Thursday July 29th, 2021

A look back at the 2019 USSSA – 51st Annual Smoky Mountain Classic tournament report!


The Smoky is played at 5 fields at 3 different parks so there are some teams I never even ran into like Primetime, Baugh Ford, and Tradesmen.



2019 Nationwide Conference USSSA


51st Annual Smoky Mountain Classic


Maryville, TN


July 12-14


Two former Conference MVP's Andy Purcell and Travis Clark square off at the Smoky!

Championship Game score sheet.  Resmondo out homered TDB 15-5

SoftballCenter Smoky picture album link


2019 Smoky bracket and results link


2019 Smoky Major stats link once available


2019 Smoky archived games link


Learning the art of the trick pitch with Justin Mucciarelli


The 51st Annual Smoky Mountain Classic kicked off with a home run derby Thursday night won by Andy Purcell who beat Kyle Pearson in the finals.  Then on Friday morning there were two "play in" games played by 4 local Tennessee teams.  In the one game the 'E' team Prodigy beat Athletic Shop 19-13.  Then the 29 Conference teams took to the fields and winners in the "round of 32" played all of their "round of 16" games as well on Friday to see who would make the prestigious "final 8" of the winner's bracket on the show field on Saturday!

The "round of 32" was played on 5 fields at 3 different parks in Maryville, Tennessee which is a growing city with a small town feel.  In the top half of the bracket all of the higher seeds won except Premier (OH-A) beat the breaks off of Newbreed (WA-AA) 39-9 when Newbreed couldn't find the strike zone over on Denso field #5.  The tournament was unlimited home runs with 80 foot bases and they used the Dudley Classic M ball on all fields.  MPT Rentals (NJ-A) crushed Vivid (TX-A) 34-6 on the show field Sandy Springs #3 which is a high school baseball field with 315-335-350-335-315 dimensions.  Beckham Brothers (SC-A) held off Headlines (OH-A) 22-21 on Everett field #2.  Chanticlear Pizza (MN-A) held Classic Glass (CA-A) to just one run in the bottom of the 7th to force extra innings where Chanticlear won with a big 8th inning.  Smash It Precision (IL-AA) beat Sports Reach (KY-A) just 16-9 on field #4 with its 310 foot fences everywhere but right field which comes in to 270 feet.  And Resmondo, Dan Smith, and Pure Sports who are all Major teams in the top part of the bracket all won by the run rule.  In the bottom half of the bracket all 8 of the higher seeds won including run rule victories by TDB/Racks (NC-Major), SIS/Thunder (NY-AA), Nightmare (MO-AA), Riot Sports (FL-AA), and Bay Area Legends (CA-AA).  Primetime (GA-A) won by a run over Tradesmen, Xtreme (MN-AA) beat Tru (VA-A) 18-6, and Baugh Ford (GA-A) beat TPJS/Seminoles (OK-A) 16-13.

In the "round of 16" played later on Friday night, 6 of the higher seeds (Pure, Resmondo, Dan Smith, Precision, TDB, and Bay Area) all won pretty much by the mercy rule.  And Nightmare upset SIS/Thunder 33-13 over on the short field #1, and Riot Sports pulled off a 1 run upset of Xtreme 32-31 in the last game of the night over at Denso after Xtreme had scored 10 runs in the 1st inning.

On Saturday on the show field with its longer home run fences the "final 8" of the winner's bracket played out one game after the other.  In the early game Dan Smith got off to a 16-12 lead on Pure Sports taking advantage of a slew of infield errors.  Then Pure Sports came back with a 14 run 3rd inning highlighted by a grand slam from recent Dan Smith release Davis Bilardello.  From there Pure Sports got some good pitching out of Justin Mucciarelli and Bilardello continued to hit homers and Pure found themselves with a 37-34 upset victory after taking an 8 run lead into the 7th.  Bilardello ended up 5-5 with 5 homers, a walk, 6 runs scored, and 12 RBI in the game!  In the 2nd game Resmondo overpowered SIS/Precision 27-7 in a quick win.  Then Nightmares offense continued to click but they gave up too many runs to TDB in a 47-31 loss.  And Riot Sports continued their run by beating their 3rd straight 'AA' opponent 37-31 over Bay Area Legends.  A big defensive diving play by Tre Campbell at 1st base and a 6th inning game tying 3 run homer by Ortiz were the highlights for Riot in their win.

The "final 4" played out Saturday evening and was delayed by lightning at one point.  Resmondo overwhelmed Pure Sports with their power in the 6th inning by scoring 19 runs after trailing 17-16 enroute to a 35-20 victory.  And TDB/Racks ended Riot Sports Cinderella story with a 30-15 win after Riot had jumped out to a 5-2 lead which was erased by a Brian Zirkle grand slam.  In the winner's bracket finals played right after the semis ended, Resmondo and TDB were tied at 13-13 after 3 complete innings and the game had that feel of neither team truly wanting to take the game.  In the top of the 5th TDB grabbed a 23-15 lead and they held Resmondo to just 1 run.  But TDB put up a zero in the top of the 6th and Resmondo took advantage getting a 2 run double from Bubba Mack to go up 24-23 and that was followed by Steele Lewis and Cory Briggs bombs to make it 27-23, and that was followed by home runs from Neil Haglund, Buddy Wolf, Brian Wegman, Kyle Pearson, and Greg Connell to make it 32-23.  TDB could only close to within 32-29 in the 7th and Resmondo had won the winner's bracket!

In the loser's bracket on Saturday Xtreme, SIS/Thunder, T&W, and Newbreed all made short runs winning a couple games.  Thunder scoring 68 runs in one game against Tradesmen.  Then the teams dropping down from the winner's bracket took over as the heat of the day took its toll.  Dan Smith beat Xtreme by 18, SIS/Thunder by 3, and Riot 48-32 to advance to Sunday.  And Bay Area Legends beat Newbreed, Nightmare, and then lost to Pure Sports who advanced to Sunday.

So the final 4 teams in the tournament Sunday were the 4 Major teams and the full "pecking" order was in effect as Dan Smith smoked Pure Sports early Sunday morning 33-15 scoring 13 runs in the 5th inning.  They were led by Argen Dodds who was 5-5 with 5 HR and 9 RBI.  In the loser's bracket finals then it was Dan Smith's turn to look like the tired worn out team as TDB scored 13 in the 3rd, 10 in the 4th, and 15 in the 5th to win 40-19.  TDB's Brian Zirkle was 5-5 in the game and Jason Branch hit 3 homers.  In the championship then it was TDB's turn to look tired but not before a great play by Branch in right field and a great double play started by Bryson Baker at third base gave them an early lead.  Then in the 2nd both teams put up a zero?  But it was all Resmondo after that as they out homered TDB 15-5 in the game and held off a late charge 30-26.

The tournament was played in very hot and humid conditions and the home runs were definitely not free on the high school baseball field with the longer bases.  There was an incredible amount of bad throws to first base in the games on the show field and also a lot of single digit scores throughout the event.  There were some upsets but not the close game drama in the final 8 or so games that we so enjoy.  The umpires did a nice job.  I would like to thank USSSA and Chris Clark for their tireless work on this great event and their hospitality.

MVP Brian Wegman hits for Resmondo against TDB in the winner's final Saturday night.

Winner's bracket finals boxscore.

As you can see Resmondo out homered TDB 20-14 an hit 11 homers and 16 runs in the pivotal 6th inning.

The view from center field on Sunday in the Championship


Sandy Springs field #3 and the distance between the fence and those tennis courts

Denso Manufacturing Field #5 always has the best Friday night matchups – Riot taking on Rebel

Team Breakdown:
34 Teams Overall
29 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
8 'AA' Teams
15 'A' Teams
2 'B' Teams
5 'C/D/E' Teams



Key Games

Pure Sports takes on Dan Smith – Pure upset them 37-34!

Below Davis Bilardello hits a grand slam against the Dan Smith team that just released him.

Davis had 5 homer's and a walk in the game.

Sunday morning TDB shortstop A.J. Montano makes a full out diving catch against Dan Smith in the loser's bracket finals. 

Later in the day A.J. got hit by a rocket shot grounder in the leg, leading his teammates to quip that he "took his eye off it".  A.J. has only one eye…

A local newspaper captured Beckham Brothers Kyle Cowart making a great diving catch!

BJ Fulk and Riot Sports upset Xtreme 32-31 late Friday night over at Denso field. 

Riot won 3 straight games to start the tournament over 'AA' teams!

5th place game late Saturday night was Steven Lloyd of Dan Smith hitting a bomb off of Riot Sports.

Dan Smith won the game 48-32 to advance to Sunday.



The crowds were down as they have been the past few years.  But it is always a knowledgeable crowd that knows their Major softball.

Field #1 over at Everett Park in the rain.  Brambilla I think it was hit one that one hopped that house in center field.


Field #4 at Sandy Springs with its high but short right field fence with trees starting to grow through it.



Bat bucket testing and Dudley Classic M balls



Oldscout pollers had Resmondo to win at 52%



Video Highlites brought to you by:

Video clips from Friday and Saturday


Video clips of the final 4 teams Saturday and Sunday



Long Bombers of the Week


Argen Dodds of Dan Smith hit the furthest ball from a right hander in my opinion during the day.  He also had 26 HR to lead the tournament and 45 RBI.  Resmondo's Buddy Wolf in my opinion had the longest home run from a lefty on Saturday night in the winner's bracket finals.


Andy Purcell won the Smoky home run derby on Thursday night over Kyle Pearson in the finals.  Freddy Arwood on the right won the local home run derby.

Branches from home runs knocking them onto the field and behind the fence.



 Major Final Standings and Awards



Resmondo outfielder Brian Wegman was MVP

Resmondo pitcher Travis Clark was Defensive MVP

TDB 3rd baseman Bryson Baker was Offensive MVP

Dan Smith slugger Argen Dodds was the Home Run Champion with 26!

32-41  .740

Resmondo manager Brett Helmer receives the trophy from Strojan Kennison, Joe Huff, Chris Clark, and sponsors Demarini, Athlon, and ASP!



Team by team notes brought to you by:



1st Place – Resmondo/SIS/Thunder/RDD/H.Auto/Sprizzi/Easton

Conf Major from FL  6-0 Record

Resmondo has won 3 tournaments in a row and 17 of their last 18 games.  And they won both tournaments this summer that were on baseball sized fields (Seattle, Smoky).  There is still some inconsistency in the hitting and scoring but the end results are something for this team to build on.  Wegman has had a strong year and was moved to leadoff at the right time.  Pearson hit some bombs and the defense this time led by pitcher Travis Clark got outs and avoided allowing big innings.  Resmondo is built for the big fields and it showed as their opponents seemed under powered in comparison. 

Trending Up!

Resmondo Sunday Lineup
RF Wegman
1B Pearson
2B Connell
LF Yates
P Clark
3B Mack
CF Lewis
SS Briggs
C Haglund
EH Wolf
Mi Bazat


Jeremy Yates

MI Bazat, 2B Connell, 1B Pearson


CF Steele Lewis

3B Bubba Mack

SS Cory Briggs





2nd Place – TDB/Racks/Athlon

Conf Major from NC  5-2 Record


TDB came within a few runs of Resmondo in both of their meetings.  They used that #1 seed to cruise to the winner's final where they allowed one big inning to Resmondo and that was all she wrote.  It was an uphill battle from there as the undermanned team slowly tired out but to their credit never gave up.  Harvey struggled some but Baker picked up the slack with a huge weekend with the bat and was solid with the glove at 3B.  Zirkle tweaked a knee so they will have to keep an eye on that.  Branch in right field seems to be getting very comfortable out there making some great catches and Everett Williams in left field also seems to be getting comfortable there.

Trending Even

TDB Sunday Lineup
P Purcell
3B Baker
EH Harvey
C Riley
MI Reyna
RF Branch
1B Martel
2B Pearson
SS Montano
CF Zirkle

TDB's Kyle Pearson has been coming on strong


Andy Purcell and Bryson Baker have played the Smoky for 20 years.


Brian Zirkle hurt a knee but played on

Martell came up with some big homers and Reyna at MI made it look easy as usual



3rd Place – Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith/FAI

Conf Major from CA  6-2 Record


Dan Smith put up some big numbers but lost that game to Pure by 3 runs and then had to fight too long in the loser's bracket and couldn't compete with TDB on Sunday morning.  Lloyd has been playing with a bum knee all year, they got Stovall back, and Dodds, Matusik, Cayton, and Bennett in particular had monster offensive weekends.

Trending Even

Dan Smith Sunday lineup
1B Nelson
RF Collins
LF Matusik
C Dodds
MI Cayton
2B Stovall
3B Brungardt
SS Bennett
CF Dunn
P Plaisance/Bean

Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance did most of the pitching with Brungardt at 3rd


SS Jo Jo Bennett had 19 Home runs.  Backup pitcher Dan Bean joined Dan Smith


LF Jason Matusik had a 18 homer's and did SS Daniel Cayton was 2nd with 23!


The manager and sponsorship contingent at Dan Smith seems to grow as the year goes on.




4th Place – Pure Sports

Conf Major from SC  -2 Record


Pure Sports finally got a signature win with the victory over Dan Smith but didn't show the stamina to win on Sunday morning when a bunch of errors opened the door.  Hughes and Bilardello playing in their first games with Pure did a nice job and they beat all the 'AA' and lower teams they faced.

Trending Up!

Pure Sports lineup
3B Rocabaldo
1B McCollum
C Bilardello
2B Hunt
LF Kirkwood
RF Hughes
SS Melton
CF Hollingsworth
EH Hammonds
MI Wright
P Mucciarelli


Brett McCollum is one of the league leaders in homers and RBI.  Jared Hunt has been a big part of the lineup moving up to 5th

Colby Hughes played his first tournament of the year and looked good making one of the better catches in RF in the tournament

Bilardello slides in ahead of the tag

Consigny at SS and Wright at MI were picked up from a 'B' team in Wisconsin




Tied 5th Place – Bay Area/Rapid Fire/Bad Draw/Easton

Conf 'AA' from CA  4-2 Record

Bay Area another huge points weekend.  They were upset by Riot in the quarterfinals but ended up best in class and had a lot of quality wins.  They may still be a little light on power but everything else is there.

Trending Up!


SS Chente Granados makes a play from deep short


Tyler Marshburn is one of the leagues leading hitters.  Lefty Tyler Wilson was back from injury.



Tied 5th Place – Riot Sports/Hub's Pub/Klutch/A&A Utility

Conf 'AA' from FL  3-2 Record


Riot won 3 straight games against 'AA' opponents and new pitcher Losson White was getting it done with some great run support as well.  An entertaining weekend for Riot who is starting to peak at the right time it appears.  A testament to the perseverance of Keith Martin and the sponsorship group.

Trending Up!




Ortiz has been a solid leadoff all year.  Thornton at SS and new pitcher Losson White who came over from Dan Smith.

Chris Potts at 3rd base for Riot makes a diving stop and gets the force play



Other top finishing Conference teams



Tied 7th Place – SIS/Thunder/Miken/Worth/Anarchy/OA

Conf 'AA' from NY  4-2 Record

I didn't see much of Thunder but they played a lot of softball and scored a lot of runs.  68 a tournament high in one game.  They only lost to Dan Smith 18-15 so they are still competing with the Major teams.

Trending Even


Filip Washington hit a walk off homer to beat Precision.  3rd Baseman John Williams had 5 HR in one game.

Pitcher Danny Evans is "not good" according to Ethan Stuckly.  🙂

Williams at 3rd, Messer at short, Washington in LF



Tied 7th Place – Nightmare/Miken

Conf 'AA' from MO  3-2 Record

Brambilla los a close friend recently and Nightmare made a tribute jersey for him

Nightmare had that big Friday win against Thunder 33-13 and kept it rolling on Saturday as they gave TDB a little bit of a scare.  In the loser's bracket they beat T&W and then lost by 20 to Bay Area.  Nino did a lot of the pitching.  The unlimited homers helped their powerful lineup.  And the team seemed to have a good vibe when I saw them.

Trending Up!


Tim "Bye Bye" Bowser in his element!  Unlimited!  And former Dan Smith pitcher Mike "Nino" Echeverria


Phil Matte is one of the leagues leading hitters.  And MI Zane Miques is still with Nightmare after some trade rumors with Dan Smith fell through.



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Link to the Youtube channel

Link to the Facebook page

Link to all 2009 to 2019 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link



Some more pictures for you:

Tied for 9th – T&W (OH-A) 3-2 – Highest finishing 'A' team after beating Vivid, Premier, and Headlines.  In the Vivid and Premier games they allowed a total of 4 runs.


John Radich on th right is one of the leagues leading hitters

Tied for 9th – SIS/Precision (IL-AA) 2-2 – Beat Sports Reach and Premier to make the final 8 on the show field but dropped by 20 to Resmondo and lost on a walk off homer to SIS/Thunder

Tied for 9th – Newbreed (WA-AA) 3-2 – Newbreed salvaged another weekend without Gastineau and Dirty Sanchez by winning 3 games over Sports Reach, MPT Rentals, and Beckham Brothers

Beckham tied for 13th by beating Headlines and Seminoles 10-7


Headlines tied for 13th at 2-2.  Lost to Beckham by 1, beat a local and Chanticlear before T&W sent them home 28-23


Competitive Edge lost big to Nightmare, beat SNI, then put up a 5 against Primetimes 37?

MPT Rentals 1-2 crushing Vivid 34-6, but then losing to Pure 20-5 and Newbreed 34-19

SVC went 0-2 scoring just 14 runs

Vivid went 0-2 scoring just 8 runs…

Sports Reach added veteran Tim Cocco but went 0-2 losing to Precision by 7 and Newbreed by 7

SNI went 0-2 losing to SIS/Thunder and then Competitve Edge by 3

Joey Formosa is one of the leading hitters in the league for Rebel Sports who couldn't score going 1-2 losing to Premier and Riot.

Branch landed into the fence and the fence came apart and almost hit him in the head

Xtreme could not win a toss so they sent the wives out…and they LOST


Robert Blackburn, Francois Henry, and Tim Cocco.  Also Travis Clark with Tim Cocco.

You know you want to, let it out, don't hold it in!

Chris Clark works to tally the home runs!

I caught the "Tan Man" super fan sleeping

Got to have the Conference umpire pictures. 

Thank you for what you do!

Long time main field scorer Alvin Campbell who also did some great announcing for us Sunday got a personalized jersey from Nightmares Nolan Fogle

Softball Guy hit a homer.  Love the leg sleeve.

The weather was rainy like this at times but it never really rained enough to stop the games but there was two lightning delays.




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