2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Kut4 Sports Atlanta Major
S&E's Brian Renner adds to their lead in the winner's final Saturday night vs Sports Reach!
Team Breakdown: 30 Teams Overall 16 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams 0 Major Teams 3 'AA' Teams 8 'A' Teams 8 'B' Teams 11 'C/D/E' Teams
The Kut4Sports Atlanta Major started with 30 teams on Friday night under cooler conditions and threatening rain at 5 PM on 5-300 foot fields. The Conference had 15 teams in the tournament and local NWO/Mayhem a Georgia 'B' team (pictured above) jumped out quickly to a 25-5 lead on Conference 'B' team LSR from Indiana and beat them convincingly 34-16. GTF a Conference 'B' team from Florida was run ruled 19-4 by Georgia 'D' team Top Shelf which is some of the Exit 47 guys somehow playing 'D'? Baugh Ford (AL-A), Chick-fil-A (VA-A), Statewide (NC-B), Competitive Edge (FL-A), Albicocco (FL-AA), Slugger/SVC (OH-A), S&E/Friendlys/Worsham (NC-A), Precision (IL-AA), and Westpoint (IN-A) all won by huge run rule margins over local/regional lower class teams. In the Statewide vs Prestige game Thomas Schmid was 4-4 with a HR and 7 RBI. In the Comp Edge vs Carolina Mud Dawgs game Rogers, Cobb, McCormack, Roton, and Farmer were all perfect at the plate. Cornerstone the KY-A Conference team had a nice 30-21 win over a very good Kut4Sports Georgia 'B' team after going up 18-5 early in the game. And #1 seeded Sports Reach and #2 seeded Primetime had byes to the "Round of 16".
(Above) GSP's new pickup Adam Rockoff who is a former Conference batting title winner who hadn't played in 4.5 years singles against RedSkull (GA-E) Friday night. RedSkull was winning this game 16-8 going into the bottom of the 4th when GSP scored 10 runs in the 4th and 11 more in the 6th to win 33-23. Rockoff was 5-5 with a homer in his return to softball and Sean Robinson, Tyler Armstrong, and Todd Cabrera each had 5 RBI.
During the last round of games Friday night a big rain storm made the fields unplayable and games were postponed until Saturday morning at 8 AM.
"Round of 16"
Cornerstones Jeff Daup singles up the middle vs Competitive Edge
On Saturday morning in the "Round of 16" Competitive Edge and their newly acquired pitcher LC Watson held down Cornerstone in a 26-11 win. Lead off hitter Logan Rogers and Taylor Cobb were each 4-4 and they out homered Cornerstone 10-5. The fields were damp but playable and the air on Saturday had no humidity and was 58 to 72 degrees so the ball flew unless you had the 12 mph wind blowing in.
In a battle of two 'A' teams that desperately needed a win Chick-fil-a jumped out to a big lead against Baugh Ford. Baugh came back but then some errors and a blown "pickle" led to an Aaron Stidham 3 run homer (pictured above) and Chick-fil-a won 38-24.
Prime Time had a nice back and forth battle with 50/50 a Georgia 'B' team who's pitcher Ian Sidebottom had never lost a tournament in Conference play as he won the Cajun a few years ago for Baugh Ford. But Primetime came back and held on to win 26-24 even though 50/50 had plenty of home runs left.
Statewides Randall Poplin hits against GSP.
GSP beat Statewide on the power of Kody Garrison 21-18 as Garrison went 4-4 with 3 HR and 7 RBI and Westy Guill went 5-5 with 4 runs scored.
Precision pictured in the field above against Westpoint had a big 37-17 lead going into the 7th and won 39-25. And in other "Round of 16" action S&E Friendlys run ruled Slugger/SVC easily 39-19. Albicocco run ruled Top Shelf 30-15. And Sports Reach led NWO 19-0 early on and fought off an NWO comeback to win 25-19 as Robert Blackburn, Ira Brown, and Tre Porter all collected 4 hits.
"Round of 8"
Albicoccos Jeff Bloomer hits against S&E
The "Round of 8" in the winner's bracket played out in the late afternoon with temperatures still around 68 degrees. S&E who clearly was having the best offensive weekend of any team in the tournament jumped out to a 34-5 lead on Albicocco and won 39-19.
Emilson Marquez who was acquired by S&E when MPT released him last week had an all tournament weekend.
GSP and Competitive Edge played what may have been the best game of the tournament. Comp Edge jumped out to a 21-10 lead in the 3rd after scoring 18 runs in the inning. But GSP down 33-28 going into the bottom of the 7th got home runs from Cabrera and Smith, then a single from the last batter Pisano, a single from the lead off Zalunardo, a single from Westy Guill who was on base 6 out of 6, a double by Kody Garrison, a homer by Robison, and then 3 straight singles to end the game by Armstrong, Kautzmann, and Benfield (pictured above) to win the game!
Precision came from behind late against Prime Time and won on a clutch walk off single by Mark Blaziewske pictured above. The score on the bracket says 32-26 but I thought it was a 1 run game?
In the semifinals played early Saturday evening Precision scored just 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning knowing S&E's offense was going to score a lot of runs with the wind blowing out to right field. S&E batted around in the bottom of the 1st and left Precision on the field in the 4th with a 28-7 mercy rule victory.
In the 2nd semifinal which was played under the lights and was a marathon game, GSP took an impressive 34-28 lead into the 6th after holding Sports Reach scoreless in the top of the 5th. But Sports Reach scored 16 runs in the top of the 6th after GSP made some untimely errors and 3 more in the 7th and held GSP scoreless in the 6th and 7th to win 47-34. Robert Blackburn was 6-6 in the lead off spot for Sports Reach and Brady Stewart had 9 RBI.
The winner's final was played late on Saturday night and the S&E offensive machine was in full gear as they scored and got out to a 24-7 lead and won by the 20 run mercy rule in 4 innings 30-8! Kendall Welborn, Joey Kampfer, and Matt Lloyd were all 4 for 4 in the win. S&E on the day run ruled 'AA' teams Albicocco, Precision, and Sports Reach and none of the games were ever close.
In the loser's bracket GTF, Westpoint, and Chick-fil-a all won a game or two before being beat by the next team and Precision advanced to Sunday by winning that top of the loser's bracket with a 33-13 winover Chick Fil A well after midnight. In the lower half of the loser's bracket Statewide and Baugh Ford mad some nice runs before Primetime and Albicocco ended them and Primetime wound up beating Albicocco 41-38 at 4 AM in the morning. It was uncomfortably cold at the park from about 10 PM on with a chilly wind blowing.
On Sunday morning with little to no sleep Primetime jumped out to a 15-4 lead on Precision going into the top fo the 6th where Precision scored 10 runs to close to within one. Then Brent Snell came off the bench for Primetime and hit a 3 run pinch hit homer and Prime Time never looked back winning 23-14.
In the loser's final Sports Reach scored the first 20 runs of the game against Primetime and won 26-1 in 4 innings. Zach Watts hit a grand slam in the 2nd for Sports Reach and Ira Brown was 4-4 against his old team.
Sports Reach right fielder Zach Watts hits one past S&E shortstop Joel Sanchez which isn't easy to do.
Sports Reach pitcher Dan Sanchez stabs a big liner in the 1st championship game.
The Championship game was a great one as you can see by the box score below. Sports Reach scored 11 runs in the 6th and 7th to comeback but still needed some great defense by Dan Sanchez and Aaron Miller and two homer's for outs to win 38-37 and force the "if" necessary game of the double elimination tournament.
Mitch Lendenski was 7-8 in the championship games for Sports Reach.
Robert Blackburn hit a clutch grand slam in Sports Reach's comeback against S&E.
The "if" game
In the "if" game it was all S&E as they scored the 1st 18 runs of the game and cruised to a 22-1 4 inning victory winning their 1st tournament of the season!
S&E's Justin Gregory ends the "if" game with a walk off run rule homer!
Long Bombers of the Week
Heath Barnes who hit 12 homers between 300 and 305 feet is our long bomber of the week! lol He has been on a home run streak the last two tournaments hitting more in those tournaments then he did in entire conference seasons in the past.
Brian Renner, Dan Sanchez, and Joel Sanchez probably had the longest that I can remember.
Atlanta Major Final Standings and Awards
S&E Pitcher Brian Renner was tournament MVP
S&E right fielder Peter Seiden was Defensive MVP getting 3 key assists
Sports Reach 3rd baseman Brady Stewart was Offensive MVP
Team by team notes:
1st Place – S & E/Friendlys Trans/Worsham
Conf 'A' from NC 6-1 Record
S&E dominated offensively in all 5 of their games against 'AA' teams and their defense anchored by middle man Tyler Wiles, shortstop Joel Sanchez, and right fielder Peter Seiden is really good also. They played without center fielder Bill Cullen, Jeff Snow was released to go to Dan Smith, and they picked up Emilson Marquez who played well but wasn't available to play Sunday. The team just scored at will, line drives, home runs, whatever was needed.
1B Edmund Locklear and 3B Kendall Welborn
OF Joseph Kampfer and OF Matthew Lloyd
Joel Sanchez hits a bomb
Racobaldo and Wiles (all my other Wiles pictures came out blurry)
Cory Franklin and Kenneth Cain
Elvin Herring and Steve Hildebran have built a juggernaut
2nd Place – Sports Reach/Worth/CT/Grizzy
Conf 'AA' from KY 5-2 Record
Sports Reach played well and were the favorites to win the tournament but had two really bad games offensively against S&E. They did not compete well in those two games so I am sure there is some soul searching going on there when they get down by double digits early.
Ira Brown continues to rack up the all tournament awards
Sports Reach left fielder Jason Gilfillan was 2-0 as a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals in 2003
Shortstop Kaden Watson
Memorial Day military tribute uniforms were sweet
3rd Place – PrimeTime Easton/F.A.I./Riot
Conf 'A' from GA 5-2 Record
Prime Time always seems to play well in Georgia their home state. They played without Thornton and Ortega and were probably missing a few others but played all night long Saturday into Sunday and still had the stamina to beat Precision to finish 3rd.
P Roderick Armour, SS Nick Mitschke, LF Mike Williams
Aaron Jackson hits a long homer vs Precision
Primetime center fielder Desmond Chambers couldn't quite reach this one.
4th Place – Precision/3rd Street/Red Athlete/Pure
Conf 'AA' from IL 4-2 Record
Precisions offense still is not clicking. They played without middle infielder Jeff Keske and Brett McCollum and they have a long way to go to get back to the Precision we have always known. The good news is this is the longest season in Conference history with the most tournaments and its only the end of May…
Precision's Dave Kessler and Jeff Flood were all tournament. Kessler 26-28 .928
Billy Wright sets up the winning hit vs Primetime
Precision wore their Donnie Munford Bull Dawg Trucking tribute jerseys Saturday. Yep yep
Precision picked up veteran outfielder Kyle Cowart
3B Billy Wright, SS Heath Barnes, MI Jeff Flood
Tied 5th Place – Chick-fil-a/BAF Sports
Conf 'A' from VA 4-2 Record
Kyle Center pitching for Chick-fil-a
Chick Fil A had that nice win over Baugh Ford and played a lot of high scoring games. They are still a team that hasn't played their best softball yet this year.
Tanai Alston makes a play
Tied 5th Place – GSP/Tri-State Services/VBW
Conf 'B' from WY 3-2 Record
GSP put up a .708 on base percentage as a team in this tournament and averaged over 10 HR per game! The offense was rolling and they picked up a few more good wins over Competitive Edge and Statewide and had that big lead against Sports Reach.
GSP pitcher Corie Waldrep was hit by a line drive and may have a broken arm. I also heard the Envy pitcher early in the year had an injury that put him out. I think these are the first injuries of the year that have knocked pitchers out of tournaments which is unfortunate but the bat/ball combination is safer than the 220/Classic M's.
Tied 7th Place – Competitive Edge/OlmitoHeat/Adiktiv
Conf 'A' from FL 3-2 Record
Competitive Edge scored a lot of runs, was tripped up by GSP and definitely didn't get the top 4 finish they thought they would have. Rogers and Duby were .800+ onbase, Ervine hit 10 HR.
LC Watson returned to conference play with Comp Edge
Rogers at short and Jackson in LF
Tied 7th Place – Albicocco/Riot/Klutch/Broughton
Conf 'AA' from FL 3-2 Record
Albicocco relief pitcher Matt Chromy and middle infielder Zack Smith
Albicocco picked up Brad Lunda. They got smoked by S&E and tried to recover after beating Statewide but Primetime knocked them off at 4 AM Sunday morning.
Phillip White playing in his home state
Some more pictures for you:
Tied for 9th – Westpoint Softball (IN-A) 3-2 – Westpoint lost a long game with Precision but never gave up. In the loser's bracket they sent home GTF but lost to Chick fil a by 10.
Tied for 9th – Statewide/SMC/BKB/Klutch/Worth/Miken (NC-B) 3-2 – Statewide beat Cornerstone.
David McDowell was .667 with 5 HR. Randall Poplin used to play with T&R Stucco back in the day.
Tied for 9th – Slugger/SVC/Atrium/Pauer (OH-A) 3-2 – SVC was 3-2 averaging 31 runs per game and beat 3 of the local teams but lost 42-38 to Comp Edge.
Tied for 9th – Baugh Ford/GRZY/Klutch/ASP (AL-A) 3-2 – Baugh made too many errors vs Chick-fil-a and in the losers bracket beat Kut4 and lost by 2 to Prime Time.
Matt Brady had a .900 onbase for Baugh coming into the Atlanta Major.
Cornerstone went 2-2. Had a quality win vs Kut4Sports and beat LSR but didn't score well against Comp Edge or Statewide
GTF played better after that bad start against a local D team.
Ian Sidebottom the FiftyFifty pitcher won a Conference event at the Cajun for Baugh Ford as a pitcher a few years ago.
LSR was 2 and Q after a slow start against NWO
UIC Rob Mantlo ran a great event and Women's Conference director Clay Dickey was on hand to promote the women's game
Young Guns from Florida went 1-2 but played some good games against SVC and FiftyFifty
This is not Daniel Cayton
Chase the umpire got hit by this line drive. Umpires are a part of the field, play on!
240 bat bucket compression testing
Celebrity watch – former conference manager Billy Register who had a women's team in the event and photographer Kelly Lang
Celebrity watch – Demarini's Mike Cornell and Pure'Craig Shaw