The 2013 Nationwide Conference Championships was won by Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth. Resmondo went 4-0 to win the tournament and beat Laservision/Desert Falls/Boombah/Easton 26-9 in the winner’s bracket championship on Saturday afternoon and 21-15 on ESPN in the championship on Sunday. Resmondo was paced by MVP SS Don Dedonatis Jr. and Defensive MVP Greg Connell. Resmondo won 3 of their games by the run rule and scored 20 or more in all 4 contests. Their defense held their 4 opponents to just 36 total runs or 9.0 runs per game. WOW!
The Nationwide Conference Championships began on Friday night with the top 16 teams in the nation playing in a “Big East” basketball style bracket where seeds 9-16 played in the first round. The winner’s moved on to the second round against seeds 5-8. The loser’s of the first two rounds dropped into a bracket of their own which is called the “Open” bracket. The winners moved on to play the top 4 seeded teams for the Nationwide Conference Championship!
The second round on Friday night is where things got interesting as all 4 of the lower seeded teams beat each of the 5 through 8 seeds! Albicocco beat Red’s Astros 22-7 after putting up 15 runs in the first inning. Taylormade upset Demarini 19-17. Chaps/Buzini beat Line Drive 16-15. And Pure Romance shocked GTL Doerflinger R&M 21-17!
In the third round the only upset was Taylormade who won their third game of the night 30-23 over a stunned Nordkap team. Resmondo, Laservision, and Shoppe all advanced to the semi-finals on Saturday.
The Major “pecking” order played out again as Resmondo beat Laservision twice and Laservision beat Shoppe twice during the weekend.
In the “Open” bracket which was filled with ‘A’ teams that had been upset by lower seeded teams, Demarini/Dirty went undefeated in the bracket to win it, beating GTL on Sunday by a run even though Demarini was missing 4 starters and actually had manager George Quinones playing and he helped contribute to the win. Line Drive Sportz was third and Red’s Astros was fourth.
All of the games in the Nationwide Conference Championships and the “Open” bracket were played at the Osceola County Stadium “back” fields. They are all large baseball fields and used the Dudley ZN Stadium ball. The weather was hot and humid with temperatures in the 90′s and the Stadium itself was unavailable because the infield is in the middle of a re-construction.
The games were competitive as there were only 8 run rule games out of the 36 played, and 16 of the games were decided by 3 runs or less!
Over at the Fortune Road Softball Complex there was a third tournament. This one was called the “Major World Series Conference Qualifier” where Nationwide Conference teams seeded 18-32 were invited to play for a berth to the Major. 7 teams accepted the invite and it was played out in a 3 game guarantee format. Team Adiktiv/Dynasty/ D2E /LS/TYJA defeated 3rd Street/Louisville Slugger 15-14 in the “if” game of the championship after 3rd Street had forced the second game by beating Adiktiv 13-12. Team Adiktiv went 3-1 in the tournament including a 31-8 win over ASPNation.com where Adiktiv scored an amazing 24 runs in one inning! 3rd Street took a much more difficult route to the championship as they lost their opener to B&B/Sears 16-12 on Friday night, then won 5 straight in the loser’s bracket. B&B/Sears with a few of their recent pickups was third, and Xtreme/Miken was fourth.
The catch of the weekend was made by Brian Logan the center fielder for Taylormade who made a fast diving catch in center field in the gap on Baugh Fords Matt Bunn to preserve Taylormades big win over Baugh in the first round. The best infield play was turned in by JD Genter at third base for GTL when he made a nice pick on a hard shot with his backhand and started at 5-10-3 double play to end the game against Line Drive Sportz in the loser’s bracket final of the “Open” bracket.
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!