Sunday February 25th, 2024

A look back at the 2020 USSSA 52nd Annual Smoky Mountain Classic tournament report!

Note: The Smoky is one of those tournaments where a reporter can only be in one place at a time so I don't think I ever got to see Primetime, Maroadi, or Competitive Edge play.



2020 Nationwide Conference USSSA


52nd Annual Smoky Mountain Classic


Maryville, TN


August 14-16


Dan Smith left fielder Bradley Jones was named MVP after hitting a dozen or more homers on Sunday!


SoftballCenter Smoky picture album link


2020 Smoky bracket and results link


2020 Smoky Major stats link once available


2020 Smoky archived games link



Video Highlites brought to you by:


Friday and Saturday video clips link


Saturday night and Sunday video clips link


Winner's Final Condensed Game link when ready


Championship game condensed link


The most prestigious regular season slow pitch softball tournament in the country every year is the Smoky Mountain Classic played in and around Maryville, Tennessee.  Normally the tournament is played in July but this year due to Covid-19 the tournament was played a month later.  There were 30 teams from 15 different states and 22 of the teams were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA.  The tournament began on the main field #3 at Sandy Springs Park and next to it on Field #4 at 11:30 AM Friday morning.  The weather was warm and humid all 3 days with a threat of rain but it was not as warm as the Smoky normally is.  The tournament used the Dudley Pro-M ball at Sandy Springs and used the Dudley Classic M over at the Everett Park fields #1 and #2.  There was no good explanations given for this except that the Parks Department felt the Pro-M was too much ball for Everett Park. 

Field Distances using Google Earth:
Sandy Springs #3 (305-331-355-334-313) Show Field
Sandy Springs #4 (310-310-270)
Everett #1 (284-291-296)
Everett #2 (310-297-290)
Spring Brook (274-303-300)

In those first two games SVC/NAGER LAW (OH-A) beat Worksteer/Bell (NC-A) 16-15 on a walk off sacrifice fly on the show field.  And BadDraw/TDB/Rapid Fire annihilated Sniper (TN-E) 40-1.  Sniper was filling in since two Conference teams Thunder a Major team and Klutch/Hubs a AA team folded just days before the Smoky began.  At 12:45 it was Primetime/Easton (GA-A) knocking off Turnkey/CCP (NC-A) 15-9 on the show field and Anarchy/MPT (NJ-AA) beating Windy City Grille (TN-D) 32-3 over on field #4.  At 2 PM the new BaughFord/HDLNS/Hubs Pub merger (AL-TBD) team beat Chick-fil-a (VA-B) 21-12 on the show field.  And Maroadi/SNI (FL-A) with their new Thunder pickups beat Competitive Edge (FL-A) 34-24.  Competitive Edge now has Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance pitching for them.  At 3:30 PM on the show field Riot/TG (FL-AA) with their new pitcher Andrew Vitcak was losing 13-0 against Cheap Suits (CA-A) and their pitcher Victor Cordova.  Cheap Suits is now managed by former Bay Area Legends middle infielder Dameon Smith.  But Riot batted around in the 7th inning to win 43-28!  Over on field #4 Pure Sports (SC-Major) went up 22-0 against TCE (NC-C) and beat them 26-5 as Pure went with Dale Brungardt at pitcher to bolster the offense.  At 5 PM the winner's bracket expanded to 4 games every hour and a half as games started over at Everett Park fields #1 and #2.  On the show field Premier/T&W (OH-A) scored 20 runs in the bottom of the 2nd against Seminoles/TPS (OK-A) in a rematch of last year's USSSA 'A' World finals.  But Seminoles scored 5 or 6 runs it seemed every inning and even though Seminoles out homered Premier 17-13 Premier won the game 37-33 as Mitch Lendenski who was 5-6 with 3 HR hit a grand slam and Robert Noeth Jr. and Cody Roton both hit grand slams in the victory.  Over on field #4 Bay Area Legends (CA-AA) run ruled Maryville 'D' team Prodigy 27-11.  And over at Everett Park Xtreme/Miken (MN-AA) made quick work of Kut4 Sports/OI/D2E (GA-B) 25-9 on the short Field #1 and Westpoint (IN-A) hammered T4C (TN-C) 23-3 on field #2.  At 6:30 PM over at Everett Park SmashIt/Precision (IL-AA) run ruled Bulldawg Trucking (GA-B) 38-17 on Field #1 and Sports Reach/Crunchtime (KY-A) run ruled Statewide/SMC (NC-B) 21-6 scoring 13 runs in the 2nd inning on Field #2 and out homered Statewide 8 to 1.

At 6:30 PM Friday the second round also began with the 14 winning teams and the top two teams in the nation Dan Smith and Resmondo who got byes from the first round playing.  I (DW) left the main park and went over to Everett where I thought the better 2nd round games would be so I don't have details on what happened at the main park the rest of Friday night.  On the show field #2 Resmondo (FL-M) made quick work of Baugh Ford 32-12 and Pure Sports put it on Riot 45-21.  At Everett Park Field #1 the "homer dome" Xtreme led Precision big early on but an overturned call on a catch/tag up from 3rd situation led to a momentum shift and Precision basically scored the only runs the rest of the way in a 37-22 victory sending Precision to the "Elite 8" on the show field on Saturday!  At 8 PM on Field #2 it was Sports Reach and Westpoint two teams that many feel are the two best 'A' teams in the country playing.  Westpoint was up 35-23 going into the bottom of the 6th when Sports Reach scored 16 runs as the sun went down to take a 39-35 lead into the 7th where Westpoint could only muster 3 runs and lost by 1.  Sports Reach out homered Westpoint 23-21 in the game.  Robert Blackburn, Zach Watts, and Robbie Fow each homered 4 times for Sports Reach while the gamechanger live scoring shows Canaan Baum hitting 5 for Premier.  Also at 8 PM on the show field Dan Smith the #1 team in the nation received their 2019 USSSA Major World Series rings in a ceremony before run ruling Maroadis 39-17.  And SVC went up 24 runs on the Bad Draw major team over on Field #4 before Bad Draw scored 31 runs in the 5th and 6th innings and held off SVC who had the hammer 43-42!  At 9:30 PM the final 2 teams punched their tickets to the "Elite 8" as Anarchy/MPT beat Primetime 20-4 on the show field and Premier scored 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th and won on a walk off 3 run homer by Cody Roton to upset Bay Area Legends 28-27 on field #4.  Roton was 5-5 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the game.


Xtreme plays Precision in a wild game on the short porch field


Dan Bean laces a liner against Precision in a comeback

On Saturday the "Elite 8" which is usually the top 8 teams in the nation play back to back to back in the quarterfinals then the semifinals and then the winners final on the show field Sandy Springs #3 which is considered the most famous softball field in the nation and is actually an old high school baseball field.  Just as the best games of the year were about to start it rained for over an hour turning the fields into a mud pit.  During the rain delay it was decided that the quarterfinals of the winners bracket and all of the losers bracket Saturday games would be changed to 5 inning games.  At 1 PM the first quarterfinal began on the show field.  Two Major teams Bad Draw and Pure Sports played a game that neither seemed to want to win or really deserved to win.  In the top of the 5th Pure Sports Tommy Melton hit a single that he hustled and stretched into a double and he ended up scoring to go up by 2.  The 5th being the last inning of the game had Bad Draw blowing their chances to win but they came up short and managed just a tie.  In extra innings Pure Sports outscored Bad Draw and ended up winning (because someone had to) 29-23.  The next game at 2 PM was the biggest upset in recent Smoky history.  Sports Reach an 'A' team  scored at least 3 runs in every inning against Resmondo.  And as the home team they held leads of 20-14 after 3 innings and 26-21 going into the 5th and last inning.  Resmondo scored 7 in the top of the 5th but Sports Reach never backed down.  In the bottom of the 5th Sports Reach started the inning with 2 straight outs and it looked like the Cinderella story was over.  But Brandon Jonas the pitcher and last batter in the order drew an unlikely walk, leadoff hitter Zach Watts singled (he was 5 for 5 in the game), and Robbie Fow hit an energetic no doubter walk off 3 run homer to send Resmondo deep into the loser's bracket 29-28!  At 3 PM Dan Smith rolled through SIS/Precision like they weren't even there in a 3 inning mercy rule win 30-10.  They out homered Precision 23-2 as Andrew Collins, Ryan Harvey, and Luis Reyna were all 4 for 4 in the game.  The last quarterfinal was at 4 PM and Anarchy/MPT beat Premier.  Neither team scored much at the end of the game and MPT out homered Premier 9-3 as John Williams, Chris Greinert, and Sean Ulmer each had 2 homers.

The semifinals were 7 inning games and started around 6 PM.  The "Cinderella" Sports Reach didn't want to take off the slipper as they faced the Pure Sports Major team.  Sports Reach extended an early 12-4 lead with a home run barrage in the top of the 4th in a 16 run adrenaline filled inning and won by the mercy rule 29-14.  Sports Reach out homered Pure 17-11 as 10 of their 11 hitters homered in the game.  At 7:30 PM it was Anarchy/MPT's chance to pull off an upset.  This was possibly the best game of the tournament.  Dan Smith scored 13 in the bottom of the 1st inning, and 20 in the 5th, but put up 3 zeroes in the game?  MPT scored 13 in the 4th, 8 in the 5th, and 10 in the top of the 6th to go up 42-39 going into the 7th.  Then MPT scored 4 in the top of the 7th to go up 46-39 on a Chris Greinert grand slam.  In the bottom of the 7th 3 of the last 4 Dan Smith batters made outs and MPT pulled off the upset 46-42!  MPT had some incredible defensive plays from shortstop Orlando Castillo and center fielder Woody Darling in the game and even though MPT made some huge errors in the bottom of the 5th when Dan Smith scored 20 runs they were still able to overcome that and win the game.

So at 9 PM it was an 'A' team Sports Reach taking on Anarchy/MPT a 'AA' team in the winner's bracket finals.  Possibly the first time in Smoky history that two non-Major teams were in the winner's final.  And it was sort of funny to see the bigger crowd over at the loser's bracket games which had all 4 major teams playing 5 inning games…lol.  Sports Reach went up 14-5 after 2 innings but put up just 6 runs in the last 5 innings and MPT came back with 13 runs in the bottom of the 4th and won 27-20.  Sports Reach seemed to finally be out of gas.  MPT only out homered Sports Reach 12-11 but John Williams hit 4 homers and he made Sandy Springs field #3 look like a little league field at times with his high majestic homers.  He also had 8 RBI.

In the loser's bracket with their 5 inning games the pace was fast and furious as they played it out on 4 different fields at 3 different parks.  In the top 4th of the loser's bracket Turnkey/CCP won 3 straight including wins over fellow 'A' teams Maroadis and Seminoles before losing to Resmondo just 25-21.  Seminoles had eliminated Xtreme 22-21.  Bay Area Legends was running through the 2nd quarter of the loser's bracket before losing to Bad Draw 18-15 as a monsoon rain hit late in the game.  The Tennessee 'C' team T4C beat Riot Sports and then SVC on a walk off homer in the 3rd quarter of the bracket before Premier dropped down and ended their run 35-2.  Premier scored 32 runs in the 3rd inning and were led by leadoff hitter Mitch Lendenski who was 5-5 with 4 home runs.  And in the 4th quarter of the loser's bracket Baugh Ford ended Westpoints run 37-32 and beat SIS/Precision 45-20 to advance to a midnight contest with Premier where they lost 24-9.  Bobby Noeth Jr was 4-4 with a grand slam and 7 RBI in the win.  And Bad Draw out slugged Resmondo over on field #4 47-32 to send Resmondo home to a 7th place finish.  In 13 years of covering slowpitch softball I don't ever remember typing that Resmondo finished 7th?  To finish the night in the wee hours of the morning Dan Smith run ruled Bad Draw 35-14 scoring 23 runs in the top of the 3rd as Collins and Harvey were both 5-5.  And in the last game of the night/morning Pure Sports answered Premier's 10 run 1st with at 13 run 2nd and a 16 run 6th to win 44-24.  Bryson Baker and Donnie Hammonds each hit 4 homers in the game.

Bad Draw vs Bay Area mud game at Everett Park

On Sunday morning at 8 AM Dan Smith who had to be tired and running on very little sleep began an epic run which started against Pure Sports.  Pure played tough early on but left the bases loaded against Dan Smith down 11-3 in the bottom of the 2nd, they used an intentional walk strategy against Dan Smith EH Argen Dodds 5 times which was fairly successful, and they got  Dan Smith to leave the bases loaded in the 5th and next thing you know you look up and Pure is up 24-22 after 5 innings.  But Dan Smith responded with a grand slam by Joe Bennett in the 6th to take the lead and then a couple of misplays by the Pure outfield led to a 12 run top of the 6th and a 23 run top of the 7th and all of a sudden it was a blowout win for Dan Smith 57-26.  The highest score of the tournament by a winning team.  Bradley Jones was 5-7 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in the win and Phil Matte and Ben Dunn each had 7 hits.

The fog lasted most of the first game Sunday between Pure and Dan Smith

The loser's bracket final was then played as the fog burned off and the temperatures climbed.  Dan Smith scored 7 or 8 runs in every inning against Sports Reach in a quick solid 29-8 victory.  Collins, Harvey, and Jones were all 4-4.  


Anarchy/MPT's stabs a line drive in the championship game!

The championship then began as the sun came out.  A fresh MPT team was put in their place quickly as Dan Smith scored 13 in the 1st, 13 in the 2nd, and 12 in the 4th.  But MPT never gave up but that double digit inning Dan Smith had in the 4th was too much to overcome and Dan Smith forced the "if" game 48-27.  Their offense overcame a lot of defensive mistakes all tournament long.  

Dan Smith slugger Argen Dodds adds to their 13 run 1st inning in the 1st Championship game!

In the final game Anarchy/MPT went up 16-11 going into the bottom of the 4th but left the bases loaded and Dan Smith finally broke free and scored 12 runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 23-16.  When MPT didn't answer in the top of the 6th Dan Smith left them on the field with a 9 run inning capped by a Luis Reyna walk off run rule homer and Dan Smith had won the Smoky the hard way by "double dipping" MPT and winning 5 straight games!


Luis Reyna caps off a Dan Smith push in the 6th inning of the final game and leaves MPT on the field.

Dan Smith tips his cap to the Smoky's 52nd year


Championship Game Box Score

Dan Smith, Eddie Menosse, and Steven Smith receive the 1st place trophy

Team Breakdown:
30 Teams Overall
22 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
5 'AA' Teams
12 'A' Teams
4 'B' Teams
5 'C/D' Teams



Key Games

Sports Reach outfielder Robbie Fow hits a walk off homer to beat Resmondo in the quarterfinals.

They were down 28-26 with 2 on and 2 out!




Winner's Bracket Finals

The winner's final was between two non Major teams for quite possibly the 1st time in Smoky history!

This shot went off the helmet of Sports Reach pitcher Brandon Jonas



I walked away from the Dan Smith vs Precision quarterfinal game to catch the walk off win by T4C on field 4.

And when I got back the entire game had been played with Dan Smith beating Precision 30-10 in 3 innings.

So I did not have any coverage of that game.


Pures Scott Hartling singles against Bad Draw in the quarterfinals.  Pure won in extra innings.

Loser's Final – Sports Reach's Robert Blackburn hits against Dan Smith pitcher Dan Sanchez


T4C a Tennessee 'C' team walked off SVC in the loser's bracket with a homer

Early morning fog set in for the Sunday loser's semifinal between Dan Smith and Pure Sports.

Pure Sports MI Ryan Mcclanahan turns a double play.

Late Saturday the crowd moved to Field #4 to see Resmondo and Bad Draw

After midnight Saturday Pure takes on Premier


Crowds were down again at the Smoky

The new fence on Field #4

Torrential rain hit Field #2 at the end of the Bad Draw vs Bay Area game

Rain hit Saturday morning but the show field was back in action shortly after the leaf blowers took to the field


This is field #2 on the left and field #1 on the right over at Everett Park



Old Scout Pollers had Resmondo at 63%…oops



Long Bombers of the Week

Andrew Collins led the tournament in home runs with 24

Harvey was in the 20's and had probably the longest homers.

John Williams of MPT had the highest and most majestic.



Smoky Major Final Standings and Awards

Bradley Jones was MVP

Anarchy/MPT's new 3rd baseman John Williams was Offensive MVP of the tournament

Dan Smith CF Ben Dunn was Defensive MVP



Team by team notes brought to you by:



1st Place – Dan Smith/Menosse/Steven Smith/FAI

Conf 'M' from CA  7-1 Record

Dan Smith has had a tough time beating 'A' teams this year and that puts them in the loser's bracket often.  But the loser's bracket refocuses this team and their youthful legs and never give up attitude prevail and they have now come out of the loser's bracket to win by the "double dip" 4 times this year!  The MVP Bradley Jones's range in left field was a difference maker and they are obviously the best team in the country up the middle with Purcell pitching, Reyna at SS, and Ben Dunn in CF.  Add to that the pure power of Andrew Collins, Ryan Harvey, and Argen Dodds and the fact the younger players just get better and better and you have yourself the 2020 Nationwide Conference USSSA Champions and the #1 seed for the USSSA Major World Series! 

Trending Up!


Collins robs Jared Hunt in right field.  Tyler Marshburn turns a double play.


Jason Matusik and Ben Dunn.  Dunn is going for the all time single season record for doubles and triples.


Harvey and Reyna


SS Joe Joe Bennett and 3B Phil Matte




2nd Place – Anarchy/MPT Rentals

Conf 'AA' from NJ  5-2 Record


MPT had an amazing run through the winner's bracket led by the offense of newly acquired John Williams and the defense of middle infieler/LF/Pitcher Brian McBryde.  After getting hammered in the first championship game they showed heart and focus leading the "if" game 16-11 in the 5th inning!  What could have been…

I was wrong in the preview where I said no team outside of the top 3 had ever won the Smoky.  In talking to Chris Clark the Smoky tournament director he said that Starpath was an 'A' team when they won it many years ago.  But MPT could have become the first non major in 30+ years to win it if the ball had bounced just right in that final game.

Manager Carucci made some interesting pitching and defensive moves trying to change things up.  He also picked up a rookie left fielder Krencil who has some obvious talent.

Trending Up!


Chris Greinert had some good distance on his homers and leadoff David Johnson led off a number of games with a HR


Castillo was on it defensively and pitcher John Dombrowski is becoming one of the best in the game.


Wright and Ulmer on the right side of the infield

This may have been Filip Washingtons only at bat a pinch hit single in the championship.

He was out with a knee injury suffered in Columbus.



3rd Place – Sports Reach/Crunchtime/H&H/Grizzy

Conf 'A' from KY  4-2 Record


Sports Reach had a weekend to remember.  They walked off Resmondo, beat Pure to get to the winner's final, and had MPT on the run early in the winner's final.  They just need to work now on that Sunday stamina to get ready for 'A' Worlds!   

Trending Up!


Jonas led the team defensively


3B Mackey, SS Watson, CF Watts


Robbie and his son Drew display the 3rd place trophy




4th Place – Pure Sports/Infamous/EB

Conf 'M' from SC  4-2 Record


Pure won their quarterfinal game against Bad Draw in extra innings but was upset by Sports Reach in the semifinals and had their chances against Dan Smith on Sunday morning.  I don't think anyone outside of the team (and maybe not even the team) understand why this team can't turn the corner?

Trending Up… a little!


Jared Hunt and Ryan Mcclanahan went to the same high school in California


Brungardt climbs the ladder at 3rd and also pitched most of the games.

Meltons hustle double may have won the game against Bad Draw

P Mcclanahan, SS Flood, MI Melton, LF Hartling



Tied 5th Place – Bad Draw/TDB/RapidFire/T2/BAF/Pauer

Conf 'M' from NC  4-2 Record

Bad Draw needed to beat Pure to have a shot at a Sunday finish and came up short.  But they weren't done as they beat Bay Area Legends and sent home Resmondo before losing to Dan Smith.

Trending Even


Everett Williams hits another bomb!



Tied 5th Place – Premier/T&W/Easton/BAF

Conf 'A' from OH  4-2 Record

Premier beat Seminoles, Bay Area, T4C, and Baugh Ford to finish 5th.  Staton on the mound is entertaining.  Lendenski could be rookie of the year.  He was .857 with 13 HR.  And Jackie Corn is anchoring the lineup.  A team short on power finishes 5th at the Smoky.  Nice!

Trending Up!


Lendenski at lead off had the home run swing going


P Rocky Staton, 3B Jackie Corn, SS Jordan Rosenbalm, MI Steve Hendrickson


Manager Forwith using gamechanger!  Premier picked up Cody Pack



Other top finishing Conference teams



Tied 7th Place – BaughFord/HDLNS/Hubs Pub

Conf 'A' from AL  4-2 Record

The newly formed Baugh Ford/HDLNS/Hubs beat Chick-fil-a, Worksteer, Westpoint, and Precision.  Lost to Resmondo and Premier.  I didn't get to see much of them as they played over at fields I wasn't at but obviously they had more wins then Baugh or Hubs had when they were their own teams so they must be doing better.

Trending Up!




Tied 7th Place – Resmondo/SmashIt/Sonny's/JJ's/RDD

Conf 'M' from FL  2-2 Record

Resmondo is trending down.  On paper they have one of the best lineups of all time but too many players and some holes on defense led to losses to Sports Reach and Bad Draw.  Yates, Connell, Nelson, and Santana were over .800 onbase percentage.  Cayton was a perfect 13-13 with 9 HR.

Trending Down

Yates was back



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Some more pictures for you:


Hooks is back and Vitcak pitched.  But Riots only win was over Cheap Suits and they lost to a C team.

Westpoint lost to Sports Reach and Baugh and only beat two locals.

Canaan Baum hit over .800 with 11 HR and Patterson was over .800

Bay Area 3-2.  Beat 2 locals and scored 50 on Primetime but lost the "mudder" game against Bad Draw.

Turnkey lost to Primetime.  Beat Maroadis and Seminoles before losing a close one to Resmondo


Cheap Suits was 0-2 losing to Riot and TCE.  TCE is a 'C' team…

Seminoles 2-2, lost to Premier and Turnkey but beat Xtreme

Worksteer was 1-2.  Lost a close one to SVC and were sent home by Baugh Ford.  Only 38 runs scored?


Xtreme has been on the wrong end of some really bad calls the past two weeks.  

SIS/Precision came from behind to beat Xtreme.  But lost big to Dan Smith and Baugh Ford.

Precision added MI Jeff Keske and 1B Brett McCollum

SVC beat Chick-fil-a and Worksteer and battled Bad Draw but got walked off by T4C

Chick-fil-a (VA-B) isn't really equipped for unlimited bombs 0-2

Maryville newspaper covered the Classic

Bryson Baker has a deal with one of the young fans that he gives the kid .25 cents if he doesn't hit a homer.

And the kid gives him .25 cents if he hits a homer.

Turns out Mooch did not get benched for not bringing his pants. 

They just went with Brungardt pitching to extend the lineup.

Final game umpires from Cincinnati, Ohio – Justin Stout and Eric "Slim" Rice

Directors Strojan Kennison, Joe Huff, and Chris Clark

Rhino got his nickname from when he was a youth running back running over everyone.

Kenny, Phillip White, and Troupe

Chad Brown has been coming to the Smoky for 33 years. 

He helps with the balls and helped me take down cameras in the rain.

Thanks Chad!

Todd Newton lost some sort of bet so he had to coach a base in his robe

Some of the Smoky games that were shared on Facebook received over 70,000 views each!






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