Monday July 15th, 2019
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2019 USSSA Cajun Classic tournament report!

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

41st Annual Cajun Classic

 

Carencro, LA

 

April 26-27

 

Late Saturday night championship game between Xtreme in th white and Nightmare in the pink

 

SoftballCenter Cajun picture album link

 

2019 Cajun bracket and results link

 

2019 Cajun Major stats link once available

 

2019 Cajun archived games link

 

Coin toss for the Championship

The 41st Annual Cajun Classic featured 25 teams from 9 different states and was played in perfect softball weather on Pelican Parks 4 artificial turf 300 foot fields.  The tournament began with all teams playing on Friday night.  The tournament was seeded by 2019 Conference points and the 9 play in games didn't have any real upsets.  In one game BIS/Classick Sports beat Dirty Vegas/Steel/Marco (TX-B) 46-40 and in another a good 'C' team called Moneyman (MS-C) beat Natural State (AR-B) 50-27.  The cool evening temperatures made the temperature sensitive Dudley Classic M ball harden up and it really flew in the night games.

Late Friday night in the "round of 16" the 6 Conference teams began their weekend.  Competitive Edge a Florida 'A' team had a big top of the 6th inning to go up 24-14 on Big Apple (TX-B) in a game that Big Apple looked to be winning.  Then Big Apple scored 8 runs in the bottom of the 7th to cut the lead to 1 and the game ended in victory for Competitive Edge on a strikeout looking!  Over on the Courtesy Field Baugh Ford (GA-TBD) who has won 2 Cajun Classics in the past was down 16-2 in their opener against a very good J&R Logistics (AR-B) team.  And J&R still held the lead going into the bottom of the 3rd inning 26-11.  In the bottom of the 5th inning Baugh Ford went on a huge run and John Sullivan hit a grand slam to put Baugh up 38-27 and they continued scoring until they eventually left J&R Logistics on the field 42-27.  Meanwhile over on Schambo field #2 seeded Xtreme (MN-AA) theoldscout.com poll favorite to win the tournament had their hands full with Moneyman (MS-C) who were lacing line drives all over the field.  Moneyman tied the game at 17-17 in the top of the 4th and went up 30-20 at one point.  But Xtreme came back with a 13 run bottom of the 7th and grabbed the lead on a Toby Letak inside the park 3 run homer to go up 33-30.  In the top of the 7th Moneyman scored 4 to take the lead 34-33 and would have scored more had it not been for a great play by Xtreme middle infielder Brandon Newman.  In the bottom of the 7th with 2 outs Steve Whaley hit a double into the left field corner scoring Todd Newton from 1st base to win the game 35-34!  Over on Precision field Beckham Brothers (SC-TBD) had a tough game against Oilers (TX-B) and trailed by double digits.  But Beckham, much like the other Conference teams on Friday night, came from a deep deficit and had a huge bottom of the 5th inning and went ahead 43-29 and won the game 43-30.  With all of these close games there were still 2 more Conference teams on the ropes in their openers.  Play the Game an Arkansas 'A' team with some remnants of the old FBI team was up 26-15 on Nightmare (MO-AA) going into the bottom of the 4th.  But Nightmare's offense took hold and they went to the 5th inning with a 33-26 lead having scored 18 runs!  They held on to win 41-26.  Wood Law (TX-B) also had their hands full with BIS/Classick Sports (LA-C).  With 2 outs in the top of the 7th Wood Law was down 36-32 but came back to score 5 runs and take a 1 run lead.  In the bottom of the 7th BIS/Classick went 1-2-3 and Wood Law escaped with a 37-36 win!  The final 2 teams in the "final 8" of the winner's bracket was Old School (TX-B) who won 27-7 over MVP Bulls (TX-B) and Steel Sports (TX-A) beat CBS (FL-B) 28-13.

In the quarterfinals which were played on Saturday morning, Baugh Ford and Xtreme in the top half of the bracket cruised to run rule wins over Competitive Edge and Old School respectively.  In the bottom half of the bracket Steel Sports kept the pressure on Nightmare the entire game after Nightmare got off to a slow start.  But Nightmare took a lead into the 7th inning and Steel Sports had the bases loaded at one point when their 2nd baseman who had been ejected spot came up in the lineup.  The only person left on the bench was the manager Mark Holsonback who tried to take a walk but struck out looking so as not to ground into a double play.  The next batter flew out and Nightmare escaped with a 32-31 win.  And Wood Law grabbed a mid-game lead on Beckham Brothers and held on for a 18-16 lead with the wind blowing in when Beckham had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the 7th.

In the semifinals of the winner's bracket Xtreme used some incredible defense to keep Baugh Ford from running off with an early lead.  Right fielder Chris Anninos made an incredible running catch leaping against the fence near the foul pole.  3rd baseman Toby Letak started a 5-10-3 double play and got another double play on a tag out and throw to 2nd.  And then the Xtreme offense finally woke up and Brandon Newman hit a 3 run homer to give them the lead in a big 6th inning that led to a 21-10 win!  On the other side of the bracket Nightmare cruised past Wood Law 30-11.

In the winner's bracket championship Xtreme came from behind in the 4th inning and scored 10 runs and they used a 5 hit performance from Curtis Stewart and a 3 homer 9 RBI performance from eventual MVP Toby Letak to beat Nightmare 41-29.  Both teams hit all 12 of their allotted home runs.

In the loser's bracket Natural State won a couple of games before Competitive Edge sent them home 12-3 and Play the Game went on a nice winning streak before Competitive Edge beat them 30-29.  Dirty Vegas and Big Apple went on small win streaks before Steel Sports and Beckham Brothers sent them home.  The scores in the losers bracket were really low on Precision field where the wind blew in most of the day Saturday.  Then Wood Law dropped down and beat Competitive Edge 29-16 and Beckham Brothers flip flopped Steel Sports before Steel came all the way back to grab a lead in the top of the 7th only to lose to Beckham 30-27 on a walk off homer by Justin Mackey.  Baugh Ford then sent home Beckham Brothers 23-14 and run ruled Wood Law in 3 innings 33-0.  In the loser's bracket finals Baugh Ford scored 10 runs in the top of the 1st inning but it was all Nightmare the rest of the way as they grabbed a 14-11 lead in the bottom of the 1st, a 23-10 lead after pitcher Dan Bean turned a double play and Zane Migues hit a bases clearing triple.  And then Bean who was on fire with the stick hit a grand slam to put Nightmare up 28-11 in the 3rd and another grand slam in the bottom of the 4th to go up 36-21.  Nightmare eventually run ruled Baugh Ford 42-27.

The championship started near midnight Saturday as the cool air took over and you could just feel the scores were going to be high.  Nightmare jumped on Xtreme with 16 runs in the top of the 1st inning and held Xtreme scoreless in the bottom of the inning.  Nightmare then failed to score in the 2nd and led 16-9 after 2 innings and Xtreme fought back to tie the score 18-18 after 3 complete.  In the bottom of the 5th Curtis Stewart tied game again at 27-27 and Xtreme turned big double plays in 5th and 6th to keep Nightmare in check.  Then Xtreme decided to use up their homers as Matt Mcgowan, Brandon Newman, and Toby Letak all hit solos to go up 30-27 and Shannon Smith hit a 2 runner.  For the inning they hit 6 home runs and the defense held up and they won the game and the tournament 38-31!

Xtreme center fielder Matt Schrage

Xtreme slugger Curtis Stewart mashed this homer in their early inning come back in the final game.

 

Tim "Bye Bye" Bowser adds to Nightmares double digit 1st inning lead in the Championship agaisnt Xtreme

 

Nightmare center fielder Zack St. Pierre triples

Team Breakdown:
25 Teams Overall
6 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
2 'AA' Teams
5 'A' Teams
10 'B' Teams
 8 'C/D' Teams

 


 

Key Winner's Bracket Games

Baugh Ford takes on Xtreme in the winner's semi final

Schrage hits a big homer in Xtremes semi final come back against Baugh Ford

Nightmare's Erik Kanaby singles sharply past Play the Game pitcher Perry Hensley

 

BIS/Classick Sports came this close to upsetting Wood Law on Friday night

Wood Law holds off Beckham Brothers in a quarter final upset

Baugh's Carlton Griffin got robbed by Xtreme right fielder Chris Anninos as Anninos sprinted to the foul pole and made a leaping catch into the fence.

   

The park had a good atmosphere, shade, great viewing areas, a bar, and food

 


 

Old Scout pollers were correct

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

Link to Friday night and Saturday video clips!

Link to Championship game video clips!

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

My Long Bomber of the week goes to Brandon Hooks.  Hooks is like a "mini" Greg Connell with an aggressive swing which sometimes makes it seem like he is hitting a baseball instead of a softball, similar to Jimmy Carter of Premier.

 


 

Cajun Major Final Standings and Awards

 

 

Xtreme 3rd baseman Toby Letak was tournament MVP!

 

Xtreme pitchers Dirk Updike and Austin Green were co-Defensive MVP's

Nightmares Mike Brambilla was lacing line drives all over the park and was tournament Offensive MVP

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

 

1st Place – Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  5-0 Record

Xtreme reached down deep to come back in their opener against Moneyman.  Then they just methodically dismantled all of the rest of their opponents after trailing early in most of their games.  They had by far the best defense led by the pitchers Updike and Green and middle infielder Newman.  Stewart and Letak put up some big numbers offensively.  And the team does a good job of going with the hot sticks while still giving the guys sitting out a role with a pinch hit or a defensive sub.  Great weekend, great win, and now you are 4th in the Conference points standings.

Trending Up!

Xtreme Lineup:
CF Matt Schrage
1B Shannon Smith
C Curtis Stewart
SS Steve Whaley
2B/3B Joe Skyles
RF Chris Anninos
IF Dylan Smith/Bremer
LF Matt McGowan
3B/2B Toby Letak
P Updike/Green

 

A lot of teams talk about being a "family" and team work but Xtreme puts it into action

Shortstop Steve Whaley

   

Shannon and Dylan Smith (not related)

 

Matt McGowan makes a catch in left center and right fielder Chris Anninos

ASP/Athlon sponsor Brandon Roberts goes 1-1 in their blowout win over Old School

 


 

2nd Place – Nightmare/Miken

Conf 'AA' from MO  4-2 Record

 

Nightmare played well but gets a "trending even" because they failed to beat Xtreme in either contest they played.  Everyone seemed to be contributing.  Brambilla and Bowser were hitting it and Dan Bean was on fire hitting 2 grand slams in the clutch.  It was fun to see the young players like St. Pierre fly around the bases and make great diving catches and Conner Murray be all tournament at shortstop.  This team has a deep lineup and should never feel like they are out of a game.  Nightmare takes over 1st place in the Conference point standings.

Trending Even

Nightmare
RF Williams
3B Maggard
EH Brambilla
P Bean
LFMatte
C Bowser
MI Migues/Terry
2B Fogle
1B Kanaby
SS Murray
CF St Pierre

MI Zane Migues, 2B Nolan Fogle, 1B Erik Kanaby

  

Dan Bean and Billy Maggard

 

Fogle and Kanaby had big hits in their comeback against Steel

 

Right fielder Mike Williams made this diving catch in the right center gap

 


 

3rd Place – Baugh Ford/Kut4Sports/Worth/Miken

Conf 'TBD' from AL  4-2 Record

 

Baugh handled all of the teams they faced except for the 'AA' teams.  The lineup is anchored by Phillip White and Brandon Hooks and the lead off hitting of Curtis Cornett.  Baugh was pitching well, they just couldn't score against Xtreme's defense in the semifinals.  

Trending Up!

Final Lineup Baugh Ford
2B Cornett
3B White
Hooks
CF Zorich
C Gilfillan
SS Raspberry
New guy
Griffin
P Baugh
MI Sullivan

1B Folsom also played

Tommie Baugh got at least two hitters with the between the legs pitch.

 

3B Philip White was closing down the 5-6 hole with those stab and spin throws while MI John Sullivan turned the DP's

 

Normally this is where I say it isn't as bad as it looks.  Not so this time!

 


 

4th Place – Wood Law/Olmito Heat/Club Chill 

Conf 'B' from TX  3-2 Record

 

Wood Law has a lot of Conference experience but played well without Nick Shay (injured) and Dennis Shrum.  They pulled off upsets of Beckham Brothers and Competitive Edge before putting up that zero against Baugh Ford.

Trending Up!

Pitcher Chris Lopez

Wood Laws Cole Campbell was racking up the RBI totals

I think this was the game winning RBI Friday night

This catch by Stark in left center field sent Beckham Brothers to the loser's bracket

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Beckham Brothers/Pure/Exclusive

Conf 'TBD' from SC  3-2 Record

 

Beckham came from behind to beat Oilers 43-30 then lost to Wood Law with the bats in their hands 18-16.  In the loser's bracket they won 11-2 with the wind blowing in over Big Apple, flip flopped then had to come from behind to beat Steel Sports on a walk off homer by Justin Mackey 30-27, and seemed to run out of gas against Baugh Ford in a 23-14 loss.  The team just hasn't pulled off the upsets this year that they are capable of.  But the roster changes a little each tournament so we should wait and see where the lineup settles before writing them off, thats for sure.

Trending Even

Justin Mackey hits a walk off homer to beat Steel Sports

 

Peter Seiden was leading the league in on base percentage coming into the Cajun and Devin Anderson one of the better base hitters around

 

Mike played the whole tournament!  🙂   and 3rd baseman "not reno"

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Competitive Edge/C&R Equipment

Conf 'A' from FL  3-2 Record

Competitive Edge won that 1 run game over Big Apple on a strikeout, then only put up 6 runs in a loss to Baugh Ford.  Then they beat Natural State 12-3 with the wind blowing in and held on to beat Play the Game 30-29 before Wood Law sent them home 29-16.  A step forward in the right direction for a team that got off to a slow start in Houston and Florida.

Trending Up!

 

 

I don't know these Competitive Edge players but if they keep making top 5 the names will come.   🙂

 

 


 

Other top finishing Conference teams

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Play The Game

'A' from AR  4-2 Record

Play the Game played a lot of softball and played in a lot of close games.  The team has that veteran core of Hensley at pitcher and Zach Keene mixed with some younger players and some speed with guys like Bryant and shortstop Brian Bryles.  Tim Howard did not play. 

  

Pitcher Perry Hensley and Zach Keene

 

Kevin Bryant sets up Brian Bryles for the walk off homer!


 

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Steel Sports

'A' from TX  3-2 Record

Steel played very well and could have finished much higher had they held on to beat Nightmare.  They just needed a few more guys on the bench.  This is a fun team that will continue to perform well in their regional conference events as they prepare for 'A' Worlds.  

Steel manager Mark Holsonback has pieced together another nice 'A' team

 

RJ Frederick ties the game against Beckham in the top of the 7th and then Pedro Hernandez gives them the lead.

On the video clips I thought this was the game tying and game winning homers as the inning was listed as the bottom of the 7th on the scoreboard.  I did not realize earlier in the game Beckham Brothers had "flip flopped" Steel Sports so this was actually the top of the 7th.
 

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

I would like to thank USSSA, tournament director Richie Soley, and the SoftballCenter advertisers for their support!

Send corrections to dw@softballcenter.com

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Facebook page

Link to all 2009 to 2019 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

 

The Cajun had to be the tournament with the biggest pitchers.  Almost every team seemed to have a giant on the hill.

 

 

Big Apple went 3-2 and finished tied for 9th.

Moneyman from Mississippi scored 50 runs in their opener, then lost to Xtreme by 1 run in the bottom of the 7th on Friday night and finished tied for 13th.

Josh Collins hits a grand slam for Lockwoods

 

Xtreme CF and I were discussing how hard the center field wood fence was just before the fence knocked the ball out of his glove on this home run robbing attempt.

Taylor Lobb from Old School/MVP Sports

 

Dirty Vegas/Steel/Marco a Texas 'B' team tied for 9th

Someone brought some dirt with them

Stafford Connor from BigTimeSoftball.com and magazine was there

This was my first trip to Louisiana for the Cajun

Baugh Ford hammered Wood Law late Saturday night leading some to question if a Conference team has ever scored zero runs in a game?  I do not know the answer.

The umpires that included the return of Jred (Jason) and 7 Arkansas umpires were awesome!

Had my first crawfish, it was ok and the green moonshine was on point.  Will put hair on your chest as my dad used to say.

 

The Boudin were pretty good.  Some kindof chicken cheese ball with other stuff inside.

The livestream hanging on the netting actually worked out pretty good since it wasn't very windy.

Pano from center field

View from the bar when it got chilly after midnight

 

 

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