Saturday July 24th, 2021
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2021 USSSA 53rd Smoky Mountain Classic tournament report!

 

Here is the report.  I still have to go through the SNI vs Resmondo game and the Championship to pull pictures especially of Resmondo to add to the report.  Because of the format of the tournament I never did see Baugh Ford or WM Roofing play.  My apologies.

Thank you to all of my advertisers, readers, and the directors of the tournament and USSSA for their support.

 

Send corrections to [email protected]

 

2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA

 

53rd Annual Smoky Mountain Classic

 

Maryville, TN

 

July 9-11

 

Championship Game – Smash Its Andrew Collins hits against Travis Clark and Resmondo!

 

SoftballCenter Smoky picture album link

 

2021 Smoky bracket and results link

 

2021 Smoky Major stats link once available

 

2021 Smoky archived games link

 

 


 

Video Highlights brought to you by:

Smoky Friday/Saturday video clips link

Smoky Saturday Night and Sunday video clips link

Condensed Game – Smash It Sports vs S&E quarterfinal

Condensed Game – Winner's Bracket Semi Final

Condensed Game – Championship Game

Team Breakdown:
34 Teams Overall
27 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
6 'AA' Teams
12 'A' Teams
6 'B' Teams
8 'C/D/E' Teams

 

 


 

Thursday / Friday

The 2021 Smoky Mountain Classic began on Thursday night as two local teams Windy City Grille (TN-D) and TVOS Misfits (TN-E) were asked to play.  Originally the game was scheduled for 10 AM on Friday morning but the directors felt if they played that one game Thursday night it would give them more time to work on the fields in the morning as rain was forecast to be coming in over night.  Windy City Grille won the game 6-2 as the sun pointed directly in batters eyes and only one home run was hit in the game.  And Jeremy Yates from Resmondo and Easton won the Smoky home run derby.  The directors were right and overnight rains and then a pour down in the morning delayed the start of the tournament.  The tournament features unlimited home runs and 80 foot bases and they used the Dudley Pro-M ball and tested the bats at 240 compression.  The weather during the tournament was muggy and warm with a thunderstorm each day.  This tournament is very hard to follow as a reporter because it is played at 4 different locations and 6 different fields.  Sometimes there are teams I never see play as they move to different parks.  Friday I was at Everett park where a lot of the matchups were 'A' vs 'A' or 'A' vs 'AA' games while the main park had the Major teams playing the lower seeds.  On Saturday and Sunday I stayed at Sandy Springs park to watch the final 8.

So the "Round of 32" games began just after noon on Friday at 4 different fields at Sandy Springs and Everett Parks in Maryville, Tennessee.  Dan Smith/Proton (AZ-M) got things started on the show field #3 which is an old high school baseball field with 315-340-355-340-315 dimensions when they beat Prodigy (TN-D) 24-2.  Nightmare/Benefit the Badge (MO-A) beat WM Roofing/Revolution (OH-B) 14-8 on field #4.  WM Roofing is just 4-8 since that epic win over the MPT major team in Myrtle Beach back in May.  At 12:45 on the show field SNI/Thunder/Chosen (FL-AA) the top AA team in the country run ruled MTS/T4C (TN/C) 24-9.  At 1:30 PM on field #4 with its 315-315-285 dimensions S&E/Friendlys Trans/Worsham (NC-AA) beat Meirtran/Compressor Services (IL-B) 19-5 as Meirtran hit just 1 homer in the game.  At 2 PM over at Evergreen Park the games got underway there.  Bay Area Legends (CA-A) run ruled Westpoint Softball (IN-A) 31-16 on field #1 with its short 290 foot fence.  Slugger/SVC/Atrium (OH-A) upset Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken (MN-AA) 28-22 on field #2 which has 310-310-295 home run fences and the wind was blowing in on field #2 and out on field #1.  Xtreme needed 8 to tie but lost by 6.  Back at the Sandy Springs show field #3 the #1 seeded Resmondo/Smash It/Menosse/Thunder (FL-M) run ruled AKS (TN-D) 28-4 as they scored 16 runs in the top of the 6th inning and Brian Wegman went 4-5 with 3 HR and 7 RBI.  They out homered AKS 14-0.  At 3 PM on field #4 with the wind blowing in Primetime/Easton (GA-A) beat Baugh Ford/Grzy/Klutch (AL-A) 10-8 and Smash It Sports/Newbreed (NC-Major) run ruled Windy City Grille 21-1.  Over at Everett Park at 3:30 PM Competitive Edge/Olmito Heat (FL-A) was up 9-3 against Cornerstone (KY-A) when Choo Fields hit a 3 run homer to pull Cornerstone back in the game.  In the bottom of the 7th Cornerstone pulled to within one run but a promising line drive which would have tied the game was caught on a diver by Competitive Edge left fielder Brandon Jackson and Comp Edge advanced 11-10.  They out homered Cornerstone 4-2 in the game.  Over on the "short porch" field #1 Sports Reach (KY-AA) scored 25 runs in the top of the 1st inning against GTF (FL-B) and coasted to an easy 42-16 win.  They out homered GTF 14-9 but none of the Sports Reach players had more than 2.  Robert Blackburn, Brady Stewart, and Justin Mackey were perfect hitting in the game.  At 4:30 PM back at field #4 Seminoles/TPS (OK-A) the top 'A' team in the country beat Rebel/Prime Threadz (MI-B) 21-8 scoring 10 runs in the top of the 4th inning as Conner Murray and Zane Trammell each went 4-5.  And at 5 PM at Everett Park on field #1 Albicocco/Riot (FL-AA) looked focused and in control as they beat J&R Logistics (AR-A) 28-20.  

 

Slugger/SVC SS Hector Urbaneja hits a big home run against Xtreme and pitcher Josh Jones closes them out.

Sports Reach led GTF 25-1 after one inning.

 

Albicocco/Riot rolled through J&R Logistics

Choo Fields hits a huge home run against Competitive Edge but it wasn't quite enough.


Competitive Edge's Brandon Jackson makes a great catch to finish off Cornerstone by one run.

 


 

"Round of 16"

The "Round of 16" was also played on Friday night at the same 4 fields.  Above, David Bare the pitcher for Statewide hit a clutch 2 out 3 run homer in the top of the 7th to give Statewide a 25-23 lead on Chick-fil-a.

 

But Chick-fil-a responded with a home run by Jarod Kashner, a single by Travis Fields, a single by lead off man Kyle Center, and a walk off home run (pictured above) by Aaron Conrad to win 27-25.  Conrad was 5-6 with 3 HR and 8 RBI in the game.  Terrence Engles also hit 3 home runs for Chick-fil-a and Fields was 4-4.  David Bare for Statewide was 4-5 with 3 HR and 6 RBI and Ty Fisher hit 4 HR.  

Sports Reach on field #2 scored 12 runs in the 4th inning and 12 more in the 5th and held off a Competitve Edge comeback 27-25.  Ira Brown was 5-5 with 3 HR and 4 RBI in the win.  Tyler Ervine was 5-5 with 4 HR and 7 RBI for Competitive Edge in the loss.  Sports Reach out homered Comp Edge 17-14.

Slugger/SVC fresh off of beating 'AA' team Xtreme then jumped out to a nice 8-4 lead on S&E.  But it was all S&E over the last 3 innings as they scored 58 runs in their next 3 at bats and beat SVC 63-20 on field #1.  The highest score of any team in this years Smoky!

Seminoles BJ Fulk hits against Albicoccos Andrew Vitcak in a game where Albicocco jumped out to a 16-1 lead in the 1st inning.  Seminoles responded with 9 runs in the top of the 2nd but never could catch up as Albicocco/Riot won 28-20 out homering Seminoles 15-7. 

 

Over at the main complex Dan Smith run ruled Nightmare 28-13, Smash it Sports run ruled Bay Area Legends 31-5, Resmondo run ruled Precision 22-7 (pictured above), and SNI/Thunder beat Primetime 21-11 all on the show field.  Resmondo out homered Precision 12-3 and held them scoreless in 3 different innings.

To finish the night Chick-fil-a beat their 3rd straight Major team (they beat SIS twice in Arkansas last week) as they knocked off MPT/Juno 40-28 to be the only 'A' team in the tournament to make it to Saturday's prestigious "Final 8".

 


 

"Round of 8"

On Saturday knowledgeable softball fans pull up a chair in the shade and watch some of the best matchups of the year at Sandy Springs Park.  The weather was muggy but not as warm as most Smoky's and was played through some rain and overcast skies.  As is tradition at the Smoky the "Final 8" play back to back to back to back on the show field #3.

In the morning at 9:15 AM in quarter final #1 a focused Albicocco/Riot team came out and pulled off the upset over Dan Smith 27-19 sending Dan Smith deep into the loser's bracket where they would quickly meet MPT Rentals.

You can watch the SIS vs S&E game in condensed form on the SW48 Youtube Channel here

In quarter final #2 at 10:30 AM #2 seed Smash It Sports ran into the S&E buzzsaw early on trailing 16-4.  But pitcher Andy Purcell and the SIS defense shut down S&E 3 times in the middle and late innings and added a double digit inning of their own to pull out a come from behind 46-28 win!

In quarter final #3 at noon Resmondo met Sports Reach in a game Sports Reach upset Resmondo a year ago in one of the greatest upsets in Smoky history.  This year would be a little different as Resmondo scored 10 in the 1st inning, 16 in the 2nd, and 7 more in the 3rd to take a 33-9 lead and they won in the 4th without having to bat 33-11 by the 20 run mercy rule.  They out homered Sports Reach 13-4 and Travis Clark and Bradley Jones were each 4-4 with 3 HR.

In quarter final #4 SNI/Thunder obliterated the upset minded Chick-fil-a 30-0 as Chick-fil-a did not adjust to the bigger field.

 


 

"Final 4" 

The "Final 4" began around 4:30 PM as Smash It Sports and Albicocco squared off.  Smash It's defense and pitching held down Albicocco who could never break loose and have the big inning needed and Smash It escaped with a 23-15 victory.  Survive and advance is what Smash It did in this tournament. 

Albicocco middle infielder Ricardo Lizcano makes a great play.

In the other semifinal Resmondo took on their nemesis SNI/Thunder and you can watch this game on the SW48 youtube channel in condensed form later this week.  Resmondo got out to a 5-3 lead in the 1st inning as the visitors.  Then both teams zeroed in the 2nd.  In the 3rd inning Resmondo extended their small lead to 9-6 but SNI out scored them 19-12 the rest of the way and pitcher Brandon Jonas held Resmondo to just 3 runs in the last two innings to pull off the upset 25-21.  SNI's first 3 batters Jason Branch, Josh Fyffe, and Austyn Dawe were each 2-2 with 2 HR in their first two at bats.  They ended up a combined 12-13 with 8 HR and 13 RBI in the game.  And at one point Resmondo walked Dawe intentionally to get to Kyle Pearson and Pearson hit a grand slam!

 


 

Winner's Final

  

Just as the winner's bracket finals between Smash It Sports and SNI was about to start a huge rain and thunderstorm came over the park breaking shade tents and sending fans scrambling to their cars.  The games were halted for 3 hours as they waited out the rain and then worked on the fields with leaf blowers and rakes.  It was decided by the directors that remainder of the tournament would be played straight through the night because of forecast rain storms in the Sunday morning hours.  Around midnight the winner's final started and the Smash It Sports defense and pitching came to the forefront again as they held SNI to just 15 runs and had enough offense to beat them 22-15.  At one point with the game still in jeopardy Purcell hit a big 3 run homer in the top of the 7th to go up 22-13.

Fog rolls in.

 


 

Loser's Bracket

The loser's bracket actually started on Friday night with Westpoint in the red above playing and beat TVOs Misfits 26-2.  The TVOs had a large energetic crowd following them though.  In the top half of the loser's bracket Cornerstone beat GTF and Primetime before losing to MPT Rentals 54-47.  MPT had just beat Westpoint 47-21.  Then Dan Smith dropped down and beat MPT 33-24.  In the 2nd quarter of the loser's bracket Baugh Ford went on a nice run beating MTS/T4C, Competitive Edge, and Precision before S&E dropped down and sent them home 45-25.  And then S&E was beating Dan Smith when the rain came by 4 runs.  After a 3 hour break for the rain delay Saturday night they played the final half inning and Dan Smith could not come up with the 4 runs needed and lost 20-16.

In the 3rd quarter of the loser's bracket Bay Area Legends beat WM Roofing, Slugger/SVC, and Sports Reach who had the hammer 14-11.  In the 4th quarter of the loser's bracket Meirtran an Illinois 'B' team made an unlikely run beating Xtreme 26-5 at 8 AM Saturday morning, Seminoles 26-17, Premier 15-10, Chick-fil-a 9-4, and Bay Area 23-15 before Albicocco sent them home on a walk off homer 16-15 well after midnight.

Meirtran started at 8 AM in the morning Saturday beating Xtreme.  They won 5 straight on the day and only lost on a walk off homer to Albicocco early Sunday morning to finish tied for 5th.  What a run!

  

Dan Smith and MPT met deep in the loser's bracket.

Tyrell Jenkins assist to home plate against MPT may have changed the momentum.

Premier beat Nightmare on a walk off in the 9th inning.

 

Albicocco beats Meirtran 16-15 on a walk off homer by Brad Lunda.

The loser's bracket was changed after the rain to 5 inning games and was taken over by Resmondo who rolled through the night beating S&E 22-4 as Josh Riley went 4-4 with 3 HR and 8 RBI.  Then they went up 20-6 on Albicocco in 2 innings and won 28-8 as Greg Connell went 4-4 with 3 HR and 7 RBI.  Then they went up 33-0 on SNI and won 33-6 as Connell went 5-5, Clark 4-4 with 3 HR, and Josh Riley hit 4 HR and this win put them in the Smoky Mountain Championship against Smash It Sports!   

 


 

Championship

The 1st championship game can be viewed in condensed form on the SW48 Youtube channel later this week.  

The 1st game started in the early morning darkness and it became light and the sun even peaked through by the end of the game.  Smash It Sports had a 20-15 lead after 3 innings but began to fade when Resmondo grabbed the lead in the top of the 4th, held Smash It to zero in the bottom of the 5th, and extended their lead in the 6th and 11 run 7th to win 40-25 to force the "if" game.  They out homered Smashit 15-12.

 

Championship Game #1 Boxscore

 

In the "if" game Resmondo jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the 1st.  Both teams swapped leads multiple times throughout the game but Smash It scored 6 in the bottom of the 5th, 8 more in the bottom of the 6th, and got Resmondo to go 1-2-3 in the top of the 7th to win the Smoky Mountain Classic 31-29!  MVP Tyler Marshburn was 5-6 with 4 HR in the win and Luis Reyna was 6-6 with 3 HR.  Smash It out homered Resmondo 19-15.

 

Championship Game #2 Boxscore

 


 

There were good crowds following the Major teams until the rain came Saturday evening.

The Dudley Pro-M ball was used along with 240 bat compression bucket testing.

 


 

The oldscout had Smashitsports just 4% to win…

 


 

Long Bombers of the Week

Travis Clark gets the long bomber of the week as he had the most home runs (20).

Honorable mention to Ryan Harvey, Phillip White, Bubba Mack, Greg Connell, Jeremy Yates who won the home run derby Thursday, and Buddy Wolf for their long homers during the tournament.

Collins gets the moon shot homer award.

 


 

 Major Final Standings and Awards

Smash It Sports tournament MVP Tyler Marshburn with DeMarini's Mike Cornell, tournament directors Joe Huff and Chris Clark, and Jason Sheffield from Shirts & Logos

Smash Its Andy Purcell was the Defensive MVP

 

Resmondo's Bubba Mack was Offensive MVP (picture coming soon)

 


 

Team by team notes brought to you by:

 

 

1st Place – SmashItSports/Newbreed/TDB/RF/BD/T3

Conf 'M' from NC  6-1 Record

Smash It persevered finding ways to win with defense and pitching and then when tired in that championship game they came up 19 home runs!  They dug deep and was only a 4% chance to win in the oldscout poll, lol.  Purcell and the defense shut teams down that hadn't been shut down in the winner's bracket.  The defense was solid.  The management pulled players out that struggled and then put them back in when others struggled.  This one has to feel good after the stumble in Arkansas and now Smash It Sports leads the Conference points standings!  

 

Everett Williams celebrates a bomb.  Andrew Collins was hitting moon shot homers.

Brungardt and Marshburn on the left side.

 

Reyna, Haglund, Wilson, Martel

 

Martel and Wolf

Ben Dunn climbs the center field fence.

Tommy Melton celebrates a homer

 

 

 


 

2nd Place – Resmondo/Smash It/Menosse/Thunder

Conf 'M' from FL  7-2 Record

 

Resmondo stumbled against SNI (again) then made an epic overnight run through the loser's bracket crushing team after team.  In the morning they somehow had enough in the tank to finish strong against SIS to force the "if" game and then with the Smoky championship within reach laid an egg in the 7th.  It just wasn't meant to be.  They had the 2nd best offensive numbers behind (S&E) coming into the Smoky and now probably have the best in the Conference.  Is it enough to win the Major if they come in as the 2nd or 3rd seed and don't have home team advantage in Viera?  Time will tell…

They played without slugger Kyle Pearson (out sick).  Steele Lewis was there and did play sparingly.  Briggs led the team with a .794 on base percentage.  Clark hit 20 HR, Connell 19, Mack and Yates 18, Riley 17, Jones 16.  Riley had 39 RBI.

More Resmondo pictures will be added soon to this section.

Bazat trying to hold the defense together.

 

 


 

3rd Place – SNI/Thunder/Chosen/DeMarini

Conf 'AA' from FL  4-2 Record

 

SNI again best in class (AA) and beat Resmondo.  The top of that order Branch, Fyffe, and Dawe was deadly with Pearson cleaning up the left overs. 

Fyffe and Napierata

 

Branch and Dawe

 

Jonas working some magic from the mound.

 


 

4th Place – Albicocco/Riot/Klutch/Broughton

Conf 'AA' from FL  4-2 Record

 

Albicocco scored some big points and moved into the conversation for 'AA' Worlds.  They battled the major teams beating Dan Smith on that big double play by Vitcak and pulled out wins against Seminoles and Meirtran when needed.  A great showing at the right time.  Bloomer and Bilardello were over .700 for the weekend.  Hartling led in HR with 8.

 

Phillip White and Andrew Vitcak

Toby Letak had the power stroke going when needed.

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – Meirtran/Compressor Services/TBS

Conf 'B' from IL  5-2 Record

Meirtan a 'B' team won 6 games at the Smoky!  What a run.  They were led by pitcher Bo Andrews who was .759 with 8 HR.  The team had a .592 on base percentage and hit 43 HR in 7 games yet beat Xtreme, Seminoles, Premier, Chick-fil-a, and Bay Area, and was a pitch away from beating Albicocco.  Memories were made and Meirtran had a break through conference run!  Welcome to the show!

 

 


 

Tied 5th Place – S&E/Freindlys Trans/Worsham

Conf 'AA' from NC  4-2 Record

S&E was locked and loaded when they scored 63 runs in 4 innings vs SVC then came out up 16-4 against Smash It Sports.  But Smash it came back and held them down late in the game and S&E dropped to the loser's bracket and finished tied for 5th after pulling off a big win over Dan Smith.

Racobaldo had some divers.

Edmund Locklear was like 5-5 vs Smash it.

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Bay Area Legends/Easton

Conf 'A' from CA  4-2 Record

I didn't see much of Bay Area but they won 4 games in the loser's bracket to finish tied for 7th.  Is that Freddie Bynum in the picture below?  What?

 
 

 


 

Tied 7th Place – Dan Smith/Proton

Conf 'M' from AZ  3-2 Record

Dan Smith was upset by Albicocco on Saturday, they did knock off MPT in the loser's bracket but was sent home by S&E.


Dan Bean who won the Major with Dan Smith two years ago rejoins the team.

Former Bay Area outfielder Ryan Day made his debut for Dan Smith.


Matte, Bennett, and Rettenmeier

 


 

Hot Links section brought to you by:

I would like to thank USSSA and the SoftballCenter advertisers for their support!

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Youtube channel

Link to the SoftballCenter.com Facebook page

Link to all 2009 to 2021 Tournament Reports and Previews

Nationwide Conference USSSA Points and information link

 


 

Some more pictures for you:

 

 

Tied for 9th – MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics (NJ-M) 3-2 – MPT got Dombrowski and Hollingsworth back but struggled to score runs at Sandy Springs.

 

 


 

Tied for 9th – Baugh Ford/GRZY/Klutch/ASP (AL-A) 3-2 – I never did see Baugh Ford as they won 3 games over at the Denso Manufacturing plant field #5.  Matt Brady, Josh Waltrich, and Justin Lutheran were all over .800 onbase percentage and the team averaged 9 HR per game.

 


 

Tied for 9th – Chick-fil-a/BAF Sports (VA-A) 2-2 – Chick-fil-a played in a lot of close games and had another solid finish.

 

Kyle Center was MVP and CF Josh Shifflett Defensive MVP in Arkansas last weekend.

 


 

Tied for 9th – Sports Reach/Worth/CT/Grizzy (KY-AA) 2-2 – Sports Reach didn't pull of the upset of Resmondo this year but had a solid finish.  Porter, Mackey, and Stewart were all over .800 and Ira Brown and Robert Blackburn led the team with 6 HR.  The team averaged 8 HR per game.


 


 

Premier went 3-2 beat Nightmare in a close one but fell short against a hot Meirtran team.  Tied for 13th

 


 

Nightmare went just 1-2, tied for 17th

 


 

Slugger/SVC went 2-2 upsetting Xtreme and beating J&R tied for 13th.

 


 

Precision went 2-2 and tied for 13th

Statewide went 0-2. 

Faron Miller made his return for Competitive Edge but they went 1-2.

Westpoint went 2-2

J&R 1-2

Cornerstone almost beat Competitive Edge but ended up 2-2 tied fore 13th.  Nice.

Xtreme 0-2.  Whaley released.

The live stream had a nice view.  Don't forget when watching the live stream or archives hit the "gear" icon at the bottom and change the quality.

Championship game umpires.

Fishing net to get the HR balls out of the stream.

Ball boy makes a diving catch!

The kids played ball between fields at Sandy Springs

Look out!

Lead pipe for a weight bat.

Thank you to main field score keeper Chase White who kept the livestream viewers informed.

Tiny falls asleep at 4 am

Chad Brown, thank you for your help, again!

Cheeze came out of covid hibernation to see the Smoky!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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