LC Watson.

 

Tied for 9th – Rapid Fire Athletics/Sports Lounge (VA-A) 2-2

Rapid Fire had that huge run rule win over Resmondo Friday night 28-13 but were in a brutal part of the bracket and had to play Smash It Sports in their third game.  They played well enough to win that game but used up too many solo homers and made a couple of key errors and ended up losing 31-21 even though the game was much closer than that.  Rapid Fire picked up Kevin Johnson to pitch as Cam Byars couldn't make the trip.

 

Tied for 9th – Bay Area Legends/Miken (CA-TBD) 2-2

Bay Area beat Newbreed 48-39, lost to Dan Smith 39-23 in a game they had a legit shot at, and lost to Precision by a run 27-26 in extra innings.

 

Tied for 13th – Comatose/S2N/Subway (WI-B) 2-2

Comatose upset Vivid on Friday night and scored 25 against Smash It.

 

Tied for 13th – Seminoles/TPS/NACSF.Inc/Easton (OK-A) 2-2

Seminoles played 4 high scoring and close games against all level of teams

 

Tied for 13th – Vivid/Killbombers/OA/Easton (TX-A) 2-2

Vivid lost to a good Comatose team by a run on Friday.  On Saturday they sent home Newbreed 49-32, one of the higher scores of the tournament.  Then they blew a big lead against Chanticlear giving up a 24 run inning.  Dacko and Mitschke had the hot sticks with over a .900 onbase percentage.

 

Tied for 13th – Rebel Sports/Dirty Sports/Miken (MI-A) 2-2

Rebel beat some locals and had a long game against Racks but came up short 36-30

This isn't as bad as it looks

Former P&P 333 players.  One of them made it to Major!

Conference umpires!

 

The grass was too thick.  It swallowed one outfielder whole!

Bay Area picked up left fielder Nick Price formerly of Sonny's

Rapid Fires Freddie Bynum was making some great plays

 

"Softball Guy" of the week as approved by UIC Tony!

Levi did eventually get a line drive base hit in that league game.

And last year he won the local home run derby at the Smoky…and the Umpires Derby at the HOF   🙂

 

 

 

 

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