Team 454 Emerald/Worth based out of Glen Allen, Virginia remains the #1 Class ‘A’ team in the country as they go 5-1 to win the ‘A’ World Tournament. They were pushed into the second game (the “IF” game) of the Championship Sunday after¬noon by runner up, R&M Metals/Troupe/ TCP/Easton based out of Waterloo, Iowa. R&M turned an early 11-1 lead into a hard fought 13-8 victory and forced the “IF” game.
In the final game Team 454 held small leads the majority of the way and R&M pulled to within 1 run on a 3 run pinch hit homer by Keith Anderson. 454 didn’t score in the bottom of the 6th and R&M failed to score in the top of the 7th and lost 21-20 when 454 pitcher Andy Vitcak snapped off a Sam Lopez liner up the middle to end the game.
Except for the night games, the tourna¬ment was played in 90+ degree tempera¬tures with a high humidity and the scores were low as the ball just would not fly. The true homerun hitters came to the fore¬front and needed to spin the ball to get it out of the park.
In the second round games on Friday night things were even crazier as 1st Step/ DCS, a local ‘B’ bracket filler team, trailed Shoppe, the #2 seed, 18-13 going into the top of the 7th. DCS used the last of their allotted 8 homer’s to tie the score when David Garcia came to the plate with 2 outs. Garcia smashed one in the left centerfield gap that hit the very top of the 6.5 foot Disney fences right at the 305 foot mark and the ball caromed back into play for a bases clearing double. Then DCS, riding a wave of momentum, ended up with an incredible 23 run inning, the last 16 of which came with two outs and no homer’s left. After the 23 run inning Shoppe had no answer and lost 34-18.
The best game of the second round was R&M Metal vs Linedrive. In an entertaining game with lots of energy and strategy, Linedrive came up in the bottom of the 7th inning trailing and loaded the bases down 14-13. Brian Ward didn’t get enough of a one out sacrifice fly attempt and R&M left fielder Nick Robertson caught it and gunned the runner tagging from third at the plate for the double play and the win.
Also, Primetime shocked the nations #3 ranked team, Sonny’s 18-12. Sonny’s couldn’t get the offense on track and Primetime had a lethal 3 run homer by Roderick Armour to put the game out of reach.
In other second round action, Suncoast shut down Dave’s Place 14-4 and Sinister pummeled Down2EarthSports 28-13 on a 12 run – 5 homer first inning.
In the third round a feisty 1st Step/DCS teams “Cinderella” run came to an end as Sinister beat them 20-17 on the stadium field. R&M Metals beat Suncoast 28-17 on the back field #12, and Wood Law smoked Primetime 17-6. In the final quarter final game EWS led Team 454 when the rain came and a listless Team 454 used the 2 hour rain delay to their advantage and came back and scored the last 10 runs of the game to win 17-9. EWS was able to muster just 2 home runs in the game.
The semi-finals were full of drama and big plays (or big bad plays) as R&M Metals used a two out error, a walk, and a bases loaded game winning walk to beat Sinister 13-12.
Wood Law in the other semi-final against Team 454 held a nice 11-6 lead going into the 4th. Then Team 454, like they did against EWS, had a mid-game rally and held off Wood Law 20-16 to go to the winner’s bracket championship.
The winner’s bracket championship game between R&M Metals and Team 454 started late on Saturday night on the stadium field. R&M Metals was outscored 8-0 in the 4th and 5th inning and lost 22-13.
When the sun rose on Sunday morning it was EWS handing Sinister a 19-9 loss after EWS had finished off Shoppe late on Saturday night. On the other diamond at 8 AM Wood Law used a couple of long offensive innings to put away Suncoast by the run rule 21-6.
Wood Law then crushed EWS with a huge first inning and went on to win by the 20 run rule 33-13.
In the loser’s bracket championship R&M held off a tired Wood Law team 16-10 to make it to the finals against Team 454.
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!