Thursday April 11th, 2024

A look back at the 2019 USSSA “Windy City” Chicago Major tournament report!



2019 Nationwide Conference USSSA


"Windy City"


Chicago, IL


May 31 – June 2 


TDB/Racks Kyle Pearson hits against Smash It/Precision in the Championship game!


SoftballCenter Chicago picture album link


2019 Chicago bracket and results link


2019 Chicago Major stats link once available


2019 Chicago archived games link


TDB/Racks 3B Bryson Baker, SS Daniel Cayton, MI Luis Reyna in the winner's bracket finals Saturday.

The loaded field of 32 teams began the "Windy City" Major on Friday night at 5:15 PM eastern time on 6 fields at 2 different softball complexes.  There were 17 Nationwide Conference teams and 12 of them were 'AA' or higher!  Conference teams won every game in the "round of 32" without any real upsets.  The top 4 seeds all played a second game on Friday at 9 PM.  In those games #1 seeded Bay Area Legends (CA-AA) run ruled SVC/Miken (OH-B) 31-9, #2 TDB/Racks (NC-Major) run ruled Rebel Sports (MI-AA) 40-25, the #3 Dan Smith Major team held on to beat T&W/Cornerstone (OH-A) 25-22 as Dan Smith scored in every inning and Jason Matusik went 4-4 with 2 home runs, and #4 Resmondo beat Premier/TG/HDLNS (OH-AA) just 26-23.  On Saturday morning the rest of the "round of 16" finished up as Smash It/Precision (IL-AA) held Riot Sports (FL-AA) scoreless the last 3 innings to win 17-14 after Riot held a 6-0 lead and left 6 home runs on the table.  Headlines/Titans (OH-A) upset Pure Sports (SC-Major) 31-29 on the show field when Pure Sports 11-2 lead evaporated and Pure was unable to tie the game in the top of the 7th.  SIS/Thunder (NY-AA) run ruled Newbreed (WA-AA) 40-21 in the 6th inning over at Glasshagel park.  And Xtreme/Miken (MN-AA) jumped out to a huge lead and run ruled fellow Minnesota team Chanticlear (MN-A) 36-19.

In the "round of 8" all played at 2 PM on Saturday afternoon Xtreme scored 19 runs in the top of the 2nd inning against Dan Smith and went up 22-8.  Xtreme then held a 26-15 lead in the bottom of the 5th when 3rd baseman Joe Skyles picked a hot shot at 3rd base and started a 5-10-3 double play and Xtreme held on with the gloves 31-24.  Xtreme left fielder Matt McGowan went 5-6 and hit for the cycle in the win.  In the other quarterfinals TDB/Racks crushed their rival SIS/Thunder 40-9 on the show field.  Resmondo run ruled Headlines 32-15, and SmashIt/Precision trailing Bay Area Legends 13-2 in the bottom of the 4th put up a 10 spot and went on to win 23-18.  Precision shortstop Mike Umschied was 4-4 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in the win.

The semifinals started Saturday evening as the tournament dodged nearby thunderstorms.  SmashIt/Precision took a 13-3 lead to the 5th inning where Resmondo scored 17 runs after a short delay for lightning.  But to Precisions credit they got the lead back in the bottom of the 5th 21-20.  Resmondo out of homer's still managed to get a 22-21 lead on base hits in the 6th but Precision 3rd baseman Heath Barnes and pitcher Andrew Vitcak both stabbed line drives to keep the damage to a minimum.  Resmondo held Precision scoreless in the bottom of the 6th and added 3 runs in the top of the 7th to go up 4.  Precision still had homer's left but managed to base hit their way to a tie game as Umschied, Houseman, and Geron all singled with one out, Dave Kessler doubled, and Vitcak and Barnes singled.  With the game tied Jason Magnum singled home the game winning run and Precision won 26-25.  In the other semifinal TDB Racks held a slim lead most of the game and held down the Xtreme offense on their way to a 26-12 win after a 15-11 start.

The winner's bracket championship started with TDB/Racks using a bunch of home runs and they were out of their 12 HR by the 3rd inning but held a huge 38-17 lead.  The temperatures started to drop during this game and the ball hardened up.  Although Precision also did their share of scoring, TDB/Racks was dialed in and won 53-32.

In the top half of the loser's bracket T&W won a couple of games before SIS/Thunder dropped down and beat them in the bottom of the 10th inning on a walk off homer by Zach Ross.  Then Dan Smith beat SIS/Thunder 43-21 and then scored 26 runs in the first inning against Resmondo only to lose 50-46.  For Resmondo Travis Clark and Kevin Bazat were each 7 for 7 in that win and Steele Lewis was 6-6 with 3 HR and 9 RBI.  In the bottom half of the loser's bracket an Illinois 'B' team Swiing Kiingz won 2 straight before Headlines dropped down and beat them 36-25.  Evolution another Illinois 'B' team got a walk off homer to beat Pure Sports 14-12 before losing to West Point 22-19.  And West Point won 3 games before dropping to Bay Area Legends 33-25.  And Bay Area then beat Headlines and Xtreme to make it to Sunday.

On Sunday Resmondo run ruled Bay Area 37-18 and then lost again to Smash It/Precision 33-29 when Brad Lunda went 5-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 5 runs scored even though Resmondo's Steele Lewis had a 10 RBI game.  In the championship Smashit/Precision grabbed a 19-15 lead after 4 innings but TDB/Racks answered with a 15 run 5th and went on to win the tournament 34-22.  Reyna and Branch had 5 hits each, Everett Williams hit a grand slam, and MVP Kyle Pearson was 4-5 with 4 RBI.

The Dudley Classic M ball was used and it was very sensitive to humidity.  The fields were all 300 feet but the scores were fairly low in the day games especially on fields 3 and 4 with the wind blowing in.  TDB takes the lead in the points race and wins their 4th tournament of the year.

A special thanks to tournament director Brian Mayfield for his hospitality and UIC Doc Beckwell for helping with the livestream on Saturday night and Sunday.


Team Breakdown:
32 Teams Overall
17 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
8 'AA' Teams
4 'A' Teams
8 'B' Teams
8 'C' Teams



Key Winner's Bracket Games

Headlines an Ohio 'A' team beat Pure Sports in the "round of 16", 31-29!

Resmondo takes on Headlines.  Resmondo won 32-15



TDB/Racks takes on SIS/Thunder in the quarter finals.  TDB won 40-9

TDB/Racks beats Xtreme 26-12 in the semi finals.  Looks like my phone was on 82%…  🙂


Bay Area Legends jumped out to a 13-2 lead on Smashit/Precision but Precision won 23-18


Late Saturday night it was Resmondo out slugging Dan Smith 50-46 (above)

and Bay Area knocking off Xtreme 34-19 (below)

Resmondo's Travis Clark hits against Bay Area Legends in a 37-18 Resmondo win Sunday morning

Smash It/Precision heads back to the championship after their 33-29 win in the loser's final Sunday


The atmosphere in Chicago is always great with a knowledgeable softball crowd


Score of the T&W vs SIS/Thunder game going into the 10th inning!

Game was finally won by Thunder as Zach Ross hit a walk off homer!


Full bat testing with buckets and re-testing on Sunday morning.



Old Scout pollers had Resmondo to win



Video Highlites brought to you by:

The video clips this week has some great defense like this leaping catch by Thunder middle infielder Brian McBryde plus some nice stabs by Precision pitcher Andrew Vitcak, a trip through the TDB Lineup, walk off homers, double plays, and much more!

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Link to Chicago Major video clips from Saturday

Link to Chicago Major video clips of the Major teams



Long Bombers of the Week

Rebel Sports Joey Formosa gets the long bomber of the week with a nasty line drive homer over the trees on field 4.

The exit speed had to be one of the best of the tournament during the day when the core of the ball was less due to the humidity.



 Chicago Major Final Standings and Awards


TDB's Kyle Pearson was the tournament MVP – .852, 9 HR, 29 RBI


TDB LF Everett Williams and CF Brian Zirkle were co-Defensive MVP's

SmashIt/Precisions Offensive MVP was Jeff Flood



Team by team notes brought to you by:



1st Place – TDB/Racks/Athlon

Conf Major from NC  6-0 Record

TDB grabbed control of the points standings, the computer rankings, and won their 4th tournament of the season in dominating fashion.  They run ruled Rebel Sports, SIS/Thunder, and beat Xtreme by 14 to get to the winner's bracket finals where they scored the most runs of the tournament in a 53-32 win over SmashIt/Precision.  In the championship they trailed SmashIt/Precision 19-15 when they scored 15 runs in the top of the 5th inning and never looked back beating them 34-22.  Everett Williams was 4-6 with a grand slam and was co-defensive mvp along with Zirkle in the outfield.  Kyle Pearson was MVP and finally looks healthy.  TDB took a chance on some young players like Cayton and Williams and with the top of the lineup having so many elite hitters and the new guys coming up big they have hit on something that is real.  Riley, Branch, Pearson, and Williams were all over .800 onbase percentage.  Harvey was .774 with 13 HR and 34 RBI and continues to lead the league in most power categories.

Trending Up!

TDB Championship game lineup:
P Purcell
3B Baker
C Harvey
EH Riley
MI Reyna
LF Williams
EH Martell
SS Cayton
Kyle Pearson
CF Zirkle


Purcell batted lead off with Baker 2nd this week


Ryan Harvey and Josh Riley


Luis Reyna and Daniel Cayton



Nelson and Martel





2nd Place – Smashit/Precision/3rdStreet/Bulldawg/BPharm

Conf 'AA' from IL  5-2 Record


Precision is based out of Illinois and were due to play well.  They beat a local team Krieger on Friday night, then on Saturday morning shut down Riot Sports the last 3 innings to win 17-14 thanks in part to left fielder Travis Houseman who made to great catches by the fence in left field.  In the semi finals they upset Resmondo 26-25 scoring 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th on base hits to win.  Jason Magnum getting the final single in a true team comeback.  In their two losses to TDB they played fairly well and had a lead in the championship before losing.  They also beat Resmondo a 2nd time in the loser's bracket finals.

The infield defense on turf is incredible with Barnes at third, Umschied SS, Keske MI, and Flood at 2nd.  The pitching doesn't get much better than Vitcak who was also stabbing line drives left and right.  Houseman as mentioned returned from injury and made some fearless catches, Austin Andrews in center field made one of the best diving catches of the year, and is there any real difference between Brad Lunda and say a Buddy Wolf or Neil Haglund?  Maybe not.  With Magnum and Tabler providing some power and Roger Drake as the backup pitcher, Precision seems to be turning the corner after a slow start.

Trending Up!

Smash It Precisions Final Game Lineup:
2B Jeffrey Flood
RFBrad Lunda
SS Mike Umscheid
LF Travis Houseman
C Jason Magnum
1B David Kessler
P Andrew Vitcak
P Roger Drake
3B Heath Barnes
MI Jeffrey Keske
CF Austin Andrews
EH Frank Fracek
EH Geron


Vitcak, Flood, and Lunda


Umschied at SS and that is Travis Houseman far right who played left field and is back from his injury


CF Austin Andrews and 3B Heath Barnes


Yes Dave Kessler does play 1st base.  Manager/Sponsor Bill Wax says "don't be satisfied" with getting to the finals.



3rd Place – Resmondo/SIS/Thunder/RDD/H.Auto/Easton

Conf Major from FL  5-2 Record


Resmondo won their first 3 games including escaping with a 26-23 win over Premier/TG to start the tournament.  But Saturday afternoon they were upset by Smashit/Precision when they lost a 4 run lead in the bottom of the 7th.  In the loser's bracket they came from behind to beat Dan Smith 50-46 late Saturday night, and beat Bay Area Legends 37-18 Sunday morning before Smashit/Precision beat them again 33-29.

Resmondo hasn't played well in Chicago in recent years and Precision had their number this year snapping their 12 game win streak there on Saturday.  Wolf, Clark, and Reckart were All Tournament.

Trending Even

Resmondos last lineup:
1B Kyle Pearson
LF/C Jeremy Yates
C/LF Brian Wegman
2B/C Greg Connell
P Travis Clark
CF Steele Lewis
SS Cory Briggs
3B/EH Bubba Mack
RF Buddy Wolf
2B/3B Brad Reckart
MI Kevin Bazat

Travis Clark shows his knuckleball grip


Reckart, Briggs, Bazat, Connell across the infield.


Bubba Mack returned and played some 3B



4th Place – BayArea/Rapid Fire/Bad Draw/Easton

Conf 'AA' from CA  5-2 Record


Bay Area coming off of their Rocky Mountain Shootout win last weekend continued to roll as they used their #1 seed in Chicago to beat a local team 38-1, then run ruled SVC 31-9 on Friday night.  On Saturday with the "Resmondo draw" where you don't play again until 2 PM a well rested Bay Area was up double digits against Smashit/Precision before losing the lead and the game 23-18.  In the loser's bracket they beat West Point 33-25, run ruled Headlines 41-9, then in a battle of the top 2 'AA' teams of 2019 so far they beat Xtreme 34-19 when the temperatures cooled off late Saturday night.  On Sunday morning they lost to Resmondo 37-18 in a game that felt like it could have gone either way at one point.

The infield defense in particular and pitching is as good as it gets in 'AA'.  The offense has been led by different players at different times.  But I want to give a shoutout to sponsor/player Joel Gonzalez who has hit his way to the all tournament team each of the last two weekends!  He may be the best hitting sponsor in the game.

Trending Up!

Bay Areas lineup vs Precision
3B Stewart
C Mullins
CF Marshburn
LF Johnson
1B Edwards
RF Freddie Bynum
SS Chente Granados
MI McClanahan
P Pinkham


Freddie Bynum and Chente Granados


LF Dave Johnson and 3B Brady Stewart


1B Steve Edwards returned from injury and Chad Mullins


CF Tyler Marshburn was All Tournament and middle man Ryan Mcclanahan

P Pinkham, SS Granados, MI Mcclanahan, LF Johnson



Tied 5th Place – Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith/FAI

Conf Major from CA  4-2 Record

I personally wasn't expecting a lot out of Dan Smith after they played so many games last weekend in winning the Atlanta Major.  They had a few guys nicked up and just wasn't as sharp as they needed to be.  But they still found ways to win against T&W, SIS/Thunder, and late Saturday night in the loser's bracket scored 26 runs in the 1st inning against Resmondo only to lose 50-46.  Matusik, Brungardt, and Nino were all over .800 on base percentage.  Santana, Collins, and Stoval were .750 or above.  Dodds hit 10 HR and had 30 RBI.

Give this team a week off and lets see what they have at the Dudley against TDB.

Trending Even

Dan Smith lineup vs Resmondo
2B Steven Lloyd
CF Andrew Collins
3B Dale Brungardt
C Argen Dodds
RF Nic Santana
LF Jason Matusik
MI Ryan Stovall
1B Davis Bilardello
SS Rafael Hidalgo
P Losson White
P Mike Echeverria-Nino


Matusik and Bennett

Brungardt, Bennett, Stovall, Lloyd



Tied 5th Place – Xtreme/Miken/ASP/Athlon

Conf 'AA' from MN  3-2 Record

Xtreme run ruled rival Minnesota team Chanticlear in their second game and upset Dan Smith 31-24 in the quarterfinals.  In the final 4 of the winners bracket TDB beat them 26-12 and then Bay Area sent them home late Saturday night 34-19.  The team continues to stay at the top of the 'AA' division and another win over a Major team is just going to add to the confidence.  They sat around a long time before they played Bay Area and the conditions with the 50 degree weather didn't play into their favor.

Trending Up!

Xtreme lineup vs Dan Smith
CF Matt Schrage
1B Shannon Smith
C Curtis Stewart
SS Steve Whaley
3B Joe Skyles
RF Chris Anninos
LF Matt McGowan
MI Cory Newman
2B Toby Letak
P Dirk Updike
PH Todd Newton

P Updike, SS Whaley, LF McGowan

1B Smith, 2B Letak, MI Newman



Other top finishing Conference teams



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

Conf 'AA' from NY  3-2 Record

Thunder crushed KBI on Friday night and run ruled Newbreed in the 6th inning over at the Glasshagel park Saturday morning.  At the 2 PM quarterfinals they were crushed by rival TDB 40-9 and in the loser's bracket used a walk off homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat T&W 28-26 then ran into Dan Smith who sent them home 43-21.

Danny Evans is pitching well with a good defense behind him.  McBryde made some highlite reel plays at middle infield.  Fyffe was back and seemed to be hitting it well, and this team is set to make a legit run at the 'AA' Worlds as well as press the major teams every chance they get.

Trending Even


There were John Williams stickers all over the park


Josh Fyffe was back mashing



Tied 7th Place – Headlines/Titan/CSB/Easton

Conf 'A' from OH  3-2 Record

Headlines beat a good Wisconsin 'B' team Comatose 21-6 on Friday night, upset Pure Sports 31-29 Saturday morning then lost to Resmondo 32-15 but at least they scored a run this time 🙂

Later on Saturday they had a nice win over Swiing Kiingz 36-25 before Bay Area sent them home 41-9.  Headlines is close to breaking into the top 16 in Conference points and has a lot of big tournaments (Smoky, Cincinnati, and Columbus) which are close to home where they can make a run at the Major.

Trending Up!




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Some more pictures for you:

Lonzo Fields is on Westpoint Softball who won 'C' Worlds last year

Tied for 9th – Westpoint Softball (IN-B) 3-2 – They beat Premier 10-5 and Evolution 22-19 and played 7 innings with Bay Area.  Nice tournament!


Tied for 9th – T&W/Cornerstone/Pauer/Miken (OH-TBD) 3-2 – T&W beat a good West Point team 40-9, lost a close one to Dan Smith 25-22 then beat GMS and Chanticlear before losing a 10 inning game with SIS/Thunder.



Tied for 9th – Swiing Kiingz/OA/Iconic/Spiderz (IL-B) 3-2 – Swiing Kiingz has pitcher Jason Wilkins and infielder Grant Grimmett and a few other former Conference players.  They got smoked by Rebel on Friday night but beat SVC and Riot Sports on Saturday before losing to Headlines.


Tied for 9th – Rebel Sports/TN/Troupe/M24/GameBrand (MI-AA) 3-2 – Rebel beat Swiing Kiingz 28-8 then lost to TDB 40-25 on Friday night.  On Saturday they run ruled TC8 then lost 37-25 to Dan Smith.

Chanticlear beat two local teams but lost big to rival Xtreme and then by 3 to T&W


Tradesmen beat a local team but lost to SVC and Rebel Sports

I thought these were unique uniforms and didn't even realize this was the Conference team SVC/Miken/Worth/Grizzy Athletics.  They went 1-2 beating Tradesmen by 1 and losing to Swiing Kiingz by 1.



Evolution's win over Pure Sports


This smash base hit set up a game winning walk off homer by Evolution's (IL-B) Billy Wright


Before the final pitch Mooch actually laid his glove on the ground either to distract the hitter or dare him to hit it up the middle instead of out of the park!

In the winner's bracket finals there was a controversial call.  Kessler the first baseman came off the bag at first caught the ball then while attempting to swipe tag Branch also tried to get his foot back on the base.  If you watch the video in the video clips you see that he missed on the swipe tag and the foot back to the base looks like a tie.  So the umpire who called safe was correct.  He would also have been correct if he called out as a tie is umpire discretion we have learned.

Smashit/Precision center fielder Austin Andrews made the best diving catch of the tournament in the outfield but my video was blocked by Keske!

TCB Blasters/Drip City an Iowa 'C' team beat Newbreed 15-14 and only lost to Riot Sports by 2.

Riot Sports had a short weekend but played in some close games

2-2, losing to Precision 17-14 and Swiing Kiings 41-39.

They also won close ones over TC8 Blasters and KBI


Former Precision players Seth Burgmeier who got picked up by Pure Sports and Chris Geron who was picked up by Precision.

Some good advice

This should be the Conference motto!  For if you don't do these things you usually won't be around long.

I don't know what they are picking up, but it looks heavy…

Pure was in a good mood for a few minutes Saturday…  🙂


The higher strike is being called this year.

Always good reminders.  Especially we don't want Gum, Metal Cleats, or Shelled Products like seeds near the turf.

Umpires have been taking a beating on social media of late.  I thought they did a good job but I'm a "koolaid" drinker I am told…

That is about the size of a conference zone, mayb a little too long.  🙂

New softball friends


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