Thursday May 6th, 2021
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2020 USSSA Lexington, SC Major tournament report!

 

 

2020 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

Lexington, SC Major

 

July 31- August 1

 

Bad Draw's MVP pitcher Bill Pinkham singles in the championship game against Sports Reach

SoftballCenter Lexington picture album link

 

2020 Lexington bracket and results link

 

2020 Lexington Major stats link once available

 

2020 Lexington archived games link

 


 

Video Highlites brought to you by:

Friday and Early Saturday video clips link (20 minutes worth)


Saturday afternoon to end oftournament video clips (12 minutes worth)


Condensed Game Winner's Bracket Championship video (when ready)


Condensed Game – Championship Game video (when ready)

 


 

The Nationwide Conference USSSA returned to South Carolina for the first time since 2012 as the city of Lexington's beautiful Pine Grove Park hosted a 12 team Major with 7 teams from the Conference.  The tournament began in extreme heat (93 degrees) and humidity on Friday night at 7 PM eastern time.  With a 12 team double elimination bracket you have the lowest 8 seeds "play in" to the top 4 teams.  In those play in games the South Carolina throw together 'A' team with ex Briggs players called Frontline/Legacy Sports jumped on SVC/Nager Law (OH-A) early on.  But SVC battled back and after making two outs in the bottom of the 7th came through with 3 straight base hits to win the game 25-24.  They then advanced to play Chick-fil-a/HB Sports/Shepherds (VA-B) immediately and ended up run ruling them 28-13 to advance to the final 4.  Meanwhile Worksteer/Briggs (NC-A) knocked off Sal-8/LA Lawns (VA-B) 24-11 in a warmup for their shot at the #2 seed and only Major team in the tournament Bad Draw.  In that game they were tied with Bad Draw late in the game but used up all 12 of their home runs early on and Bad Draw came back to put Worksteer away 28-21.  In the bottom half of the bracket Turnkey/CCP/Dan Smith (NC-A) beat the first 'D' team of the season to play a conference event (Lewis Lawn Services) 29-8 and then ran into a buzz saw against Primetime (GA-A) who sent them to the loser's bracket 36-18.  Primetime using a number of 3 run homers in a double digit inning to pull away.  And finally Terry's/Holland (NC-B) beat Statewide (NC-B) 7-2 on field #5 with the sun right in the batter's eyes and then Sports Reach (KY-A) run ruled Terry's 26-9.  Aaron Miller was 3 for 3 with 6 RBI in the win.

On Saturday there were 4 games in the loser's bracket at 8 am before the winner's bracket semifinals started at 9:30 AM.  In the first semifinal Bad Draw absolutely crushed SVC 27-3 in a game that went so quickly that I never got back around a second time to take pictures and video clips…  And Prime Time jumped out to a 22-8 lead on Sports Reach before Sports Reach dug down deep in the bottom of the 6th scoring 10 runs including a grand slam by Jason Gilfillan after a dropped ball in the outfield to close the lead to 27-25.  In the 7th Prime Time could only must a pair of runs and Sports Reach took advantage of two more Prime Time errors in the bottom of the 7th to win on a walk off hit by Curtis Cornett 30-29!  Robbie Fow was 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI and Gilfillan had 9 RBI in the win for Sports Reach.  Ira Brown was 6-6 and Jarvis Riggins 5-6 with 5 RBI in the loss.

The winner's bracket finals, which will be available in a condensed game video on YouTube, started in the heat of the day and some of the worst humidity we have witnessed this year.  Bad Draw came out fresh and on full blast.  They held Sports Reach scoreless in the top of the 1st inning and then scored 17 in the bottom half!  Sports Reach then scored just 1 in the top of the 2nd and it looked like they would lose big.  But Sports Reach scored 9 in the 3rd and 7 more in the 4th to extend the game but could not overcome the loss of their starting pitcher Brandon Jonas to an ejection and lost 35-27.  The top of the Bad Draw lineup Brady Stewart, Everett Williams, Chad Mullins, Buddy Wolf, and Adam Ussery were all 4 for 5 so a total of 20-25 with 6 HR, 21 RBI, and 18 runs scored.

In the loser's bracket Turnkey won 3 straight and Worksteer 2 straight before Prime Time sent both of them home.  4 of those games were decided by 1 run.  And then in the loser's bracket finals Sports Reach scored 13 in the bottom of the 2nd and 16 more in the bottom of the 4th to put away a tired Prime Time team 38-25 in just 4 at bats.  Robert Blackburn, Justin Mackey, Derrick Roland, and Zach Watts all were on base every time they were up.  

The championship started early Saturday evening and although the teams were hot and tired they put on a good show.  This game is also going to be on YouTube in condensed game form.  Both teams scored at least 2 runs in every inning and the game had 7 lead changes.  Sports Reach led Bad Draw 21-15 after 5 innings.  Bad Draw just could never quite get it going against Sports Reach pitcher Brandon Jonas who had 2 strike outs in key situations early in the game and Sports Reach held small leads late in the game until the top of the 7th when Bad Draw down 31-28 started with two quick outs but then used clutch hits by Mullins, Wolf, and Ussery to set up a big 3 run homer by John Radich to go up by 1 run 32-31.  In the bottom of the 7th with home runs to hit Sports Reach started with a double by Jason Hatley, then an intentional walk to pinch hitter Kenneth Cooper set up a walk off homer by Kaden Watson to force the "if" game 34-32!

In the "if" game which they moved from field #5 to field #1 because of the sun in the batters eyes, neither team really grabbed control of the game in the first 4 innings but Bad Draw was up 13-6 as Sports Reach just was too tired to get any offense going and the wind was blowing in.  In the bottom of the 5th Bad Draw was up 13-9 and started to get an offensive rhythm going.  Martel hit a 3 run homer to go up 18-9 and Zirkle hit one over the cherry tree to make it 21-9  to go up 12 and they started freeing up their swings to try and get to the 15 run rule.  The final blow was a Chad Mullins homer to end the game leaving Sports Reach on the field 26-9.  Martel led the way 4-4 with 9 RBI.

The tournament had an 'A' World feel to it with a number of the top 'A' teams in attendance but the big question was whether or not any of the 'A' teams could challenge Bad Draw?  The answer was a definite yes as Worksteer pushed them on Friday night and Sports Reach beat them to force the "if" game.  

Pine Grove was supposed to be the park where the USSSA 'C' or 'B' Worlds were supposed to be but too many people complained that the fields were not good enough for a world tournament and those tournaments were moved back to Viera.  I have to say I do not understand what the complainers are saying?  The park is beautiful, the fields are good, and the airport is just 10 minutes away in Columbia and you can also fly into Charlotte.

Winner's Bracket Final

Bad Draw's Adam Ussery slides in ahead of Robert Blackburns tag in the winner's final

Benches cleared in the winner's final after it appeared Sports Reach misunderstood something Bad Draw shouted.

Jason Martel for Bad Draw and pitcher Brandon Jonas for Sports Reach were thrown out.

 


 

Championship Game

Sports Reach shortstop Kaden Watson hit a walk off homer to force the "if" necessary game.

Zach Watts swings for Sports Reach in the finals.

 


 

"If" Game

Bad Draw's Chad Mullins deals the final blow in a walk off run rule win in the "if" game!

 


 

Team Breakdown:
12 Teams Overall
7 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
1 Major Teams
0 'AA' Teams
6 'A' Teams
4 'B' Teams
1 'C' Teams

 


 

Key Games

Sports Reach takes on Primetime in a key semifinal game.  Sports Reach came from a double digit deficit to win.

 


 

Loser's Bracket Final

 


 

Ty Mingle hits a walk off homer to push Prime Time past TurnKey/CCP in the 4th place game Saturday 23-22.

Ira Brown who hit a solo homer and Bill Cullen who singled set up Ty for the winner after Turnkey CF Cody Cornelius made an incredible home run robbing catch on Chivas Clark.  Check out that catch in the video clips!

Friday night Roderick Armour singles against TurnKey/CCP in a big win 36-18 in a battle of 'A' teams.

SVC's new pickup Blake Lively singles in their Friday win over Chick-fil-a 28-13

Chick-fil-a was winning big early on against Worksteer in the loser's bracket but Worksteer won by 1.

 

The beautiful Pine Grove Sports Complex had 5-300 foot fields.

Scenic

 

Yup, bat bucket testing and the Dudley Pro-M ball.

 

 


 

 

Old Scout pollers were correct on 1st and 2nd

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

 

Cory Boothe from Bad Draw hit the longest one Friday night then pulled a hammy.

Bad Draws Everett Williams hit one 405 up by the golf cart path.  Actually Williams and Mullins hit back to back 405 foot shots in the first game of the championship.

This is where it landed.

 


 

Lexington Major Final Standings and Awards

Bad Draw pitcher Bill Pinkham was MVP

Bad Draw CF Brian "Nacho" Zirkle was Defensive MVP

 

Sports Reach utility man and Offensive MVP Derrick Roland gets another hit in the Championship game

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

 

1st Place – BadDraw/TDB/RapidFire/T2/BAF/Pauer

Conf 'M' from NC  4-1 Record

Bad Draw struggled with 'A' teams Worksteer in their first game and Sports Reach in the 1st game of the Championship but accomplished what they set out to do which was winning the 186 points for 1st place.  Bad Draw mysteriously never used Andrew Vitcak their new pitcher and Buddy Wolf played all of the games and batted 4th except the last game.  He may have been struggling some.  Stewart was lacing line drives at lead off like he was Josh Riley.  Everett Williams, Chad Mullins, and Jason Martel were hitting bombs.  After Boothe got injured (he still made all tournament) a fresh bat in the lineup in Radich helped them down the stretch.  The defense was solid.  Pinkhams pitching and his timely hits led to his deserved MVP and Bad Draw just needs to get over the hump against the other major teams and they have a chance to do just that in Columbus (Dual) and the Smoky Mountain Classic which are 3 of the best tournaments of the year over the next two weeks.

Trending Up!

Bad Draws last lineup:
3B Brady Stewart
C/1B/OF Everett Williams
C/EH Chad Mullins
1B Jason Martel
MI Adam Ussery
LF John Radich
CF Brian Zirkle
2B Kyle Pearson
P Bill Pinkham
SS Zach Messer

Stewart at 3B and Messer at SS

Te

Team celebrates with Buddy Wolf

 

Martel was hitting consistent bombs and Kyle Pearson was lacing line drives all over the park.

 

Mark Katz and Toby Williams run the team with guidance from Tiny Taylor

 

John Radich filled in nicely after Boothe left with a pulled hammy

 


 

2nd Place – Sports Reach/Crunchtime/H&H/Grizzy

Conf 'A' from KY  4-2 Record

 

Sports Reach was the team many thought would give Bad Draw a run for their money and they did.  They got to the winner's final unscathed after coming from behind to beat Prime Time in the semifinals.  Then they lost pitcher Brandon Jonas to an ejection in the winner's final and had a few too many walks to come from behind and beat Bad Draw.  But they dropped to the loser's bracket and had impressive wins over Prime Time again and then beat Bad Draw on that walk off homer by Kaden Watson in the first championship game.  In the "if" game they weren't really out of the game but they didn't score enough early and when Bad Draw got close to a run rule they left Sports Reach on the field.

Everyone contributed and the veteran power at the bottom of the lineup in Jason Gilfillan and Jason Hatley came in handy.  Robert Blackburn batted 3rd and Curtis Cornett lead off in all but the last game.  I think they were banged up at the end of the tournament.  Aaron Miller was also all tournament with clutch hits, some big RBI games, and solid defense at middle infield.

During the condensed game I recorded I think I made a mistake saying Kevin Cooper instead of Kenneth Cooper and initially thought it was Watts not Fow on the mound in relief of Jonas.  Sorry about that.

Trending Up!

Sports Reach Last Lineup
Robbie Fow
Chris Scott
Derrick Roland
Kenneth Cooper
Justin Mackey
Zach Watts
Aaron Miller
Jason Gilfillan
Jason Hatley
Brandon Jonas
Kaden Watson

3B Mackey, SS Roland, MI Watson, 2B Cornett

  

Gilfillan was hitting some high homers in key spots

 

Jonas did most of the pitching but left fielder Robbie Fow took over when Jonas got tossed.

Manager Frank McFarland keeps the book on Gamechanger so we thank him for access to the boxscores.

 


 

3rd Place – PrimeTime Easton/F.A.I/Riot/Klutch

Conf 'A' from GA  3-2 Record

 

Prime Time had another weekend of regrets when they gave up a double digit lead and lost to Sports Reach in the semifinals after dropping some outfield balls and botching some infield plays.  They were missing two starting outfielders which hurt on their routes to the ball in the outfield.  They also had some inner team turmoil in the last game but these guys argue like brothers in a family so I am not worried.  To their credit they did not give up in the loser's bracket beating Worksteer 22-21 and then using a walk off homer by Ty Mingle in a nice comeback win over TurnKey CCP to get back to the loser's bracket finals where they ran out of gas against Sports Reach.  They played without Tory Means and definitely need one more big bat towards the second half of the lineup.  Maybe they will get Mike Mallory back someday.

Trending Even

Primetimes Last Lineup
Aaron Jackson
Roderick Armour
Ira Brown
Chivas Clark
Jarvis Riggins
Bill Cullen
Ty Mingle
Donta Frazier
Lee Daniels
Lamarquis Blake

Frazier, Ortega, and Jackson

 

Prime Time has done a nice job finding some young talent in Ortega and Cullen

  

Jackson is their lead off hitter and Donta Frazier was all tournament

 

Ira Brown the leagues leading hitter seemed to be having a solid tournament but you know your year is going right when you bounce one over the pitcher and past the MI/2B!

 


 

4th Place – TurnKey/CCP/Dan Smith/Worshams

Conf 'A' from NC  4-2 Record

 

TurnKey/CCP who was the highest finishing 'A' team in Maryland last weekend was run ruled in their 2nd game Friday night by Prime Time.  In the loser's bracket Saturday they played all day long starting at 8 am as they beat Frontline (SC-A) 25-10, Terry's (NC-B) 31-27, and SVC (OH-A) 18-17 before losing to Primetime by a run.  They picked up Freddie Bynum who played middle and their new center fielder Cody Cornelius made that incredible home run robbing catch against Primetime so the defense up the middle may have gotten better.  Overall they salvaged a really bad start with a 4th place finish.

Trending Even

Freddie Bynum joined TurnKey and played middle infield

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – WorkSteer/Briggs

Conf 'A' from NC  3-2 Record

Worksteer had a poor seed due to the fact they had only played 2 conference tournaments this year but they gave Bad Draw a run for their money on Friday night and were actually tied late in the game before losing 28-21.  In the loser's bracket they sent home Statewide and came from behind to beat Chick-fil-a by 1 run before Primetime beat them by 1.

Trending Even

 

SS Bryan Dezern who used to play with The Product Factory, Pure Sports and others and 1B Jess Maloney

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – SVC/Nager Law/Atrium/Grizzy/Easton

Conf 'A' from OH  2-2 Record

SVC salvaged their tournament with a nice come from behind win in their opener Friday night over Frontline 25-24 and followed that up with a run rule win over Chick-fil-a but in the semifinals Saturday they lost a quick game to Bad Draw 27-3? and then lost by 1 to Turnkey.

Trending Even

 

Pat Foster and Blake Lively

 

SVC's comeback against Frontline was finished off by a double by Brandon Streets and a walk off single by Nathan Barnes?  At least that's who the roster says is #3.  Sorry if I got that wrong.

 


 

Other Teams

 

Pitchers Natolly and Bosley – Chick-fil-a tied for 7th after losing to SVC then a 1 run loss to WorkSteer after leading big early on.

 

 

Terry's/Holland/High Country was 2-2 and finished tied for 7th as the highest non-conference team.

They will be at the Smoky's as well.

 


 

 

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Link to all 2009 to 2020 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

Pinkham was safe just before the glove squeezed but just about a tie.

Derrick gets Radich in a pickle

It actually looks like for a split second Hatley had the catch and the bag.

If there is a big tournament in the south Ian Sidebottom is probably playing.  🙂

I always tell my son there are two things to protect.  The family jewels and your face, in that order.

Looks like Rod got the same advice…

Frontline Legacy Sports had some of the Briggs guys but went 0-2 after that walk off loss to SVC.

Some of those guys are headed to Baugh Ford.

Jimmy Ward was playing with Terry's/Holland's

Statewide had the Carolina blue uniforms but went 0-2

There were plenty of strike outs.  I know Brandon Jonas had at least 3 or 4 himself.  Rod gets one here.

Pitcher Kevin Johnson is looking for the "right situation" if anyone needs a veteran pitcher

 

Bored between innings taking pics of colorful batting gloves…

NC State Director Johnny Blizzard with Demarini's Mike Cornell

Not pictured is SC State Director Scott Dooley who brought us a great event.

Championship Game Umpires

UIC Rob Mantlo with David Bare

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