2023 Golden State Major
Palm Springs, California
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Friday Night Recap
Juan Rodriguez for Dynasty Brothers gets a walk off hit over Hitting Bombs Apparel.
The Golden State Major was played at the Big League Dreams park in Palm Springs, California with their miniature replica MLB fields. They had 21 teams overall including 7 Conference teams and the teams hailed from 5 different states. The tournament began on Friday night at 5 PM pacific time with the non-conference teams in the “play in” round. The young California ‘C’ team JK Inc/Premier Athletics beat Locked ‘N’ Loaded (CA-C) 20-5. DynastyBrothers/Eat It/DBSports (CA-C) beat Hitting Bombs Apparel (CA-C) 28-27 on a walk off hit over the center fielders head by Juan Rodriguez. Over on Des Moines field Rascals a southern California ‘D’ team upset BK (NV-B) 15-13 on a walk off 3 run homer! The Product (CA-C) beat Hard Luck (CA-C) 19-15. And SPS/Superior (CA-C) beat Lazer Beam Cafe (CA-C) 28-18.
Rascals a ‘D’ team walks off BK for the upset.
In the “Round of 16” the 7 Conference teams began their battle for the 180 + (7 x 4) = 208 points that went to the tournament victor. Fatboy Apparel/K&T Contracting (CA-B) beat 1st year Conference team Coursey Realty/Elite (CA-B) 26-25 by scoring 9 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win on a walk off double by Robert Wright. Derrick Thompson had 6 RBI in the win. Str8play/MyAutoJack/Franchise (CA-B) the conference team that picked up a number of new players from the folded L&S Glass beat upstart JK Inc 29-25 scoring 9 runs in a decisive top of the 5th inning when Cole Campbell hit a grand slam. Mike “Nino” Echeverria, Jeff Redden, and Isaiah Worlow were on on base 4 times and EH Kevin Corrigan was 5-5 with 5 RBI. Cheap Suits (CA-B) one of the favorites rolled through Dynasty Brothers 35-15 in 4 innings scoring 17 in the bottom of the 2nd and 13 in the bottom of the 3rd. They used 11 of their 12 home runs and Kenneth Duby was 5-5 and Kameron King had 6 RBI. Ha/Premier a California ‘B’ team with former Conference players Eli Aguilar, Nick Price, Mike Brambilla, and Mario Granados on the roster beat 1st year Conference team EAS/GSSports/Suncoast (CO-B) 26-20 scoring 10 runs in the top of the 2nd and shutting down EAS in the bottom of the 7th. Former Conference star and USSSA Hall of Famer Dennis Rulli was picked up before the tournament by EAS. Seminoles/NACSF.Inc/TPS/RS/Anarchy (OK-A) who was recently reclassed to ‘A’ from ‘AA’ beat Rascals 15-10 with Rascals scoring 8 in the top of the 7th to make it look closer than it was. Seminoles hit just 7 home runs. Nick Ludwig, Zane Trammell, Robert Lundy, and pitcher JD Harris were all on base 4-4. NFMLending/4TheFallen/KBasInc/Lund (AZ-A) rolled through The Product 36-11 in 4 innings, scoring 23 runs in the top of the 1st. Zach Walters was 4-5 with 3 HR and 8 RBI as NFM collected 34 hits in 4 at bats. Bay Area Legends (CA-A) run ruled SPS easily 31-6 over on the show field Yankee. And Maricopa Valley/Painting/RW (AZ-B) beat Tranont/Klutch (UT-B) 16-15 on back to back homer’s in the bottom of the 7th.
The quarterfinals were then played Friday night as the temperatures cooled off a little and the scores climbed. Str8play was trailing Fat Boy Apparel 23-18 when Fat Boy scored 16 runs in the bottom of the 4th but Str8play ended up winning 48-25 by the run rule in the 6th after scoring 13 in the top of the 5th and 17 more in the top of the 6th. Nino was on 7-7 with 6 RBI and 6 runs scored. Cheap Suits beat a good Ha/Premier team 36-30 scoring 13 in the top of the 3rd and holding Ha scoreless in the bottom of the 7th. Kenneth Duby was 6-6 with 5 RBI and pitcher Mateo Pacheco 5-6 with 6 RBI without hitting a homer. In a shootout NFM Lending beat Seminoles 46-40 scoring 12 in the 2nd and 12 in the 4th and holding Seminoles to 2 runs in the bottom of the 7th. Pitcher Brian Therkildsen was 6-6 with 2 HR and 8 RBI. Zach Walters was again a perfect 7-7 and hit for the cycle. And Bay Area Legends beat a good Maricopa team 30-21 to advance to Saturday’s “Final 4”. Maricopa had former Conference players Tim Martinez and Nick Robertson.
Final 4 Recap
Str8play RF Trey Parr robs a Cheap Suits homer in the semifinals.
On Saturday at 3 PM in the “Final 4” of the winner’s bracket Bay Area Legends scored 5 on 4 in the top of the 1st inning vs NFM Lending, and that isn’t a good thing. It was all NFM after that as they scored 12 on 5 HR in the bottom of the 1st and 10 on 5 in the bottom of the 4th to leave Bay Area on the field 28-6. Lead off hitter Orlando Cano, 3 hitter Zach Walters, and shortstop Kade Christensen were all 4-4 on base in the win.
Curtis Stewart hits for Bay Area Legends against NFM Lending in the semifinals.
In the other semifinal Str8play got out to a 15-5 lead on Cheap Suits before Cheap Suits Scored 8 in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game at 15-15. It was a shootout from there as walks and the hard infield led to big innings for both teams and going into the 7th it was Cheap Suits up 30-25. But Str8play tied the game in the top of the 7th on home runs by Jacob Almarez and Cole Campbell and then scratched across 3 more runs without any home runs left and held on to a 33-31 victory when Cheap Suits only scored 1 in the bottom of the 7th. Isaiah Worlow led the way on base 5-6 and Trey Parr 5-5 as the team out hit Cheap Suits 37-29 with both teams using all of their 12 home runs.
Winner’s Final Recap
Str8play takes on NFM Lending in the winner’s final Saturday night.
In the winner’s final Saturday night Str8play and NFM Lending both scored 7 runs on 3 HR in the 1st inning. But when Str8play zeroed in the top of the 2nd NFM pounced with 9 runs on 2 homer’s to take a 16-7 lead. In the bottom of the 3rd NFM went off for 22 runs on just 2 home runs and cruised to a 38-14 win. Zach Walters who was 20 for his first 21 in the tournament was 5-5 and hit for the cycle with 6 RBI, Johnathan Sierra was locked in with 4-4 and 7 RBI, and former NFL lineman Michael Gibson hit a long homer and was 4-4 in the win.
NFM’s Johnathan Sierra hitting no doubters in the winner’s final.
Loser’s Bracket Recap
Dennis Rulli hits for EAS on Saturday.
The loser’s bracket played out all day Saturday through the 90 degree heat. JK Inc a fun young team to watch from Cali beat Hard Luck, Conference team Coursey Realty, and had a real nice win over Maricopa before losing big to Seminoles then Cheap Suits dropped into the loser’s bracket and sent Seminoles packing 42-37. And Tranont and Ha/Premier had nice runs in the bottom of the loser’s bracket before Bay Area dropped down and beat them. In the 4th place game late Saturday night Cheap Suits beat Bay Area 41-31 scoring 19 runs in the top of the 2nd. Reid Ramirez, Victor Cordova, and Brock Esplin were all on base 7-7 in the win with Reid hitting 4 HR, 7 RBI, and hitting for the cycle.
NFM Pitcher Brian Therkildsen was back from a foot injury and was a big part of the NFM defense.
On Sunday morning in the loser’s bracket finals Str8play and Cheap Suits were about even most of the way. But Str8play came out on top 31-29 with both teams using all 12 of their HR. Cheap Suits lost even though the top of their lineup was a combined 18-18 on base.
Hunter Ramirez makes a nice play in the championship.
In the championship game NFM Lending put up a zero in the top of the 1st and Str8play capitalized with 11 runs on 4 homer’s and sort of maintained a lead the entire game forcing the “if” game 30-23 when NFM could only score 4 in the top of the 7th. In the “if” game Str8play looked gassed as they didn’t score more than 1 run until the 4th inning and trailed going into the 4th 12-1. Neither teams offense was very focused but NFM scratched out a 23-13 win, their first tournament win of the year and 6th team to win in 9 Conference events in 2023.
Long Bomber of the Week!
The Long Bomber of the week was Michael Gibson from NFM Lending for his consistently long homer’s!
Golden State Major Results and Awards
MVP was Zach Walters from NFM Lending
Defensive MVP was NFM Lending pitcher Brian Therkildsen.
Team by Team Notes
1st Place – NFM Lending/4TheFallen/KBasInc/Lund
AZ-A Record 5-1
NFM Lending winning the Golden State Major puts them in the running to make the USSSA Major World Series. They will still need to do well in the Seattle Dual as well as the final California Major over Labor Day weekend. NFM was led by the return of Brian Therkildsen on the mound who fielded the middle well while maintaining an on base percentage of .704 with 6 HR. Offensively they were led by MVP Zach Walters .806, 8 HR, 25 RBI, Kade Christensen .862, 5 HR, 16 RBI, and Michael Gibson .833, 7 HR, 18 RBI. I think its safe to say they are currently the best of the west coast ‘A’ teams at this point in the season as they moved up to #17 in the Conference Computer Rankings.
2nd Place – Str8play/MyAutoJack/Franchise
CA-A Record 5-2
Str8play with their new pickups from L&S Glass seemed to play decent, just ran out of gas in the “if” game. Pitcher Josh Jones was Offensive MVP .714 with 8 extra base hits. Mike Nino was hitting lasers all over the park, and Carlos “I cover up the plate with dirt during my at bat routine” hit 10 HR and Jeffrey Redden had 23 RBI.
3rd Place – Cheap Suits
CA-A Record 4-2
Cheap Suits didn’t quite get over the hump in the semifinals or the loser’s finals but did finish ahead of Bay Area and arguably the top 4 teams in the tournament finished 1-4. Infielder Juan Castenada .794 with 11 walks, Ken Duby .811 with 12 HR, Daunte Freeman .794, 10 HR, 32 RBI, Kam King 33 RBI, and Reid Ramirez .806, 16 HR, 32 RBI led the offense.
4th Place – Bay Area Legends
CA-A Record 3-2
Since I wasn’t at the tournament I did not really see much of Bay Area and they don’t keep stats. Not sure why that is allowed?
Chris Hansen got to play with his son.
Pedro Rosado and Levi Lynch umping the championship.