GTL Cartel/DeMarini based out of the Seattle, Washington area went 5-1 to win the “Windy City Bud Light NIT”. This included 2 out of 3 wins against top ranked Resmondo-Specialty Tank/ Worth in the winner’s bracket finals and championship games. All 5 of their wins were by the run rule and it wasn’t until they played Resmondo that they let up more than 8 runs in a game.
The tournament opened up Friday night in Joliet, Illinois with a couple of upsets when Precision, a local ‘C’ team, knocked off RFC/Hubs Pub 29-9 and P&P, a ‘C’ team out of Michigan, dropped T’s 13 22-21. Cool temperatures prevailed throughout the weekend and the sun didn’t pop out until Sunday. The rain the previous Thursday and Friday actually made the fields softer and more playable for the infielders.
On Saturday starting at 11 AM the winner’s bracket resumed. All at one time Suncoast found themselves in a 9 inning victory over Midwest Swing. Blitz came from a 14-0 deficit in the first inning to beat EWS 27-26 in 8 innings, and Sinister came from behind to knock off R&M Metals 31-30. Then in the 3rd round the 4 top teams in the nation all advanced to the semi-finals.
In those semi’s Resmondo kept ahead of Team Combat to the tune of a 27-19 victory and GTL 15 run ruled Team 454/Worth 35-5. In the winner’s championship GTL used a Sean McDonald base hit to run rule Resmondo 39-24.
On Sunday, Team Combat/Laser Vision matched Team 454’s 16 run third inning with a 16 run 4th inning of their own and played hard for all of 2 hours and 42 minutes to finally put Team 454 away by the highest run total of the season 54-48! Then Team Combat managed just 4 runs on 1 homer against Resmondo and went quietly home 28-4 in 4 innings in the loser’s bracket championship. Resmondo batted around and the top of the order hit 3 times each in the first inning alone. Greg Connell himself had 2 homer’s and 7 RBI in the inning. This win advanced Resmondo to the Championship against GTL.
In the first game of the championship which pitted the #1 team in the nation, Resmondo, against the #2 team in the nation GTL, Resmondo came out and used all 16 of their homers to put GTL away 35-18. This force the “if” game of the champion¬ship.
In the “if” game GTL used a 2nd inning grand slam by Mike Bowlin to put up a 12 spot and GTL ran away with a 40-25 run rule in 6 innings.
The Windy City tournament teams were classified as follows: 3 – Major, 6 – ‘A’, 6 – ‘B’, 5 – ‘C’, 15 – ‘D’ 16 of the teams were from Conference USSSA.
GTL was paced by Co-MVP’s Matt Pesso (23-28, .821 onbase percentage) and pitcher Geno Buck (26-34, 8 HR, 25 RBI, .765 onbase percentage). Matt Pesso’s defense was also an incred¬ible show of speed, agility, and aggressive anticipation from his middle infield position. Matt and the GTL defense is what has pushed them to an even level with perennial softball power Resmondo.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World's Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!