2016 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Conference co-MVP Jeremy Yates from Backman takes on Resmondo in the winner's bracket finals
The 2016 Conference Championship was an 8 team 3 game guarantee bracket played at the Osceola County Stadium with its 336-390-410-390-330 field dimensions and they also used field #2 which was 320-385-400-380-325 with a 30 foot high fence in left field. The tournament featured the top 8 teams in the point standings. The tournament began less than 24 hours after hurricane Hermine went through Florida but the tournament was only delayed from 5 PM to 6 PM on the back field and all games played on schedule and on time with almost no rain. At 5 PM on the stadium field the first game started with #8 Racks taking on #1 Backman. Racks actually held an 8-6 lead in this one when the home team (Backman) which was determined by who was the higher seed, left Racks on the field with a 17 run inning and beat them 23-8. Orlando Castillo was 4-4 in the game. At 6 PM there were actually 3 games played simultaneously as #2 Resmondo run ruled a surprisingly subdued #7 Newbreed team 27-7 on the stadium field, taking Newbreed out of the game early with a huge offensive bottom of the 1st. Bubba Mack and Andy Purcell were both 4-4 with 4 runs scored. #6 Scene and #7 TG/Red's Astros battled to a 15-15 mid game tie back on Field #2 but then Scene separated and won 33-19. Scene and Reds have battled all season with Scene now winning 4 out of 7. And they actually ended up using Field #3 for one game and that was the #4 Smash It Sports vs #5 Team Combat game where Smash It came from behind as both teams struggled some offensively but Team Combat led after the top of the 7th 18-16 and Smash It Sports shortstop Kevin Bazat hit a 2 run homer and their last batter Brad Reckart hit a walk off homer to beat Combat 19-18.
The semi finals were then played on the stadium at 8 PM and 9:30 PM while the 4 teams in the loser's bracket played those 3 game guarantee games where whether you win or lose you still advance in the bracket to Saturday morning. In the first semifinal Backman and Smash It Sports were tied at 23-23 after 5 complete innings. The game would continue to be close and Smash It Sports led 33-30 after the top of the 7th. But home team would prove valuable again as Backman got a solo homer from Ryan Stovall, a triple from Brian Logan, a single from pitcher Andy Vitcak, and Powers and Kennington at the top of the order got on and Jeremy Yates the Conference co-MVP hit a walk off grand slam homer! Yates and Harvey both had 4 hits in the game. In the other semi final Resmondo used an 8 run second inning to separate from Scene and won in dominating fashion 34-14. Bubba Mack had 4 home runs for Resmondo in the game. At this point with Resmondo putting up huge offensive innings it looked like they may have "turned it on" in September again and it felt like they could not be beat.
In the loser's bracket Friday night and Saturday morning Racks knocked off Combat 19-17 after being down 13-11. Newbreed run ruled TG/Red's Astros 31-15. Then Combat walked off Newbreed 23-22 on a walk off single by Dennis Rulli and TG/Reds walked off Racks 30-29 on a single by Chad Mullins. The close games would continue in the loser's bracket as Smash It Sports beat Combat again in a close one 18-15 when Combat failed to score late, and TG/Red's held off a late charge by Scene 27-25. And Smash It Sports knocked off a tired looking TG/Red's team 22-7 to advance to the loser's final.
The rest of the games were played on the Stadium field as the winner's bracket finals began around 11 AM. Resmondo answered a 12 run bottom of the first inning by Backman with an 8 run top of the 2nd. In the bottom of the 4th the speedy Backman center fielder Brian Logan hit an inside the park homer and team leader Kevin Kennington hit a 2 run homer to give Backman an 18-16 lead and they went on to win 22-17. In the loser's bracket finals immediately following, Smash It Sports jumped on Resmondo 17-1 after 2 innings as lead off man Bryson Baker had 2 homers and 7 RBI in the 2nd inning alone and Smash It cruised to their most dominating win of the season 37-8 and Resmondo was suddenly out of the tournament.
This set up a Sunday morning showdown between Backman and Smash It Sports which aired live on CBS Sports Network at 11 AM. In that game both teams battled and put on a good show but Backman edged out and held on to a solid lead at the end and won the Conference Championship tournament 27-22. Kevin Kennington was 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 runs scored in that final game for Backman. Kyle Pearson was 5-5 with 3 HR for Smash It Sports. Backman added to their seasons resume of winning the HOF Duals, Columbus Major, Dudley Major, Cincinnati Major, and the points championship and will be the #1 seed for the Major.
I hope to make a highlite video of the televised game soon.
The final game was on CBS Sports Network live
Smash Its Bryson Baker and Travis Clark finish off Resmondo in the loser's final
Backman pitcher Andy Vitcak singles up the middle off of Smash It Sports in their semi final win
Smash It Sports and Backman Friday night
The grounds crew did some great work moving the bases back to 75 feet compared to the too short 70 foot bases at the hall of fame classic.
Made for a much better game.
Long Bombers of the Week
The stadium was using a technology called flight scope that measured distances and batted ball speeds.
I am not sure what was the recorded farthest ball but Howie Krause hit a bomb during the day Saturday.
Conference Major Final Standings
|IN – Aurora
|backman louisville slugger
|NY – Cicero
|smash it sports/asp/h.auto/mr.wiggl
|FLS – Winter Haven
|resmondo specialty tank worth
|OH – Cincinnati OH & /Indianapolis IN
|WA – Kent
|NY – Commack
|WA – Bothell
|WY – Casper