2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
Lou Berliner Park
Smash It Sports MVP Tommy Melton hits a two out walk off homer to win the championship game over Precision
Team Breakdown: 31 Teams Overall 31 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams 4 Major Teams 6 'AA' Teams 15 'A' Teams 6 'B' Teams
Friday Night "Round of 30"
Friday night in their opener Resmondo (FL-M) using a few of their backup players could never really put Denver Stars (CO-B) away and ended up playing 7 innings in a 22-12 win. Josh Riley and Bradley Jones were each 4-4 and combined for 3 home runs in the win. It became quickly apparent that the batch of Dudley Pro-M balls used were not flying real well in the heat and humidity and home run counts and runs were down on each of the high school baseball sized fields.
Approximate Field Dimensions #14 303-330-352-352-298 #15 308-358-358-360-315 #16 300-338-358-360-300 #17 310-358-358-352-312 All other fields used are around 300-305 feet
The Columbus, Ohio Major at Lou Berliner Park this year was the Conference Championships where 31 of the top men's teams in America battled for those final Conference points to get their final seeding for the USSSA Major World Series coming up October 7-10th in Viera, Florida at the Spacecoast Stadium. The top 16 teams in the points standings were locked into the Major World Series and the other 15 teams that came to the Conference Championship were looking to be the highest finishing non qualified team so they could earn the 17th seed for the Major. The action started at 4 PM Friday night on the 4 main baseball fields (#14-17) plus one softball field #8 which was 305 feet. Premier/BAF/Easton (OH-A) broke a 3-3 tie with Bay Area Legends (CA-A) in the 6th on a lead off triple by Brad Bruns and added 3 more in the 7th on a home run by Clay Norton to win 7-3. It was the only home run in the game. At the Conference Championships the home team in each game is decided by who is the higher seeded team. Competitive Edge/Olmito Heat (FL-A) up on field #8 beat Baugh Ford/GRZ (AL-A) 30-19 scoring what may have been a tournament high 18 runs in the bottom of the 4th after trailing 15-5 and conserving their home runs. Tyler Ervine, Taylor Cobb, and Brandon Jackson each had 4 hits and "Conference Keith" McCormack had 7 RBI. Slugger/SVC/Atrium (OH-A) beat Seminoles/TPS/NACSF (OK-A) 26-16 up on field #8 after leading 20-2. Lead off hitter Frankie Andriola was 5 for 5 and three hitter Brandon Streets was 3-4 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in the win. Classic Glass (CA-A) run ruled L&S Glass (CA-A) 18-2 over on the big field #17. S&E/Friendly Trans (NC-AA) one of the favorites advanced by forfeit over Statewide (NC-B). Westpoint Softball (IN-A) upset Minnesota 'AA' Xtreme 12-4. And SNI/Thunder/Chosen/DeMarini (FL-AA) the top 'AA' team in the country run ruled Rebel/Prime Threadz (MN-B) 20-5.
In the lower half of the bracket Albicocco/Riot Sports (FL-AA) beat WM Roofing/Revolution (OH-A) 12-10 when Brad Lunda hit a 2 run homer to tie it and Andrew Vitcak a walk off homer to win it. MPT Rentals/Juno (NJ-M) jumped out to a 13-4 lead on Meirtran/Compressor (IL-B) and beat them 16-5 out homering them 7-2 as Ryan Harvey and Jon Dombrowski each had 3 hits. Nightmare/Benefit the Badge (MO-A) beat Chick-fil-a (VA-A) 18-10. Dan Smith/Proton (AZ-M) run ruled LSR (IN-B) 18-3 as Joe Joe Bennett and Nick Day each went 3 for 3. MAJ/KNELL/Dirty Sports (WA-A) beat Primetime/Easton (GA-A) 9-8 when Primetime couldn't tie it in the top of the 7th with runners on after Ty Mingle hit a two run triple to bring them within 1 run. There was only one homer by Ira Brown in the entire game. And Precision/3rd Street (IL-AA) added 5 runs in the bottom of the 6th to beat Envy/Lifetime Diamonds (TX-A) 13-9. They out homered Envy 9-3.
Cornerstone/LS (KY-A) upset Sports Reach (KY-AA) 7-5 holding Sports Reach to just one run over the last 5 innings. Jason Hatley, Bryan Bradler, and Josh Cummins each had 3 hits in the win.
"Round of 16"
The "Round of 16" was also played on Friday night under the lights as the temperatures cooled some and the scores went up a little. Smash It Sports/Newbreed (NC-M) the #1 seed and regular season champions began with a run rule win over Premier 32-17 scoring 13 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. Dale Brungardt was 5-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI and Neil Haglund drove in 8. Slugger/SVC grabbed a 10-3 lead vs Competitive Edge and won 23-13 out homering Comp Edge 9-5 up on the softball field. Streets was 5-5 with 3 HR and 5 RBI in th win. Westpoint Softball wearing tribute jerseys to the manager Alisha Bush's late father scored a big victory over SNI 20-14 on the show field. MPT Rentals knocked off Albicocco 32-23 as Chris Greinert hit a couple of bombs. Dan Smith struggled past Nightmare 20-19 but won on a walk off homer by pitcher Dan Sanchez. MAJ beat Cornerstone 11-4 hitting the only home run in the game and getting 4 hits out of lead off man Chris Benigno.
Classic Glass upset S&E 16-8 hitting a bunch of triples on the big field #17.
In the big upset of a night of upsets Precision knocked off Resmondo 33-13 by the 20 run mercy rule in 4 innings. They scored 8 in the 1st, 5 in the 2nd, 4 in the 3rd, and 15 in the top of the 4th. Precision hit 10 homer's on the show field and Jeff Flood, Travis Houseman, Curtis Stewart, Jeff Keske, and yes Justin Mucciarelli were all 4 for 4 in the win. Flood had 3 HR and 9 RBI. It was the best offensive performance of the tournament and Mooch had the Resmondo hitters off balance the entire game.
"Round of 8"
The "Round of 8" started at 2:30 PM Saturday with Westpoint winning their 3rd straight game this time 20-14 over Classic Glass as they continued to try and pick up that Major World Series berth.
In the 1st and only meeting of Major teams in this entire tournament Dan Smith out homered MPT Rentals 13-3 and run ruled them 27-12 over on field #16 during the hottest part of the day. Argen Dodds was 4-4 with 3 HR and 6 RBI to lead Dan Smith.
Smash It Sports needed a walk off homer in the bottom of the 7th by Luis Reyna to beat Slugger/SVC 23-12.
And in the quarterfinal game MAJ knocked off Precision 11-5 scoring 3 in the bottom of the 5th and 3 in the bottom of the 6th as Precisions offense from the night before evaporated. Blake Lively was 3-3 and Kade Christensen 3-4 in the win. Precisions Curtis Stewart hit the only homer in the game.
In the semifinals Westpoint scored 7 runs to pull within 2 in the 6th and then got a 2 run homer from Canaan Baum in the top of the 7th to take a 14-12 lead. Then Buddy Wolf of Smash It Sports in the bottom of the 7th with two outs took the pitch pictured above for a ball "high" which was close to strike 3 and a Westpoint victory. Instead he homered on the next pitch to tie the game and Ben Dunn pictured below hit a walk off homer to win it in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Ben Dunn hits a walk off homer to beat Westpoint in extra innings 24-22.
In the other semifinal MAJ/Knell upset Dan Smith 10-8 without hitting a home run. Dan Smith had the bats in their hands at the end. Brent McClure and Chris Benigno were each 3-4 in the win.
MAJ left fielder Jesse Skaggs makes a diving catch in the winner's bracket finals.
You can watch the last few innings of the winner's bracket finals between MAJ and Smash it Sports here on the SW48 youtube channel in condensed form.
The early innings of the winner's final it was all Smash it Sports as they jumped out to a 7-0 lead on MAJ. But MAJ scored 10 runs in the top of the 5th to pull within 1 and then Smash it Sports answered with 13 runs in the bottom of the 5th and salted the game away with a 26-14 victory.
This was the only 'AA' vs 'AA' game in the tournament. Precision beating Xtreme 13-12.
After losing a heart breaker on a walk off homer to Smash It Sports in the quarterfinals Slugger/SVC the 27th place team in the Conference points made an incredible late Saturday run beating Resmondo 19-8, Nightmare 15-5, and Dan Smith 21-13 to be the highest finishing non qualified team and earn the berth to the USSSA Major World Series. That is a memory that will live with these players forever! They beat Resmondo and Dan Smith without hitting a single home run and held Resmondo scoreless in 4 innings.
On the other side of the loser's bracket Precision knocked off Xtreme, SNI, and a devastated Westpoint team to make it to Sunday.
On Sunday morning SVC left fielder Frankie Andriola made two incredible plays but they came up short against Precision losing 14-10 as David Kessler went 4-4.
Then Precision knocked off My Auto Jack (MAJ) 21-5 as Keske, Barnes, Blaziewske, and Tabler all collected 3 hits.
Curtis Stewart tags out the SVC runner at the plate.
Mcclanahan goes between the legs the pitch before Kahlke hit a grand slam.
In the championship game which you can watch in condensed form on the SW48 youtube channel Precision went up 11-0 after 2 complete innings and looked to be forcing the "if" game when they scored 4 runs in the top of the 7th to go up 22-13! But in the bottom of the 7th even with 2 outs early in the inning Smash It Sports walked Precision down and won on a clutch walk off homer by Tommy Melton 24-22! Melton was 3-5 with 8 RBI. It was Smash Its 7th tournament win of the season and 2nd in a row.
Long Bombers of the Week
The long bomber of the week from the right side is Kyle Pearson who hit that nasty clutch line drive homer vs Meirtran and Steven Smith for the lefties from My Auto Jack.
Honorable mention goes to Andrew Collins and Josh Fyffe for their long high bombs and Chris Greinert for his nasty homer's up the middle.
Conference Championships Final Standings and Awards
Smash It Sports 2nd Baseman Tommy Melton was MVP
Smash It pitcher Ryan Mcclanahan was Defensive MVP
Precision SS Heath Barnes and LF David Kessler were Co-Offensive MVP's
Team by team notes:
1st Place – Smash It Sports/Newbreed/TDB/RF/BD/T3
Conf 'M' from NC 5-0 Record
Smash It wins their 7th tournament of the season and do so by hitting 3 walk off homer's in the last 4 wins in a tournament where homer's were not easy and scores were low. Mcclanahan pitched most of the games as they saved Purcell for the Major. The team seems healthy and willing to do whatever is necessary to win the Major. At times they have the best defense, pitching, base hitting, and power in the game and seem to adjust to the conditions and make the big plays.
Everett Williams was lacing singles all over the park but also hit the homer's when needed.
Collins in RF almost had the tik tok catch of the week
Marshburn and Brungardt
Reyna and Martel
The shift on the lefties
Purcell pitched 2 games.
2nd Place – Precision/3rd St/Red Athlete/Pure
Conf 'AA' from IL 7-2 Record
Precision is known for making runs at the Conference Championships and this was an epic one. They basically had the "if" game forced when a number of defensive plays came up an inch short in the bottom of the 7th vs Smash It. Todd Ankney added some power in Stewart and Fracek during the season to help complete the offense and the defense has always been strong up the middle in particular. So now when we look at the 'AA' division we have SNI who had the best year a 'AA' team has ever had but did not perform down the stretch I guess assuming they can just step on the gas when it counts. We have S&E who started the year as an 'A' team and was bumped, had the #1 offensive team in the nation statistically, and won the Schiffhauer Classic with all the big teams there, but stumbled at the Conference Championships. We have Sports Reach who won the HOF Dual #1 the 1st 'AA' team ever to do so and then finished a close 2nd to Smash It in Columbus, Georgia but stumbled at the Conference Championships. We have Precision who showed life here at the end of the season and Albicocco who hasn't played their best ball of the season just yet. The final 'AA' team is Xtreme who has been the dark horse the last two years and forced an 'if' game at the AA a year ago. So the 'AA' World is WIDE OPEN!!!
Stewart and Fracek were providing power
Andrews went all out to try and rob homers
Mark Blaziewske who won the Conference Championship last year pitched all day Sunday.
3rd Place – MAJ/KNELL/Dirty Sports/DTS/DOMN8
Conf 'A' from WA 4-2 Record
My Auto Jack finishes the season as the #1 'A' team in the country after an incredible run at the Conference Championships and they nearly won the winner's bracket. A cap to a tremendous year with players that haven't necessarily been known in Conference circles. Hats off to this group and their defense that just seems to make the plays in front of them and the tremendous pitching of Jose Flores.
Brent McClure and Blake Lively hit big home runs in the winner's final.
Skaggs was all tournament
Shepherd and Flores swapped out at pitcher/MI Sunday
CF Chad Erickson makes a diving catch
4th Place – Slugger/SVC/Atrium/Pauer
Conf 'A' from OH 5-2 Record
Slugger/SVC was not on anyones radar to qualify for the major. They nearly beat Smash It Sports in the quarterfinals and then they did beat Resmondo and Dan Smith to qualify for the MAJOR! Are you kidding me? What a great story from a group that came into the tournament in 27th place in both the points standings and the computer rankings. They were 0-3 vs Major, 1-4 vs 'AA', and 4-6 vs 'A' this year. Congratulations to manager/sponsor/player Greg Riddell and the team on this tremendous accomplishment.
Brandon Newton was all tourney and kept SVC in the game here against Precision.
Greg Riddle the player/sponsor collects a hit
Brandon Streets and Hector Urbaneja had key hits in the run for the berth.
Pitcher Josh Jones was all tourney and shut down Resmondo and Dan Smith.
Tied 5th Place -WestPoint Softball
Conf 'A' from IN 3-2 Record
Westpoint has had the same luck Xtreme had a year ago. They just came up a pitch short while on an emotional run at the Major berth. They added Utah a couple weeks ago in order to try and make it and had an incredible tournament at the conference championship and missed by a few runs. I think they finished with enough points to be able to play the major if someone does not accept the berth though.
3B Edwards, SS Smith, MI Tucker
Tied 5th Place – Dan Smith/Proton
Conf 'M' from AZ 3-2 Record
Dan Smith looked good in that quarterfinal win over MPT but then stumbled against two 'A' teams?
Phil Matte played with a bad back.
Dan Smith wore their tribute jerseys to Tyrell Jenkins late mother (her favorite colors)
Tied 7th Place – Nightmare/Benefit the Badge/Miken
Conf 'A' from MO 4-2 Record
Nightmare made a bid for the Major again after winning the Salt Lake City Classic they made a run at the Conference Championships coming up short against SVC who ultimately made it. They only lost to Dan Smith by a run and beat Prime Time, Albicocco, Classic Glass, and Chick-fil-a. Peaking at the right time.
Tied 7th Place – SNI/Thunder/Chosen/DeMarini
Conf 'AA' from FL 4-2 Record
SNI did not seem focused and handed Precision a late Saturday game.
Dawe playing center field.
Some more pictures for you:
Tied for 9th – Resmondo/SmashIt/Menosse/Thunder (FL-M) 3-2 – Resmondo lost to two 'A' teams.
Tied for 9th – Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken/Worth (MN-AA) 3-2 – Xtreme lost to Precision and played without Shannon Smith.
Tied for 9th – Classic Glass/Easton (CA-A) 2-2 – Classic had a nice run going early in the tournament.
Tied for 9th – MPT Rentals/Juno Athletics (NJ-M) 2-2 – MPT seems banged up.
Meirtran center fielder made this great catch running full speed into the fence.
Albicocco went 2-2
Seminoles, Sports Reach, Denver Stars, LSR, WM Roofing, Rebel, and Bay Area all went 0-2.
Cornerstone had that big KY upset over Sports Reach.
Premier finished just outside the top 16.
People in the Game!
Jerry "Snake" Scudder medical bills gofundme link
Jerry had recent neck, throat, tongue cancer surgery and needs our help.
The mount Rushmore of sponsors! 🙂
McMorrison, love the energy.
Rhino the Rep on facebook and tik tok, get it.
Stro calling in the scores.
Rob Mantlo and Slim Rice for the big games!