Kissimmee, FL- The “Circle City Classic” Nationwide Conference USSSA tournament was played this past weekend at the Midwest Sports Complex in Indianapolis, Indiana. The field of 23 teams was widdled down to just 8 teams by the time I (DW) arrived on the scene and all but 1 of the teams were Conference teams. Cashhouse/Nager Law a ‘B’ team out of Ohio had just completed a nice comeback over Pure Romance 32-24 for their third straight win in the loser’s bracket. Then it was time (5 PM) for the final 8 teams to play out and see who would make it to Sunday. In the winner’s bracket it was Precision/Easton, one of the favorites, knocking off surprise ‘C’ team Bloomington Moose 29-14 on field #1. Bloomington had upset Cash House and P&P 333 earlier in the day to make it to the winner’s semi-final where they played as well as can be played for a team that was run ruled by Precision. In the other semi-final it was Red’s Astros who made a late run to knock off TG Brand 29-22. I think TG Brand may say they gave one away as they led most of the game. Red’s had also beaten Pure Romance by just 1 run in the previous round.
In the loser’s bracket at 5 PM, Cooper knocked off Cash House 20-14 in a spirited game, and P&P 333 beat WSC/Sportsmanshop 15-12. WSC actually ended up 2-2 with wins over Street Kids and K&G for their best finish ever tied for 7th. Cooper then knocked off the upstart Bloomington Moose team 9-3 in a “pillow fight”, and P&P 333 held on to beat fellow Michigan ‘B’ team TG Brand 22-21.
Back to the winner’s bracket where the championship game was a battle between the two favorites. Precision who had advanced to the big game completely unscathed and playing well on offense and defense and Red’s Astros/Louisville Slugger who had just squeaked by their last two games against Pure Romance and TG Brand and Red’s was still not playing up to their pre-season hype. It wasn’t much of a game, Precision took control early with a couple of grand slams and Red’s fought back once but fell to Precision 24-7.
In the final game of Saturday night Cooper “skunked” P&P 333 by an unexplainable score of 15-0?
On Sunday morning in the loser’s bracket championship Red’s Astros got 3 run homers out of Tim Cocco and Andrew Collins in the first inning. Cooper Got a 3 run homer in the 2nd inning by Michael Ditmer but Red’s returned the favor with another Cocco 3 run homer in the top of the 3rd and a 2 run shot by Collins. Cooper grounded into a strange 6-10-5 double play in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Red’s shortstop John Sullivan made a great diving stop of a line shot and knocked it down and pitched it to second where Troy Krider tagged the bag and threw to 3rd where Josh Riley made a leaping catch for the tagout. That play is in the video highlights for your viewing pleasure. Coopers Mike Malesko would hit a grand slam in the 5th but Red’s would win 27-19 to go to the championship.
In the finals Precision struck first in the top of the first with 6 runs on a Chris Geron 2 run homer and some good base hitting, and things were looking good for Precision when Red’s Astros started the game with 3 solo homers in the bottom half of the inning. In the 2nd inning Precision grounded into a double play and put up a zero, and Reds came in and took an 8-6 lead on a 3 run homer by Chad Mullins and a 2 run shot by Brad Tabler. In the 3rd Precision put on a massive display of base hitting and gap hitting and scored 10 runs on just one homer! Seth Burgmeier hit the 3 run homer and Tristan Reimolds had a huge pinch hit double with the bases loaded. Red’s wouldn’t go away though as they scored 9 runs of their own on base hits and gap shots to close the Precision lead to 17-15 in the 4th. In the 5th newly acquired Dan Kirkwood hit a 3 run homer for Precision and they later stretched their lead in the 6th and 7th to 25-19 and won their first Nationwide USSSA event of the year!
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