The Conference USSSA is now sponsored by Nationwide Insurance. The season began this past weekend in Las Vegas, NV at Big League Dreams Freedom Park with 31 teams including 13 from Conference USSSA. The double elimination tournament began Friday with perfect weather and almost no early upsets as Conference teams went 24-1 on the weekend vs non-conference opponents. The lone win was an incredible 25-10 Saturday morning run rule victory for non-conference Classic Glass over major classed Team Combat/Pacific Headwear. AZM, a ‘B’ team out of Arizona also pushed major team Laser Vision in the second round as they trailed the #2 ranked team in the country just 29-27 at the end of 5 innings. Laser Vision then turned it on and run ruled AZM.
Also on Saturday the wind kicked up and made for some treacherous outfield play. In the much anticipated 10:40 AM games, SBS Combat squeaked out a win over West Coast Doerflinger 18-17 and Down2EarthSports.com separated mid way and run ruled “4 The Fallen” 39-24. Team Demarini run ruled Line Drive 29-13 and Sonny’s run ruled Baugh Ford 32-10.
In the round of 8 in the winner’s bracket at 3 PM on Saturday SBS/Combat blew a 10 run lead in the 6th and a chance to comeback in the 7th against Laser Vision by making multiple defensive errors and lost 41-31. Sonny’s trailed Team 454 17-4 early on but held 454 to just 4 runs the rest of the way and knocked them off 36-21 behind a 13 run 3rd inning and a 12 run 4th. Nordkap handled Demarini easily 30-15 and Down2Earth scored 12 runs in the top of the 7th and held Classic Glass scoreless in the bottom half to win 20-18.
In the final 4 Down2Earth folded shop against Nordkap in a 36-16 loss. Meanwhile Sonny’s and Laser Vision were locked in a battle which would end up as the game of the tournament. Laser Vision the visiting team trailed Sonny’s 6-0 after one inning with the sun pointed directly in the batters face. As the sun went down Laser Vision pulled out to a 20-12 lead and a 9 run top of the 7th on homers by Geno Buck and Rick Baker pushed their lead to 30-13. Sonny’s came to bat in the bottom half needing 17 to tie. They scored 5 runs before back to back outs put them in a deep hole. Then they did the unheard of…they had 14 straight runner’s reach base safely by hits, homer’s, and walk’s. The momentum and adrenaline kicked in and Sonny’s won the game 31-30 on the strength of an 18 run 7th inning and sent the mighty Laser Vision to the loser’s bracket. Details and video on the incredible comeback are laid out further on in this report.
In the winner’s bracket championship game Nordkap broke a 9-9 tie after two innings with 23 runs over the next 3 innings and held off Sonny’s who tried to make another great comeback in the 7th by a final of 37-29.
Late Saturday night, Demarini beat Down2EarthSports to make it to the loser’s bracket championship on Sunday morning against Sonny’s. In that game with the wind blowing Sonny’s held off a Demarini team that would not give up. On the verge of a run rule for a couple of innings in a row, Demarini fought back to a tough 42-30 loss. Nordkap then beat Sonny’s in the championship 27-19 with some good early offense and enough defense to keep Sonny’s at bay for the entire game.
The tournament was full of great games and parity throughout with Major, A, and B teams playing on almost equal ground except for Nordkap who run ruled their first 4 opponents before Sonny’s was able to take them the full 7 innings in their last two contests.
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!