Saturday May 15th, 2021

2020 USSSA “River City” Classic Major tournament report!





2020 Nationwide Conference USSSA


"River City" Classic


Cincinnati, OH


June 19-21


Dan Smith slugger Ryan Harvey gets a game winning base hit to force the "if" game against Resmondo!

SoftballCenter River City picture album link


2020 River City bracket and results link


2020 River City Major stats link once available


2020 River City archived games link


J.Houston photography on Instagram

Resmondo's Daniel Cayton celebrates a grand slam in a comeback from a 43-8 deficit in the 1st championship game.

The 2020 "Windy City" Classic scheduled for June 19-21 in Chicago was canceled due to COVID-19 regulations in Illinois and moved to Mid America Ballyard in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Because of this move not as many local teams entered the event (4) and because of that the 19 'A' and above teams ended up playing each other early on making for some great games all around the 4 field park from the very start of the tournament.  The fields were all 300 feet except for field #4 which is a little shorter due to the fact it butts up against the Miami river.  The tournament was played in hot and humid conditions with the Dudley Pro-M ball which is not really affected by the temperature so scores throughout the event were too high and the games were way too long.

The 'play in' games started at 5 PM eastern time on Friday as Baugh Ford/HDLNS (AR-A) knocked off a very good MPT Rentals/Anarchy (NJ-B) team 36-24.  On the show field #1 Sports Reach (KY-A) run ruled Klutch/Hubs Pub (MO-AA) 39-23.  A number of borderline A/AA teams may get re-rated to 'A' in the near future with the restriction that picking up anymore higher level experienced players would result in them being reclassified to 'AA' or TBD (To be determined).  Primetime Easton (GA/A) run ruled TM-Esco/Elite (TN-B) 27-12.  Pure Sports/Infamous (SC-Major) struggled to beat Liberty Softball/Miken a Cincinnati 'C' team when Liberty closed the score to 29-27 and made their last out on a DBO (dead ball out) homer because they had hit all 12 homer's already.  SVC/Nager Law (OH-A) upset Xtreme/Miken/Worth/ASP (MN-AA) 25-24 when Xtreme lined out to shortstop on a great defensive play to end the game.  Chick-Fil-A upset hometown Premier/T&W/Easton (OH-A) when they held on to a 29-28 lead even though they were out of homer's and they held Premier scoreless in the top of the 7th.  An Indiana 'C' team LSR gave Anarchy/MPT Rentals (NJ-AA) a scare but MPT scored 6 runs in the 6th and held onto an 18-16 win on field #2 with the wind blowing in.  SmashIt/Precision (IL-AA) made very short work of Tiger Fitness (OH-C) 31-0.  Riot/TG (FL-AA) beat Bellys/Tropics a good Ohio 'B' team 35-15.  And CCP/Dan Smith (NC-A) who added a new title sponsor Turnkey to the team this week won a 33-29 over fellow 'A' team Maroadis/SNI after Maroadis held a 29-25 lead in the 5th.

The "round of 16" Friday night was interesting as the tournaments after the Hall of Fame Dual are seeded by points and some teams had 3 tournaments played (Phoenix + HOF Duals) like Dan Smith who got the #1 seed over Thunder and Competitive Edge who got the #3 seed over Resmondo.  Dan Smith (CA-Major) knocked off a feisty Chick-Fil-A team 36-21.  And Competitive Edge/M&T/Adiktiv (FL-A) did not take advantage of their great seed and did not score early and lost by 20 to Turnkey/CCP/Dan Smith 32-12.  In other "round of 16" action Friday night #5 seed Bad Draw/TDB/Rapid Fire (NC-Major) jumped all over Riot Sports over on field #2 in a 37-22 win.  #6 seed Westpoint (IN-A) continued their hot start to the season by knocking off Baugh Ford 35-15.  #4 Resmondo (FL-Major) run ruled Sports Reach 28-13.  And #2 seeded SmashIt/Thunder/Backman/Albicocco (NY-Major) run ruled SVC/Nager 35-13.  The "round of 16" then continued on Saturday morning at 8 and 9:30 AM as the best game of the tournament between Anarchy/MPT (AA) and SIS/Precision (AA) went 9 innings.  MPT forced extra innings in the bottom of the 7th with no homers left scoring 5 runs to tie it.  Then in the bottom of the 9th lefty Bobby McMinn caught the Precision 2nd baseman leaning the wrong way and singled setting up a "Lazer" Dave Johnson game winning double down the left field line.  The Precision left fielder actually dove and hit the ball with his glove but it appears from the video that the glove was closed to early!  MPT has now beaten Precision 2 out of 3 times they have met this year.  The final game of the second round was another good one as Primetime used some great defense by center fielder Robert Lee who made a diving catch on a Justin Mucciarelli line drive and pitcher Roderick Armour made a great play on Jason Branch up the middle and Primetime pulled off their second upset of the Pure Major team this year 37-26.

The "round of 8" was less eventful as the top 4 Major teams all moved on.  Resmondo beat Westpoint who played well 34-21.  SIS/Thunder beat Primetime by just 5 (38-33) as Primtime definitely had their chances to win.  In the bottom half of the bracket Dan Smith run ruled Anarchy/MPT 36-20 and Bad Draw beat Turnkey/CCP 33-23 to advance.  Center fielder Ben Dunn closed out MPT by making two long running shoestring catches to preserve the run rule.

Because of those long but great early games on the show field things were backed up and the semifinals were started as the sun went down.  Resmondo came from behind to beat Smash It/Thunder 47-36 and for the first time this year really showed some emotion as they batted around in a late inning comeback.  I have a condensed game video of this game coming out this week on my SW48 YouTube channel.  And Dan Smith started drumming Bad Draw 25-9 after a 17 run 2nd inning to the point I quit videoing for another condensed game unless Bad Draw came back.  Sure enough Bad Draw came back and I fired up the video camera again as they tied the game with 12 runs in the top of the 5th and held Dan Smith in the bottom of the 5th to just one run on some great pitching and defensive plays by Bill Pinkham and 1st baseman John Radich.  But in the top of the 6th Bad Draw with 4 homers left to Dan Smith's none went in order 1-2-3 against pitcher Andy Purcell, held Dan Smith to zero in the bottom of the 6th, but then inexplicably went 1-2-3 again and still with the 4 homers left in the top of the 7th and Dan Smith pulled out a 33-32 win!  Phil Matte was 5-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in the win.

The winner's bracket finals then which started close to midnight was the two top teams in the pre-season Softballcenter rankings – Resmondo and Dan Smith.  This game was a bit of a blur as it cooled off into the 70's and lasted for over two hours.  Both teams scored at least 3 runs in each of the 1st 3 innings as Resmondo held a 20-14 lead.  In the 4th inning everything broke loose as Resmondo scored 20 runs and Dan Smith matched it with 18 of their own.  The 5th inning was about the same as Resmondo outscored Dan Smith 14-12 to lead 54-44.  With both teams out of homers Resmondo would outscore Dan Smith 6-1 over the final two innings and win the highest scoring game of the tournament so far 60-45.  Greg Connell led the way for Resmondo going 8-8 with 4 HR including a grand slam and a whopping 16 RBI.  Big Jon Nelson had 10 RBI as well for Resmondo.  On the losing side Jeff Snow a conference rookie filled in for the injured Rich Racobaldo (shoulder) at 3rd base and came off the bench to go 5-6 with 2 HR and 7 RBI.

Boxscore from Winner's Bracket Finals

In the loser's bracket SmashIt/Precision made an incredible run beating TM-Esco, Xtreme after batting around like 3 times in the first inning, then outlasted Westpoint 44-37, and beat the MPT 'B' team who made a nice run of their own 30-26.  Then as it cooled off they beat Bad Draw 54-43 after trailing and in the last game of the night (or actually Sunday morning) ending at 4 AM they ran out of gas against Smashit/Thunder 33-12.  In the lower half of the loser's bracket Pure Sports was on the field all day as well beating Tiger Fitness, Premier, Turnkey/CCP 47-40, and a hot hitting Sports Reach team 43-26, before blowing a 49-32 lead in the bottom of the 7th against Smash It/Thunder.  Thunder scored 18 in the bottom of the 7th with like 4 homers left and won with 2 out hits by Fyffe, Granados, and the game winner by LC Watson who told his team if they got it to him he would win it!  Chente Granados also made some incredible defense late in that game to hold the deficit to 17.  The comeback video is coming out later in the week.  So SIS/Thunder advanced to the loser's final Sunday morning at 8 AM against Dan Smith.

SIS/Thunders LC Watson hits a 2 out single past Pures Mcclanahan and second base to cap an 18 run comeback win!

Championship Sunday was 3 games and it lasted an incredible 7 hours as morning humidity gave way to early afternoon 90 degree heat and more humidity.  Tired players "sacked up" and put on an offensive show as Dan Smith scored 10 in the 1st inning, 14 in the 4th, and trailing 31-26 in the bottom of the 6th against SIS/Thunder ended up scoring 11 to win it 37-31.  Andrew Collins was 6-6, Harvey had 8 RBI, and Phil Matte had 9 RBI in the win.

The championship then had a crazy start as Dan Smith scored 14 in the 1st inning and a whopping 29 in the bottom of the 2nd to take a 43-8 lead on Resmondo.  But to Resmondo's credit they came back scoring 11 in the 3rd, 14 in the 4th, and 9 more in the 5th to cut the lead to 42-47 after 4 innings.  Late in the game Resmondo scored 6 in the top of the 7th to tie it at 53-53 but Ryan Harvey with no homers left singled up the middle to win the game in walk off fashion for Dan Smith 55-53.  Harvey who had 19 HR and 50 RBI for the tournament was 7-8 with 12 RBI in the win and they forced the "if" game.  Resmondo's Daniel Cayton was 8-8 with 10 RBI in the loss.


Another view of Harvey's game winner.  There were no home runs left.


Boxscore from Championship Game #1

Dan Smith outfielder Phil Matte gets the game winning hit in the final game!


In the final game it was another slugfest as both teams used all of their allotted 16 homers.  Resmondo was again visitors losing the coin toss but jumped out to a 13-2 lead.  But Dan Smith scored 15 in the bottom of the 2nd and 18 more in the bottom of the 5th.  With the homers out late in the game Resmondo outscored Dan Smith 17-8 in the 6th and 7th innings to tie the game at 52-52.  But Dan Smith failed to score with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th with no outs and that led to extra innings.  Resmondo returned the favor by failing to score in the top of the 8th and Phil Matte got the game winning walk off single to make Dan Smith the River City Classic champions 53-52!  Phil Matte was 6-7 with 11 RBI and Jo Bennett was 7-8 with 8 RBI in the win.  The MVP went to pitcher Andy Purcell continues to have the best ERA in the game after the homers are gone in the late innings.

The best quotes of the tournament were "you can't ice stupid".  And Jason Branch saying he "can hit any pitch anywhere".

The Ohio crew of Conference umpires were there and a few newer faces that got some compliments from the teams.  The games which were offensive minded were full of great defensive plays as well.  I hope to have another video of great plays later in the week.  The infields had lots of bad bounces.  Maroadi infielder Jeff Roxby had to have some stitches in his lip and the teams that fielded the hard grounders the best often won.  The Conference was supposed to move to Palm Springs next weekend but that was canceled and moved to Yuma, Arizona due to Covid-19 restrictions in California.  But then the Yuma tournament was also canceled as residents there started to post on Facebook ripping into USSSA for coming to Yuma where there has been a huge increase in Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks.  So the next tournament will be the Busch Classic in Little Rock, Arkansas over July 4th weekend.

Finally, we met two women who clearly had been drinking too much that were at a slowpitch tournament for the first time in their lives.  They didn't know it even existed.  I asked them what they thought and their experience was like and they said it reminded them of a "cult"…lol


Boxscore from Championship Game #2

Team Breakdown:
26 Teams Overall
21 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
5 Major Teams
5 'AA' Teams
9 'A' Teams
4 'B' Teams
3 'C' Teams



Key Winner's Bracket Games


Winner's Semifinal Resmondo pitcher Travis Clark takes one off the body and it ricochets to Bazat who turns two!


Bad Draw pitcher Bill Pinkham beats Collins to the bag after 1B John Radich's diving stop!

Cayton steps on Buckshot but was safe at first.

Precision left fielder came this close to saving the game against MPT in a 9 inning game between 'AA' powers!

Brian Wegman owns the park, runs USSSA slowpitch and still is an incredible leadoff hitter.

He is battling injuries though.


Thunders Kyle Pearson holds the bag for the out.

That shadow on the right is Resmondo 1B Jon Nelson making a leaping stab.

Check out the catch in the video clips released this week.

Mid America field #2

The crowd on Friday night was bigger than this one on Saturday.


The Dudley Pro-M ball is way too good for 300 foot fields.  During the day its performance does not fall off in the heat.  But at night its a laser show.

29% of the people on oldscout say they should keep using the Pro-M.  43% say go back to the Classic-M.  28% say find a new ball.


The new livestream cameras are the best money can buy.  All the kinks were worked out Saturday night and it streamed the last 15 hours or so on all fields without any issues.



Oldscout Pollers had Dan Smith to win at only 17%



Video Highlites brought to you by:

Friday and Saturday video clips

Winner's Semifinal between SIS/Thunder and Resmondo (once available)

Winner's Semifinal between Bad Draw and Dan Smith

Championship game between Resmondo and Dan Smith (once available)

River City Defensive Plays and other video clips (once available)



Long Bombers of the Week


For right handers it was Kyle Pearson who hit one to right center that even the Resmondo players stood and watched.

For left handers it was maybe Neil Haglund who went over the left field foul pole.

Buddy Wolf and Jared Hunt get honorable mention for some crowd pleasers and Harvey had the best line drive homer.



Low Release of the Week

Mooch beat out Dombrowski for lowest release this week with that on the knee knuckle scraper



River City Major Final Standings and Awards

Dan Smith pitcher Andy Purcell was MVP

Dan Smith center fielder Ben Dunn was Defensive MVP

Resmondo SS Daniel Cayton was Offensive MVP (.795, 12 HR, 25 RBI, 14 Doubles)



Team by team notes brought to you by:



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

Conf 'Major' from CA  6-1 Record

Dan Smith won it the hard way and never gave up.  They had a next man up mentality as they played without their leading hitter Tyler Marshburn and then 3rd baseman Rich Racobaldo hurt his shoulder and Jeff Snow who is a Conference rookie and was biding his time on the bench came in and made the game look real easy (which of course it is not).  Ben Dunn in center tracked everything down.  Matte and Collins were mashing.  Reyna and Hidalgo were gloving it.  And everyone did their part.  The team onbase percentage was .741 for the weekend.  Collins, Matte, and Racobaldo were all over .800.  Harvey had 50 RBI.  Dan Smith will be the #1 seed going into the Seattle Dual which starts July 8th. 

Trending Up!

Left side after Racobaldo was hurt was sometimes Snow, Bennett, and Reyna


Andrew Collins and Argen Dodds were all tournament hitting machines


Luis Reyna at MI and Rafael Hidalgo at 2B/3B were locking down the infield



2nd Place – Resmondo/Menosse/Steven Smith/FAI

Conf 'Major' from FL  4-2 Record


Resmondo played without Jeremy Yates (leg injury), Steele Lewis who can't leave Canada due to travel restrictions, and Wegman was playing hurt and missed the last game and a half, as well as Pat Ellwanger was banged up.  That is a lot to overcome but they persevered and won that long winner's final game and were in the drivers seat.  They just couldn't finish or win a coin flip…  Magnum and Ellwanger were over .800.  Connell 41 RBI and Bubba Mack .795 had big weekends.  And Cayton was a deserving offensive MVP as he has helped the top of the order immensely with all of the injuries.  Santana is also playing well in Steele Lewis's absence.  And its official, Helmer said Steven Lloyd "retired 2 weeks before the season started".

Trending Even

Infield for Resmondo – Mack, Cayton, Bazat, Reckart


Mack makes a diving stop


Bubba Mack and Brad Reckart (Reck is from Cincy)

Jason Magnum was over .800 onbase percentage for the weekend



3rd Place – Smash It/Thunder/Backman/Albicocco

Conf 'Major' from NY  4-2 Record


SIS/Thunder blew a big lead against Resmondo in the semifinals but recovered to a 3rd place finish with that late night 18 run bottom of the 7th rally win against Pure Sports.  They played without Baartman and need to improve defensively up the middle at least on the non turf fields.  But overall a solid weekend.  Big John was stabbing missiles at 3rd base.  The pitching seemed to be split between Buckshot and LC.  And Chente has been smooth at shortstop.  It will be fun to see where this team can go this year.

Trending Even

John Williams stabs, spins, and throws for the out



Mcbryde ran center field in Baartmans absence

Cory Briggs was all tournament




4th Place – Smash It/Precision/3rd Street/Bulldawg

Conf 'AA' from IL  6-2 Record

Precision lost that early Saturday morning 9 inning game to rival 'AA' team MPT and then played softball pretty much the rest of the day and into the wee hours of the next morning.  They gutted out that late night win over Bad Draw as well.  This team goes as far as the new lefties Fulk and Bilardello can take them.  The rest of the team are known commodities.  They picked up Bellamy and Drake to fill out the bench which came in handy.

Trending Up!


Bean was the starting pitcher but Cincy local Roger Drake pitched some in relief


The new lefty's on Precision are Fulk and Bilardello

Billy Maggard played for the first time this year



Tied 5th Place – Pure Sports/Infamous/EB

Conf 'Major' from SC  5-2 Record

Brungardt, Flood, and Mcclanahan

Pure was upset by Primetime again, blew a 17 run lead to Thunder, and played inconsistently.  That being said the best days are ahead of them and roster changes are rumored although it is a very good and deep roster.  Hopefully everything pans out for everyone involved and this team can start challenging for tournament wins and Sunday finishes again.

Trending Even


Mooch had all the trick pitches going


Brian Logan has played his way into a starting spot in center field and runs one down.



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

Conf 'Major' from NC  2-2 Record

Bad Draw left 4 HR on the table against Dan Smith and should have been in the winner's final.  They need to figure out hitting against Purcell and figuring out how to win at the Major level against Major teams.  They are close.  But to do it they can't be missing players as they were this weekend with Everett Williams and Chad Mullins not there.  Pinkham was a fireplug up the middle.  The infield had some trouble with the hard grounders which is understandable considering the field conditions.  And they need to play tired a little better losing that late night lead to Precision.

Trending Even

Freddie Bynum takes part in the laser show

Bill Pinkham with another great play up the middle on Hidalgo



Tied 7th Place – Sports Reach/Crunchtime/H&H/Grizzy

Conf 'A' from KY  4-2 Record

Sports Reach beat Klutch/Hubs, Maroadis, Baugh Ford, and Anarchy/MPT.  What a weekend for the highest finishing 'A' team!  I somehow missed most of those games but when the stats come in you are going to see some big offense from this team as they scored 39 or more runs 4 times!

Trending Up!




Tied 7th Place – MPT Rentals/Anarchy

'B' from NJ  3-2 Record

Mike Verbasco pitching for MPT 'B' team

The MPT 'B' team is the "farm team" for the MPT 'AA' team and is led by creative pitcher Mike Verbasco.  John "JJ" Rieman had the walk off hit to beat Competitive Edge and they also had big upsets over Riot and Primetime and actually finished ahead of the MPT 'AA' team!



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Some more pictures for you:

Tied for 9th – TurnKey/CCP/Dan Smith/Worshams (NC-A) 2-2 – CCP played great and had wins against fellow 'A' teams Competitive Edge and Maroadis.  They lost to two major teams Bad Draw and Pure Sports.

Joel Sanchez is fun to watch on defense at shortstop and had some big hits offensively as well.


Flip Washington and William Fisher "Big Blue" I think they call him had some big hits in that Precision win and showed some great range in right field.

Tied for 9th – Anarchy/MPT Rentals (NJ-AA) 2-2 – Anarchy survived a Friday night scare against LSR to turn around first thing Saturday morning and beat Precision 31-30 in a 9 inning game.  Then they dropped two straight to Dan Smith and a hot hitting Sports Reach team.


Lazer Dave Johnson locks in for the game winning hit against Precision.  Mike Williams was out with a pulled muscle.

Tied for 9th PrimeTime Easton/F.A.I./Riot/Klutch (GA-A) 2-2 – Prime Time beat the Pure Sports Major team for the second time this year and then lost two tough games to Thunder and MPT 'B' team.

Prime Time is a long time Conference team that plays as well on the BSC (Black Softball Circuit) which is run by our friend and one of the great softball men in our country Clay Dickey.  Black lives matter to Softballcenter and I am looking at my schedule to see if I can fit in a BSC tournament in the near future.  Differences in culture, lifestyles, and talents across all races should be celebrated as we all strive to make America a better place when we leave it then when we came into this country.  We will only be successful if all Americans are raised up and we all value working hard, playing hard, and adhere to the rule of law like Primetime and Conference players do.


Infielder Aaron Jackson leads off.  Pitcher Roderick Armour bats second.

"Big Brown" Ira Brown is healthy and mashing


Jarvis Riggins is a professional hitter who reminds me of Johnny Bailey.  Tory Means at 1st base.


SS Angel Ortega is a raw softball talent


Tied for 9th – WestPoint (IN-A) 1-2 – They beat Baugh Ford by 20 and then lost 2 straight to Resmondo and Precision but played well in both of those games.

Tiger Fitness a local 'C' team and won a game

Liberty Softball a local team lost to Pure Sports 29-27 when the homer for an out below ended the game

Competitive Edge had a great seed but lost their opener to Turnkey/CCP 32-12.

They recovered to crush Klutch/Hubs 51-36 before losing a heartbreaker to MPT 'B' team 20-19.

Klutch/Hubs Pub went 0-2 giving up 51 runs to Competitive Edge.

Their sponsors are the Hubbard brothers and #11 "Mr. Klutch" Brandon Patzig


3B Potts, SS Jordan Blanchette (last years conference rookie of the year) and on the right new pitcher Mike Evans

Maroadis/SNI went 0-2

Chick-Fil-A upset Premier friday night and played Dan Smith and Xtreme tough for a 'B' team from Virginia.

At the HOF I said they had 4 bad losses to AA and above teams.  What I meant to say was they only had good losses.  If there is such a thing.

Pitcher and their leader John Natolly

3B Letak, SS Whaley, MI Newman

Xtreme has been this close to winning a bunch of games.  

They have lost 4 of their 6 games by 1 run.

I had the stats entered wrong for Xtreme at the HOF.  It was not Faron Miller that was 4-4 (he wasn't even there) it was Cole Campbell


Lizcano at SS and Kincaid at pitcher wasn't enough.  Riot went 1-2.

The right side Ortiz 1B, Dunson 2B, Roberts MI


This is a 4 base award in conference whether you touch the ball on the inside of the fence or the outside of the fence.

SVC upset Xtreme by one preserving the win with a great play by their shortstop but then dropped to Thunder and Premier by the run rule.

Baugh/Hdlns went 2-2 but didn't beat anyone 'A' and above 

Premier with Corn, Rosenbalm, Hendrickson, and Noeth across the infield went 1-2 beating SVC and losing to Chick-Fil-A by 1.

Final game umpires from the Conference Ohio crew

Former Resmondo and Combat center fielder Rick Baker stopped by.  Rick from about 2007 to 2009 was considered the best center fielder in softball.

Stro's view of on his big screen

Headlines is still recovering from rioters that stole their merchandise

Hall of Famers Andy Purcell and Jerry Backman

Xtreme was out early but had a good time cheering on Bazat, Skyles who wasn't even there, and Ellwanger


The Lords Gym was picking up shoes and clothing for charity set up by Sports Reach

Just as the final game ended the rain storm hit

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