2014 Nationwide Conference USSSA: Columbus B.A.T.S Major

Columbus, OH- Laservision/H Auto/JJ’s/Easton wins the 2nd Annual Columbus B.A.T.S. Major! They do so in dominating fashion as they went 6-0 and knocked off Baugh Ford Doerflinger National Pawn/Easton (the top ‘A’ team) 36-21 in the winner’s bracket finals, and Resmondo-Specialty Tank Worth 38-23 in the championship. The tournament was played on 6 of the artificial turf infield fields at the Lou Berliner park in Columbus, Ohio. The 4 main fields were baseball sized and Laservision used their defense, timely hitting and power to run rule all but one opponent. Resmondo fought back from a semi-final loss to Baugh Ford (27-21) to finish second and Baugh finished 3rd with Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger 4th. The same top 4 teams finished in the top 4 spots as the Hall of Fame dual tournaments a month ago.

The tournament began on Friday night with 26 Nationwide Conference USSSA teams and 36 teams overall. There were plenty of upset bids but the higher seeded teams for the most part overcame these and ended up winning. Massive rain storms hit on Saturday from 8 AM until early afternoon but the games went on through the rain with only slight delays. The temperatures were cool and the stadium ZN ball was flying. Late Saturday and early Sunday the teams had to deal with some fog that rolled in.

We will get to how each team did briefly in their individual team sections below.

Notes from around softball:
– Dustin Roberts has left 4 The Fallen and joined Vivid
– Wesley Parker has left Broughton and joined ASPNation
– There were a lot of pitchers drilled in Columbus prompting a lot of questions about whether or not the stadium ball should be used on those fields in the cool conditions.
– The regular conference ball was used in some of the loser’s bracket games on the baseball fields and a hot dot was used up on the two 300 foot fields.
– Players mostly agreed that Fields #14 and #15 played smaller than #16 and #17.


Laservision has now won 23 straight games in a row with 22 of those being against Nationwide Conference USSSA opponents. They have won all 4 Conference events they have played this season and run their record against Resmondo to 5-0. An improved defense, team chemistry, and pitching have led to the success on the field and lets remember this team was built through “the draft” meaning through handpicking young talent from the ‘A’ division and not picking the best from the other Major level teams. Brungardt, Lloyd, Reyna, Dillon, and Bazat all played for 3 different ‘A’ teams in 2013. Umschied also came from the ‘A’ division in 2012. Laservision seems to have different MVP’s every weekend which really highlights the fact that they are playing team ball. The last challenge for Laservision will be to win on the 300 foot fields against Resmondo, Backman, and Baugh Ford and their cycle of domination will be complete. Chicago June 6-8 will be that first big test on the 300 foot fields and incidentally will also be the first time the tournaments will be seeded off of 2014 points where Laservision will be the #1 seed. Laservision is off this week when the Conference goes to Euless, Texas for the “Texas Legends” Major and their next tournament will be the Seattle Combat Dual which startson May 29th.

Laservision played without third baseman Dale Brungardt (obleak injury) who will be out a couple more weeks hoping to return in Seattle.


Resmondo struggled early on against both TG United in the pouring rain and Combat Blockers but used their defense to separate in both games. In the winner’s bracket semi-final they couldn’t keep up with Baugh Ford in a 42-30 loss on ESPN3. Dennis Rulli went out with an injured back? and they move Don DeDonatis to the top of the lineup. Late Saturday they knocked off a tough Precision team 20-17 and came back Sunday to finish 2nd after beating Backman 43-21 and hanging on to beat Baugh Ford 39-37 on a walk off homer by Don DeDonatis Jr before dropping their 5th straight to Laservision. Resmondo played without Howie Krause most of the tournament.

Resmondo is gutting out these 2nd place wins but does not look like the world champions we have come to know. The defense wasn’t overly sharp in less than great conditions and the offense hasn’t had the consistent double figure innings of past years. It looks like Resmondo will have to play near perfect ball the rest of the way to win their 9th consecutive regular season Conference Championship but I won’t write them off for the Dudley, Smoky, or a World Series Championship. It is too early in the season for that.

Baugh Ford:

Baugh Ford cruised through their first 3 games of the tournament including an impressive flip flop win over ‘A’ rival Line Drive Sportz 22-5 which set up a rematch with Resmondo. In that game which was aired on ESPN3, Baugh Ford picked up each others mistakes a little better than Resmondo and pulled out a big win 27-21. Then Baugh stuck with Laservision for awhile before succumbing to a 36-21 run rule loss. On Sunday morning Baugh lost to Resmondo 39-37 in the loser’s bracket championship in a game they jumped out to a 10-4 lead in.

Baugh Ford is healthy, they continue to play Major teams tough and dominate teams of their classification and lower. Center fielder Brian Zirkle made the catch of the tournament in the victory over Resmondo Saturday night. I will try to pull that video clip off the archive of the game. Left fielder Donovan Pokraka is back strong this year after coming back from a knee injury in 2013. Larsen as we have documented is running better and providing stadium power. And JD Genter and Sean McDonald are providing professional consistent onbase and timely power. Baugh played without Vince Bisbee who is almost ready to play (injured quad). Baugh will continue their season in Georgia in a couple weeks where they should be the favorite to win.


Backman struggled with a hot H Auto team in their second game. H Auto actually had the tying run at the plate in the 7th but Backman got a flyout to win 22-19. Then Backman went 7 innings with fellow Slugger team Red’s Astros but won 32-23. In the winner’s bracket semi-finals they went toe to toe with Laservision in a well played game but came up short 43-29. Backman didn’t use their homers all that well. In the loser’s bracket they run ruled Linedrive late Saturday night but lost the 8 AM loser’s semi final to Resmondo by over 20 runs.

Backman played without Sam Lopez again who’s daughter is sick and TJ Thompson got drilled in the knee by a line drive but overall they are fairly healthy, just not matching their Major opponents big innings and making some defensive mistakes. Backman is going to Texas next week where there is no Laservision to run into but they will have to play a perfect game to beat Resmondo and try to push into the top 3.

For full tournament report, visit Softballcenter.com

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


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