The balls were flying at the fourth tournament on the USSSA Conference schedule in St. Louis, Missouri! This Major NIT was called the “Gateway City Classic” and was also a cancer benefit tournament for the late Mike Turney. The top two ranked teams Resmondo and Dan Smith both wore pink colored jersey’s which they then autographed and sold on Ebay to raise over $1,000 for charity. The Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex where the tournament was played had 5 diamonds with 310 foot fences. The tournament was delayed Saturday morning by rain and finished in the late afternoon on Sunday. There were 18 teams representing 9 states.
Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth won 3 straight games on Sunday including 2 wins over Bud Light/Tps/Linedrive/Sports55 in the finals to take the tournament championship. After losing to Bud Light 45-40 on Saturday night in the winner’s bracket finals, Resmondo went on to beat arch rival Dan Smith-Menosse-Benfield-Combat 37-26 and then Bud Light 41-23 and 37-15. Resmondo notched their first tournament win of the season and were led by MVP Bryson Baker who went 30-35 .857 with 4 HR’s and 30 runs scored. Bryson also did some relief pitching in addition to his normal middle infield responsibilities. Slugger Jeff Wallace led the tournament in HR’s with 16. Defensive MVP also went to Resmondo shortstop Don Dedonatis Jr. who may be the best in softball history at popping up after making a diving stop and throwing a runner out.
Second Place went to class “A” Conference team Bud Light/ Tps/Linedrive/Sports55 who did the unthinkable – they beat perennial Major powers Dan Smith 38-35 and Resmondo 45-30 in back to back games! Bud Light was led by the 10th batter in their lineup, offensive MVP Jason Crain. Crain was 15-18 .833 with 9 walks. In the winner’s final against Resmondo, Jason was 4-4 with a HR and 2 walks. Bud Light newcomer’s Joe Gordon and Tyler Beurlein were offensive machines in this tournament as well.
Third Place went to Dan Smith-Menosse-Benfield-Combat who scored a lot of runs and lost some close games. Dan Smith was led by centerfielder Rick Baker, leadoff hitter Brian Wegman, and left handed power hitter Brett Helmer.
The Fourth Place finisher was a “B” team out of Arkansas called Fence Brokers/Illustrated Sportswear who scored some nice wins over TCP, EWS, and Classic Glass after losing to hometown Conference team Hubs Pub in their first game. Veteran upper level player Brent Gigerich and hard hitting Tim Bowser made the all tournament team.
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!