2017 'AA' World
10 Teams Overall
10 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
8 'AA' Teams
2 'A' Teams
The 2017 'AA' Worlds were moved unexpectedly to the Osceola Softball Complex in Kissimmee, Florida after the traditional venue at Fortune Road was closed due to unassessed damage from Hurricane Irma. This changed the complexion of the tournament a little bit as teams had to adjust to the 300 foot fields with 5 foot home fences instead of the Fortune Road fields that are 8 feet high and 325 feet in distance. But the teams seemed to adjust pretty well for the most part and most of the games played went 7 innings.
The tournament began on Saturday afternoon at 3 PM eastern time and finished up at 5 PM Sunday with 10 teams playing in a double elimination. The tournament was played in great weather with sunshine, a beautiful Saturday evening, and a nice breeze throughout the tournament. They used the regular Conference ball the Dudley Classic M. Let's take a look at the game by game:
'AA' World Game by Game!
Game #1 – The tournament started with 10 teams and two "Play In" games. The first was Primetime in the black shirts here taking on The Scene/HDLNS with their new retro Cleveland Indians? uniforms. After an early lead by Scene/HDLNS based out of Cincinnati, the Primetime 'A' team pulled ahead 8-3 and held an 18-14 lead mid game. HDLNS just could never catch up or shake off the rust as they hadn't played since the Columbus, Ohio major and Primetime kept hitting their way to a 30-22 upset.
Game #2 was the "Play In" game between Classic Glass in the Blue and TDB in the white. Classic grabbed leads of 4-1 early, 15-7 after 5 innings, 22-10 after 6, and won fairly easily 27-10. In the above picture Classic Glass's Mike Brambilla homer's.
Game #3 was a grudge match between two Illinois based main sponsors, Jason Wilkins of OA Apparel and Precision sponsored by Bill Wax. A couple of the players from both teams actually play league together and take BP. OA led 13-10 but used too many homers early on as their star players Filip Washington, Zach Messer, Steele Lewis, Brad Lunda, and Tim Bowser led the way. But Precision batted for about 20 minutes in the 5th and pulled away to a crushing 39-24 win.
Above, Precisions Keith Anderson hits a homer off of OA Apparel in their big comeback inning.
In Game #4 Baugh Ford an 'A' team in red took on Xtreme in Yellow over on Field #2 which was the only field with the wind blowing in. It was a bit of a pillow fight early but Xtreme grabbed an 11 run lead as Baugh Ford kept stranding base runners and made a bad base running error. Xtreme held a solid lead in most of the mid and later innings and won 32-20.
Game #5 was Nightmare in the pink and grey against Primetime on Field #4. Primetime hot off their upset of Scene/HDLNS then got off to such a hot start against Nightmare that they knocked out starting pitcher Wes Newell in the first two innings. The teams were tied though in the 6th inning and Primetime still had 8 homer's left but Nightmare who had come back from a double digit deficit sent Primetime to the loser's bracket 20-16.
Game #6 – #1 Seeded Worth Astros jumped out to leads of 14-7 and 24-7 on Classic Glass as Astros batted around twice in one inning. After Classic had played so well against TDB they were absolutely smoked so fast by Astros in this game 32-10 that I didn't get any pictures…
Game #11 the second round of the winner's bracket started as the lights came on. #2 Nightmare got off to a 24-1 lead on a stunned #3 Precision team. Everything was going right for Nightmare and they honestly looked to be rolling into the winner's bracket championship. But Precision managed to hit a number of 2, 3, and 4 run homer's and climbed back into the game avoiding 3rd and 4th inning run rules. Precision got some huge homer's down the stretch from Dan Bean and then in the bottom of the 7th with a homer left Precision Brett McCollum doubled and center fielder Travis Houseman pictured above hit a big double past the diving middle infielder Jason Trammell, and Kyle Cowart hit a walk off homer to win 28-26. A controversial call went against Nightmare when Charlie Hinojosa appeared to hit a 2 run triple down the 1st base line at the end of the game and Precision claimed the ball hit the runner at 1st. The umpires agreed after the play was over and called it an out.
Game #12 was the other semifinal between Xtreme and Worth Astros. Astros scored 17 runs on 9 homer's in the first inning and were out of their allotted 12 Homer's by the 2nd inning, and Astro's led 23-0 in the top of the 3rd. Xtreme never recovered and lost 23-7 setting up the highly anticipated winner's final late Saturday night.
Game #13 was a loser's bracket game late Saturday to make it to Sunday between Nightmare and Classic Glass. Classic Glass won 26-14 as they held Nightmare down with some nice infield defense.
In the loser's bracket TDB sent OA Apparel home 30-28, The Scene/HDLNS beat Baugh Ford 13-10, Primetime hit a walk off to beat TDB 24-23 after being down 6 late, and Classic Glass run ruled The Scene/HDLNS. All of those games were going on during the final 4 so I don't have details.
Game #14 was Primetime against Xtreme to make it to Sunday. Primetime gave Xtreme all they could handle but lost 31-26.
Game #15 was the winner's bracket finals Saturday night around 9:30 PM. A much anticipated game between Precision last years 'AA' champ, although with a much different team, vs this years #1 seed Worth Astros. The game was hard fought and there was some good defense, strategy, and pitching, and those frequent game stoppages by Precision… And it was Precison who led 13-10 after 4 innings. At one point it was tied at 15 each, and Precision grabbed a 22-20 lead in the 6th. But Precision would separate and win 30-21 as Worth Astros left a number of runners on with homer's left in the second half of the game.
Sunday Final 4!
The Sunday final 4 started with Game #16 at 9 AM with Classic Glass and Xtreme playing the loser's semifinals. The two teams both got off to quick starts and it was 12-8 Classic after 1 inning. Classic Glass middle man AJ Montano and Xtreme middle man Brandon Newman traded some great plays defensively. The game was about even going into the 3rd with Classic up 17-16 and both teams had hit 7 of their 12 homer's. At one point DJ Hollingsworth in center for Classic made a full speed leaping home run rob attempt towards the fence and landed hitting his face on the yellow plastic on top of the fence and it jarred the ball loose and the ball went for a homer. DJ was dizzy and had an injured knee and that is when the momentum changed to Xtreme. DJ tried to hit and stay in the game but when they finally removed him it changed their lineup and defense. In the 5th inning it was 24-24 and the wind started to blow straight in. Classic grabbed leads of 28-24, and 32-24 but Xtreme scored 8 in the 6th to take a 34-32 lead, the big blow was a Newman grand slam! With the homer's gone Xtreme outscored Classic (who had the hammer) 6-3 the rest of the way and advanced after a 2 hour marathon game to take on a fresh Worth Astros team.
Pictured is Matt McGowan hitting against Worth Astros
Game #17 was the loser's final. Astros batted 13 hitters in the first inning and jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Astros and Xtreme then proceeded to use up a bunch of homers in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings and it was 21-15 Astros going into the top of the 5th. But Xtreme saved 5 homer's for the top of the 7th down 24-20 and even with the wind blowing in proceeded to score 10 runs and went up 6. Astros with 2 homer's left and the hammer managed just 2 runs and Xtreme advanced to face Precision in the championship.
Pictured is Lyf Nimmo with yet another clutch pinch hit for Xtreme!
Games #18 and #19 were the championship games. A tired but seemingly confident Xtreme team got off to 10-6 and 16-9 leads on maybe an over pumped up Precision team as they chased starting pitcher Dan Bean early on. Xtreme maintained the lead 19-13 and 21-13 through the early innings. Xtreme continued the offensive momentum and extended their lead to an impressive 16 runs in the top of the 7th using the rest of their homers and forced the "if" game 35-20
In the final game Xtreme started with an adrenaline filled 1st inning where they painted lines, hit gaps, hit clutch homer's, took advantage of errors, and went up 21 to 2! To add to it Colin Baartman made the most spectacular catch of the tournament on a full speed fully perpendicular dive in the right center field gap, and SS Toby Letak was making some great backhanded picks, and defensive MVP Brandon Newman was locking down the middle.
Precision, the champions that they are, never gave up though and a Lossen White 3 run homer closed the gap to 28-16 and using their homer's well closed it to 28-23 late. But Xtreme had one more outburst in them and 5 homer's to hit and exploded to a 41-35 win. In the last inning they scored all of their runs after the first two batters made outs by being robbed of homers by Kyle Cowart in left field and and extra base hit rob by Travis Houseman in center.
'AA' Awards and Final Standings
Xtreme's Shannon Smith was MVP
Xtreme Middle Infielder Brandon Newman was Defensive MVP
Xtreme award winner's