2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
"Sin City" Classic
Las Vegas, NV
SmashitSports slugger Everett Williams ropes a hit to center field in the winner's final on Saturday vs SNI
Smash It Sports center fielder Ben Dunn saves the tournament with a home run robbing catch!
Smash It Sports relieved after getting the final out
2021 Las Vegas winner's final condensed game link when ready
2021 Las Vegas championship condensed game link when ready
Smash It first baseman Jason Martel makes a game saving play
Last years league MVP Tyler Marshburn comes up with a big homer in the championship game for SmashIt
FRIDAY The 2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA season started in Las Vegas, Nevada at the 6 field Big League Dreams park as it had done in 9 previous years before 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled it. There were 48 men's teams in the Major division from 16 different states and there were 21 Conference teams. In the 1st round which started at 9 AM Friday morning there were no major upsets. In fact there really weren't any major upsets until the final 4 of the winner's bracket and there were quite a few of upsets in the loser's bracket and on Sunday. The rules for the Conference are as follows, the run rule or "mercy rule" is 30 after 3 innings, 20 after 4, and 15 after 5. Each game with two Major teams in it the teams can hit 16 home runs. If the game has a Conference 'A' or 'AA' or just one Major team in it the teams hit 12 HR. And if the game has 'B' or below or two non-conference teams in it, then the teams hit 8 home runs. They used the Dudley Pro-M ball and the directors conducted bat compression testing at 240. The Conference uses 70 foot bases and a 50 foot pitching rubber on softball sized fields. The 4 Conference teams that played into the bracket in the 1st round all advanced as Bay Area Legends/Non Stop Grind a new Conference 'B' team out of California beat Legion by the run rule 31-15. GSP/Tri-State Services (WY-B) playing Conference for the first time knocked off the Bay Area Legends 'C' team 24-16. Joel Gonzalez the longtime sponsor of Bay Area Legends now has a Conference 'A' team, a Conference 'B' team, and a non-conference 'C' team as well as a Women's Conference team. Cheap Suits/Republic Realty/Express Athletics (Conference CA-B) advanced by forfeit over GTF a Conference 'B' team who did not buy their flights in time to make the event. And Abeytu'/Salt Riot a new Conference 'B' team from Utah knocked off Klutch 31-7. One 1st round game that could be called an upset was when Figa/SD Lighting (AZ-C) beat 4 The Fallen/Dan Smith/Demarini/S&L 23-21 when their catcher made an incredible catch on a popup late in the game. The second round which I call the "round of 32" began around noon on Friday and every game had at least one Conference team in it and none of the non-conference teams won any of the games. Bay Area/NSG 'B' team came from a double digit deficit to take a 2 run lead on Competitive Edge/Olmito Heat/Adiktiv (FL-A) in the 3rd inning then Comp Edge batted around to take back the lead 32-25 lead in 4th. Bay Area came back one more time but Comp Edge scored enough with the home runs gone to win 48-42 in what was the longest game of the first day. Seminoles/TPS/NACSF.INC (OK-A) batted around in the 5th inning to take the lead and hold off GSP/Tri-State 31-29. Leadoff hitter Connor Murray was 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI. SNI/Thunder (FL-AA), Xtreme/ASP/Athlon (MN-AA), Resmondo (FL-Major), Levels (CO-A), MPT Rentals/Juno (NJ-Major), S & E Enterprise/Worsham (NC-A), Premier/BAF/Easton (OH-A), and SmashItSports/Newbreed (NC-Major) all won easily by the run rule. Chick-fil-a/BAF Sports (VA-A) had a 16-14 lead on a very good Lund Mortgage/Who Are You/Easton (AZ-B) team when Lunds unconventional leadoff man Matt Webb hit a 3 run homer to go up 17-16. Chick-fil-a grabbed the lead back 20-17 on home runs but Lund Mortgage center fielder Isaiah Brown hosed a runner at 3rd for the final out. In the bottom of the 7th Lund had 5 home runs left to hit and tied the game 20-20 with a 3 run homer but a double play ended their chance to win and they lost in extra innings 25-23. Classic Glass/Easton (CA-A) won 23-22 on a walk off homer by Sal Formosa over Rowley White RV (AZ-B). One Step Ahead/AJC (CA-B) was up 26-24 on Bay Area Legends 'A' team in the top of the 5th but Bay Area came back to win 33-27. Primetime/Easton/F.A.I./Riot (GA-A) came from behind to beat Classy/SLM/SourceOne (AZ-B) 25-21. MAJ/Knell/Dirty (WA-A) survived a close win over Cheap Suits 16-14. And in a great matchup on the show field (Yankee) L&S Glass (CA-A) beat Lazer Sports (UT-B) 24-23. So the "Sweet 16" was all Conference teams and for maybe the first time in Las Vegas Major history they were also the top 16 seeds. The SNI 'AA' team put up 24 runs in the 2nd inning against Competive Edge when the Comp Edge outfield couldn't come up with a slew of tough chances. Then Competitive Edge fought back to make it a game only to be pounded by SNI 57-23. The 57 runs turned out to be the 2nd highest score of the tournament and the scores did go up as the daytime temps in the 70's turned into an evening in the low 60's. Seminoles out hit Xtreme 25-20 and out homered them 10-7 but lost 21-18 after Xtreme jumped out to a 13-2 lead. Over on Yankee field at 6:30 PM with the sun looking the batter right in the eye Classic Glass put away Primetime 17-2 when Classic adjusted to the conditions faster and their pitcher Shawn Jones used the sun to his advantage. Resmondo run ruled My Auto Jack 43-27 on Yankee field batting around in the 1st inning. In the lower half of the bracket SmashItSports/Newbreeds Major team run ruled L&S Glass 29-13 on Fenway field where the wind was blowing in. Premier used a come from behind walk off gap shot by Ryan Uckotter to beat S&E Enterprises in a battle of top 'A' teams 26-25. Uckotter was 5-5 with a homer and 5 RBI in the game. MPT Rentals went 8 innings with Levels when Levels scored 11 runs in the bottom of the 7th to force extra innings where MPT won 43-39 with the wind blowing out on Angel field. Ryan Harvey was 6-6 with 4 HR and 9 RBI for MPT and 3 hitter Dustin Wager was 6-6 with 2 HR and 6 RBI for Levels. And Bay Area Legends pulled out another close one against Chick-fil-a when they scored 9 runs in the top of the 8th to win 33-27. The "round of 8" was also played on Friday night under the lights as it cooled off some more. SNI/Thunder beat Xtreme 29-28 on a walk off homer by Brian McBryde after they were down 4 runs with 7 homers to hit. Resmondo was on the ropes against Classic Glass down 30-24 with 4 home runs to hit and came back and won it on a walk off homer by Bradley Jones in the bottom of the 7th. Premier scored 13 runs in the top of the 3rd against Smashit/Newbreed to go up 17-12 and Premier was winning 33-30 until SmashIt scored 15 runs in the bottom of the 6th and won 45-36. Smashit leadoff hitter Tyler Wilson was 6-7 with 1 HR and 7 RBI and Dale Brungardt had 9 RBI in the win. Leadoff hitter Clay Norton for Premier was 6-6 and Bradley Bruns had 8 RBI for Premier in the loss. And in the final game of the night MPT Rentals hammered Bay Area Legends 26-6. So after all of the Major teams had serious scares on Friday night it turned out they all advanced to the "final 4" on Saturday undefeated. SATURDAY On Saturday the loser's bracket played out most of the day with Cheap Suits winning 3 games, and Bay Area Legends 'B' team, GSP, Lazer Sports, Str8Play , Abeytu, and Lund Mortgage all winning 2 games in a row. Then the teams dropping down from the winner's bracket started to take over as Chick-fil-a and MAJ each won 2 games. Seminoles won 5 straight starting at noon including late night wins over Bay Area's 'A' team and a 60-48 win over Resmondo to advance to Sunday! And on the top of the bracket S&E Worsham knocked off Bay Area 'B', Cheap Suits, Xtreme, Classic Glass, and MPT Rentals Major team 33-27 to advance to Sunday. In the winner's bracket "final 4" which started at 6:45 PM Saturday night SmashitSports/Newbreed jumped all over MPT Rentals scoring 30 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning and cruised to a 45-18 win. It was the most impressive line drive and place hitting display of the tournament to that point and the wind was blowing in on Fenway field. And in the other semifinal SNI jumped out to a 19-3 lead going into the bottom of the 3rd against #1 seeded Resmondo and Resmondo game back to make it a one run game in the bottom of the inning. But SNI scored 10 key runs in the top of the 6th and had some good pitching from Brandon Jonas and defense from shortstop Pedro Sanchez and center fielder Brian Zirkle to win 39-29. The winner's bracket championship followed the semifinals on Yankee field. You can watch this entire game in condensed form on the SW48 YouTube page on Tuesday. In this one the knuckleball of Smashit pitcher Andy Purcell was doing nose dives as it approached home plate and kept the SNI hitters off balance and popping out in almost every key situation. Meanwhile the Smashit offense was still clicking and they won 33-16. SUNDAY In the loser's semifinal it was a battle of 'A' teams between Seminoles from Oklahoma who had put up 60 runs Saturday night to beat Resmondo and S&E Worsham from North Carolina who had knocked off MPT Rentals 33-27. Both teams played well for being tired but S&E's 3 hitter Justin Gregory and 4 hitter Kendall Welborn each went 5-5 and S&E held onto a 30-24 win. S&E had a dilemma though with flights scheduled for noon they had to send pitcher Brian Renner and Nick Canfield to the airport. Playing shorthanded against SNI it looked like they could be in for a short game and a big loss but they ended up dominating the game and run ruling SNI 36-14 to advance to the championship game! Backup pitcher Kenneth Cain helping to pull off the win with some great pitching and defense. In the 1st game of the championship S & E Worsham held the most consistent offensive team in the tournament, Smashit/Newbreed, to zero runs in each of the 1st two innings and scored 10 in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd off of Andy Purcell who had shut down his last two opponents to a total of 34 runs in two games. S&E got a double play in the top of the 5th inning and won by the run rule 31-16 to force the "if" necessary game. In the "if" game the teams battled to a 20-20 tie after 3 complete innings and neither team scored in the 4th. But Smashit grabbed a 2 run lead in the 5th and held S&E scoreless again. In the top of the 6th Smashit infielder Tyler Marshburn hit a clutch 2 out 3 run homer to put them up by 5 runs and they had a 29-25 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. S&E closed the lead to 29-27 with two outs and a home run left when they flew out deep to center field and Ben Dunn made a leaping athletic catch to rob them of a game tying homer. Smashit 2nd baseman Tommy Melton was 4-4 in the final game. The tournament was a solid start to what should be a season of decent parity. There wasn't much arguing with the umpires and each field had 1 or 2 conference regulars and 1 or 2 more local umpires that had done Conference tournaments before. The weather was perfect and it was great to get outside and watch some great competition by some of the best players in upper level ball. With the 240 bats games were more on time and averaged 8 less runs per game. I think the 'A' division is going to have a special year because almost every 'A' team has an "air" about them where they think they are the 'A' team to beat. The conference takes the week off to observe the Easter holiday and then they get back after it at the Hall of Fame Dual Major starting on Thursday morning April 8th. Follow all the action, view the picture albums, video clips, condensed games, rankings, and stats on SoftballCenter.com, USSSA.com, and ConferenceUSSSA.com!
Benches clear in the championship after a close call was overturned
Fenway and Yankee stadiums with their variable fences
The view of Yankee and Crosley from the livestream on USSSALive.com!
Team Breakdown: 48 Teams Overall 21 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams 3 Major Teams 2 'AA' Teams 11 'A' Teams 16 'B' Teams 16 'C' Teams
The Tournament in Pictures!
SNI center fielder Brian Zirkle makes an incredible catch!
S&E 3rd baseman Kendall Welborn was 5-5 against Seminoles Sunday morning
Resmondo left fielder Bradley Jones hits a walk off homer to beat Classic Glass
Levels infielder Dustin Wager hits a walk off homer to beat GSP
Premier's Ryan Uckotter hits a walkoff gap shot to beat S&E
L&S Glass gets a walk off homer by Jeremy Green
Las Vegas BLD Field Dimensions Yankee (main field) 285-308-290-286-286 Fenway 274-303-308-297-256 Angels 285-289-305-272-270 Wrigley 287-295-300-291-286 Dodger 275-305-321-304-274 Crosley 274-283-301-280-275
The view from the restaurant
Dudley Pro-M ball was used
Initial testing of bats found about 20% failed compression
Long Bombers of the Week
I feel Brian Wegman actually had the longest home run when he hit a walk off to run rule My Auto Jack.
I will try to find the video and post it here.
Las Vegas Major Final Standings and Awards
Smash It Sports Everett Williams was tournament MVP
Smash Its Ben Dunn was Defensive MVP
S&E Slugger Matt Gregory was Offensive MVP