2019 Nationwide Conference USSSA
13th Annual Space City Classic
League City, TX
Friday night with Smash It/Pure Sports/OA playing
Championship Sunday, Smash It/Pure Sports/OA's Filip Washington hits against Bay Area/Rapid Fire/Bad Draw/Easton
The 13th annual Houston Major began with 56 teams in a double elimination tournament at Big League Dreams sports park with their MLB replica fields on Friday night at 7 PM Central. There were 14 Conference teams battling for points trying to avoid the upset by those pesky Texas 'B' and 'C' teams. For the most part they did survive although Infamous (CO-B) lost in the 2nd round to MVP 27-19 on Crosley field, Beckham Brothers (FL-TBD) had a scare beating Old School (TX-B) 35-34 in extra innings on Fenway, Wood Law got a timely double play to win 28-25 with the tying run at the plate against Dirty Vegas (TX-B) on Sportsmans, Mestizo (TX-C) knocked off L&S Glass (CA-B) 19-12, and a really scrappy and pumped up Scared Hitless (TX-D) team beat Competitive Edge (FL-A) 36-28 after jumping out to a 12-0 lead in the first inning.
In the "final 16" of the winner's bracket there were 11 Conference teams remaining and 8 of them won the 8-3rd round games as Primetime (GA-A) run ruled MVP 29-6, Baugh Ford (AL-TBD) scored 15 runs in the 2nd inning to beat Beckham Brothers 36-19, Wood Law (TX-B) beat Vivid (TX-A) 23-21 on Fenway, Riot Sports (FL-AA) beat upstart NTX BrewCrew (TX-B) 32-26, Bay Area (CA-AA) outslugged Mestizo (TX-C) 43-28, Nightmare (MO-AA) crushed Big Apple (TX-B) 24-6, Smash It Pure (SC-Major) took batting practice against Steel Sports 44-13 on Yankee field, and Thunder (NY-A) won their 3rd game of the morning 32-15 over Chanticlear Pizza (MN-A).
In the "final 8" which started late around 4 PM Saturday afternoon, Primetime went up 23-13 scoring 17 runs on just 2 homers against Baugh Ford after 3 innings and then in the top of the 4th Detorren Means hit a 2 run pinch hit homer to put them up 29-13. Primetime went on to win 37-25. Riot Sports hung on to beat Wood Law 35-29 over on Ebbets field. Bay Area run ruled fellow 'AA' team Nightmare on Yankee field, and Smash It/Pure outscored Thunder 32-24 on Crosley where the wind was blowing straight in.
The "final 4" also started past its scheduled time on Saturday evening and Riot Sports got off to an early lead on Primetime over on Fenway as Bay Area Legends got off to an early lead against the tournament favorite Smash It Sports/Pure on Yankee. The weather was perfect for these games by the way and really for the entire weekend until we had to fly home and a big thunderstorm hit and delayed or cancelled all of the flights. Riot pulled away on Primetime though and finally put them away 33-19 and Smash It/Pure overmatched Bay Area offensively and Bay Area quit hitting and Pure won 34-21. For Pure Sports, MVP John Williams was 5-5 in the game with a walk and their outfield pickup Robbie Fow was 5-5.
The winner's bracket finals was played on Fenway where the livestream worked better for the viewers at home. Smash It/Pure had big innings in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th scoring 9, 10, and 12 respectively. Riot answered with 11 of their own in the 3rd but couldn't keep up and lost 47-28 as Pure kept up the offensive pressure although Riot much like Bay Area the game before never gave up. Riot leadoff hitter Tre' Campbell was 5-6 in the loss. For Pure Sports Filip Washington and Brett McCollum were on base 6 out of 7 plate appearances, and 7 starters reached safely in all but one plate appearance.
In the loser's bracket Playoff Performance a Texas 'A' team made a short run before Chanticlear beat them and Dirty Vegas won 2 games before Steel Sports beat them and then Chanticlear won the upper half of the loser's bracket by beating Steel Sports, Baugh Ford and Wood Law to finish tied for 5th. In the lower half CBS won 3 straight before losing to Vivid and then Nightmare sent Vivid home and Thunder dropped down and beat Beckham Brothers and Nightmare. So the late late late loser's bracket games to determine the last two teams to make the final 4 on Sunday was Thunder who scored 14 in the first inning against Primetime and went on to score the first 24 runs of the game in a 29-2 route, and Bay Area Legends who went up 17-0 and 27-7 on Chanticlear before beating them 52-29!
On Sunday with thunderstorms threatening the tournament somehow was completed when we all thought it would be washed out. Bay Area beat Thunder 21-14 when their pitcher was ejected for saying the 'F' word and they claimed they didn't have any pitchers left. Isn't Therkildsen a pitcher? I guess they wanted to forfeit and you know how I feel about forfeits…sigh. Then Bay Area beat a depleted and legitimately injured Riot Sports team to go to the Championship.
In the Championship game SIS/Pure Sports once again had superior offense with the wind blowing in and held a steady but small lead most of the game in a 24-18 win. SIS/Pure played without outfielders Brandon Dillon, Ryan Parfitt, and Bradley Carlsen because of their work, and Washington, Robbie Fow, Dan Kirkwood, and Nick Mitschke did fine in their absence. Pure gets a tournament win and 207 big Conference points which will go a long way in the seeding after the Hall of Fame Classic.
Pure Sports manager Craig Shaw and Bay Area manager Rob Humphrey
56 Teams Overall
14 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
1 Major Teams
3 'AA' Teams
9 'A' Teams
15 'B' Teams
28 'C/D/E' Teams
Key Winner's Bracket Games
Winner's Semifinal on Fenway between SIS/Pure and Riot Sports – Pure won 32-24
Beckham Brothers beats Old School/MVP 35-34 in extra innings for the best game of Friday night
Primetime's Roderick Armour hits against Riots Buckshot Plaisance in the semi finals. Riot won 33-19.
Thunder beats Primetime to advance to Sunday
Bay Area knocks off Riot Sports 30-15 to advance to the championship Sunday
A big loser's bracket matchup between Thunder and Beckham Brothers. Thunder pulled it out 37-35 after blowing a big lead.
Tommie Baugh of Baugh Ford had the shortest double in slowpitch history when he hit it off the pitchers knee and it ricocheted out of play.
Thunder Hycor .52's were the perfect ball for these fields and the turf
Vivid playing at Wrigley Friday night (pano)
Pano shot of Riot playing at Fenway Friday. It was foggy at night in Houston this year. (pano)
Riot vs SIS/Pure in the Winners final on Fenway (pano)
SoftballCenter chat room wanted a picture of what they called the "sick" OA uniforms that Pure Sports was wearing Friday
Hammonds who was out with a pulled muscle and Kirkwood
Weather came in Sunday just after the Championship game
The mini green monster may be the highest wall in Conference play now that we don't use Osceola Field #1
Houston Major Final Standings and Awards
Big John Williams was MVP for SIS/Pure
SIS/Pure pitcher Justin Mucciarelli won Defensive MVP
Bay Area Legends Tyler Marshburn (left) won Offensvive MVP