2023 “Battle at the Beach” Major
Myrtle Beach, SC
It was perfect softball weather all weekend long!
Hot Links (More Videos to come)
Battle at the Beach Stats link (Updating throughout the week)
Myrtle Beach Team List
Friday Night Recap
Sports Reach’s Robert Blackburn hits a walk off home run to beat Beloli Friday night.
Conference USSSA returned to Grand Park in Myrtle Beach for the annual “Battle at the Beach” Major. The men’s tournament started on Friday at 6 PM eastern time on 4 fields with 16 teams overall including 11 Conference teams and they hailed from 11 different states. The weather was perfect with a slight breeze blowing out on fields #6 and #7 and in on #4 and #5 for the better part of Friday and Saturday. Each team played their “Round of 16 ” game on Friday night at either 6 PM or 8 PM. They used a new “Patent Pending” Dudley Pro-M multi-layered ball that was said to be better than the regular Pro-M but not as good as a stadium ball. They are planning to use this on fields that are bigger like Myrtle Beaches 325 foot fields, the white quad at Viera, and the main field at the Smoky. Epic/Haymak (SC-TBD) scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 6th and held LSR/TG/BAF (IN-TBD) scoreless in the 6th and 7th when the home runs were gone to win 29-26. LSR was hurt by some sort of missed base/appeal situation. Frank Fisk and Kody Garrison were each 5-5 in the win. Roofx/Revolution (IN-AA) scored 11 in the bottom of the 3rd inning and held on to beat non-conference ‘B’ team SAL-8/LA Lawns (VA) 27-23 with the sun in the batters eyes most of the game. Arlis Miller, Jeremy Fry, and Brandon Yoder the first 3 batters in the Roofx lineup were each on base 4-5. S&E (NC-AA) jumped out to a 19-8 lead on Van Wert Fricker (OH-B) and held on to win 29-17 as 2nd baseman Rich Racobaldo, catcher Dustin Burris, and center fielder Bill Cullen were each on base 5-5. Burris also had 3 doubles and a homer. Sports Reach/Demarini (KY-AA) and Beloli Bros HVAC (MA-B) were locked in a back and forth game over on field #5 with the wind blowing in. Sports Reach was down 17-15 going into the bottom of the 7th where Robert Blackburn hit a one out walk off homer to win it 18-17! Sports Reach out homered Beloli 6-3 in the game and Robo was 4-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI at the lead off spot and Tyler Kahlke and Dylan Smith were each 4-4 as well. At 8 PM Monsta/Sonny’s (NC-Major) scored 10 in the 1st, 14 in the 2nd, and 15 in the 3rd to beat Carolina Prime/Dirt Kings (NC-B) 39-7 in 3 innings. Jeremy Yates and Jason Matusik were on base 5-5. MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics (NJ-Major) rolled through CMW/MMT/GBD (NC-C) 32-7 scoring 17 in the top of the 3rd and winning in 4 innings. Daniel Cayton was on base 5-5 with 4 extra base hits in the lead off spot. Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis (MD-AA) made short work of the Lewis Lawn/Killmans/Demarini over 40 team 30-4. Lewis Lawn was a last minute fill in team when TRU dropped out of the tournament. And in the final game of the night BB4L (NC-D) the #16 seed gave #1 seeded Resmondo/SIS/All-American/Menosse (FL-Major) all they could handle scoring 5 in the top of the 1st and 10 in the top of the 2nd as they jumped out to an unlikely 19-5 lead! Going into the bottom of the 7th they still led Resmondo 33-32 after BB4L’s Ryan Gibson hit a 2 run homer to give BB4L the lead! In the bottom of the 7th Kevin Bazat walked, Riley flew out, Connell grounded into a fielder’s choice, Travis Clark doubled, and Tyler Marshburn doubled to win the game for Resmondo 34-33. They avoided what could have been the biggest upset in Conference history. I (DW) was over filming the women’s championship game so I missed this game but I did hear that one of those last two doubles that Resmondo hit was playable but a tough chance for an infielder and it went off the infielder and into the outfield. Ah, what could have been?
Epic’s Dan Sanchez helps them take down LSR in the 1st round.
BB4L made a valiant attempt at the biggest upset in Conference history!
Resmondo’s Bradley Jones carves up Epic with his samurai sword swing.
Saturday began with a round of loser’s bracket games at 8 AM which had CMW, Carolina Prime, and BB4L all getting eliminated. Lewis Lawn the 40 and over team however upset Beloli 18-15! Then at 10 AM the quarterfinals began. Monsta with their new free agent pitcher pickup Erik Lehman pitching against his old team Roofx jumped out to a 23-3 lead and went on to win by the 20 run mercy rule 32-10. Austyn Dawe and Steele Lewis were each on base 5-5 and Heath Barnes and Erik Lehman 4-4 as they out homered Roofx 14-6. The bottom of the Roofx lineup couldn’t buy a hit going a combined 0-6. S&E batted around in the top of the 1st and Rich Racobaldo hit a 2 out bases loaded double to put S&E up 9-1 and then they held MPT Rentals to just 1 run in the bottom of the 1st. S&E scored 10 more in the 5th and 6 more in the 7th to win 31-17. Joey Kampfer and Joel Sanchez were each 5-5 in the win and combined to hit 5 home runs. Resmondo scored 21 runs in the top of the 2nd and 20 more in the top of the 3rd with the wind blowing out on the show field to run rule Epic 48-11 in 3 innings. Josh Riley was on base 6-6 with 3 HR and 7 RBI and Bradley Jones, Buddy Wolf, and Cory Briggs were all 5-5. Jones had 11 RBI. And in the final “Round of 8” game Nitro Circus jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the 1st inning but Sports Reach came back to score 7 in the top of the 6th and 6 in the top of the 7th to take a 28-23 lead. In the bottom of the 7th Nitro Circus who had plenty of home runs left to hit came up and got the first 5 runners in or on base but then hit 3 straight fly outs to end the game with Sports Reach winning 28-26. Robert Blackburn, Travis Houseman, and Dagmar Pena were all 4-5 win the victory.
S&E takes down MPT with a big 1st inning.
Steele Lewis hits a laser for a double as Monsta crushes Roofx.
Nitro’s Jared Hunt doubles against Sports Reach in the best game of the quarterfinals.
Final 4 Recap
S&E LF Joey Kampfer takes away a Sports Reach hit in the semifinals.
In the semifinals Saturday afternoon with the wind still blowing straight out, S&E scored 15 in the bottom of the 1st and 15 in the bottom of the 3rd to beat Sports Reach 39-18 in 4 innings by the 20 run mercy rule. Matt Mosel, Rich Racobaldo, Hunter Oliver, Bill Cullen, and Joel Sanchez were all on base 5-5. And Resmondo scored 11 in the bottom of the 2nd, 12 in the bottom of the 3rd, and when Monsta grounded into a double play and only scored 2 runs in the top of the 4th, Resmondo who was up 29-16 “freed up” their swings and left Monsta on the field 39-18 scoring 10 runs to win by the 20 run mercy rule. Josh Riley, Greg Connell, Tyler Marshburn, and Bradley Jones were all on base 5-5 and Monsta left 10 home runs on the table.
Resmondo pitcher Travis Clark turns a double play on a middle shot in the 4th vs Monsta.
Winner’s Final Recap
S&E pitcher Justin Ogletree after getting blown up, recovers to get the out in the winner’s final.
The winner’s bracket final was a great game from start to finish as the two best offensive teams this week fought it out. The bracket was 3 hours ahead for a change and it was decided the men’s tournament would finish on Saturday night instead of Sunday morning. S&E scored 8 in the top of the 2nd to take a 9-3 lead but Resmondo answered with 10 runs in the bottom of the 2nd to go up 13-9. And the game was tied at 22-22 and even on home runs after 5 innings. But Resmondo would win the 6th inning big as they extra base hit their way to a 29-22 lead and then shut out S&E in the bottom of the 6th. Both teams tacked on 7 runs in the 7th but Resmondo won 36-29. Tyler Marshburn was 6-6 in the win as both teams used all of their 14 home runs.
Phil Matte hits a creature.
Loser’s Bracket Recap
The view from the livestream as Sports Reach hits against Monsta.
In the loser’s bracket Saturday Van Wert Frickers upset Roofx 34-33 when Roofx who had homer’s left only scored 1 run in the bottom of the 7th. LSR knocked off Nitro Circus 15-11 with the wind blowing in. MPT Rentals who lost in the round of 8 beat Sal-8 39-14, LSR 26-11, and then lost to Monsta 34-18 to finish tied for 5th. Sports Reach dropped into the loser’s bracket after their semifinal loss to S&E and beat Epic 36-21 then lost to Monsta 45-37 to finish 4th. And S&E sort of “validated” their tournament by beating Monsta 36-32 in the loser’s bracket finals when they scored 10 runs in the top of the 6th. Jacob Hoskins was 6-6 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in that one.
The championship was played late Saturday night and it was all Resmondo. Resmondo scored 18 runs in the bottom of the 1st, 6 in the bottom of the 2nd, and left S&E on the field by scoring 15 in the bottom of the 3rd to win by the 30 run mercy rule 39-9. MVP Tyler Marshburn, Josh Riley, Travis Clark, Bradley Jones, Chad Mullins, and Buddy Wolf all were perfect on base in the game. And each of the 1st 8 batter’s had at least 1 home run. It was Resmondo’s 3rd tournament win of the year and they stretched their Conference points lead to 280 points! The way Resmondo is playing they may have won the tournament even if they had lost that Friday night game to BB4L…
A big thank you to the directors, umpires and all of those umpires and teams that used the BallClubz scoring app. I also want to thank Buddy Wolf for climbing the fence and taking down the camera at midnight Saturday! The new ball is still way too much ball. Josh Riley was swinging 80% and still miss hitting them out with nobody on. We need a ball where infielders and pitchers have a chance to make a play. Also Conference Cares received 7 bags of clothing in Myrtle Beach donated by Sports Reach that will go to a local Women’s Shelter and the Homeless. They are doing the same clothing drive in Tennessee next week and asking softball teams to bring donations.
A determined Buddy Wolf getting the camera off the fence. 🙂 Thank You!
Long Bomber of the Week!
We’ll go with Resmondo’s Chad Mullins for Long Bomber of the Week with an honorable mention to pretty much the entire Resmondo team as possible Long Bomber’s of the Week. Riley, Clark, Jones, Matte, and others had some LONG DRIVES!
“Battle at the Beach” Results and Awards
MVP was Resmondo shortstop Tyler Marshburn (.893, 4 HR, 16 RBI)
Defensive MVP – Resmondo left fielder Bradley Jones
Offensive MVP – S&E infielder Rich Racobaldo (.800, 5 HR, 15 RBI)
Team by Team Notes
1st Place – Resmondo/SIS/All-American/Menosse
FL-Major Record 5-0
Resmondo has now won on the smallest fields in Las Vegas, the biggest fields at Space Coast, and now the biggest softball fields in Myrtle Beach. They lead the points standings by hundreds. And they won without Kyle Pearson, Everett Williams, and Brad Reckart who are all injured. Their offense is on record pace as they are averaging 41.8 runs per 7 innings this year! Greg Connell and Tyler Marshburn were doing a great job of setting the table for Bradley Jones and Chad Mullins. Jones and Connell when they weren’t hitting 3 run homer’s were dissecting the defense with laser like precision. Kyle Overstreet was hitting home runs on command with ease. Buddy Wolf, Riley, Marshburn, and Mullins were all .800 or over. Pitcher Travis Clark was getting double plays, swings and misses, and pop outs when they needed them to close out games. Their near loss to BB4L a ‘D’ team on Friday night must have been a wakeup call as they rolled through the rest of the tournament without breaking a sweat. Resmondo is now 10-4 vs Major teams in 2023.
Travis Clark puts one in the other field!
Clark, Overstreet, Wolf
2nd Place – S&E
NC-AA Record 4-2
S&E finally put it all together for one weekend like they did back at the Indiana dual last August. The offense was led by Racobaldo, Sanchez, Mosel, Kampfer, Jones, and Hoskins who were all over .700. Ogletree was a trooper at pitcher taking Resmondo’s best middle shots. Hunter Oliver and Edmund Locklear were playing hurt. And Peter Seiden and Tyler Wiles are still out. But they beat two major teams (MPT and Monsta) and went 7 innings with Resmondo in the winner’s final. S&E is up to 8th in the points standings.
SS Joel Sanchez, MI Jordan Robinson, 2B Rich Racobaldo
3rd Place – Monsta/Sonny’s/Worsham/RedAthlete
NC-Major Record 4-2
Monsta was tripped up by Resmondo in the semifinals when they were sort of keeping pace with them but let up a double digit inning and then followed that up with a 1 run inning of their own, and suddenly Resmondo left them on the field with their powerful offense. After that Monsta recovered by beating MPT and Sports Reach but dropped the loser’s final to a hot S&E team. A solid weekend but they just weren’t sharp defensively. The addition of Lehman at pitcher seems to be a good one as his knuckle ball was good, he fields the middle, and his hitting was as if he actually improved over last year which means he may be one of the top two hitting pitchers in the game only behind Travis Clark. Barnes (.857) and Lehman (.815) were highest in on base percentage while Steele Lewis hit 10 HR and had 24 RBI. Heath Barnes defense in the middle at times was spectacular.
Erik Lehman returned from retirement to pitch for Monsta! Softball fans around the country rejoice!
Barnes made a number of spectacular plays.
4th Place – Sports Reach/Demarini/CT/LLS
KY-AA Record 3-2
Sports Reach won their opener over Beloli on that walk off homer by Robert Blackburn on Friday night then won a close one against Nitro Circus Saturday morning to set up for a good run. But they lost to a hot hitting S&E team in the semis then Monsta in a shootout Saturday night. Still a solid weekend. The offense was led by all tournament selections Tyler Kahlke .826 7 HR 16 RBI and Dagmar Pena .882 5 HR.
Conference Rookie of the Year candidate Austin Mapes.
Tied 5th – MPT Rentals / Juno Athletics
NJ-Major Record 3-2
MPT lost to S&E on Saturday morning and never recovered losing to Monsta Saturday night and finishing 5th. Jeff Roxby did the pitching after Bill Pinkham pulled a hammy. They played without Brungardt (thumb), Washington (suspension), Dodds (?), and Dunn. John Williams led the offense .826 and Bennett hit 10 HR. Remember MPT didn’t win a tournament last year until August when they won both Indiana dual tournaments and then they won the Major.
John Williams .826 on base
Pink pulled a hammy.
Tied 5th – Epic/Haymak/Kilmans/FLS/Koval/Pure
SC-TBD Record 3-2
Derek Knight homer’s against Resmondo
Epic won a nice game over LSR on Friday night, got smoked by Resmondo Saturday morning and then beat Lewis Lawn and Van Wert to finish tied for 5th. Fisk was 14-15 .947 and Farrar, Hill, and Densmore all over .800. Kody Garrison hit 9 HR.
Tied 7th – LSR/TG/BAF/Nitro Circus
IN-TBD Record 2-2
LSR struggled with Epic, won a few games in the loser’s bracket including a big win over Nitro Circus and then lost to Monsta.
Andrew Hall was made for those 325 foot fields in Myrtle Beach and Florida.
Former TRU pitcher Sport Williams is now with LSR.
Tied 7th – Van Wert Frickers
OH-B Record 2-2
Van Wert Frickers played S&E tough in their opener and then upset Roofx to give Roofx one of their worst finishes in their teams history. Van Wert was the highest finishing ‘B’ team.
Nice play on a middle shot by the pitcher.
Tied 9th – Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis (MD-AA)
Nitro Circus had a rough Saturday losing to Sports Reach late with the bats in their hands and then losing to LSR in a low scoring game.
Tied 9th – Lewis Lawn/Killman’s/Demarini (SC-Over 40)
Lewis Lawn had a number of ex-conference players including Freddie Bynum. They played Beloli tough and ended up beating them on Saturday morning.
Tied 9th – SAL-8/LA Lawn’s/84 Lumber (VA-B)
Sal-8 is always a tough non-conference team but were unable to pull off any upsets this weekend.
Tied 9th – Roofx/Revolution/Albicoco/AllHustle (IN-AA)
Roofx played without Joey Miller, Jason Slabach, and Kyle Miller. They won the sun game against Sal-8 then lost big to Monsta and was eliminated by a run against Van Wert Frickers with the bats in their hands and home runs to hit. Jeremy Fry continues to be a league leader in on base percentage and Marcus Miller and Arlis Miller were both over .750. Mooch and McClanahan shared the pitching duties.
BB4L made a memory with that near win over Resmondo. I am hoping to condense this game from the livestream.
This is your Most Wanted!
Beloli suffered a bad loss to the 40 and over team after giving Sports Reach a scare.
Faces in the Crowd / More Pictures
All of the close calls I had on video seemed to be called correctly. Nice weekend for the umpires.
The BallClubz app is sweet for fans, teams, and yours truly (DW) to keep up with the games.
Jason Magnum like everyone in the conference was questioning why are we playing on Mother’s Day?
Jimmy Ward was hitting homer’s for Dirt Kings.
A view from center field.
The Dudley Thunder ZN Pro M Hard Core was still too much ball.
240 Compression bat bucket testing.
S&E Shortstop and Hit & Sit’s Joel Sanchez earned his master’s degree in teaching English.
Robo had the shoe game going.
Umpires and Directors, what would we do without them?