2015 Nationwide Conference USSSA
GSL Major/A/Conference Championships
Precisions Chris Geron bats against Resmondos Andy Purcell in the Championship!
Precision upset Resmondo in 10 innings on Saturday in one of the better games of the tournament
The Nationwide Conference Championships began on Friday night of Labor Day Weekend with 8 teams in the Major bracket and 9 teams in the 'A' bracket. The upsets started early in this one as the short handed #8 seeded Albicocco/The Scene/Easton 'A' team knocked off #1 seed Smash It Sports 14-8 early Friday night in the Major bracket. And #6 seeded Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger knocked off their sister team #3 seeded Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger 19-10 back on field #1. #4 seeded Precision and #2 seeded Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth advanced as well to the final 4 but Precision by just one run over #5 Team Combat and Resmondo used a game tying two run homer by Andrew Collins and a walk off single by Greg Connell to beat #7 OC Swats 21-20 in the bottom of the 7th. Had OC Swats hung on there would have been 3 lower seeds in the final 4. Late Friday night Precision advanced to the winner's final with a 15-10 victory over Albicocco and Resmondo crushed Red's Astros 33-4 to advance.
On Saturday in the Major bracket the best game of the tournament was Precision and Resmondo in the winner's bracket finals. They played in sweltering heat and humidity and Precision jumped out to early leads of 7-0 and 9-3. Resmondo scored 3 in the 5th inning and 2 in the 6th to close the gap to 10-8. But Precisions Brett McCollum led off the top of the 7th with a solo homer and they added one more run to take a 12-8 lead. In the bottom of the 7th with one quick out, Dennis Rulli singled, Greg Connell doubled, and Andy Purcell hit a 3 run homer. That was followed by a Jimmy Salas solo homer to tie the game at 12-12 but Precision got a 3-6-3 double play to force extra innings. In the 8th Precision put up a zero and in the bottom half of the inning Resmondo struck out looking and fouled off a third strike and the game went to the 9th inning tied at 12-12. Precisions Brett McCollum tripled to hit for the cycle in the game and Davis Bilardello hit a sacrifice fly to score him. Dan Kirkwood walked and scored from first on Curtis Stewarts RBI single to left center field to give Precision a 14-12 lead. In the bottom of the 9th Resmondos Jeremy Yates hit a one out single, Rulli singled, and Connell hit an RBI double. Precision intentionally walked Andy Purcell and they got Salas to hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 14-14 but the game went to the 10th inning! Precision pitcher Andy Vitcak and Gary Lofton hit one out base hits to roll it to the top of the order where Matt Rear singled, Keith Laski doubled, Brett McCollum hit a sacrifice fly, and Davis Bilardello hit an RBI double to give them a 18-14 lead. Resmondo could only muster a two run triple by Andrew Collins in the bottom of the 10th and lost 18-16.
In the loser's bracket of the Major bracket Albicocco was leading Smash It Sports 20-19 going into the bottom of the 7th of the loser's semi final and Smash It Sports pitcher Travis Clark hit a game tying single and Kevin Filby hit a walk off sacrifice fly that ended up being scored a single with the outfield moved in to win 21-20. Smash It Sports scored the last 9 runs of the game. In the loser's bracket finals with the winner advancing to the live CBS Sports Network championship game on Sunday morning, Smash It Sports scored 8 runs in the top of the first inning. Resmondo answered with 14 runs before the first out was made in the top of the 2nd and took an 18-8 lead into the 3rd inning. Smash It Sports put up zeroes in the 2nd and 3rd inning but got 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th to close the gap to 20-13. Resmondo put Smash It Sports away with 7 runs on 7 hits in the top of the 6th and won the game 32-23. Had Smash It Sports won, they would have been the #1 seed for the USSSA Men's Major World Series. As it is they won the regular season for the first time but will be the #2 seed for the Major.
Resmondo then had a rematch against Precision on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM live on CBS Sports Network. Much like the winner's final Precision jumped out to a 7-1 lead after 2 innings and led in hits 10-3. Matt Rear and Keith Laski each collecting two hits in their first two at bats. Veteran hitter Howie Krause got the Resmondo team going with a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 3rd to cut the lead to 7-3 and big lefty BJ Fulk hit a 3 run homer to tie the game at 7-7 and Resmondo led 9-7 after 3 innings. In the top of the 3rd Precision grabbed a 12-9 lead on a Rear sacrifice fly, a Laski RBI single, a Davis Bilardello RBI single, and a two run double by Dan Kirkwood. But Resmondo separated in the bottom of the 5th and extended their lead to 8 in the bottom of the 6th and forced the "if" necessary game with a 26-15 win. In the final game it was all Resmondo as they out powered Precision 8 homers to 1 and won 24-9. Resmondos Greg Connell hit 3 homers in the game and was 5-5. Jimmy Salas went 4-4 with 2 homers, and Don Dedonatis Jr was also 4-4.
The tournament was played in extreme heat and humidity and was delayed both Friday and Saturday for rain/lightning delays but finished up on time. They used the Conference ZN Stadium ball which was perfect for the tournament, and a full contingent of top Conference umpires officiated the games.
Resmondo finishes off Precision in the "if" game on a Greg Connell walk off run rule
Greg Connell interviewed after hitting the walk off run rule homer over Precision
Pitcher Andy Vitcak, 3B Matt Rear, SS Keith Laski, and MI Jeff Keske defending Resmondo in the Championship
Albicocco upsets Smash It Sports in their opening game!
Backman sends home Combat early Saturday morning
Resmondos Greg Connell hits a walk off single to beat OC Swats in the bottom of the 7th
Xtreme/Mikens Todd Newton hits against Broughtons Danny Lopez in the 'A' Championship game!
In the 'A' bracket it was all Xtreme/Miken has they won their first game by forfeit then rolled through 3 straight opponents to capture the first ever GSL 'A' title. The real story of this tournament may have been in the loser's bracket as 5 teams without a berth to the Major were still trying to qualify with the highest finishing non-qualified team getting the 17th seed to the World Series. Combat NWA, OI Livingston, and Semper Athletics just did not play well enough to get into the Major and 3rd Street gassed out on Saturday, but Broughton/Bad Draw/Worth exploded for at least 21 runs in every game they played and mashed their way into the World Series by winning 5 games including come from behind victories over very good FBI and Compound teams 38-35 and 49-37. The Compound game went to extra innings and was the best game of the tournament. Congratulations to Xtreme and Broughton on their wins!
Xtreme/Miken won the 'A' bracket!
OI Livingstons Keith Martin bats against Combat NWA Friday night
Osceola County Stadium
I always like to take a picture of F1 and F2 and their 35 foot high netting you have to hit it over for a homer
Conference Major Final Standings
|1||FL – Winter Haven||resmondo specialty tank worth||USSSA-SPMensMajor||5||1||0||152||89||25.3||14.8||10.5||33||300|
|2||IL – Chicago||Precision/Easton/DO||USSSA-Mens-A||3||2||0||70||88||14||17.6||-3.6||18||225|
|3||NYU – Cicero, NY||smash it sports/compound athletics/||USSSA-SPMensMajor||4||2||0||138||104||23||17.3||5.66||35||200|
|4||NYU – Commack||albicocco/the scene/easton||USSSA-Mens-A||2||2||0||69||65||17.2||16.2||1||25||175|
|5||IN – LAWRENCEBURG||backman/shoppe/louisville slugger||USSSA-SPMensMajor||2||2||0||74||68||18.5||17||1.5||30||155|
|5||IN – Indianapolis||red's astros/louisville slugger||USSSA-Mens-A||1||2||0||31||66||10.3||22||-11.||19||155|
|7||CAS – Yorba Linda||oc swats doerflinger/miken/lcp||USSSA-Mens-B||0||3||0||48||79||16||26.3||-10.||20||130|
|7||WA – KENT||team combat/baugh ford/softball.com||USSSA-SPMensMajor||0||3||0||38||61||12.6||20.3||-7.6||17||130|
Greg Connell of Resmondo won the Triple Crown and had over an .800 onbase this past weekend
The 5 players that have won All Conference 10 years in a row are:
Brian Wegman, Bryson Baker, Don Dedonatis Jr, Brett Helmer, and Dennis Rulli
Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics/H Auto/Laservision/ASP/Easton receives their Nationwide Conference USSSA regular season championship trophy!
Bob Hortenbach of Hortenbach Auto, Travis Resmondo who won the trophy 9 years in a row presented it to Brett Helmer, and Jason Wilkins the Compound Athletics sponsor.