TYJA-Suncoast Reebock Claims Conference Championship

The Nationwide Conference Championships are broken up into 3 brackets. The top 16 teams in the Nationwide Conference regardless of team classification start in the “Open” division on Friday night at the Osceola County Stadium and surrounding baseball fields in Kissimmee, Florida. Seeds 9-16 begin in round 1. The 4 winners move on to round 2 to face seeds 5-8. The 4 winners of round 2 move on to face seeds 1-4. The loser’s of round 1 and 2 drop into the “Lower” bracket and start a new double elimination tournament of their own over at the Fortune Road softball complex on Saturday. The top 4 seeds in the “Open” division and the 4 teams that win their way into the “Open” division final 8, square off in a double elimination tournament to determine the Nationwide Conference Champion! The third bracket is the ‘B’ Conference Championship and that consisted of 5 ‘B’ teams squaring off in a 3 game guarantee bracket at Fortune Road.

The weekend was hot and humid but never did have any rain. The ball used on the baseball fields was the stadium zn and it was not flying all that well on the stadium or on field #1 with the wind blowing in. It flew a little better and scores were higher on field #2. On Friday night the upsets were early and often as 3 major teams all lost their first game. Combat, Resmondo, and Laservision all lost and Nordkap/Desert Falls pulled out a late inning win against Team 454.

It quickly became evident that infield defense was the key to winning and one team stood out in that category – TYJA-Suncoast Reebok. With Dennis Rulli at third, Luis “the acrobat” Reyna at short, Matt Crawford up the middle, Victor Cordova at second base, and Jason Baxter at first, they were holding teams to less than 10 runs on a regular basis. The pitching combo of TJ Thompson and Perry Hensley along with their 3 left handed and fast outfielders David Kessler, Michael Stephany, and Neil Haglund chipped in to hold their opponents to just 58 runs over 6 games. Less than 10 runs a game!

When the games finished on Saturday night Nordkap/Desert Falls was the only top 4 seed left in the winner’s bracket and they were joined by the 3 hottest ‘A’ teams in the game TYJA-Suncoast Reebok, R&M Metals who recently won the ‘A’ Worlds, and Shoppe.

On Saturday morning TYJA and Nordkap both advanced behind some big defensive plays and TYJA came out in the winner’s bracket finals and beat Nordkap 27-16 to be the undefeated team.

Meanwhile R&M Metals ran the losers bracket and held off Nordkap 27-22 to make it to the championship where they scored 3 runs in the top of the 7th and held TYJA scoreless to force an “if” game 9-8.

In the final game, R&M Metals scored on a 2 run homer by Keith Anderson in the first inning and a 2 run homer by Reggie Schulte in the 2nd to take a 4-3 lead. Then TYJA was sparked by run scoring triples by Neil Haglund and Michael Stephany which led to a 9 run bottom of the 2nd and a 12-5 lead. David Kessler then hit a home run in the bottom of the 4th for TYJA which led to a 6 run 4th and TYJA went on to win the Nationwide Conference Championships by the run rule over R&M Metals!

TYJA-Suncoast Reebok becomes the first ‘A’ team to win the USSSA Nationwide Conference Championships in its 7 year history:
2012 TYJA-Suncoast Reebok
2011 Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
2010 Dan Smith/Menosse
2009 Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth
2008 Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth
2007 Resmondo Softball
2006 Bell Corp/Taylor/Belcher/Easton

About USSSA:
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!

2012 Nationwide Conference USSSA Award Winners

It has been a great year for the Nationwide Conference USSSA. On Saturday September 1st, at the Mystic Dunes Golf Club in Kissimmee Florida, USSSA held the annual end of the year Nationwide Conference Banquet. It was a time as it is every year to celebrate the USSSA’s most competitive year in the Conference, with awards reflecting this years accomplishments by teams, players, and managers.

 

1ST Team Awards

 

NAME POS.   OB HR RBI TEAM
ANDY PURCELL P 1MVP/1DP/3 ALL CONF 742 48 136 RESMONDO
TRAVIS CLARK P 1/MVP/2 ALL CONF 696 25 105 NORDKAP
BRETT HELMER C 4 ALL CONF 706 80 214 LASERVISION
KYLE MOYER C 2 ALL CONF 750 58 165 TEAM 454
B J FULK UT 1OP/1 ALL CONF 716 37 107 RESMONDO
JEREMY ISENHOWER UT 1DP/5 ALL CONF 742 56 139 RESMONDO
DAVE MOORE UT 2 ALL CONF 641 27 90 DIRTY DeMARINI
SAM LOPEZ UT 1OP/2 ALL CONF 709 65 174 LASERVISION
TERRY BAGGS UT 3 ALL CONF 656 27 97 DIRTY DeMARINI
CHRIS WILSON UT 3 ALL CONF 682 14 63 DIRTY DeMARINI
SCOTT KIRBY 1B 5 ALL CONF 756 56 163 LASERVISION
BRETT McCOLLUM 1B 1MVP/1OP/3 ALL CONF 736 90 231 NORDKAP
GREG CONNELL 2B 8 ALL CONF 756 99 260 RESMONDO
ADAM ROCKOFF 2B 1MVP/3 ALL CONF 726 59 153 DIRTY DeMARINI
JIMMY SALAS 3B 1OP/2 ALL CONF 775 68 189 RESMONDO
LEE POWERS 3B 1OP/2 ALL CONF 776 67 179 JEAN SHOPPE
CHAD DURICK SS 1MVP/2 ALL CONF 765 81 207 TEAM 454
BRYSON BAKER SS 1MVP/1OP/3 ALL CONF 775 49 145 LASERVISION
BUBBA MACK MI 1MVP/3 ALL CONF 746 89 142 RESMONDO
KEVIN KENNINGTON MI 1MVP/1OP/2 ALL CONF 726 88 233 LASERVISION
RICK BAKER OF 1OP/3 ALL CONF 749 41 124 LASERVISION
BRIAN WEGMAN OF 1OP/5 ALL CONF 753 87 223 LASERVISION
DONOVAN POKRAKA OF 1DP/2 ALL CONF 746 61 178 NORDKAP
NICK SANTANA OF 4 ALL CONF 710 29 116 DIRTY DeMARINI
BOBBY HUGHES OF 5 ALL CONF 716 28 86 RESMONDO
SCOTT STRIEBEL OF 6 ALL CONF 704 40 125 RESMONDO
JOHN RECTOR 2012           ALL CONFERENCE MANAGER RESMONDO
DENNIS RULLI 2012 BATTING CHAMPION 820 34 121 TYJA/SUNCOAST
TIM COCCO 2012 HOME RUN CHAMPION 750 122 330 JEAN SHOPPE
DON DEDONATIS III 2012 OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER RESMONDO
BRIAN WEGMAN 2012 OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER LASERVISION
TIM COCCO 2012 OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER JEAN SHOPPE
ANDY PURCELL 2012 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER RESMONDO
JIMMY SALAS 2012 MOST VALUABLE PLAYER RESMONDO

 

2nd Team All Conference

 

NAME POS   OB HR RBI TEAM
ANDY VITCAK P 1 ALL CONF 645 10 75 TEAM 454
SCOTT BROWN C 1 OP/1 ALL CONF 747 54 117 TEAM COMBAT
DUSTIN ROBERTS UT 2 ALL CONF 726 45 155 TYJA/SUNCOAST
KEVIN FILBY UT 2 OP/3 ALL CONF 729 71 199 NORDKAP
JOSEPH GORDON UT 1 ALL CONF 691 20 70 R & M
JOHNNY MCCRAW UT 4 ALL CONF 764 64 150 TEAM COMBAT
CHIVAS CLARK UT 2 ALL CONF 680 42 124 DOWN 2 EARTH
STEVEN LOPEZ 1B 1 MVP/1 ALL CONF 726 11 45 DOERFLINGER
VICTOR CORDOVA 2B 1 ALL CONF 697 22 68 TYJA/SUNCOAST
JOEY FORMOSA 3B 2 OP/1 ALL CONF 721 70 172 NORDKAP
STEVEN LOYD SS 1 MVP/1DP/1 ALL CONF 726 33 95 DIRTY DEMARINI
J.D. GENTER MI 2 MVP/2 ALL CONF 748 53 163 NORDKAP
ANDREW COLLINS OF 1 MVP/2 ALL CONF 707 43 104 DIRTY DEMARINI
ROBERT BLACKBURN OF 2 ALL CONF 744 54 166 JEAN SHOPPE
JASON BRANCH OF 1 ALL CONF 727 42 156 TEAM 454
JEREMY YATES OF 673 33 92 TAYLORMADE
KYLE COWART OF 4 ALL CONF 702 48 177 JEAN SHOPPE
MIKE WEST MANAGER OF THE YEAR DIRTY/DeMARINI

 

3rd Team All Conference

 

NAME POSITION   TEAM
TODD PEASE 1ST BASE MAGIC/S&S/EASTON
MATT TINDELL OUTFIELD MAGIC/S&S/EASTON
TRAVIS DALE SHORTSTOP RED’S ASTROS
WALLY MAYBRIER OUTFIELD RED’S ASTROS
KYLE PEARSON SHORTSTOP BAUGHFORD/WORTH
RICKY HAYMANS 2ND BASE BAUGHFORD/WORTH
CORY LARGE OUTFIELD LINE DRIVE
MATTHEW REAR 3RD BASE LINE DRIVE
GREG NEAL PITCHER WESTSHORE PIZZA
SCOTTY LANKFORD 2ND BASE WESTSHORE PIZZA
JUSTIN STUART OUTFIELD BUZINI
DON PLAISANCE PITCHER BUZINI
JOSH ONSTOTT CATCHER P & P 333/COMBAT
DAVE ANDRUS 1ST BASE P & P 333/COMBAT
EARL BRYANT SHORTSTOP PRIME TIME
DENNIS DAVIDSON PITCHER PRIME TIME
DAVID BYRUM OUTFIELD B & B/SEARS
CELESTINO JACINTO SHORTSTOP B & B/SEARS
ANDREW DUBBERLY MANAGER OF THE YEAR DOWN TO EARTH

About USSSA:
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!

R&M Metals Takes “A” World Crown

The 2012 ‘A’ World tournament was full of close games, walk off homers, low scores, and good hardnosed competition. In the end it was R&M Metals/Troupe/Pipac/S&R/Easton based out of Waterloo, Iowa that went an undefeated 5-0 to win the tournament! R&M trailed Taylormade/TM Sports/Mizuno on Saturday night in the winner’s bracket championship game 7-3 most of the game. In the bottom of the 7th they rallied and capped off the comeback win with a walk off grand slam homer with one out by middle infielder Steve Whaley. On Sunday around noon, R&M met Taylormade again in the finals and jumped out to a big early lead and won the game and the title 25-5 in just 4 innings.

There were 17 teams from 11 different states in the tournament. 9 ‘A’ teams, 5 ‘B’ teams, and 3 ‘C’ teams. 14 of the teams were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA. The tournament had 11 games decided by 4 runs or less and 9 games were decided in the last at bat with 5 walk off home runs!

The tournament began on Friday night at 7 PM and the games Friday and Saturday were played under overcast skies and a very real threat of rain. The tournament was only delayed once however for two hours on Saturday afternoon by a downpour and lightning. On Friday night those first 3 games at 7 PM were decided in the last at bat on each field. Headhunter/Cancooker/SHSsports.com used a walk off homer by second baseman Robert Canceran to beat their in state Georgia rivals Down2EarthSports.com/SBC/Worth 19-17. R&M Metals/Troupe/Pipac/S&R/Easton overcame an early 13-0 deficit to beat Blitz/Weller/Watanabe/K&G/Easton 19-16 on a walk off homer by third baseman Joe Gordon. And Taylormade/TM Sports/Mizuno used a walk off gap shot by shortstop Branden Blake and the subsequent steal of home by second baseman Billy Moran on an errant throw to beat Primetime/Easton 15-14.

The Friday night upsets continued as Line Drive Sportz/SSS Softball knocked off West Coast Doerflinger – Easton 24-14 and Westshore Pizza/TPS capped the night with a walk off homer by Dan Dillingham to beat Shoppe/Team TPS/Elite 22-20. Team 454 also run ruled local Florida ‘C’ team Demarini Headbangers. TYJA – Suncoast Reebok run ruled Sonny’s / Louisville Slugger and Demarini/Dirty/3n2/ATWLDesigns came from a 19-13 deficit on the power of two Adam Rockoff homer’s late in the game to beat upstart Jolt 25-19.

With the first round over and the typical Friday night upsets occurring, the tournament moved to Saturday where it became quickly evident that with the heat index hovering around 100 degrees and the home runs and scores very low, each game became just a “flip of the coin”. It didn’t matter if you were a top ‘A’ team, a bottom ‘A’ team, or a ‘B’ team. With the 325 foot fences and a soft ball it was a “small ball” game with teams earning their home runs.

The quarterfinals started with a 10:30 AM game between R&M Metals who had won on the walk off the night before playing TYJA who had looked like the only seed that had the “eye of the tiger” on opening night. The “eye” quickly faded as the TYJA offense managed just 3 runs? in a 16-3 beating from R&M.

Then Line Drive Sportz shocked the softball world with a 19-14 win over Demarini/Dirty. Taylormade knocked off Team 454 13-12. And Headhunters powered past Westshore Pizza 17-12. So the final 4 in the winner’s bracket would have an unprecedented two ‘B’ teams in the running, Headhunters and Line Drive Sportz.

In the semi-finals Headhunters let up too many walks to Taylormade but made things interesting in the highest scoring game of the tournament, a 30-27 win for Taylormade. In the other semi, R&M Metals held off Line Drive Sportz 11-6.

In the winner’s championship as previously discussed Taylormade held a 7-3 lead until the 7th when R&M came back and Steve Whaley hit the walk off grand slam with one out.

Also on Saturday in the loser’s bracket Team 454/Emerald/Worth scored 14 runs in the bottom of the 7th against Sonny’s to win 21-19 on a walk off homer by Jason Branch with two outs. Then Linedrive knocked out 454 and TYJA knocked out Headhunters to make it to Sunday.

On Sunday morning TYJA lost to Line Drive Sportz 11-10 with the bats in their hands in the bottom of the 7th and Taylormade then sent Line Drive Sportz home 15-9 with the help of a big pinch hit homer by Nate Holcomb.

The tournament was very well played and although the scores were low because of the humidity and big fields, the games were fun and filled with drama. The top 4 seeds were all knocked to the loser’s bracket early on. The umpiring was great with a full complement of conference umpires on all 3 fields. The ball used was the Conference .40 core and bats were tested and re-tested. All would agree Fortune is the perfect place to play the ‘A’ Worlds!

About USSSA:
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!

USSSA Inks Deal with ESPN for Major World Series!

USSSA teams with ESPN to broadcast the Major World Series Home Run Derby on Friday, September 21, 2012 beginning at 7 PM. ESPN will also broadcast the winner’s bracket semi-final game that follows the Derby, and the Championship game and “If” game if necessary on Sunday morning/afternoon.

ESPN will scan the ballpark at the Major World Series in order to be able to instantly measure the distance of home runs!

About USSSA:
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!

Nationwide Conference 2012: “Last Chance” Michigan Major NIT

The Michigan Major started on Friday night with the traditional “bracket style” home run derby which was won by Laservision/Eastons Bryson Baker. In the games on Friday there were no upsets, in fact out of the 11 local teams there was only one team that beat a Conference team the whole weekend.

On Saturday morning Red’s Astros beat Pure Romance, Sonny’s beat TG United, and Westshore Pizza beat Columbus Pipe out of the Conference matchups in the first round.

It quickly became evident that Sonny’s, Red’s Astros, and Headhunters all came to play and try to earn their way into the top 16 in Conference points to make the Major World Series. Those teams fought hard all day starting at 8 AM and ending for the Red’s last game after 2 AM on Sunday morning!.

The tournament had some big upsets as Buzini knocked off Team Combat and Linedrive knocked off Nordkap/Desert Falls to solidify both teams spot in the top 16.

Resmondo was nearly tripped up by R&M. R&M knocked out Sonny’s. Demarini/Dirty knocked off Laservision then was knocked off themselves by Red’s Astros.

There were great matchups all over the park as ‘B’, ‘A’, and Major teams competed as if there were no differences in talent.

The games were delayed for an hour and a half Saturday night as a storm rolled through but when the tournament resumed it was Shoppe knocking off Resmondo in the winner’s bracket championship by the run rule and Red’s knocking off Team 454, and R&M over Sonny’s to make it to Sunday. On Sunday morning with a slight drizzle of rain coming down, Red’s run ruled R&M, Resmondo run ruled Red’s, and then Resmondo double dipped Shoppe in a pair of solidly played games to win the “Last Chance” tournament!

The tournament was played in near perfect weather for the most part with the Conference ball on 300 foot fields. One knock against the tournament which had great atmosphere would be that there were not a lot of Conference umpires and the rotation of umpires left all teams except Resmondo scratching their collective heads.

While I am on my umpiring soap box I have to question a number of close plays at first base. To me a ground ball in softball that is fielded and thrown to first base is an out so the runner had better be safe without any doubt, to be called safe. And a runner that “steals” second by trying to stretch a single into a double had better be safe without any doubt to be called safe. That way an umpire is putting the “proof” of being safe on the runner and rewarding, if you will, the defense.

About USSSA:
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!