2018 USSSA 'AA' World
Heath Barnes scores the winning run on Donnie Hammonds single and the celebration is on for Pure Sports!
Space Coast Stadium hosting the USSSA 'AA' Worlds for the first time!
13 Teams Overall
13 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
9 'AA' Teams
4 'A' Teams
Game by Game Report!
Saturday "Play In" Games
At 9:00 AM Saturday morning the 'AA' World began as Primetime a Georgia 'A' team grabbed a mid game lead against Newbreed (WA-AA) and then Newbreeds Dustin Roberts and Nick Utley each hit a couple home runs and closed the gap. But Primetime got on a base hitting roll and extended the lead a final time and won the game with the gloves late.
All Out (TX-AA) beat Nightmare (MO-AA) and their sweet new uniforms in a game that could have gone either way back on the Rawlings-White field. Fences for all games were 325 feet. The Dudley Classic M ball was used and it did get really soft in the Florida heat and humidity. With the ball and the wind blowing in or across on both fields the home runs and score totals were low for the most part. No team used their 12 home run limit during the day games and most games had 6 to 8 homer's total between the teams.
In the first game Saturday morning in the stadium La Famiglia an 'A' team from Pennsylvania and Riot Sports a 'AA' team from Florida both came out of the gate swinging and La Famiglia came to play as they led 6-5 after 1 inning. But the scoring slowed and it was 10-7 La Famiglia after 5 complete. Riot Sports then tied the game on a Scott Langford 2 out single through the 5-6 hole in the top of the 6th. Then Mike Ortiz hit one off pitcher Tim Bouch's glove for an infield RBI single to give them an 11-10 lead. Riot added to their lead with a Keith Laski 3 run homer to make it 15-10 but La Famiglia's Zach Ross hit a 2 run homer to cut the lead to 2 and Justin Lutheran hit a walk off homer to win it in the bottom of the 7th!
In other "play in" action Racks Astros (IN-AA) led the entire way and separated with a 7 run inning late against SNI (FL-A) and won easily and quickly before I could even get there to take a picture. And Xtreme (MN-AA) advanced when Premier (OH-A) forfeited.
Final 8 of Winner's Bracket
All Out playing without Chris Terry and Tyler Green faced #1 seeded Pure Sports/Monsta in the quarterfinals at 3 PM Saturday on the stadium field. They just could not get any offense going against Pure pitcher Justin Mucciarelli. "Mooch" dominated the All Out hitters geting them to foul out, strike out, and mishit the ball over and over again as Pure Sports won easily.
La Famiglia upset a Precision (IL-AA) team that felt they had a good shot at winning worlds. La Famiglia scored when they had to and put continual pressure on Precision from beginning to end and finally won 18-15. La Famiglia out homered Precision 3-2. Dave Kessler was 4-4 in the loss.
TDB/FAI (NC-AA) got a lead off backside homer from Tyler Wilson and then Jason Martel and Wilson had RBI triples in the 2nd inning to put TDB up 7-0 on Xtreme (MN-AA). Xtreme did enough to make the game go 7 innings but TDB scored 8 more runs in the top of the 7th to advance.
On the White Rawlings field in the back Primetime was in a pillow fight with Racks Astros. Primetime led 2 to 1 going into the 5th inning. But Primetime scored 6 runs in one inning with timely base hits and again pulled off the huge upset 9-4.
Final 4 of Winner's Bracket
In the first semifinal game Brad Carlsen and the Pure Sports offense took advantage of 3 Primetime defensive misplays in the first inning and pulled out to a double digit lead and run ruled them holding Primetime to single digit scoring.
In the final semifinal game Saturday on the stadium TDB overpowered La Famiglia.
In the loser's bracket Newbreed turned a 10-10-3 triple play against SNI in an easy victory. Precision homers and Nightmare errors in the first inning led to 6 Precision runs and Precision added 13 runs in the top of the 4th to go up 27-2 on 11 homer's total and won 27-7. Travis Houseman was 3-3, Jason Magnum 4-4, and Dave Kessler hit a grand slam. Xtreme led Newbreed 16-2 in the stadium as left fielder Matt McGowan made a nice diving catch down the line and robbed a home run that he knocked into the air with his glove and then caught on the way down. Xtreme won. And late Saturday Racks Astros beat Riot Sports and Xtreme used a 5 run 7th and a Matt McGowan walk off double to beat Precision 39-38. McGowan was 5-6 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in the game and teammate Curtis Stewart was 6-6.
Sunday Last 6 Teams
On Sunday morning at 9 AM the final 6 teams battled it out for the 'AA' Championship with all games being played in the stadium. It was also the hottest day of the week as temperatures reached 95 degrees with a "real feel" of 109. The wind again blew right to left keeping scores low. In the first game Racks Astros trailed the entire game until the top of the 7th when Ricardo Lizcano homered and then Rob Roop (pictured above) hit a clutch pinch hit homer to tie the game. Then Dan Kirkwood (pictured below) doubled down the right field line passed the La Famiglia first baseman to give them the lead by one. La Famiglia who failed to score in the previous 3 innings came up empty again in the bottom of the 7th and Racks advanced. La Famiglia finished tied for 5th.
In the 10:30 AM loser's bracket game Sunday, Xtreme rolled through Primetime who didn't keep pace offensively and Xtreme won, giving Primetime a 5th Place finish.
At high noon it was the Winner's Bracket Championship game between TDB and Pure Sports. Pure Sports led 3-1 after 1 inning on solo homers by Jason Branch and Justin Mackey. In the top of the 2nd TDB right fielder Kyle Pearson made a full speed diving catch of a Justin Mucciarelli line drive in right center field for an out and hit the cut off to the plate to get a sliding Heath Barnes for a doubleplay. In the bottom of the 3rd inning Jason Branch returned the defensive favor with the best catch of the tournament as he raced to the fence in right center field on a ball hit by TDB's Tyler Wilson and he timed a leap into the fence where he pushed off the middle of the fence with his right foot, essentially climbing it, and bringing back the home run ball! Both of these great catches are in the video above. Pure Sports led 7-2 going into the 4th and scored 4 more but left the bases loaded up 11-2. TDB would score just 2 runs in the middle innings and trailed 11-4 going into the 6th and Pure Sports won 14-5 as Justin Mackey hit a 3 run homer to put the game away. Mackey went 4-4 with 3 homers and 6 RBI in the game! While the entire TDB team had just 1 homer.
Branch climbs the fence to rob a homer!
At 1:30 PM it was the loser's bracket semifinal. Brandon Newman the Xtreme middle infielder doubled off a Racks Astros runner on a linedrive where he caught it and stepped on 2nd base to end the 2nd inning down 3-2. Then Xtreme's Pat Ellwanger hit a 2 out triple to give Xtreme a 7-3 lead. In the top of the 3rd, Xtreme pitcher Danny Evans got a strike out looking and then stabbed a line drive up the middle to shut down Racks. But in the bottom of the 5th down 10-5, Racks led by shortstop Nick Mitschke's 2 run homer scored 5 runs to tie the game at 10. Xtreme answered back with 5 runs of their own in the bottom of the 5th and won the game by a run in the bottom of the 7th when Racks hit a couple of fly balls trying to win it with a homer.
So Xtreme advanced to the Loser's final at 3 PM and a rematch with TDB. In this one Xtreme's right fielder Pat Ellwanger made a diving catch followed by center fielder Colin Baartman's running catch near the fence to start the game but TDB scored 3 runs anyway. In the bottom of the 2nd TDB's Brady Stewart hit a 2 out 2 run homer and in the top of the 3rd TDB went off, scoring 13 runs! Brady Stewart hit one to center field and Jason Matusik hit a scoreboard shot to make it 16-3 and TDB went on to win easily.
The Championship game started around 4:30 PM and the wind which had blown across the field from right to left all weekend suddenly changed to blowing left to right and evne blew in at times. TDB started with home runs from Jason Matusik and Orlando Castillo and Pure Sports answered with homers from Justin Mackey and Lee Payne but TDB led 4-3 after 2 complete innings. In the 3rd inning Matusik hit a homer to the left of the batters eye in center field that went over the baseball fence 385 feet away! And Kyle Pearson added a solo homer to put TDB up 8-4. In the bottom of the 5th with 2 outs, Pure Sports Jason Branch singled and Zach Messer hit a clutch 3 run double to put Pure Sports up 9-8. In the top of the 6th inning TDB got a solo homer to tie the game and Tyler Wilson hit a 2 out double to give them the lead 10-9. In the bottom of the 6th Pure Sports lefty Chente Granados tied the game up again at 10-10 with a solo homer of his own and Justin Muciarelli gave them an 11-10 lead on an RBI double. In the top of the 7th TDB tied the game on a Matusik leadoff double and a Kyle Pearson RBI. Almost every player on both teams lineups had a chance to win the game at the end and be the hero but it wasn't until the bottom of the 9th that either team scored. Pure Sports Heath Barnes led off the bottom of the 9th inning with a sharp grounder past the diving Steve Whaley into left center for a double and Donnie Hammonds followed with a 1 out walk off single scoring Barnes and Pure Sports won the game 11-10 and the AA title!
Zach Messer hits a perfect bases loaded double to left center field
Heath Barnes hits a double passed Whaley into center field to set up the game winning run
Pure Sports celebrates Donnie Hammonds walk off single to win the AA World!
Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli wins the MVP award.
Long Bombers of the Week
TDB outfielder Jason Matusik is the Long Bomber of the week. He peppered the scoreboard and hit a ball just to the left of the batters eye in center field over the baseball fence at the 385 mark in the heat of the day with the wind blowing in and across and with the classic M ball that players were struggling to hit out.
USSSA 'AA' Final Standings and Awards
Tournament MVP – Pure Sports pitcher Justin Mucciarelli
Defensive MVP – Pure Sports 2B Heath Barnes
Offensive MVP – TDB's Jason Matusik