2023 12th Annual “Sin City” Major
Las Vegas, Nevada
March 31 – April 2
Competitive Edge 3rd baseman Bubba Mack makes a great play against his old team Resmondo!
Hot Links (More Videos to come)
Las Vegas Stats link (Updating throughout the week)
BLD is a nice place to watch a game.
The 2023 Conference USSSA season got underway this past weekend as it has for the past 12 seasons at Big League Dreams park in Las Vegas, Nevada. The weather was near perfect with low humidity although it was a little chilly in the evenings and because of this coupled with a good batch of Dudley Pro-M balls the scores were very high including a 108 run game! The men’s tournament began at 11 AM on Friday morning with 38 teams and 16 of them were from the Conference which means 180 + (16 x 4) = 244 points were going to go to the winner. For the season each Conference teams best 7 tournaments are added together and then an 8th tournament the Conference Championships is added to that score to determine whether they make the top 18 teams in the country who qualify for the prestigious USSSA Major World Series in October at the Spacecoast Stadium in Viera, Florida. There was a nice contingent of 11 regional ‘B’ teams and 13 ‘C’ teams to go along with the Conference powerhouse Major, AA, and A teams. In the 6 “Play In” games the regional ‘C’ teams battled it out including a nice 44-29 win by JK Inc/Premier Athletics (CA-C) over Locked ‘N’ Loaded (CA-C). Jay Hill a former Conference player who played with many of the west coast teams like OC Swats and West Coast Doerflinger is helping run that JK Inc team with his son Michael playing and they are a young group fresh out of baseball. They are already 2-0 vs ‘B’ teams and 11-5 vs ‘C’ this year.
The sun may have played a part in NOVVA’s upset win over Seminoles.
The “Round of 32” began at 2:30 PM as the Conference teams began to take the field. Bay Area Legends (CA-A) was led by lead off hitter DJ Hollingsworth returning to the Conference after a year off due to injury who was on base 6 out of 6 including a triple and 2 home runs. Meanwhile Seminoles/NACSF.inc (OK-A) was upset 34-32 by Utah ‘C’ team NOVVA over on Yankee field with the sun in the batter’s eye but a ‘C’ team winning over a ‘AA’ team is a big upset and Seminoles had their bats in their hands in the bottom of the 7th. Resmondo/SIS/All American/Menosse (FL-Major) rolled through Masami Apparel (AZ-C) 42-18 dusting off the rust with a 22 run 1st inning. Josh Riley at leadoff, Phil Matte in the 3 hole, Buddy Wolf, and Cory Briggs were all perfect hitting in the game either 5-5 or 4-4. EAS/GSSports/Suncoast a new Conference Colorado ‘B’ team beat the Corey Miller led Arizona ‘B’ team Impact/Unified Athletic Wear 29-15 as EAS grabbed an early 19-7 lead and out homered them 8-5. Lead off hitter, pitcher, and former Classic Glass player Brian Atchison was 4-4, two hitter Andres Garcia was 4-4, and shortstop Eric Zalunardo was 4-4 in the win. L&S Glass (CA-A) beat Tranont/Klutch (UT-B) by the run rule 39-23 on Dodger field. RoofX/Revolution/Albicocco/AllHustle (IN-AA) the old Rock Run/Silverbacks group who finished 5th at the Major World Series last year beat Homies/AbueLasTacos (NV-C) 41-21 as both teams scored double digit runs in the 1st inning. But Roof X leading 26-21 going into the bottom of the 4th scored 15 runs to leave their Homies on the field with a 20 run mercy rule. Joseph Miller, Marcus Miller, Jason Slabach, and last years Conference Defensive Player of the Year Ryan McClanahan all collected 4 hits as RoofX spread out 12 home runs through the lineup. Competitive Edge/Suncoast/FBI/Olmito (FL-Major) the new Major team this year rolled through Lazer Beam Cafe (CA-C) 29-6. After a slow start Comp Edge scored 19 runs in the bottom of the 2nd and 8 more in the 3rd to win by the 20 run rule. Tyler Ervine had 7 RBI and former Resmondo standout Bubba Mack was 4-4 with 3 HR. NFMLending/4TheFallen/KBASInc/Lund Mortgage (AZ-A) beat Monsta/CarrilloServices/Pitbulls (CA-B) outscoring Monsta 14-3 over the last 4 innings. NFM 3 hitter Isaiah Brown was 5-5 with 2 HR and 5 runs scored in the victory. Cheap Suits (CA-A) jumped out to a 27-5 lead on Classy/NVH (AZ-B) and went on to win 34-18 as former BTR players Kameron King and Isaac Gonzalez, center fielder Daunte Freeman, 3B Brock Esplin, and extra hitter Ryan Dacko all were a perfect 4-4 or 5-5. Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis (MD-AA) playing their first game of the season run ruled Hitting Bombs Apparel (CA-C) 36-17 over on Angel field. Str8Play/Rebel (CA-A) beat Ha/Premier (CA-B) 41-22 on Angel field as well. And in the lower 4th of the bracket Coursey Realty a new Conference California ‘B’ team beat Ballsagna (CA-B) 29-25. MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics (NJ-Major) the #1 seed in the tournament put on a hitting clinic beating Aztecs (NV-C) 49-9. JBL/D1/Tailgaters (OH-AA) came from behind to beat BK (NV-B) 49-42. BK is a very good ‘B’ team led by Clint Stricker who ran BTR last year and had some of his former players on it as well as former Conference sluggers Adam Smylie and Las Vegas native Dan Norquist. And the Smash It/Bay Area (CA-AA) team beat The Product (CA-C) 29-9 scoring 27 runs in the 1st two innings as Jason Branch, Joe Dorton, Zane Migues, and Brady Bate were perfect hitting in the game.
At 9:30 and 10:45 PM as the temperatures cooled off into the low 50’s/high 40’s the “Round of 16” games began with 15 Conference teams and one non-conference team NOVVA (UT-C) who had upset Seminoles in the “sun” game on Yankee field earlier. NOVVA played very well again but came up short losing to Bay Area’s ‘A’ team 33-26 as Curtis Stewart went 5-6 with 3 HR. #3 seeded Resmondo on Yankee field jumped out to a 21-8 lead on EAS before EAS closed the gap with a 10 run 3rd inning. Resmondo then out scored EAS 18-13 down the stretch to win 39-31. Josh Riley, Travis Clark, and Phil Matte were each on base 5 out of 6 and Everett Williams hit 3 HR and had 8 RBI. In the 2nd quad of the winner’s bracket RoofX beat L&S Glass 27-21 scoring 15 runs in the top of the 2nd inning. Lead off hitter Arlis Miller was 4-5, 2 hitter Jeremy Fry 5-5, 3 hitter Brandon Yoder 4-5, and 4 hitter Terry Lambright 4-5 with 3 HR in the win. And Competitive Edge again gave up just 6 runs in a 21-6 win over NFM Lending in 5 innings out homering them 10-2. Mitch Lendenski, Tyler Ervine, Ryan Honeycutt, and Logan Rogers were all perfect hitting in the game with Honeycutt and Lendenski hitting 3 HR each. In the 3rd quarter of the winner’s bracket Cheap Suits pulled off an upset of Classic Glass on a walk off grand slam homer by Kameron King. King was 6-7 with 6 RBI and 6 runs scored, Kenneth Duby 5-6 with 8 RBI, and Isaac Gonzalez 6-6 with 8 RBI and 6 runs scored in the win. And Nitro Circus beat a good Str8Play team 25-10. In the 4th quarter of the bracket MPT Rentals continued their hitting clinic beating an upset minded Coursey Realty 44-20. And Smash It/Bay Area rounded out Friday with a 37-33 win over JBL in the first ‘AA’ vs ‘AA’ game of the year which you can see in condensed video here. Smashit scored 12 in the bottom of the 1st and JBL 10 in the bottom of the 3rd but JBL failed to score in the 6th or 7th and SmashIt who trailed 33-32 going into the bottom of the 5th scored 2 in the 5th and 3 in the 6th to win without having to bat in the 7th. Jason Branch, Joe Dorton, Jason Martel, Tre Porter, Kyle Fisher, and Tom Bloom all had 4 hits and Brandon Trailer was 5-5 in the big win.
Smash It Sports Josh Cardwell lays out vs MPT Rentals.
On Saturday the “Final 8” played out starting at 11:00 AM. Smash It Sports trailing MPT Rentals 16-8 scored 14 runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take control of the game and out scored MPT 19-12 the remainder of the way to win 45-38 without having to bat in the bottom of the 7th. Both teams hit their 14 HR and Joe Dorton, Zane Migues, and Tyler Dickens each had 5 hits in the win. Dorton 4 HR and 8 RBI. At 12:30 it was Resmondo again struggling past Bay Area 45-37 after scoring 14 in the 1st and 14 in the 2nd to take a 28-10 lead, Bay Area scored 15 in the 3rd to make it close the rest of the way. Josh Riley was 6-6 with 3 HR and 6 RBI. Greg Connell and Phil Matte were each 5-6. And Curtis Stewart was 5-6 with 4 HR and 9 RBI in the loss for Bay Area. Meanwhile over on Dodger field Competitive Edge who had only given up 12 runs in 2 games on Friday flat ran over RoofX 30-8 scoring 24 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning! Mitch Lendenski and Tyler Ervine were each 4-4 for Comp Edge while Jeremy Fry increased his on base streak to 19-19 for RoofX. And Nitro Circus knocked off Cheap Suits 39-14 scoring 20 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and leaving them on the field in the 4th by scoring 13 more. Nitro out homered them 13-3 and Shawn Jones the pitcher was 4-4.
It did appear Reyna was correctly called out as his foot never touched home plate.
Final 4 Recap
Resmondo’s Kevin Bazat clears the bases with a home run vs Competitive Edge in the semifinals.
In semifinal #1 early Saturday evening as the sun went down and the temperatures dropped Competitive Edge and Resmondo met in a much anticipated shootout. Resmondo scored 24 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, an inning that felt like it lasted an hour. But Competitive Edge showing the resilience that Major teams are known for scored 27 in the 2nd and 3rd and the score was tied at 34 going into the 5th. Competitive Edge though had a problem with hard grounders sticking in the glove and that was the difference as Resmondo pulled out a 56-52 win. As you can see by the box score below many players on both teams had some huge games including a 7-7 performance by Buddy Wolf who returned to Resmondo this year and Competitive Edge left fielder Mitch Lendenski was 7-7 with a walk and 4 doubles.
In semifinal #2 which started late Saturday night in 50 degree temperatures Smash It scored 10 runs in the bottom of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings to take a 33-29 lead on Nitro Circus. But the defense of Nitro Circus 1st baseman Zach Messer and Nitro’s base hitting were just slightly better as they pulled off a 39-38 win when neither team scored in the 7th inning with the home runs gone. Pitcher Shawn Jones was 5-5 in the win, Kyle Goethe had 5 hits, and Emilson Marquez had 8 RBI. For Smash It Luis Reyna was 6-6 and Zane Migues had 3 HR and 9 RBI.
Winner’s Final Recap
Nitro Circus takes on Resmondo in the winner’s final late Saturday night.
In the winner’s bracket final which finished at 2 AM in the morning the Resmondo offense was unstoppable even though Nitro Circus stayed around for 6 innings they lost 62-42. Resmondo scored 17 in the 3rd and 18 in the 6th in a marathon game. Bradley Jones was 8-8 with 10 RBI in the win.
Resmondo pitcher Travis Clark snares a high chopper up the middle.
Loser’s Bracket Recap
In the loser’s bracket JBL won 2 games and Str8Play 3 games including a walk off hit by Carlos Abrigo to beat RoofX 36-35 after RoofX had a 16 run lead, before Bay Area Legends dropped down and beat JBL 24-4 and Str8Play to finish tied for 5th after SmashIt/Bay Area beat Bay Area 39-28 after midnight Saturday. In the lower half of the loser’s bracket Seminoles won 3 straight before Cheap Suits dropped down and beat them 37-32. And Classy won 4 games before MPT Rentals dropped down and beat Classy and Cheap Suits before losing to Competitive Edge 41-21. Competitive Edge scored 17 in the top of the 3rd and 16 in the top of the 4th to win that one. Bubba Mack, Joe Boland, and Conner Murray were all 5-5. On Sunday morning in the 4th place game Competitive Edge again used overpowering offense in the middle of the game to score 26 runs in the 4th and 5th innings combined to beat Smash It Sports 39-27 as Andrew Filoteo, Mike Thorbrogger, and Ryan Honeycutt each had 5 hits. Then Competitive Edge sent home Nitro Circus 31-16 in 5 innings to advance to the championship against Resmondo. Ryan Honeycutt was 5-5 in that one.
In the 1st championship game Competitive Edge answered Resmondo’s 12 run top of the 1st with 20 runs in the bottom of the inning and they answered them again in the 2nd. After blanking Resmondo in the 4th and 5th innings with some good defense Comp Edge won by the run rule 42-26. Honeycutt was again 5-5 and Mike Thorbrogger had 4 doubles in the win.
Resmondo’s Everett Williams was 4-4 in the final game before he and Briggs had to catch a flight.
In the “if” game Competitive Edge got off to a slow start but grabbed a 28-19 lead going into the bottom of the 5th. Resmondo grabbed the lead back 39-32 in the bottom of the 5th and that was all they needed as Competitive Edge hit too many home runs for outs, made a base running error by being off the base when the ball was hit in the 6th, and came up a run short in the 7th with the tying run on 3rd base. Tyler Marshburn, Everett Williams, and Chad Mullins each had 4 hits in the final win. The “Helmer” teams over the years have now won 7 of the 12 Las Vegas Majors even though they are known for struggling on small fields. The tournament was well run by Tim Yamashita and his group of directors. I want to thank Bernie Guenther, Chuck Shimels, and Eric McCarthy for their support during the weekend.
DW’s Notes from Las Vegas:
– The weather was perfect and yes the fields are small but like Nascar who races on 5 different types of tracks, the Conference plays on all sizes of softball and baseball fields and you have to adjust and enjoy the differences in style of play.
– At the BLD fields you have to adjust and have fun taking on the challenge of playing the game. Even though the opening tournament is on small fields you still want to play well and validate that the team you built is going to be in the mix in your division. Plus it helps you with seeding after the dual because you have an extra tournament worth of points.
– Derby Girls scored 47 runs in a loser’s bracket game and Classic Glass and Derby Girls each won one of the Women’s Las Vegas duals.
– Remember I only see at most 1/6th of what is going on at a tournament.
– I want to apologize for the Juno Athletics Pickem game. I forgot to put in a tie breaker and we had 4 users tie for the win. They will have to play the HOF Pickem and the winner out of the 4 will win the Juno bat from Las Vegas.
– The sound of the ball hitting the outfield wall was the worst sound for the defensive team and I think it took something out of your opponent when you hit it.
– When watching highlight and condensed game videos remember a lot of unnatural swings and swings taken at bad pitches are made to try and keep the ball in the park.
– Every time I go to Las Vegas I get what I call “Vegas nose”, a stuffy nose like I am allergic to gambling or something but I’m sure its the dust?
– Next Tuesday, April 11th at noon I want to have a usssalive.com test hour to make sure ROKU and Firestick etc are working before the Hall of Fame Dual. So bring it up at noon next Tuesday and I’ll have the chat room up to discuss any issues you are having.
– The BallClubz stats and score bug had a slow start but we need to get all teams on board using the Ballclubz app to score your games so that all the reports, shows, and usssalive.com have all of the live stats and box scores.
– I keep hearing teams think they can be the Rock Run of the west or Rock Run of Texas etc. Remember Rock Run/Silverbacks finished 2nd at the C as 18 year olds, won 4 games at the B and beat SmashIt in Chicago as 19 year olds, and finished 5th at the major as 20 year olds…
– We talked about this last November but we should add the Andy Purcell pitching award to separate it from the Defensive Player of the Year award which should go to a non pitcher.
– Major teams have won all 12 of the Las Vegas Majors.
– It was a good batch of pro-m’s. Probably too good for the fields. We should use the Dudley Hycor there for one year.
– The Las Vegas BLD has worn out and patched turf but they did repaint the outfield walls. But I didn’t see many bad hops.
– I want to thank the umpires for using their smart phones to do the scoring for USSSALive. The thousands of fans appreciate it.
Poll: Who will win Las Vegas?
The Pickem Poll was right!
Long Bomber of the Week!
Long Bomber of the Week on these small fields had to be someone who blasted one during the day because there were too many bombs hit in the cool nighttime. This weeks Long Bomber is Competitive Edge’s Billy Sanders!
Las Vegas Results and Awards
Team by Team Notes
1st Place – Resmondo/SIS/All-American/Menosse
FL-Major Record 6-1
Resmondo scored and scored and scored. They outlasted CE in the “best of 3” and won the tournament for the 2nd year in a row. Kevin Bazat was .867 and Briggs, Jones, Matte, and Riley had double digit homer’s. Kyle Overstreet at 3rd base looked good defensively although Bubba Mack did blow him up once. Buddy Wolf was snake bit on line drives trying to “play the game” on Sunday. Everett Williams base hitting with hard grounders and good placement was spot on. Bradley Jones has built up those “Wegman shoulders”, you know the ones from Wegmans Long Haul Bomber days and he is murdering the ball. Travis Clark took a bit of a beating on middle shots but hung tough and had a .780 onbase percentage without hitting home runs. Resmondo didn’t do a lot of chirping after middle shots and did no real retaliation that would take them out of their game and they probably won the tournament because of it. Remember last year MPT lost a game and got double dipped by Resmondo trying to retaliate. Resmondo played without Kyle Pearson (sick).
P Travis Clark and MI Kevin Bazat
2nd Place – Competitive Edge/Suncoast/FBI/Olmito
FL-Major Record 7-2
The ball didn’t stick in the glove for CE infielders vs Resmondo semifinals on the hard shots. That was the difference. Bubba Mack at 3rd and Kyle Pearson in the middle infield looked real consistent defensively on a lot of chances. For CE, this year is about taking that next step as a major team. The major team window for winning the major has been short for non Helmer/Purcell major teams when you think about Sonnys, Northwest Combat, and Newbreed over the years. CE showed major team stamina coming through the loser’s bracket and almost double dipping Resmondo. Conner Murray was .870 and Offensive MVP Ryan Honeycutt was .791 with 11 HR and 32 RBI. They played without Farron Miller, Brandon Jackson had a wedding, and Brandon Streets last years batting title winner didn’t play due to a wrist injury.
Competitive Edge pitcher Mike Thorbrogger stabs a hot shot.
Kyle Pearson in the middle had a bunch of chances and made most of them.
3rd Place – Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis
MD-AA Record 4-2
Nitro Circus only lost to Major teams. Nick Day at 3rd base defensively and his hitting looked good and Zach Messer at 1st base showed lots of range and showed what a defensive 1st baseman brings to the game. Overall this team finished highest in class ‘AA’ and is off to a good start.
Chad Erickson does his best Jason Branch home run impression.
Cabot Van Til led off for Nitro Circus.
Zach Messer showed a lot of range at 1st base.
4th Place – SmashIt/Bay Area Legends/Baugh Ford/BD
CA-AA Record 4-2
Smash It looked “Major like” as they battled Resmondo and Competitive Edge to finish 4th. Luis Reyna in the middle looks like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate again and Tom Bloom at pitcher fielded about 15 hot shots. The offense has to be the best in the ‘AA’ division and the defense is one of those veteran defenses that can buckle down when needed. Tre Porter, Josh Cardwell, Joe Dorton, and Brady Bate led the offense but pretty much everyone was high .700’s with Cardwell hitting 12 HR and Joe Dorton 15 HR.
Tommie Baugh goes yard.
Tre Porter had a big offensive tournament.
Tom Bloom and Luis Reyna were rock solid up the middle for SIS.
Tied 5th – MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics
NJ-Major Record 4-2
John Williams 3B, Joe Bennett at SS, Daniel Cayton MI, Josh Kirsten CF for MPT.
MPT after losing to Smashit fell into a bad spot in the loser’s bracket and a late night run in with Comp Edge which they lost. Daniel Cayton did play with them. They were missing Argen Dodds and Ben Dunn.
P Bill Pinkham and infielder Orlando Castillo return for MPT.
Daniel Cayton played with MPT after a tumultuous off season that had him with Monsta and MPT at the same time!
Tied 5th – Bay Area Legends
CA-A Record 4-2
Bay Area was best in class ‘A’ and played Resmondo and Smash It well. Steven Lopez, Mitch Carriger, TJ Russon, and DJ Hollingsworth were all over .800. Curtis Stewart hit 16 HR and Hollingsworth 12.
Former Precision slugger Curtis Stewart was blasting HR for Bay Area.
Donald Hollingsworth who was the CF for MPT Major team two years ago before an injury is with Bay Area.
Tied 7th – Str8play/Rebel/Franchise Apparel
CA-A Record 4-2
Str8Play did all of their damage in the loser’s bracket upsetting ‘AA’ teams Classic Glass 41-25 and RoofX 36-35 on walk off single by Carlos Abrigo to finish 7th. Str8Play had some players with some big offensive numbers. Steven Trey Parr .885 on base percentage, Jeffrey Redden .839, 15 HR, 34 RBI, and Anthony Acevedo .793 with 11 doubles.
Abrigo’s walk off single to beat RoofX.
P Josh Jones is a big part of the Str8Play success.
Tied 7th – Cheap Suits
CA-A Record 3-2
Kameron King hits a walk off grand slam to beat Classic Glass.
Cheap Suits beat Classy and upset Classic Glass in the winner’s bracket then beat Seminoles in the loser’s bracket to finish 7th. William Marable and Mateo Pacheco led the defense and on offense Kameron King and Isaac Gonzalez came up big among others. I didn’t seem to get any pictures of their games, sorry!
Tied 9th – JBL/D1/Tailgaters/Ignite (OH-AA)
JBL survived an opening come from behind win over BK then lost a late Friday slugfest with Smash It Sports. In the loser’s bracket they beat some regional teams before Bay Area Legends sent them home and JBL scored just 4 runs to finish 9th. Roster looks strong but they need some of that Team Ohio Challenge Cup type chemistry. 🙂
Tied 9th – Seminoles/NACSF.inc/TPS/RS/Anarchy (OK-AA)
Seminoles lost to a ‘C’ team and then Cheap Suits. A rough start. And to make things worth one of their pickups Toby Letak has a back issue that will keep out for all of 2023. 7 of their players were 22-28 .786 led by Robert Lunday with 11 HR, Eli Christensen .846, 9 Hr, 27 RBI, and Oliver Odle had 33 RBI.
Tied 9th – Classy/Legacy/NVH (AZ-B)
Classy won some games in the loser’s bracket and beat Conference ‘B’ team EAS 22-20. Classy has Matt Fox playing SS and Alexis Ramirez 2B and David Romero with Conference experience.
Tied 9th – Roof X/Revolution/Albicocco/All Hustle (IN-AA)
RoofX played ok but got smoked by Competitive Edge and then in the loser’s bracket lost on a walk off hit to Str8Play after leading by 16. This is the old Rock Run team who added Brandon Yoder in CF from Westpoint, Justin Mucciarelli pitcher from Bay Area, and Ryan Mcclanahan shortstop from Smash It Sports plus some players from WM Roofing.
Looks like Hansen may have been safe.
L&S Glass beat two non-conference teams.
NFM beat Monsta/Carillos and a regional team but lost to Comp Edge and Seminoles.
Livestream was on point.
Classic Glass has a lot of new veteran players but didn’t gell.
Course Realty was the ‘C’ Champs last year and moved to conference and has some young talent.
Mario Granados was playing with Monsta ‘B’ team.
EAS had upsets on their mind but it didn’t happen against Resmondo.
JK Inc trying to be the “Rock Run” of the west! 🙂
JK Inc’s Austin Sojika hits a walk off homer!
UT-C team Novva had the biggest upset of the tournament over Seminoles ‘AA’.
Faces in the Crowd / More Pictures
Competitive Edge used the 2023 Suncoast bats.
The Dudley Pro-M ball was a very good batch.
There were too many long delays in the big games.
Bat testing at 240 compression.
Cal Ford, Kelly “we got a man there, bus driver!” McKinny, and Jay Hill
Super fans Dale McGregor, ?, and Don Lekness!
New Hit & Sit Show coming Wednesday!
“This Week in Softball” – Las Vegas edition coming this week!