2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Hall of Fame Classic Dual
Sports Reach pitcher Dan Sanchez gives his team the lead in the top of the 8th, igniting a 14 run inning in the winner's bracket finals against SNI!
Dan Sanchez hits another clutch homer in the Dual #1 Championship game against Proton.
Sports Reach became the 1st 'AA' team in Conference history to win a Hall of Fame Dual tournament!
The previous 25 Dual tournaments were won by Major teams.
HOF Dual #1 (4/8 – 4/9)
The USSSA Hall of Fame Classic Dual tournament was held at the Space Coast Stadium Complex in Viera, Florida and all of the 140 games were held on the 5 all turf baseball fields with their 325-365-385-365-325 dimensions. 35 teams participated and 34 of them were from the Nationwide Conference USSSA league so every win meant bigger points towards the season long championship. The weather was in the low 80's for a high and was great except for 3 short lightning delays on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and players and pitchers did have to battle the wind some as they always do in April in Florida.
In the 1st Dual tournament which started at 8 am Thursday morning and ended Friday evening there was almost a "March Madness" sort of upset feeling in the air. In the play in games WM Roofing/Revolution Athletics a new Ohio 'B' team beat Statewide/SMC/BKB a new North Carolina 'B' team 12-11 in the stadium when WM Roofing who plays a 4 man outfield scored 5 runs in the top of the 7th. GTF a black American circuit team new to the Conference and run by Bryce Johnson beat a non Conference 'B' team called Young Guns 9-1. Young Guns was the 2020 USSSA 'C' World champions. And ABEYTU'/Salt Riot (UT-B) with veteran Duane Crisler as a player/manager beat GSP/Tri-State Services (WY-B) 23-3 in just 4 innings and hit just 2 home runs in the game. The scores for both tournaments were down as the new bat testing standard of 240 compression was put into play this year and the wind blew in or across on 4 of the 5 baseball fields most of the 4 days. The used the stadium zn ball.
In the "round of 32" there weren't a whole lot of upsets as the higher seeds won most of the games. Premier/BAF/Easton (OH-A) beat L & S Glass 11-10 when veteran slugger Cory Boothe hit a walk off homer after L&S blanked in the 6th and 7th innings. Again there were just 3 home runs hit in the game between the two teams. Precision/3rd St./Red Athlete/Pure (IL-AA) handled Cheap Suits/Republic Realty/Express (CA-B) 17-8. Classic Glass/Easton (CA-A) scored 3 in the top of the 7th to beat Levels (CO-A) 9-7 as Sal Formosa and Marc Wik hit home runs and Sal Formosa went 4-4. The new Proton/Sonnys Major team out homered the new Thunder/Chosen/Competitive Edge/SOG (TX-B) team 6-2 and won 15-7. Baugh Ford (AL-A) beat Chick-fil-A/BAF Sports from Virginia who moved up to 'A' this year 22-10. Resmondo/Menosse/Thunder/AA/SIS/RDD the defending Major World Series champions beat WM Roofing 16-5 in the stadium holding them to just 10 hits over 7 innings. SNI/Thunder/Chosen/DeMarini (FL-AA) beat the new Texas 'A' team Envy/Lifetime Diamonds/Legendary 13-2 in a game that was 2-0 going into the top of the 5th inning. Albicocco/Riot/Klutch/Broughton (FL-AA) topped MAJ/Knell/Dirty Sports/DTS/DOMN8 (WA-A) 15-9 scoring 8 runs in the 3rd. Westpoint Softball (IN-A) beat Slugger/SVC/Atrium (OH-A) 13-6 in a bit of a grudge match since the two teams are from the same region of the country and have players that swapped teams this year. Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken/Worth (MN-AA) spoiled Nightmare/Benefit the Badge/Mikens return to the Conference 14-7. MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics (NJ-M) who stepped up to the Major division this year struggled past a feisty GTF team 19-11. In a battle of 'A' teams Seminoles/TPS/NACSF.inc (OK-A) knocked off PrimeTime Easton/F.A.I/RIOT (GA-A) 23-9 as Justin Beal hit 2 home runs and collected 7 RBI. CompetitiveEdge/OlmitoHeat/Adiktiv (FL-A) beat S & E ENTERPRISE/WORSHAM (NC-A) 17-15 after S&E scored 11 runs in the 2nd inning. Brandon Jackson went 4-4 in the win. Bay Area Legends/Easton (CA-A) missing 5 starters beat the new conference 'A' team Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals (NJ-A) 17-16 in a great game over on Red Rawlings with the wind blowing in. Juno is the team that won the 2020 USSSA 'B' Worlds. And Sports Reach/Worth/CT/Grizzy (KY-AA) who won the 2020 'A' Worlds and moved up to 'AA' knocked off Cornerstone/LSR/Midstate/Suncoast (KY-A) 18-7 as pitcher Dan Sanchez went 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI.
In the "Round of 16" the higher seeds again prevailed as Precision beat Premier 7-6 with the wind blowing in. Shortstop Heath Barnes made an incredible diving play in the 5-6 hole in the 6th inning to preserve the win. Proton in the stadium held off Classic Glass 25-24 with the aid of a tough catch/no catch call that went against Classic Glass. Resmondo smoked Baugh Ford 25-0 in the stadium and SNI/Thunder beat Albicocco 21-11 over on Red Marucci with the wind blowing in. Xtreme put up the highest score of the tournament scoring 31 to beat Westpoint. MPT Rentals run ruled Seminoles 24-9 as Ryan Harvey went 4-5 with 3 HR and 6 RBI. Sports Reach held Bay Area to just 4 runs in a 14-4 victory as leadoff hitter Robert Blackburn went 4 for 4. And in the 1st real upset of the tournament Competitive Edge knocked off #2 seeded SmashitSports (the Major team) 11-9 holding SIS scoreless in the top of the 6th and 7th. The veteran pitcher Donald "Buckshot" Plaisance not only pitched a great game but he was 3 for 3 at the plate with a triple!
In the "Round of 8" which was all played back to back in the stadium with the wind blowing in or swirling for the most part, Proton run ruled Precision 23-6. Precision just did not have the offense this week. SNI/Thunder held down Resmondo with some great defense and beat them 24-12. Xtreme upset MPT Rentals 19-11 as their new lefty power hitter Ryan Honeycutt hit 2 big home runs and Shannon Smith got an inside the parker known as a "little league homer". 🙂 And Sports Reach scored 6 in the top of the 7th to separate and beat Competitive Edge 19-13 even though they out hit Comp Edge 24-13.
In the semifinals on Friday morning Sports Reach scored 8 in the top of the 6th on a "no doubter" homer by Dan Sanchez. In the bottom of the 6th Xtreme answered with 5 runs as Brandon Hooks had a bases loaded pinch hit 2 run single. Then in the top of the 7th Sports Reach scored 3 on a 2 run homer by Ira Brown and a solo by Chris Scott and held on to win by 1 run 15-14 even though Xtremes Steve Whaley hit an inside the park homer. Ira Brown was 4-4 in the win. In the other semifinal SNI/Thunder put up 7 runs in the 2nd inning all with 2 outs and their outfield defense of Colin Baartman robbing homers in left field and center fielder Brian Zirkle closing the gaps shut down Proton for an 11-5 win.
In the winner's final Friday afternoon Sports Reach went up 11-2 on SNI/Thunder going into the bottom of the 4th when SNI's Austyn Dawe hit a backside 3 run homer to cut the lead to 3. Then in the bottom of the 7th Jason Branch hit a clutch 2 out homer to right center field to tie the game at 11 and they went to extra innings. In extra innings SNI had burned their starting pitcher Brandon Jonas by pinch hitting for him a 2nd time and backup Dawe allowed too many walks and Sports Reach went on an adrenaline fueled 14 run top of the 8th to win 25-15.
The loser's bracket on Thursday night and Friday was a war of attrition as Resmondo knocked off Seminoles, SmashItSports by the run rule 24-9, and Xtreme to finish 4th. And Proton beat Resmondo 23-12 and SNI/Thunder 19-12 to get back to Sports Reach in the championship. In the final game Proton scored 9 runs in the top of the 1st inning on zero homers but Sports Reach trailing 16-9 going into the bottom of the 6th put up what may have been the biggest inning of Dual #1 as they scored 15 runs to go up 24-16 and they pulled off the comeback with a 24-17 win. They are the 1st 'AA' team in the history of the HOF Dual to win a dual tournament in Florida. Sports Reach scored all of those runs on just 2 homers. Ira Brown was 4-5, Chris Scott was 4-4, and Defensive MVP CF Mitch Lendenski was 4-5 in the win.
Sunday morning Dual #2 Resmondo in the red takes on Proton in the blue
HOF Dual #2 (4/9 – 4/11)
Dual #2 began as Dual #1 was ending and started on Friday night where Westpoint beat Competitive Edge by 21 runs as Jess Maloney knocked in 5. Xtreme put up the highest score of the tournament again as they beat Cheap Suits 41-13. A fresh S&E Enterprise team 20 run ruled Nightmare. Primetime, MPT Rentals, Resmondo, and Premier all advanced with low scoring wins. Thunder/Chosen the young Texas 'B' team upset Precision 14-5 as Precisions offensive woes continued. Sports Reach won a high scoring game over Chick-fil-a and Bay Area escaped a 29-27 win over MAJ. Albicocco defeated Seminoles on a walk off single by Ricardo Lizcano 15-14. SNI beat Slugger/SVC 27-20. SmashItSports Major team just got by WM Roofing and their 4 man outfield 12-8. Cornerstone beat Baugh Ford 14-4. Proton run ruled GSP 28-13. And in the battle of Northern California 'A' teams L&S Glass beat Classic Glass 35-13.
In the "Round of 16" Xtreme and MPT Rentals advanced in low scoring wins as the wind blew mostly in on 4 of the 5 fields. S&E Enterprises upset Resmondo 21-14 in the stadium. Sports Reach shut down Bay Area Legends 14-4. Thunder/Chosen beat Premier on a walk off homer by Nicholas Perez in the bottom of the 8th. Rocha from L&S Glass hit a 2 run homer to tie Proton in the top of the 7th only to be walked off by Bryson Baker in the bottom of the 7th. Smash It Sports separated late to beat an upset minded Cornerstone team 19-12. And SNI/Thunder won a pillow fight over Albicocco 10-6 when Austyn Dawe hit a walk off back side grand slam with the wind blowing straight in on Red Marucci.
In the quarterfinals up on the stadium MPT Rentals beat Xtreme 21-12 (condensed game will be out soon). S&E Enterprises shut down a tired Sports Reach team 14-3 out homering them 3-0. Proton beat Thunder/Chosen 24-21 when Proton scored 14 runs in the top of the 6th. And SmashItSports run ruled Albicocco 16-1 to advance to the semifinals.
In the semifinals Ryan Harvey hit 2 grand slams in MPT's 13 run 3rd inning to go up 17-2 against S&E Worshams and won easily 25-2. And SmashItSports beat Proton 26-19.
In the winner's final SmashItSports beat MPT Rentals 23-14 out powering them and out defensing them throughout the game. In the middle of the game a middle war broke out where the MPT pitcher Mike Nino snapped off a hard shot and waved his finger as if to say, "the middles closed". SmashIt didn't like it and said something to Nino and Nino crossed the 1st base chalk line which should have been an automatic ejection. Instead the benches cleared, social distancing was not observed, and lots of spittle flew into the faces of the angry mob…but no punches were thrown (as usual).
In the loser's bracket it was all Resmondo starting at 2 pm eastern time on Saturday they beat Envy, Competitive Edge, Thunder/Chosen, SNI/Thunder, and Kyle Pearson hit a walk off homer to beat S&E Worsham 31-30 well after midnight. At 8 AM the wind died and they were back in the stadium surviving a 9 run Proton 2nd inning and they took advantage of 4 Proton miscues in the 4th inning to score 17 runs and go up 31-22 and win 43-26. In the loser's bracket finals the wind blew out to right at 10 mph and the Resmondo offense was in full juggernaut mode scoring 20 runs in the 2nd to go up 36-4 against MPT Rentals prompting someone from MPT to say "we just need 40 on 2, we got this"…lol
In the Championship Resmondo got out to a 6-4 lead even though SmashItSports hit 4 straight homers to start the game. Then after a lightning delay of 30 minutes the wind blew straight out and Resmondo scored 11 runs in the top of the 2nd to go up 17-4 before a 2nd lightning delay and subsequent storm ended the day with the two teams agreeing to split the 1st and 2nd place points.
The Dual #2 Championship was split between Resmondo and Smash It Sports when a second lightning delay and than a huge rain storm washed out the finals.
Resmondo led the 1st game 17-4 and looked like they might force an "if" game.
35 Teams Overall
34 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
5 'AA' Teams
17 'A' Teams
8 'B' Teams
Xtreme takes on Sports Reach in the semi finals
SNI's Jason Branch hits a clutch homer to RC against Sports Reach with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th to tie.
SNI Pitcher Brandon Jonas knocked down a liner then dove and pushed it to 2nd for a force play
SNI CF Brian Zirkle lays out for one!
SNI's Brian Zirkle homer's just out of the reach of Proton LF Joe Joe Bennett
SNI's Colin Baartman makes a spectacular catch
The agony of defeat as MPT CF Donald Hollingsworth laid out for a Shannon Smith liner and injured his shoulder leading to an inside the park homer.
Play the best!
Josh Riley makes it a 30 run lead against MPT
Resmondo's offense crushed many a team in the loser's bracket.
Besides the upsets and Sports Reach winning dual #1, the talk of the tournament was the new Conference 'B' team WM Roofing. They play a 4 man outfield and won 7 games including a victory over Sports Reach. They also went 7 innings with both Resmondo and Smash It Sports and lost to Albicocco by 1. They allowed just 117 runs in 11 games. That's 10 runs a game.
Hall of Fame Classic Major Final Standings and Awards
Dual #1 MVP – Dan Sanchez from Sports Reach
Dual #1 Defensive MVP – CF Mitch Lendenski
Proton's Joe Joe Bennett was Offensive MVP of Dual #1