2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
16th Annual Cincinnati Major
We have another surprise winner! Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger finally broke through after a couple of years of frustration at the Major level and beat heavily favored Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth in both the winner’s bracket finals 34-33 Saturday night and the championship game 32-26! Backman used a few big innings, some timely defense, and a warrior’s mentality to win in the blistering 93 degree temperatures with high humidity.
The tournament began with 34 teams including a whopping 25 from the Nationwide Conference USSSA. The games were played on fields with 300 foot fences except F3 and F4 which were shorter, and used for the most part the Dudley Thunder ball which did not fly all that great making for lower scores, less run rules, and closer games. The upsets started on Friday night when Ohio ‘C’ team JBL/Tailgaters upset major team Albicocco 33-31 on an Alan Dina walk off homer! Also Conference ‘B’ team Deluxe Bakery’s Chris Nann hit a walk off homer to beat slight favorite Semper Athletics 20-19. The rest of the final 16 were all Conference teams setting up some great matchups on Saturday.
Saturdays round of 16 started at 9:30 AM with Red’s Astros run ruling VCH 30-15, Precision winning “ugly” 23-14 over 3rd Street (3rd Street played tough), Resmondo dropping Broughton 23-8 fairly easily, and Compound Athletics getting a DP to end the game against TG Brand with the bases loaded to win 20-19. Compound made better use of their homers than TG Brand. In the 11 AM games FBI won 26-16 in an entertaining game over Pure Romance, Smash It Sports run ruled Worsham 28-11, JBL/Tailgaters run ruled Deluxe Bakery in a mild upset 27-12, and Backman dropped Primetime to the loser’s bracket 36-21.
In the quarter finals Saturday afternoon Precision separated late and beat Red’s Astros 24-18 in what many think will be the USSSA ‘A’ World finals matchup. Resmondo run ruled Compound Athletics 25-10, Smash It Sports had to finish strong to beat FBI 30-24, and Backman beat upset minded JBL 21-11.
In the semifinals Resmondo unleashed the power in the bottom of the 6th against Precision in a low scoring game and pulled away to win 17-9. In the Backman vs Smash It game, Smash It Sports batted around in the top of the 6th to lead by 3 but Backman never gave up and came back and won 18-15 to advance to the finals.
In the winner’s bracket championship game both Backman and Resmondo batted around the order in the first inning as night time set upon the field and the ball started flying a little better. Backman fought hard the entire game but Resmondo being the home team loomed large. In the bottom of the 7th Resmondo had the bases loaded and home runs left down 1 run and Backman got a hard grounder to third where Sam Lopez dove and popped to his feet to beat the runner to the bag for the third out and a 34-33 Backman victory.
On Sunday all of the Major teams and I think even Precision had their heart set on making it to the finals and “double dipping” Backman. The loser’s semifinal started things off when Smash It Sports quietly jumped out to a 22-7 lead on Precision using most of their homers. In the 5th the “flip flop” rule went into effect and Precision scored 16 runs to take a one run lead 23-22… Smash It would come back but Precision out base hit Smash It the rest of the way with key hits from middle infielder Jeff Keske among others. Precision also got Scott Kirby on a broken play at the plate on a full head first slide tag out to end the 6th, and the two teams also traded great diving plays by corner men Dale Brungardt and Matt Rear and suddenly Precision found themselves up 4 going to the bottom of the 7th prompting Smash Its Mike Umschied to say “if no one makes the first out we win”…classic… But Smash It did make 3 outs without scoring and Precision moved to the loser’s finals 29-25. Messina had another funny one liner I think even the umpire thought was funny. On a pitch I think Messina felt was not too high, the umpire called high and Messina asked him if he “dunks at home” (referencing the 10 foot height limit in usssa). lol.
In the loser’s finals Precision went toe to toe with Resmondo but got out to a slow start. In the heat all weekend tensions were high and tempers were short all over the park. Precision came back though to pull close but Resmondo got an RBI single from Andy Purcell in the bottom of the 6th to go up 32-31 and Precision didn’t score in the 7th. Great Sunday effort by Precision though.
In the finals the game was close most of the way but then Backman separated with a 10 run 5th powered by Brian Logan who hit two homers in the inning and Resmondo just could never step on the gas when they needed to and Backman left fielder Reggie Schulte made 3 nice plays late to end it. Backman also got two full out divers towards the third base line by Sam Lopez and good throws and picks at 1st base by Kennington during the game. ESPN highlight quality plays!
Congratulations to the Backman team, sponsors, and management on a well-deserved Major victory. You guys showed a lot of heart, clutch play on offense and defense and some great pitching to seal the deal!
Maybe we now have 4 teams competing for the big prize at the end of the year? We’ll see…
As I walked around the park I thought besides the great defensive plays listed already that Dee Hornesburger of Worsham made the best diving play over at 2nd base vs Smash It Sports. The Right fielder for Berties Jordan Johnson made the best running/diving catch against Resmondo on Friday night. We witnessed some solid play out of P&P 333, SFI/SAL, and Deluxe Bakery. And the atmosphere at the Mid America Ballyard is always first rate. Somehow we avoided any rain delays.
Backmans Sam Lopez congratulated after making the game saving bases loaded diving play at third base to win the winner’s final 34-33!
Team Breakdown – 34 Teams Total (25 Conference)
Backman takes on Resmondo in the finals!
Precision takes on Resmondo in the loser’s finals
Smash It Sports defends against Precision in the loser’s semi finals
Field #3 – Albicocco defending against Worsham
Field #4 – Pure Romance pitching to Fence Brokers
Crowds were pretty big on Friday night and a bit unruly on Saturday night
Cincinnati Major Awards and Final Standings
Note all tournament members have been posted as of the time of this report
|1||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||6||0||0||171||132||28.5||22||6.5||36||300|
|2||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||2||0||180||144||25.7||20.5||5.14||33||225|
|3||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||5||2||0||182||137||26||19.5||6.42||33||200|
|4||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||175||111||29.1||18.5||10.6||48||175|
|5||AR – Bryant||fence brokers inc/buzini/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||4||2||0||158||139||26.3||23.1||3.16||30||155|
|5||IL – CHICAGO||COMPOUND ATHLETICS/EASTON||USSSA-Mens-B||4||2||0||124||121||20.6||20.1||0.5||34||155|
|7||IN – Indianapolis||red’s astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||123||82||24.6||16.4||8.2||30||130|
|7||OH – Kent||jbl/tailgaters/b&e||USSSA-Mens-C||3||2||0||135||110||27||22||5||40||155|
|9||NC – Greenville||broughton pharmacy/bad draw/worth||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||124||116||24.8||23.2||1.6||41||110|
|9||NJ – Runnemede||Deluxe Bakery||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||76||97||15.2||19.4||-4.2||27||110|
|9||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-SPMensMajor||3||2||0||144||93||28.8||18.6||10.2||36||110|
|9||OH – West Chester||3rd street/hubs pub/louisville slug||USSSA-Mens-B||3||2||0||95||110||19||22||-3||26||110|
|13||OH – Cincinnati||pure romance/foulks adjusting/headl||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||81||80||20.2||20||0.25||27||70|
|13||MI – Flint||TG Brand||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||84||61||21||15.2||5.75||22||70|
|13||VA – Sutherland||SFI/SAL/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||72||75||18||18.7||-0.7||34||70|
|13||TXN – Dallas||VCH Worth||USSSA-Mens-B||2||2||0||83||85||20.7||21.2||-0.5||30||70|
|17||MI – Lansing||p&p333/suburban/larry’s tire/cmt/va||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||92||102||23||25.5||-2.5||27||65|
|17||KY – Etown||Berties/Hubcity Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||2||2||0||69||58||17.2||14.5||2.75||28||65|
|17||WI – Eau Claire||The Sportsman Shop||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||45||67||15||22.3||-7.3||20||40|
|17||GA – Macon||Primetime/Easton||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||63||89||21||29.6||-8.6||23||40|
|17||NC – Fletcher||worshamathletics/klutchbrand/worth/||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||45||73||15||24.3||-9.3||19||40|
|17||OH – Cincinnati||premier services/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||43||48||14.3||16||-1.6||23||40|
|17||KY – Louisville||cornerstone / dizzy roosters Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||44||66||14.6||22||-7.3||18||65|
|17||MD – Baltimore||CGR/House Money||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||46||60||15.3||20||-4.6||25||40|
|25||MI – Dearborn||rebel sports/linedrive sportz||USSSA-Mens-C||1||2||0||69||82||23||27.3||-4.3||26||40|
|25||IN – Lanesville||kg/slayer/wilson/louisvilleslugger||USSSA-Mens-B||1||2||0||49||55||16.3||18.3||-2||26||40|
|25||MO – St. Louis||precision recovery/hooters||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||15||57||7.5||28.5||-21||8||40|
|25||MO – Branson||Nightmare/Miken||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||33||35||16.5||17.5||-1||21||40|
|25||OH – Cincinnati||EAP/TigerFitness/HDLNS||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||36||55||18||27.5||-9.5||26||40|
|25||DC – Washington||Semper Athletics/Demarini||USSSA-Mens-B||0||2||0||29||50||14.5||25||-10.||19||40|
|25||OH – Middletown||rsc/tom wood honda/ combat||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||25||51||12.5||25.5||-13||18||40|
|25||OH – Columbus||old bag/global/clubhouse/easton Qualified||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||25||44||12.5||22||-9.5||16||65|
|33||OH – Cincinnati||cincysoftball.com/buffalo joes/hdln Qualified||USSSA-Mens-D||0||2||0||19||40||9.5||20||-10.||14||40|
|33||OH – Columbus||clubhouse/sandy’s/ion fire protecti||USSSA-Mens-C||0||2||0||19||48||9.5||24||-14.||12||65|