Conference USSSA Action
West Coast Downs Team Combat for Cactus Classic Victory
By Lance McCall
Glendale, AZ. --- West Coast Doerflinger/Easton from Los Angeles, CA. won the Conference USSSA Cactus Classic held on April 27-29 by defeating Team Combat/Pacific Headwear of Kent WA. in the 'If' Game.
West Coast and Team Combat ended out battling each other three straight games at the end of the tournament before a winner was declared.
West Coast went 5-1 on the tournament and they certainly started the tournament off on the right foot as they won a lopsided 20-0 victory against Darksyde from Phoenix, AZ. West Coast followed up that victory with another convincing win over The Fallen/Easton/3n2 by the score of 23-8. West Coast got some great play from their All Tournament players Cal Ford and Johnny Bailey.
Against Class Glass/Easton/DSS of San Jose, CA. West Coast would have its toughest game of the tournament thus far as both teams battled to the final out. However, West Coast got some outstanding play from Tournament MVP Steven Lopez and some great defensive play from Defensive Tournament MVP Mario Granados to pull out a narrow 26-23 victory.
The undefeated game would be the first of three straight match-ups against Team Combat/Pacific Headwear from Kent, WA. The two heavy weights battled it out throughout the game. However West Coast a conference 'B' team more then held their own against the men's 'Major' Team Combat.
The conditions were just right as the ball carried very well throughout this contest. Each team had their share of 8 to 10 run leads throughout the game. By the seventh inning West Coast was holding on to a 50-40 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Combat nearly battled their way back into the game as they pushed 6 more runs across the plate. However West Coast defense shined bright at the end of the game to hold Combat off by a score of 50-46.
In the losers bracket Combat went on to beat Sonny's/Louisville Slugger by the score of 29-27. This victory earned them the right to play West Coast in the Championship game and they made the best of their opportunity as they downed a flat West Coast team 25-9.
In the winner take all 'If' game the two heavy weights went toe to toe throughout the game. Both teams rallied with a barrage of base hits and the usual long ball. However when the final out was called West Coast stood victorious with a close 35-32 victory.
Tournament MVP Steven Lopez
Defensive Tournament MVP Mario Granados
All Tournament Team Matt Pesso
All Tournament Team Rego Nieto
All Tournament Team Julio Salazar
All Tournament Team Cal Ford
All Tournament Team Johnny Bailey
Resmondo's Defeats Laservision Twice for Conference USSSA Hall of Fame Title
By Lance McCallKissimmee, FL. --- Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth from Winter Haven, FL. went 6-0 to win the first of the duel Hall of Fame USSSA Classics held in Kissimmee, FL. on April 19-20.
The team based out of Winter Haven, FL. had to win the tournament the hard way as they as had two victories that were decided by just 2 runs and they had to beat a talented Laservision/Anni/Supr/D2/Easton ball club from Cicero, NY twice in the undefeated and championship games.
Resmondo's road to victory started off with a impressive 22-14 win over "B" division team Buzinisports.com/BWW/Worth of Jackson, MS. Game two would be no easy affair for Resmondo's as "B" division SBS/Combat from Santa Clara, Canada came to compete and they definitely had no fear of the powerhouse Resmondo's team. With the final out Resmondo scored a close 16-14 win. Against Taylormade/TM Sports/Mizuno an "A" team from Williamsburg, VA. both team started off a little flat. However by the middle innings Resmondo's hitters were back on track as they scored 23-12 victory.
Against Team 454/Emerald/Worth another top of the line "A" division team from Glen Allen, VA. Resmondo was in a tight battle until they got some key base hits to pull away with a 15-12 victory in the late innings.
The victory was cruicial as this advanced them to the undefeated game against fellow "Major" powerhouse Laservision/Anni/Supr/D2/Easton from Cicero, NY. Resmondo all Tournament Team players Jeremiah Isenhower, Sean McDonald and Robert Hughes all had an outstanding game to push their team to a 16-2 victory.
Laservision was forced down into the losers bracket where they defeated Taylormade 24 to 9. This set up a battle between Taylomade and Resmondo in the championship game.
The two "Major" division titans squared off with Remondo just needing this one victory to secure the tournament title. Defensive Tournament CO-MVP's Don DeDonatis III and Howard Krause, Jr, both played some exceptional defense as they held Laservision to a single digit scoring as they sparked their team to a 24-9 victory and the first of the dual Hall of Fame championships.|
Tournament MVP Jimmy Salas
Defensive Tournament CO-MVP Don DeDonatis III
Defensive Tournament CO-MVP Howard Krause, Jr
All Tournament Team Sean McDonald
All Tournament Team Robert Hughes
All Tournament Team George Connell
All Tournament Team Jeremiah Isenhower
All Tournament Team Ronald Mack III