2023 “Windy City” Classic
West Chicago, Illinois
Roofx slugger Terry Lambright hits against JBL in the Championship game!
Windy City Hot Links (More Videos to come)
Windy City Video Clips link (Coming Soon)
Windy City Stats link (Updating throughout the week)
Windy City Team List
Friday Night Recap
Pat Ellwanger hits for The Herd against JBL Friday night.
The annual “Windy City” Classic was held at the McCaslin Park in West Chicago, Illinois this past weekend. The park had 4-300 foot fields and artificial turf infields with grass outfields and they used a primarily good batch of Dudley Pro-M balls with 240 compression bat bucket testing. There were 19 teams in the double elimination tournament from 13 different states and 11 were conference teams. Interesting tidbit, only one team was from Illinois? The weather was nice on Friday but warmer and less windy than normal. The 3 “play in” games began at 5 PM central time as Cedar Creek/AllHustle/Pure (IN-C) one of those feisty Topeka, Indiana league teams beat local ‘C’ team KBI/Bumrush 30-7 while the other Topeka team Rock Run Cabinetry/NHC/SKS Sports (IN-C) didn’t fair as well losing to Kryptic/RedAthlete (WI-C) 19-16. Incidentally Cedar Creek and Rock Run played a league double hitter the night before. And finally J&L Sports (OH-C) knocked off TAFN/GoSports (MI-C) 12-11 when the J&L 3rd baseman, SS, and left center fielder all made spectacular plays in the late innings to hold on and win. Check out those plays in the highlight video of the tournament on the USSSALive YouTube channel this week. The “Round of 16” also began at 5 PM with one of the top seeds Chick-fil-a/Slugger/BAF/Shore Irrig (VA-AA) knocking off one of the top non-conference teams in the country Comatose/S2N/Subway (WI-A) team 35-26. JBL/D1/Tailgaters (OH-AA) scored 10 in the top of the 1st and 12 in the top of the 6th to run rule another top non-conference team The Herd (IA-A) 37-29. Dave Johnson was 5-7, 2 HR, 8 RBI and Orlando Olivera 5-6 and batted for the cycle. The Herd won the USA Softball ‘A’ nationals in 2022. Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis (MD-AA) made short work of Kryptic/Red Athlete (WI-C) 32-8 scoring 21 runs in the top of the 3rd inning. Bryan Dezern, Jared Hunt, Nick Day, Emilson Marquez, and Joey Capp all had 4 hits while Chris Greinert hit a grand slam. Aristotle/FBI (AR-A) had a nice 28-15 win over Rebel/Anarchy/Str8play (MI-A) after both teams zeroed in the 1st inning and Aristotle out hit Rebel 29-20. PrimeTime/Easton (GA-A) knocked off Cornerstone/Rebel (KY-B) 18-11 scoring 7 runs in the 1st inning and were led by lead off hitter Ira Brown and shortstop Angel Ortega who were both on base 4-4. They out homered Cornerstone 9-3. Roofx/Revolution/Albicocco/AllHustle (IN-AA) had a hard time putting away J&L Sports but scored 11 in the top of the 6th to run rule them 31-13 hitting 12 home runs. Lead off hitter Arlis Miller was on base 5-5 and 4 hitter Terry Lambright was 4-5 with 2 HR and 5 RBI in the win. #1 seeded Competitive Edge/Suncoast/FBI/Olmito (FL-Major) struggled through 3 innings leading Cedar Creek 13-9 but scored 15 in the bottom of the 4th to win in the 5th 28-10. Mitch Lendenski and Tyler Ervine at the top of the order were a combined on base of 10-10 with 4 HR and 7 RBI. And Siteman/Pure (MO-A) advanced with a 24-21 win over Westpoint Softball (IN-AA) when right fielder Tyler Cooklin made spectacular grand slam home run rob late in the game and hit the cutoff for a perfect relay to the plate to get a runner trying to tag two bases. Siteman went on to win 24-21 as Jagger Harjo the 4 hitter and Brent McClure the 5 hitter combined were 8-8 with 3 doubles a homer, 7 RBI, and 8 runs scored.
Friday Quarterfinals Recap
Siteman takes on Competitive Edge in the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinals were also played Friday night as the temperatures cooled off and the batted ball speeds increased. JBL jumped out to a 32-0 lead and beat a listless Chick-fil-a team 32-2 by the 30 run rule in the bottom of the 3rd? Mike Williams, Adam Ussery, Orlando Olivera, Brian McBryde, and Bradley Scott were all 4-4 in the win as they advanced to Saturday afternoons “Final 4”. Nitro Circus with their new pitcher Jose Flores shut down Aristotle early on as they jumped out to a 26-2 lead but Aristotle hung around and forced Nitro Circus to play all 7 innings but Nitro won 28-19. Nick Day was 5-5, Chris Greinert 4-4, and Bryan Dezern 4-5 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. Roofx after leading just 7-6 over PrimeTime in the 1st inning, out scored Prime 29-3 over the next 3 innings and won by the mercy rule in 4 innings 36-9. The 1st 5 batters in the Roofx order each hit 2 home runs as they out extra base hit PrimeTime 22-4. And Competitive Edge scored 13 in the bottom of the 3rd vs Siteman and won by the 20 run rule in 4 innings 30-10. Brandon Streets, Taylor Cobb, and Comp Edge’s tryout player Earl Schlabach were all on base 4-4 as 10 of the 11 starters hit home runs.
Aristotle takes on Nitro Circus in the quarterfinals Friday night.
Final 4 Recap
Comp Edge’s Bubba Mack hits his second grand slam vs Roofx in Semifinal #1.
On Saturday afternoon with the wind blowing in on the main field semifinal #1 was a back and forth battle between Competitive Edge, the only Major team in the tournament, and Roofx who pulled major upsets each of the last two years at the Windy City Classic. Remember they beat Smash It Sports in 2021 as a non-conference ‘B’ team called Silverbacks. Then they beat Resmondo and MPT Rentals in back to back games in 2022 when they were called Rock Run. This game got interesting when Competitive Edge’s Bubba Mack hit a grand slam in the top of the 4th to tie the game at 14-14. Roofx answered by scoring 14 on 6 in the bottom of the 4th to go up 28-15. In the top of the 5th Mack hit another grand slam but in the bottom of the 5th, smelling blood, Roofx finished with a 9 run inning capped by a walk off run rule homer by Marcus Miller to win 37-21. Arlis Miller, Brandon Yoder, and Mike Jacobsen were each 5-5 in the win with Arlis hitting for the cycle (single, double, triple, HR).
Nitro Circus hits against JBL in semifinal #2.
In the other semifinal between JBL and Nitro Circus the game featured a number of good defensive plays in the infield by both teams including a diver at 3rd base by JBL’s Cody Roton that may be one of the best plays of the year. Check that out in the video highlights on YouTube later this week. JBL came from an 11-5 deficit in the top of the 4th by scoring 13 runs on 4 homer’s to grab an 18-11 lead. JBL then held Nitro Circus scoreless in the bottom of the 4th and inched their way to a 26-11 win as Nitro Circus left 4 homer’s on the table. JBL was led by lead off hitter “Lazer” Dave Johnson, John Radich, Cody Roton, and Bradley Scott who were all on base 4 times.
Winner’s Final Recap
In the winner’s final Roofx got off to a slow start as they put up a zero after starting the game with 2 hits in the top of the 1st. In fact with the wind blowing in neither team hit a homer until the bottom of the 3rd inning. That is when JBL’s offense came alive scoring 11 runs on 7 homer’s including a grand slam by John Radich to go up 13-1. Roofx answered with 14 runs in the top of the 4th to go up 15-13 including a “touched” 4 base award homer. In the bottom of the 4th JBL’s backup pitcher Roger Fields got a clutch hit with the bases loaded to put JBL up 19-15. Fields was pitching in place of Jon Dombrowski who is out with a knee injury. In the top of the 5th Roofx’s Jon Troyer hit a 2 out 3 run homer to put them up 20-19. In the top of the 6th Roofx struck again as Arlis Miller got a hit for the cycle, Jeremy Fry doubled to go 5-5, and 4 hitter Terry Lambright hit a long 2 out 3 run homer to put them up 23-19. JBL answered that with 3 run homer’s by John Radich and Adam Ussery in a 7 run bottom of the 6th to go up 28-26. In the top of the 7th Roofx got home runs from Ryan Mcclanahan, Marcus Miller, and Kyle Miller to extend the game and take a 30-28 lead. But in the bottom of the 7th JBL’s Steve Edwards tied the game at 30-30 on a homer and Orlando Olivera hit a walk off homer to win it 33-30!
Orlando Olivera for the win!
Loser’s Bracket Recap
The loser’s bracket played out all day on Saturday. Rebel won 2 games before PrimeTime dropped down and beat them 51-36 in the highest scoring game of the tournament. In the top of the bracket Comatose after losing their opener to Chick-fil-a beat TAFN, The Herd, Siteman, and Primetime before losing to Nitro Circus and finishing tied for 5th. In the bottom half of the loser’s bracket Cornerstone won 2 games in a row to tie for 9th, their best showing of the year. And Westpoint who had lost their first game to Siteman beat Rock Run (the C team), Cedar Creek, Chick-fil-a 20-19 without having to bat in the bottom of the 7th, and Cornerstone before losing to Competitive Edge and finishing tied for 5th. Then late Saturday night Nitro Circus held down Competitive Edge late and won on their last home run, a walk off by Jared Hunt to make it to Sunday with Competitive Edge finishing a disappointing 4th. Jared Hunt and Joey Capparelli each had 5 hits for Nitro Circus in the win.
Jared Hunt hits a walk off homer to beat Competitive Edge.
Cabot Van Til hits for Nitro Circus in the loser’s final against Roofx Sunday morning.
On Sunday morning in cooler temperatures the loser’s bracket finals started at 8 am central time. Nitro Circus got out to a 5-0 lead on a Joey Capparelli grand slam homer. Then Roofx’s Jason Slabach filling in for the injured Joey Miller (hamstring) hit a 3 run homer to make it 15-7 Roofx in the 2nd inning and they went on to increase the lead to 18-7 after 2 complete innings as they scored 16 runs in the inning. Nitro Circus got back into the game down 18-15 when they scored 8 in the top of the 3rd. But Roofx answered with 10 in the bottom of the 3rd and 7 more in the bottom of the 4th and won by the run rule 36-21 in the bottom of the 5th on a walk off by Kyle Miller. Nitro Circus hit just 6 home runs in the game while Roofx hit 14. Jeremy Fry was 5-5 in the win with 5 runs scored.
Roofx pitcher Ryan Mcclanahan was snapping everyone off.
In the championship the middle was open but in JBL’s case it was closed by Roofx pitcher Ryan Mcclanahan who would go on to make play after play on hard shots back at him and both teams played excellent infield defense. JBL grabbed a 17-13 lead in the top of the 4th when Lazer Dave made Roofx pay for walking too many batters. After more walks in the top of the 5th Roofx got out of bases loaded jam with their defense and came in and scored 10 runs due in part to some misplays in the JBL outfield to take a 24-17 lead. When Mcclanahan walked some more in top of the 7th, Adam Ussery doubled off of the top of the fence to put JBL up 26-25. But it wasn’t enough and Roofx got a single by Jeremy Fry and a bases loaded walk off walk from Jon Troyer to win the game 27-26 to force the “if” game. Arlis Miller and Jeremy Fry were each 5-6 on base in the win and Jeremy hit for the cycle.
JBL shortstop Adam Ussery makes one of the better diving stops of the year.
The “if” game was a close game throughout with neither team capitalizing enough on their opponents mistakes (walks/errors). Roofx got 5 on 4 in the top of the 2nd as they started to lose the home run management part of the game. And JBL tied the game at 8 by scoring 5 on 3 in the bottom of the 2nd but the inning was prematurely ended when Roofx third baseman Jon Troyer turned a great double play. In the top of the 3rd JBL shortstop Adam Ussery returned the favor by making one of the most spectacular diving stops of the year and then JBL went up 16-11 in the bottom of the 3rd as they scored 8 runs on 3 homer’s. In the top of the 4th Kyle Miller hit a grand slam for Roofx to put them up 17-16 and a couple of nice plays by Troyer at 3rd, Faron Fry at shortstop, and Mcclanahan at pitcher shut down JBL in the bottom of the 4th and 5th innings. At one point JBL had made 8 straight outs but they still pulled to within 27-22 going to the bottom of the 7th. With their last at bats JBL scored 2 but lost 27-24 as the Roofx defense came through again and Roofx won their first tournament of the season! Both teams used 11 of their 14 home runs. Terry Lambright was on base 6-6 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in the final game.
Long Bomber of the Week!
The long bomber of the week is Orlando Olivera of JBL. He hit some creatures and the walk off in the winner’s final but none were longer than the one he hit Sunday morning vs Roofx. Also Arlis Miller of Roofx gets honorable mention for a long one he hit on Sunday morning with the wind blowing in.
Windy City Results and Awards
MVP – Roofx SS/P Ryan Mcclanahan (.743, 5 HR, 15 RBI)
Defensive MVP – Roofx MI Jeremy Fry
Offensive MVP – JBL RF Orlando Olivera (.750, 12 HR, 28 RBI)
Team by Team Notes
1st Place – Roofx/Revolution/Albicocco/AllHustle
IN-AA Record 6-1
Roofx seems to get better as the season goes on. Jeremy Fry, Terry Lambright, and Arlis Miller were all over .800 for the weekend. Lambright hit 14 HR and knocked in 35. Kyle Miller and Faron Fry each hit 10 HR. Everyone on the defense made a spectacular play at some point and all of the outfielders robbed home runs. They were a little short handed as Justin Mucciarelli didn’t make the trip and Mike Jacobsen had to leave Sunday morning to coach his sons baseball team but they didn’t miss a beat and are rising the rankings of the ‘AA’ teams.
Marcus Miller robs a homer.
As Mcclanahan completed the play he could be heard saying “you’re out”. lol
It takes a lot of sponsors to put these teams on the field. Thank You to all sponsors!
2nd Place – JBL/D1/Tailgaters/Ignite
OH-AA Record 4-2
JBL only lost to Roofx basically in a best of 3. Their starting pitcher Jon Dombrowski is having knee surgery and will be out until August. Roger Fields filled in and did a nice job winning that winner’s final and giving his team a chance in both championship games. They were also without Defensive MVP candidate outfielder Brock Frentzel and the outfield defense struggled. They had a bunch of players in the .700’s and are one of the top ‘AA’ offensive teams. Steve Hendrickson did a nice job at middle infield with great range. And John Radich hit 10 HR. Also it seemed like Adam Ussery and Steve Edwards could hit homer’s almost on command at times.
Roger Fields pitched for Old Bag.
Steve Hendrickson joined JBL and played a lock down middle infield.
Steve Edwards at 1st base makes a game saving play.
3rd Place – Nitro Circus/Candy Shop/Ataraxis
MD-AA Record 4-2
Nitro Circus picked up Jose Flores to pitch and he did a nice job. They upset Competitive Edge Saturday night to get another Sunday finish. Joey Capp was .852 with 13 HR.
Joseph Capparelli a rookie of the year candidate (.793 for the season playing RF)
Jose Flores is now pitching for Nitro. He pitched for MAJ, Bay Area, and Proton in the past.
4th Place – Competitive Edge/Suncoast/FBI/Olmito
FL-Major Record 3-2
Competitive Edge was missing Kyle Pearson, Ryan Honeycutt, and Billy Sanders didn’t play. They struggled for some reason with Roofx and Nitro Circus. Lendenski (.833) and Rogers (.864) led the offense while Brandon Streets and Taylor Cobb continue to hit it really well. They also played without manager Brandon Miller (sick).
Zirkle is from the Chicago area originally.
CE picked up Earl Schlabach as a tryout, another Topeka, Indiana talent I believe. He was .750 in limited action.
Tied 5th – WestPoint
IN-AA Record 4-2
Westpoint salvaged their weekend with a nice run in the loser’s bracket. Brian Spenn was .824, Drew Smith .826, and Nick Canfield hit 14 HR.
Tied 5th – Comatose/S2N/Subway
WI-A Record 4-2
Comatose like Westpoint salvaged their weekend with an impressive run in the loser’s bracket. They have the father son duo of Geno and Ty Buck of course leading the way.
Tied 7th – PrimeTime/Easton
GA-A Record 2-2
Primetime has had a solid season but lost big to Roofx on Friday night. Ira Brown (.813) and Torey Means and Angel Ortega at .800 led the offense.
Ira Brown leads Primetimes offense to 51 runs vs Rebel.
Tied 7th – Cornerstone/Rebel/Str8Play/Redeemed
KY-B Record 2-2
Cornerstone had their best tournament of the season winning 2 games although the offense wasn’t great hitting just 23 HR in 4 games.
Tied 9th – Rebel/Anarchy/Str8play/FrogHollow (MI-A) 2-2
Lead off hitter Zack Smith .842 and big lefty Steven Pierce .833 9 HR 20 RBI led the offense but Rebel managed just a 2-2 showing.
Tied 9th – Aristotle/FBI (AR-A) 1-2
Aristotle had a nice win over Rebel but it was downhill from there.
Tied 9th – Siteman/Pure (MO-A) 1-2
Like Aristotle, Siteman had a nice win over Westpoint but then downhill from there. Pictured above is RF Tyler Cooklin who made a number of great catches. Luke Boyster .769 and Jagger Harjo .750 led the offense.
Tied 9th – Chick-fil-a/Slugger/BAF/Shore Irrigation (VA-AA) 1-2
Chick-fil-a had a solid start by winning over Comatose in their opener but then disappeared in a loss to JBL where they scored 2 runs and then lost by one to Westpoint in the loser’s bracket.
The Herd had a tough draw and weekend going 0-2 but they were the USA ‘A’ National champs last year.
Cedar Creek an Indiana league ‘C’ team from Topeka went 1-2 beating KBI 30-7 and then competing with Competitive Edge for a few innings before losing to them and Westpoint.
J&L Sports from Ohio flashed some leather in a win over TAFN but then lost to Roofx and Cornerstone.
The “new” Rock Run went 0-2 but you can see the talent.
KBI the only Illinois team went 0-2
Kryptic went 1-2 but I thought had a decent showing.
TAFN went 0-2 losing two close games.
Faces in the Crowd / More Pictures
The close play in the Nitro/Roofx game looks like a tie.
Out/Safe, I don’t remember what they called.
This was overturned into an out. Too close to call.
Correctly called fair.
Livestream view was pretty good.
UIC Marshall Grissom with tournament director Andy Purcell.