The roller coaster went back to the top for Resmondo-Specialty Tank/ Worth after winning the 30th Dudley Budweiser Classic- Sponsored by Easton men’s major tournament in Brooklyn Center June 17.
The defending USSSA World Series and Dudley tourney champion has struggled some this season and is in a dog fight to be at the top of the points standings prior to the next softball World Series in September.
“We have had our ups and downs this season,” said left fielder Scott Striebel about his Resmondo team, which has not dominated as in recent seasons. “We even lost to a class D team Friday night at one tournament.”
Resmondo did dominate at this year’s Dudley tourney that included all four teams ranked major in the country, plus local class B, C and D teams hoping for some upsets of the top teams.
Claiming to be healthier than it had been all season, Resmondo run-ruled all six opponents, outscoring teams 187-66. Striebel, who grew up in the BC area and now lives in Florida, was named to the All-Tournament team.
The four major teams reached the final four as expected. Resmondo beat Nordkap/Desert Storm/Easton 38-22 in the title game. The only other loss for the team with a Minnesota sponsor (Nordkap Construction of Ham Lake) was to Resmondo 26-6 in the semifinals.
Nordkap battled back to beat Class A R&M Metals 44-42, Team Combat/ Pacific Headwear (major) 50-46 and Laservision/Annihilation/Supreme/D2E/ Easton (major) 34-13 to get another crack at Resmondo.
In other key games, Resmondo beat Laservision 32-17 in the winner’s bracket finals and Laservision beat Team Combat 28-24 to claim third place.
Newcomers spark Resmondo
“We were quite a bit healthier and went with a set lineup this weekend,” said Frank Webb from Resmondo. “We are not used to being in this position. We are the one doing the chasing now. Last week in Chicago we went in as No. 1 and we stunk it up. We scored 30-31 runs in the games we lost, but found a way to lose them.”
When Bryson Baker and Brian Rainwater left to play for Laservision, Webb said Resmondo decided to roll the dice and go with guys they had been looking at for a couple of years.
Outfielder Tim Howard was found in Arkansas. At the Dudley he batted .913 to be named tourney most valuable player. He only made one out in the first four games.
Other newcomers who contributed mightily have been Ronald Mack III, a 24-year-old from northern Florida and pitcher Lloyd Watson from Texas.
“It is hard to make a transition to a new team, especially one that is expected to win,” said Webb. “It’s a big gamble when you take a flyer with youngsters. There is a lot of pressure.”
Webb said the team also gambled on an older player with the addition was the hall of famer Jeff Hall, who had not played in a couple of years. Hall, who had been a former MVP at the Dudley, was named to the All-Tournament team along with Jimmy Salas, Robert Hughes, George Connell and pitcher Andy Purcell.
Genter Excels Again
The co-MVP was JD Genter of Nordkap, which is not a total surprise. The second baseman eared Dudley MVP honors when playing for Long Haul Trucking one year and Dan Smith another, both major teams.
Other Nordkap players named All-Tournament included Brent McCollum as offensive MVP, pitcher Chad Munger, Mike Bowlin, Donovan Pokraka, Kevin Filby and Joey Formosa.
Nordkap had two big innings against Combat in the 50-46 win, scoring 17 runs in the third and 14 in the seventh after the score was tied.
“The guys responded after the flat game Friday,” said manager Rick Olson. “They didn’t like it and came back to show us they are more than capable. If they get down, they don’t stay there.”
Olson said all his team was doing a lot better with using home runs smarter compared to earlier in the year. Plus, at the Dudley they were scoring a lot of runs in between home runs.
Son’s Bob and Josh Olson play for his dad on Nordkap. Rick played in the Dudley when younger and appreciated making it to the title game in a tournament with a “great tradition.”
Dan Fruwirth from Laservision said this has been an exciting and competitive year. Most of the players were part of Dan Smith last year. The main trouble this season has been keeping pace with Resmondo, going 0-6.
“Brett Helmer, who is one of the best home run hitters in the country, knows everyone and pulled together most of these guys,” said Fruwirth. “We were looking for the right chemistry. We got Bryson Baker from Resmondo, who in my opinion is the best player in the country. Brian Wegman is in the same category. They are both five-tool players who have endurance, which you need when playing five games in one day.”
Making All-Tournament from Laservision was Brian Wegman, Sam Lopez, Ryan Thiede and Kevin Kennington.
Team Combat Builds For Future
Scott Brown, along with Jeff McGavin and Johnny McCraw joined together to form a team representing the Combat product line.
“We added players by looking in hard places,” said Brown, who lives in Minnesota. “We found our center fielder playing co-rec softball down in Florida. Our right fielder was found in South Carolina playing league ball.”
Brown said he and others are getting older and wanted to look at the team from the company standpoint with Combat.
“We said let’s try to get younger players and teach them how to play the game so we have a team for the future when we are all done playing,” said Brown. “We started throwing names in a hat, trying to do it on a low budget, yet, try to play the game the right way.”
Team Combat players on the All-Tournament squad were McCraw and Francois Henry, who plays for Team Canada.
Local Teams Shine
Local teams did well, including Luther Auto/Tanel/360/NSK// Protandim, which tied for seventh in the 34-team field. The team that only plays in tournaments is ranked ninth among state class B teams. It is a collection of good players from the area.
The best effort by a state class C team was by 24Hr Corp/DBP/ Breakaway, which plays in the Brooklyn Center league along with most of the top teams in the state.
After losing 23-11 to Precision/Shirts&Logos, a class B team from Illinois, 24Hr Corp defeated class C Maple Tavern from the BC league 28-14. Next came a 9-7 win over Xtreme/ Combat, another BC league foe who was ranked No. 1 in the state in class B.
The roll continued for 24Hr Corp with a 17-16 victory over class B T’s 13 from Nebraska and an 18-9 triumph over Class B Wheelhouse/Spiderz/Game Time Supply from Wisconsin.
The run ended with a 28-7 loss to class A power Team DeMarini/Famous Sports.com from California.
“We just got together this year,” said manager Eick Dean about the team that includes his sons Brandon, Robby and Eric.
Scott Striebel, who grew up in the Brooklyn Center area, helped Resmondo win the Dudley Budweiser Classic.
Brad Lenzen connects for 24Hr Corp/DBP/Breakaway, a class C team that upset three B teams at the recent Dudley Budweiser national softball tournament.
by Dave Pedersen
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!