2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Brooklyn Center, MN
Dan Smith slugger Argen Dodds hits a seed up the middle against Premier in the winner's bracket finals!
Team Breakdown: 20 Teams Overall 10 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams 1 Major Teams 2 'AA' Teams 9 'A' Teams 3 'B' Teams 5 'C' Teams
Friday Night and the "Round of 16"
The local teams playing Friday night drew some fans.
The 38th Dudley Budweiser Xtreme Major returned to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota outside of Minneapolis after a year hiatus in 2020 due to Covid 19 restrictions in the state. There were 20 teams from 13 different states including a team from Alaska! The tournament was played at 2 different parks with 2 fields each and started at 5 PM on Friday with the "play in" games. JEC/P5Sports/Kevitt a good Minnesota non-conference 'B' team beat SilverbackSports (MN-C) 18-13. Comatose/S2N/Subway (WI-B) made quick work of Minnesota Maniax/H Auto/Easton 17-1. Apex (IA-A) beat S2S a 'C' team from Alaska 8-3 as it became evident that home runs would not necessarily be easy to hit on the 310 foot fences with the Dudley Pro-M ball and the 240 compression tested bats. And Stoop/Schmidt Roofing/Miken (MN-C) beat Drip City/S2N (IA-C) 19-3.
Evergreen Park hosted 2 games Friday and 6 games Saturday.
In the "Round of 16" over at Evergreen Park Jimmy Ward went 3-3 as Premier/BAF/Easton scored 13 in the 2nd and 14 in the 3rd inning to beat Meirtran/Compressor Services/TBS (IL-B) 29-8.
Nightmare/Benefit the Badge/Miken (MO-A) with Buckshot on the mound jumped out to an 8-1 lead on T's 13 (NE-A). T's fought back to tie it mid game but a 3 run homer in the top of the 6th by Nightmare's McGhee was the difference as they won 28-21.
Primetime Easton/F.A.I./Riot (GA-A) came from behind to beat Comatose 14-11 as Mike Williams and Rod Armour set up a Chris Potts walk off homer.
In the "Battle of Minnesota" Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken/Worth (MN-AA) scored 15 runs on 6 homer's in the bottom of the 4th against JEC to go up 32-17 and win 35-22. Many of the JEC players have played for Xtreme at one point or another in their softball careers so it was a bit of a grudge match.
Baugh Ford/GRZY (AL-A) was tied with J&R Logistics/Mayhem (AR-A) late in the game 16-16 but pulled out a 3 run win getting a double play to end the game.
And in the nightcap, Chanticlear Pizza/Monsta (MN-A) and Precision/3rd Street/Red Athlete/Pure (IL-AA) were tied 13-13 mid-game when Heath Barnes hit a grand slam to give Precision a 27-22 lead in the top of the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th Jeff Flood, the middle man for Precision almost turned a triple play and Precision got some great defense from Wright at 3rd base on a full diver and SS Barnes made a leaping catch to hold Chanticlear in check. But in the bottom of the 7th Chanticlear walked Precision down and won on a walk-off homer by veteran slugger Geno Buck to win 30-29!
In another "Round of 16," action #1 seed Dan Smith/Proton (AZ-M) beat Stoop 32-15 scoring 8 runs in the 2nd and 15 in the 3rd. Phil Matte and Jason Matusik were each 4 for 4 with 2 HR. And Competitive Edge/Olmito Heat/Adiktiv (FL-A) scored 13 runs in the bottom of the 5th to separate from Apex to go up 24-12 and they went on to win 30-14. Logan Rogers, Josh Moore, Brandon Jackson, Keith McCormack, and James DeLaGarza all had 4 hits in the win.
"Round of 8"
The "Round of 8" was played on Saturday morning at the main complex Centennial Park with 2 games at 9:30 AM and 2 at 11 AM as the heat and humidity that began the tournament on Friday night gave way to a beautiful and cooler Saturday. Geno Buck and Chanticlear Pizza who had knocked off the 'AA' team Precision Friday night scored 10 runs in the top of the 4th against Xtreme to go up 26-19 and they held a 34-30 lead after 6 innings. In the 7th Chanticlear added to their lead and wound up beating Xtreme 37-32!
PrimeTime scored 11 runs on 5 homers against Premier in the top of the 1st. Premier answered with 10 runs on just one homer in the bottom of the 1st. In the top of the 7th after putting up zeroes in the 5th and 6th Primetime hit a few homer's to close to within 17-16 but lost by one. Clay Norton and Bryan Dunson had 3 hits each for Premier. Jarvis Riggins was 4-4 for Primetime in the loss.
In another "Round of 8" action Competitive Edge jumped out to 7-1 and 16-6 leads on Nightmare and Nightmare didn't score down the stretch as Comp Edge won 21-6 in 5 innings. Josh Moore was 4-4 with 4 RBI in the victory. And Dan Smith rolled through Baugh Ford 35-13 scoring 9 in the 2nd, 10 in the 4th, and 10 more in the 5th to win by the run rule. Phil Matte had 8 RBI, Jon Nelson 7, and Tyrell Jenkins 7 while Josh Kirsten went 5-5 in the win.
In the semifinals, Competitive Edge jumped out to a 7-2 lead after one inning but managed just 1 run over the next 3 innings while Dan Smith scored 15 in the top of the 3rd and cruised to a 28-13 victory as RF Tyrell Jenkins had a key assist and pitcher Lex Ramirez did his best Bill Pinkham impression fielding the middle. Joe Joe Bennett (pictured above) and Phil Matte were each 5-5 in the win, Bennett had 8 RBI.
And over on Centennial South field with the wind blowing in Premier broke open a 9-9 tie with Chanticlear in the top of the 6th with a 5 run inning and held on to win 15-10. They out homered Chanticlear 4-1 and Clay Norton pictured above was 3-4 in the win and Alex Hovey pictured above was 2-2 with 2 walks in the loss.
Premier pitcher Rocky Staton tries a kick save vs Dan Smith.
In the winner's bracket championship on Saturday night Dan Smith took control early with 6 runs in the bottom of the 1st and 12 more in the bottom of the 2nd while Premier would get base runners on but couldn't hit homer's to cash them in. And the Premier outfield defense just barely missed making 3 great plays on the fence. Dan Smith continued the offensive pressure scoring at least 4 runs in each inning and going on to win 32-16 out homering Premier 12-4. Spaulding, Matte, Bennett, Dodds, and Rettenmeier all had 4 hits in the win.
Earlier in the day tournament director, Warner Bellm decided that with heavy rains being forecasted for Sunday morning that they would finish the tournament Saturday night which they did.
Premier LF Clay Norton loses the ball over the fence.
In the loser's bracket Primetime beat Precision 12-8 and then Xtreme 14-10 before Competitive Edge sent them home 18-12 to win the bottom of the loser's bracket.
JEC pitcher Craig Arndt gets the out by tossing the ball from his glove against Nightmare.
In the top of the loser's bracket, JEC beat S2S Ravens, Baugh Ford, and Nightmare before losing to rival Chanticlear Pizza 17-14.
And Competitive Edge scored 7 in the 5th and 8 in the top of the 7th to beat Chanticlear 25-15 as Tyler Ervine went 5-5. They out homered Chanticlear 7-4 although the father-son tandem of Geno Buck and Ty Buck went 7-11 with 3 homers and 9 RBI in the loss.
In the loser's final Premier led Competitive Edge 13-7 going into the bottom of the 3rd but Competitive Edge outscored Premier 12-2 the rest of the way and won 19-15 to advance to the championship against Dan Smith.
Bennett makes a "Willie Mays" catch in the championship.
In the championship game Competitive Edge put up an early fight scoring 8 in the top of the 2nd to go up 9-4 but Dan Smith answered with 14 runs in the bottom of the 2nd and blanked Competitive Edge in the 3rd and 4th innings to win 29-9. The game ended after 1 AM Central time. Phil Matte and Argen Dodds who were Co-MVP's of the tournament each went 5-5 in the final game and they out homered Competitive Edge as a team 12-3. It is Dan Smith's 2nd tournament win of the season and second in a row as they lead the Conference in average points earned per tournament.
Dudley Pro-M ball.
240 bat compression testing by UIC Mark Dallenbach and his helper Dan Pfeffer.
Long Bombers of the Week
Tyler Ervine gets the long bomber of the week. Dodds, Matte, Migues, and Spaulding were among the honorable mentions.
Dudley Major Final Standings and Awards
Phil Matte and Argen Dodds were Co-MVP's for Dan Smith
Dan Smith pitcher Alexis Ramirez was the Defensive MVP
Competitive Edge 1st Baseman Cody Roton was Offensive MVP
Team by team notes:
1st Place – Dan Smith/Proton
Conf 'M' from AZ 5-0 Record
Dan Smith continues to roll now turning 2nd places early in the year into tournament wins in Chicago and now the Dudley. Pitcher Bill Pinkham left the team leaving Lex Ramirez to pitch the whole weekend and he did a nice job and also got a few key hits. Phil Matte led the team with 10 HR, 25 RBI, and an .875 on base percentage. Argen Dodds was on .850 and Jordan Spaulding, Josh Kirsten, and Brett Rettenmeier were all over .700. Dan Smith is not picking up Rod Armour according to my sources and they actually want Pinkham to return to the team.
Matusik made a number of slap tag plays. Nelson had 20 RBI.
Kirsten tracks another one down and Dan Smith picked up outfielder Tyler Beuerlein who played Conference with Canes, Bud Light, GTL, Line drive, and 4 The Fallen in 2008 through 2012 but hasn't been seen in the softball arena since.
Tyrell gunned another runner. And Jeff Snow continues to produce when called upon.
Spaulding had a large number of grounders hit his way in this tournament and made plays on them all. Rettenmeier is on an extra bases tear.
2nd Place – Competitive Edge/Olmito Heat/Adiktiv
Conf 'A' from FL 5-2 Record
Competitive Edge went 5-0 against 'A' teams at the Dudley and only lost to Dan Smith twice. They played without LC Watson and their new pickup Faron Miller. Cody Roton was .783 and Tyler Ervine .704 for the weekend. Ervine had 9 HR and 20 RBI. The team doesn't give up and can go on big runs offensively. Sponsor Mark Patterson who wasn't there will be proud.
1B Roton, 2B Ervine, MI Moore, SS Rogers
James DeLaGarza knocks down a liner and finishes the play.
3rd Place – Premier/BAF/Easton
Conf 'A' from OH 3-2 Record
Premier only averaged 5 home runs per game but managed to get to the winner's final undefeated. They may be the shortest team in Conference history as well, but they have heart and they can cover some ground defensively. Jordan Rosenbalm led the team at .692 along with Joe Horsley .692 and Clay Norton, Cory Boothe, Brad Bruns, and Rosenbalm all hit 4 HR.
Rocky Staton has a lot of wins at the Dudley in recent years.
Joe Horsley and Cody Angus were all tournament along with Jordan Rosenbalm
Steve Hendrickson came out of nowhere to make this catch on the fence.
4th Place – Chanticlear/Monsta
'A' from MN 3-2 Record
Chanticlear Pizza had those two incredible wins over 'AA' teams Precision and Xtreme to start the tournament then "validated" those wins in the loser's bracket with a win over JEC to finish 4th. They have a good mix of veterans, former conference players, and new talent put together by Kevin Zenk and it will be interesting to see them at the USSSA 'A' Worlds this year.
Ty Buck is Geno's son.
Chaun Demars gets a pinch hit single
Tied 5th Place – JEC/P5Sports/Kevitt
'B' from MN 4-2 Record
JEC had another good Conference tournament beating Baugh Ford and Nightmare and proving once again that home town teams usually play a class or two above their rank.
JEC picked up former Xtreme 1st baseman Alex Bremer.
Pat O'Connell and Scotty O'Neil managing JEC
Tied 5th Place – PrimeTime Easton/F.A.I./Riot
Conf 'A' from GA 3-2 Record
Primetime is chasing conference points but came up short. They did play some close games like the win over Comatose and the big upset over Xtreme. Rod Armour is staying with Primetime according to my sources and will not be going to Dan Smith.
Campbell and Snell
Rod Armour pitching and their new pickup Marieo Foster
Tied 7th Place – Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken/Worth
Conf 'AA' from MN 2-2 Record
Anninos in center field tracks one down. He also had a .900 on base percentage.
Xtreme was expected to push Dan Smith for the Dudley championship but instead were upset twice by 'A' teams. They continue to try to figure things out with roster and lineup changes but nothing seems to get them over the hump.
Shannon Smith and Pat Ellwanger were .750 for the weekend and Steve Whaley was .824 without hitting any homers!
Xtreme had a huge cheering section.
Tied 7th Place – Nightmare/Benefit the Badge/Miken
Conf 'A' from MO 2-2 Record
Nightmare had a solid win over a good T's 13 team that just wouldn't go away Friday night over at Evergreen fields. Then on Saturday they didn't score against Competitve Edge who beat them 21-6. In the loser's bracket they beat Comatose 16-13 before JEC sent them home 25-22.