2021 Nationwide Conference USSSA
22nd Annual Cincinnati Major
Resmondo's Greg Connell finishes off Smash It Sports on Sunday
Team Breakdown: 44 Teams Overall 24 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams 4 Major Teams 5 'AA' Teams 11 'A' Teams 9 'B' Teams 15 'C' Teams
Friday Night and "Round of 32"
The 44 team men's Major in Cincinnati, Ohio at Mid America Ballyard and River City West parks began on Friday night at 5 PM an hour late due to mid afternoon showers. But only one game was played on each of 8 fields as another massive thunderstorm hit with lightning strikes and damage at both parks pushing the restart of the tournament back to 4 PM on Saturday. The pictures above show the rain during first storm before the tournament at River City West on the left and the even bigger storm at Mid America Ballyard on the right. The rain continued all through Friday night into Saturday morning and there was even another smaller storm at noon on Saturday but the tireless work of the grounds crews and the use of thousands of dollars of diamond dry got the fields playable and the tournament was completed in its entirety with most of the games using 5 innings instead of 7. There were no upsets in the 1st round and all 24 Conference USSSA teams either won or had a bye into the "Round of 32".
Due to the rain and live streaming issues I did not see any games in the "Round of 32" but looking at the bracket the only upsets were Meirtran/Compressor Services (IL-B) 12-7 over Chick-fil-a/BAF Sports (VA-A) and Juno Athletics (NJ-A) knocked off Precision/3rd Street (IL-AA) 16-12. Some other 'A' teams that advanced were Slugger/SVC (OH-A) over Nightmare (MO-A) 12-10, Premier/BAF/Easton (OH-A) 31-15 over Baugh Ford (AL-A), Primetime Easton (GA-A) 15-14 over Cornerstone (KY-A), Competitive Edge (FL-A) 7-3 over Rebel, Classic Glass (CA-A) 23-12 over Siteman, and Westpoint (IN-A) 22-9 over WM Roofing (OH-B). All 4 Major teams and the remaining 4 'AA' teams all advanced.
The fields although soaked played well considering the number of inches of rain that fell in a short period.
"Round of 16"
The "Round of 16" continued with the 5 inning games and the winner's bracket was played straight through to completion at Mid America Ballyard with teams only resting if they needed the fields for another winner's game. The loser's bracket played out at the nearby River City West Park. Pictured above West Point takes on Smash It Sports/Newbreed/TDB (NC-M). Smash It used pitcher Ryan Mcclanahan all weekend and were resting Andy Purcell who only played a couple innings. Smash It won the game 24-10. All of the fences at both parks are around 300 feet and the humidity kept the scores within reason as well as the shortened games but the temperatures were in the 70's and low 80's with very little wind.
Colin Baartman and the SNI/Thunder/Chosen (FL-AA) team fight their way past Primetime 32-26. It was a long game over on field #3 when Primetime came from down 17 to make a game of it, but SNI won.
Competitive Edge and pitcher LC Watson got Classic Glass down early with a 10 run 1st inning and never really let them back in winning 21-13. Tyler Ervine pictured above was 5-5 with 4 HR and 11 RBI in the win. Resmondo (FL-M) run ruled Slugger/SVC 23-8 as Kyle Pearson went 5-5 with 4 HR and 10 RBI. MPT Rentals (NJ-M) run ruled Meirtran 23-8. Xtreme (MN-AA) got passed Albicocco (FL-AA) 22-19 in the 1st battle of 'AA' teams. Dan Smith (AZ-M) just held off Premier 22-17 up on field #2 in front of a big home town Premier crowd. Premier just couldn't hit the home runs being out homered 11-5. Bryan Dezern and Josh Kirsten were both 4-4 for Dan Smith in the win. Juno Athletics who had just beat Precision knocked off another 'AA' team Sports Reach 20-16 jumping out to a 19-7 lead as lead off hitter Ike Worlow went 3-3.
Crowds were solid, maybe a little bigger than normal considering the rain and late night. Definitely there were more cars and less open parking than normal. This was the most cars I have seen since the Team USA exhibition games that were held there back around 2010.
"Round of 8"
The rapid fire 5 inning winner's bracket games continued with a good one between Major teams MPT Rentals and Resmondo. Neither team will tell you they played well in this one as errors led to some big innings. Both teams scored in every inning and because it was two major teams they were allowed to hit 16 HR. MPT hit 15 and Resmondo 13. MPT got a home run robbing catch from left fielder Brock Frentzel above but their 36-24 lead evaporated in the bottom of the 7th when they had two misplays defensively and Greg Connell pictured below walked them off with 2 outs. As you can see by the box score below John Williams was 6-6 in the loss and Steele Lewis had 11 RBI in the win. Meanwhile Xtreme rolled through Dan Smith 22-7 in a complete blowout. SNI/Thunder beat upset minded Juno Athletics 26-18. And Smash It Sports out slugged Competitive Edge 44-29 scoring 11 in the 1st, 13 in the 2nd, and 8 in the 3rd. Collins, Marshburn, and Dunn all had 5 hits in the win.
In semifinal #1 Resmondo trailed Xtreme 12-11 going into the top of the 4th when they opened up with a 17 run inning. They scored 11 more in the top of the 5th to win 39-25. Pearson and Connell had 5 hits each for Resmondo and Smith and Ellwanger were 7-7 total for Xtreme.
Xtreme left fielder Matt McGowan robs a home run in the Resmondo game.
In semifinal #2 after a bench clearing showdown SNI came from behind to beat Smash It Sports 24-19 putting on a fireworks display of home runs in the bottom of the 4th inning. This game will be in condensed form on the SW48 youtube channel on Tuesday.
The winner's bracket finals started at around 2 AM Sunday morning. I had to leave to take down cameras at River City West but as you can see in the box score SNI put up a couple of zeros and Resmondo left them on the field in the 4th.
River City West held most of the loser's bracket which witnessed Chick-fil-a who had lost their 1st game of the tournament beat Liberty, 3AC, Classic Glass, Baugh Ford, and MPT Rentals to finish tied for 5th. And Smash It and Xtreme dropped down late in the loser's bracket to win and face off in the loser's semifinal after the sun came up Sunday.
On Sunday at 8 AM Smash It beat Xtreme after Xtreme jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the top of the 1st and Smash it hit pitcher Dirk Updike injuring his wrist and Xtreme didn't have enough players to continue. Then Smash It beat SNI 23-3 in a total blowout to get to the championship.
In the Championship it was all Resmondo offensively, defensively, and everything in between as they left Smash it on the field in the bottom of the 5th with a run rule win. The last 3 games were scheduled to be 7 inning games.
Thank you to the grounds crew, umpires, directors, and park management at both parks as they went above and beyond to get this tournament completed!
Oldscout pollers were correct! DW WRONG!
Long Bombers of the Week
SNI's Josh Fyffe gets the long bomber of the week with this blast in the Smash it game.
Honorable mention to Clark, Jones, and both Kyle Pearsons.
Cincinnati Major Final Standings and Awards
Resmondo's Greg Connell was MVP – .962 on base percentage
Resmondo's Travis Clark was Defensive MVP
Smash It Sports Neil Haglund was Offensive MVP
Team by team notes
1st Place – Resmondo/Smash It/Menosse/Thunder
Conf 'M' from FL 6-0 Record
Resmondo rolled through the tournament dominating the short games offensively and then shutting down SNI and SIS when they had to. This puts them in 1st in the Conference points standings and in the driver's seat for that coveted #1 seed at the major and the golden hammer that comes with it. Yates, Mack, and Helmer were not there but the deep bench filled in nicely.
Reckart at 3rd, Briggs SS, Bazat MI
Pearson was back .867, 12 HR, 25 RBI
Steele Lewis above and Jason Magnum below made all tournament replacing Mack and Yates.
2nd Place – SmashItSports/Newbreed/TDB/RF/BD/T3
Conf 'M' from NC 6-2 Record
Smash it decided to rest Andy Purcell but still managed a 2nd place. The points race will come down probably to which team wins more tournaments down the stretch. Tyler Wilson was not there.
3B Brungardt, SS Marshburn, MI Reyna, 2B Melton
Purcell got a hit in what I believe was his only at bat.
Ben Dunn makes another great catch on the fence.
3rd Place – SNI/Thunder/Chosen/DeMarini
Conf 'AA' from FL 4-2 Record
SNI is real good at finishing top 3, this team wishes worlds would start this week. SNI tired out some in this one. Dawe is ok. 🙂 Hopefully Jonas knee is just a tweak. Branch might get suspended for the altercation vs SIS, not sure. MVP this weekend was McMorrison who kept Branch from actually laying hands on someone.
3B Pearson, SS Roxby, MI Fyffe, 2B Hatmaker, 1B Dawe
Ryan Snyder homers in relief of Jonas who had a bad knee from running in the mud.
4th Place – Xtreme/ASP/Athlon/Miken/Worth
Conf 'AA' from MN 4-2 Record
Xtreme finally broke through and had a big points weekend at the cost of their pitching as Thorbrogger and Updike got knocked out by the Major teams who seem to have a couple of guys blowing up pitchers.
3B New Guy Mitch Olson?, SS Dylan Smith, MI Newman
Tied 5th Place – Chick-fil-a/BAF Sports
Conf 'A' from VA 6-2 Record
Chick-fil-A switched parks every time I did so I never did see them make their epic run through the loser's bracket. If 'A' Worlds comes down to an all nighter Chick-fil-a is my pick. 🙂
Tied 5th Place – Juno Athletics/MPT Rentals
Conf 'A' from NJ 5-2 Record
Juno pulled off those back to back upsets of 'AA' teams then faded some but a big weekend for them as they still only have 6 tournaments played but on the outside looking in to get into the Major which probably wasn't on their radar to begin with.
SS Tyler Dickens doubles
Chicks dig the long ball
Some more pictures for you:
Two parks and 10 fields used for the 64 total teams.
Dan Smith lost big to Xtreme and oldscout rumors of inner turmoil.
MPT gave away a win to Resmondo then got Chick-fil-a'd
Premier playing on their home turf almost clipped Dan Smith.
Sports Reach disappeared to the loser's bracket and faded to a 13th place finish.
Primetime with a solid 9th place finish played all night long.
WM Roofing was tied for 13th showed signs of life beating Premier.
Meirtran tied for 7th and quickly becoming the top 'B' team in the country.
Rebel won their 1st 3 games of the season and tied for 17th.
Classic Glass 1-2
The white frothy looking puss is the lightning frying the livestream circuit boards.
The Miami river was up 20 feet from Friday to Saturday
Mcclanahan was out!