The 45th annual Smoky Mountain Classic features 26 Nationwide Conference USSSA teams and 30 teams overall. This year there are 4 ‘Major’, 9 ‘A’, 11 ‘B’, 3 ‘C’, 3 ‘D’ team. The tournament, as it is every year, will be played at 6 fields spread over 4 different parks in and around the cities of Maryville and Alcoa, Tennessee.
The first two rounds of the Smoky winner’s bracket are always played on Friday beginning at 4 PM, and teams that win their first two games on Friday will find themselves playing on the show field Saturday in the Final 8 of the winner’s bracket.
Pictures of the fields, history, schedules, rosters, and stats are down at the bottom of this preview.
There is a home run derby for locals on Thursday night at 5 PM followed by the major players at 7:30 at Sandy Springs Park.
USSSALive.com has announced they will have a camera on F3 and F4 at Sandy Springs Park, the main fields.
SoftballCenter.com will attempt to have a camera on F2 at Everett Park, weather permitting on Friday only starting at 5:30 PM eastern and cover all 4 games there which features Albicocco and Demarini/Dirty. If my old camera system works when I set it up, I will also put a camera up on F1 at Everett Park starting at 5 PM Eastern and cover all 3 games on that field on Friday only. On Saturday SoftballCenter will not Livestream any games as I will be reporting from the main fields at Sandy Springs Park. I asked to set up a camera on the show field but was denied because USSSALive will already have a camera there.
SoftballCenter.com livestream schedule for Friday (weather and internet permitting)
Fri 5:00 PM F1 [IN] RED’S ASTROS vs [OH] 3RD STREET/LOUISVILLE
Fri 6:30 PM F1 [AR] FENCE BROKERS vs [NC] B&B/SEARS/BMW
Fri 8:00 PM F1 BAUGH or PRIMETIME vs FBI or B&B
Fri 5:30 PM F2 [WY] SONNY’S vs [GA] HEAD HUNTERS
Fri 6:30 PM F2 [NY] ALBICOCCO vs [MS] BUZINI/BUFFALOWILD
Fri 8:00 PM F2 [FL] DEMARINI/DIRTY vs [OH] S&S POOLS/TPE/SPORT
Fri 9:30 PM F2 DEMARINI or S&S vs ALBICOCCO or BUZINI
The Smoky Mountain Classic features unlimited homeruns and non-standard 80 foot base lengths. On Friday, the biggest crowds are at diamond #3 at Sandy Springs Park which is the “show” field as local fans come out to root on their Tennessee teams but they are not always the best matchups because it is the 4 local teams taking on Major or ‘A’ teams. The best matchups are over at Everett Park F1 and F2 on Fridays.
On Saturday, park your chair in the shade at the show field and watch the top 8 teams in the country battle it out all day long in the winner’s bracket!
With 26 conference teams in the mix, there are big points to be earned and you can bet that the top teams will be there at the end of this one. Looking at the Smoky winner’s historically it does not look like any team ranked outside of the top 3 seeds has ever won the Smoky Mountain Classic?
Let’s take a look at the bracket. As it is every year the top 2 seeds get a bye from the first round competition. Resmondo will wait for the winner of Taylormade and P&P 333, neither of which has enough power to hang with Resmondo for more than a few innings. Likewise Laservision gets the winner of Pure Romance and local ‘C’ team McNally Construction. Resmondo, Laservision, Shoppe, and Nordkap who are the top 4 seeds should all get past their first games easily. The better first round matchups are at the Everett Park where Sonnys and Headhunters, Baugh Ford and Primetime, FBI and B&B, Reds and 3rd Street, and a potential 2nd round matchup between Demarini/Dirty and Albicocco will play. Remember Adam Rockoff and Chris Wilson recently left Dirty to play for Albicocco. This could be a great game between top ‘A’ teams early on. Once a solid first round is over this tournament will have the best matchups in softball the rest of the way and the late Friday games through the rest of the tournament is often the best softball played all year.
Top 5 things to follow at the Smoky:
1) Will Albicocco and Demarini/Dirty meet on Friday night and how will that game go down?
2) Can Laservision’s Brian Wegman outslug Resmondo’s Greg Connell for the most Smoky home runs this year? Or could the 2011 Smoky HR champ Jonathan Scott from Headhunters pull another upset? Maybe Demarini/Dirty’s Dale “Bubbles” Brungardt or Albicocco’s Shaun Ballard?
3) Team USA plays exhibition games Tuesday, Wednesday, and the big game on Thursday. How will that affect those players that have to jump on a plane and play 3 more straight days at the Smoky’s?
4) Who will have the longest crowd pleasing home run? Rumor on the circuit is that Laservision’s Kevin Kennington has the most distance. I remember last year it was Sam Lopez at the Smoky that seemed to have the longest home runs.
5) Stuart Snell who leads the Conference in Home Run Frequency plays at the main park Field #4 Friday at 6:30 PM.