2022 Chi-Town Classic
WestPoint Softballs Travis Tucker hits a grand slam against Comatose in the Championship game!
The Conference returned to Joliet, Illinois for the 1st time in many years for the new Chi-Town Classic at the Inwood Sports Complex which has 6 fields most of which are 300 feet and they have all new turf infields. The outfields were very wet from rains overnight and the entire tournament was played on Saturday, August 20th. The weather was a cool 70 degrees with the wind blowing out for the most part on the two men’s fields. They used the Dudley Pro-M ball with a ‘DM’ stamp, 70 foot bases, a 50 foot pitching rubber, and a 8 or 12 home run limit depending on the class of teams. There were only 6 teams in the tournament (5 Conference) due to teams dropping out of the event a week earlier presumably because they were banged up from the Evansville dual the week before.
Hot Links (More Videos to come)
Father and son Geno and Ty Buck making memories at the Chi-Town
Chi-Town Championship Condensed Game link (when ready)
Chi-Town Stats link (Updating throughout the week)
The Chi-Town teams!
“Play In” Games
Robert Nieves hits one off the LSR pitcher’s knee
In the 1st “play in” game LSR an Indiana Conference ‘B’ team led Comatose/S2N/Subway a non-conference Wisconsin ‘A’ team 11-1 going into the top of the 5th. But the rest of the game was all Comatose as they scored 10 in the top of the 5th and out scored LSR 18-1 down the stretch to advance to the semifinals. Comatose out homered LSR 8-4 and Comatose 1st baseman Ty Buck hit 3 homer’s. The Field #2 home run fence actually bows out at the light poles in left and right center to 325 feet or more.
Comatose pitcher Geno Buck collects a hit in a big 5th inning vs LSR
In “Play In” game #2 Siteman/Pure (MO-B) and Meitran/Swiing/Kiingz (IL-B) squared off on the main field with Siteman jumping out to a 27-10 lead going into the bottom of the 5th. Meitran wasn’t ready to give up by the run rule though and put a 9 spot up and answered with 6 more in the bottom of the 6th to pull the game to within 28-25. But in the top of the 7th Siteman scored 3 runs after an early double play and got Meitran to go in order in the bottom of the 7th to win 31-25. Both teams hit 7 HR. Siteman center fielder Jose Hernandez had 5 hits and Meitran’s Vlad Gomez hit 3 home runs and had 7 RBI.
Damon Wegner gets another hit for Comatose vs Cornerstone
In semifinal #1 Comatose jumped on Cornerstone/Midstate/Slugger/PT (KY-A) for 12 runs on just 1 homer in the bottom of the 1st. Cornerstone who got a bye answered with 6 on 2 homer’s in the top of the 2nd but never fully recovered and lost in 5 innings 25-10 even though they out homered Comatose 4-2.
Zach Goleniak homer’s for Cornerstone
Luke Boyster collected 8 hits at lead off for Siteman in their 1st two games.
In semifinal #2 with the wind blowing straight out on the show field #1 seeded Westpoint Softball (IN-A) and Siteman were locked in a slugfest where Westpoint actually led the entire game scoring 10 in the top of the 1st and 10 more in the top of the 4th. But Siteman never went away as both teams used all 12 of their home runs. Westpoint advanced though 37-32 holding off Sitemans 9 run bottom of the 7th “scare”. Westpoints Canaan Baum and Sitemans Derek Birginske each hit 3 home runs.
Big Jesse Maloney went 5-6 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in the semifinals.
Winner’s Final Recap
Westpoint 3 hitter Kyler Kirkland hit 2 homer’s in the winner’s final vs Comatose.
It was only early afternoon and game #2 for Westpoint but it was already the winner’s bracket finals. Comatose scored 3 in the top of the 1st – 2 of which came on a Geno Buck 2 run homer. But Westpoint scored the next 21 straight runs and won by the run rule 21-5 and they didn’t even have to hit in the bottom of the 5th. They out homered Comatose 5-2.
Travis Tucker does seem to be correctly called safe. We are talking inches here!
Loser’s Bracket Recap
Cornerstone takes on Comatose in the loser’s final.
In the loser’s bracket Siteman who never left the field Saturday except for a lightning delay overcame a 12 run LSR bottom of the 2nd inning and shut out LSR in the last 4 innings to win 28-24. Siteman lead off man Luke Boyster stayed hot going 5-5 and Brandon Keene was 4-5 with 6 RBI in the win. LSR lead off man Levi Cate was 5-6 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in the loss. And Cornerstone scored 10 in the top of the 1st and scored in every inning against Meitran to win 33-24. Jamie Hill was 6-7 with 3 HR and 9 RBI and Bryan Bradler 4-4 with 3 HR and 8 RBI in the win. In the 4th place game Siteman jumped out to an 11-3 lead on Cornerstone and led 12-9 going into the top of the 7th where a controversial “fair/foul” home run by Cornerstone changed the momentum and led to a 9 run Cornerstone inning and they advanced 18-12. They out homered Siteman 6-1 and Shawn Voyles had 5 hits. In the loser’s bracket finals Cornerstone and Comatose put up some big runs but Comatose scored in every inning (mostly 5’s) and won 29-25. Catcher Antoine Williams was 5-5 with 5 runs scored and Jake Stadler and Mitch Beau had 4 hits each for Comatose.
Long time Comatose player Mitchell Dunse doubles to the gap in the championship.
In the championship game early Saturday evening under threatening skies Comatose scored 3 in the top of the 1st on a single by Geno Buck and home runs by Ty Buck and Antoine Williams. Westpoint was very slow to answer with just a couple of solos and trailed 10-9 going into the 6th inning. But Comatose just never had that killer instinct and a pair of great plays by Westpoint 3rd baseman Bryce Randolph held Comatose in check while waiting for Westpoints offense to kick into gear which happened in the bottom of the 6th. Travis Tucker hit a grand slam and Brandon Yoder a 3 run homer to give Westpoint the lead and they held off a late Comatose run in the top of the 7th to win 18-16 knowing they had the hammer in the bottom half if they needed it. It was Westpoints first tournament win of the season and the 180 points lifted them 2 spots in the standings to 12th pushing Rock Run down to 13th and a possible 1st round Major World Series meeting with Resmondo. The tournament was run smoothly by director Jim Pilla and UIC Marshall Grissom and it was nice to cover some teams that I haven’t been able to cover much throughout the season.
Westpoint 3rd baseman Bryce Randolph makes another great play.
Westpoint left fielder Canaan Baum tracks one down on the fence.
Long Bomber of the Week!
I am giving the long bomber of the week to all the players that hit the football field fence or hit it just over it. The fence is about 350 feet from home plate. I know Jagger Harjo for Siteman pictured above was the 1st I witnessed do it and Mitch Beau for Comatose pictured above also hit one just over in center field. I believe Ty Buck also hit one close.
Chi-Town Results and Awards
MVP was Westpoint middle infielder Joe Horsley
Defensive MVP was Westpoint center fielder Brandon Yoder
Offensive MVP was Comatose 1st baseman Ty Buck – 17-21 .810, 9 HR, 20 RBI
Team by Team Notes
1st Place – WestPoint Softball
IN-A Record 3-0
Westpoint came and did what they were supposed to, scored the 180, and advanced 2 spots in the Conference points. It was a nice team effort with Creekmore a work horse on the mound, timely power from Kirkland and others, as well as some solid infield defense, and Yoder in center sloshed his way through standing water to a Defensive MVP. Westpoint is the very definition of what an ‘A’ Conference team should be and they earned a spot in the Major this year which they know from past experience is not a given. They have that string of lefties in the middle of the lineup, that strange bald head slap good luck routine, and they played without shortstop Travis Dale. Westpoint still has Kansas City on their schedule before Worlds.
The versatile Kyle Johnson who can play any position on the field filled in at SS.
Outfielder Drew Smith made all tournament.
I think they are trying to get pitcher Scott Creekmore to take his helmet off so Kyler Kirkland can slap him on the head for some sort of good luck superstition. It seems to be working!
2nd Place – Comatose/S2N/Subway
WI-A Record 3-2
Comatose has all the pieces to a really nice ‘A’ team and is headed to the USSSA ‘A’ Worlds. Some good athleticism, some veterans in the right spots, some star power (Buck), and some defensive specialists. Fun to see teams we don’t get to see often.
Antoine Williams was all tournament .833, 4 HR, 8 RBI
Jake Stadler sets the table.
The middle man Jordan DeBoer was a Defensive MVP candidate.
3rd Place – Cornerstone/Midstate/SVC/Slugger/PT
KY-A Record 2-2
Cornerstone played without some of their important offense Alonzo Fields and Steve Pierce. They lost to Comatose twice but finished 3rd at least making it a sweep for the ‘A’ teams in the top 3 spots in the standings. Jamie Hill led the team in on base at .750, HR 8, and RBI 22. Voyles and Bradler were also all tournament at .684 and Goleniak hit 6 HR. Cornerstone is better since the merger with Rebel they just need to take another step forward.
Jim Lancaster did a lot of the pitching.
4th Place – Siteman/Pure
MO-B Record 2-2
Siteman was best in class (B) and feel they were hurt by that (fair/foul) home run call against Cornerstone. They had a nice .636 team on base percentage for the tournament and averaged 7 HR per game so the offense was there. Brandon Keene led with a .810 on base, Derek Birginske and Drew Rogers hit 6 HR, and Rogers led with 21 RBI. Jose Hernandez, Birginske, Boyster at lead off, and Eric Conen all had a .762 on base percentage, nice. Siteman has played better in the 2nd half of the season, when they hit cut offs they will be even stronger. 🙂
Player, sponsor, and more importantly Hit & Sit Show host David Garland gets a 2 out 2 run single against Meirtran.
Tied 5th – Meirtran/Swiing Kiingz
IL-B Record 0-2
If there was a tournament Meitran would be expected to do well in it would have been this one as the only Illinois team in the tournament. But they waited to long to come back against Siteman and went 0-2. Bo Andrews and Branden Johnson were .800. Andrews and Gomez hit 3 HR and Grosinic and Gomez led in RBI with 10.
3B Briggs, SS Neal, MI Wimberly I think.
Tied 5th – LSR
IN-B Record 0-2
LSR had a chance in their games but came up short. Levi Cate and Scott Patterson were .700. RJ Turner .667. Turner and Cate led in HR with 3 and Cate led in RBI with 9.
Left fielder Kyle Slicker makes a dive/slide catch.
Turner led the offense.
LSR also has a women’s team and they are in the running for the Women’s Major.
Levi Cate had 5 hits against Siteman.
Faces in the Crowd / More Pictures
The google earth had all 6 fields at 300 but isn’t updated as they moved center field back on fields 2 and 5.
The view and the livestream on USSSALive.com was great.
Championship umpires Mark Dallenbach and Steve Milani give it the “Barnes”
Jim Pilla, when you see him at worlds say “thank you” for all of his hard work!
The park had a nice little sports bar/concession area.
Women’s Chi-Town Classic
Championship game – Mojo vs Xtreme
LSR takes on Belly’s to open the tournament.
The women also had a 6 team (4 conference teams) event in Joliet, Illinois. They played on the two fields with the wind blowing in but it didn’t seem to slow the scoring much. Storm a non-conference ‘B’ team from Connecticut upset Lady Mojo/Baugh Ford/SFS (VA-A) 16-7 in their play in game then beat Lady Nitro Circus/Team 199/DBrand (PA-A) 12-6 to make it to the winner’s final. And Bellys/BloodlineConst/RedAthlete (IN-B) beat LSR (IN-B) 10-7 to then lose to #1 seeded Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Anarchy (MN-A) 13-6. In the winner’s final which you can watch as a condensed game later this week on the USSSALive YouTube channel Storm shocked Xtreme by jumping out to a 3-0 lead but Xtreme pulled it together and came back and won by the run rule 16-6. In the loser’s bracket Lady Mojo beat Belly’s, LSR, and Storm to get to the championship where they pulled off a “double dip” of Xtreme 16-6 and 8-6 to win the tournament!
1st Place – Lady Mojo/Baugh Ford/SFS (VA-A)
2nd Place – Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Anarchy (MN-A)
3rd Place – Storm (CT-B)
4th Place – LSR (IN-B)
The sun is setting on the 2022 regular season and soon planes will be in the air to USSSA WORLDS!!!!