Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’sBy Robert Campbell
Tallies a Major Texas Win
EULESS, TEXAS—The Texas Legends Coors Light Major Nit kicked off with the toughest field of the first 6 events in the 2010 Conference USSSA schedule. It featured 28 teams headlined by Resmondo/SpecialtyTank/Phonemaster/Worth, 2009’s defending Major World Champions, and 2010’s top-ranked Major team—Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’s.
The tournament also featured the best collection of current A and B division teams in what proved to be the most competitive event in 2010.
The early games went very much as expected and so to the quarter final rounds. The competition was highlighted by high scoring offenses and defenses that have made their 2010 adjustments.
“Fear no one” was the calling card of the day. Featured wins were by Worth teams Albicoccos, GTL, Resmondo, and FenceBrokers. Easton Teams Famous, AJS/Supreme moved on along with Woodlaw/Mikan and Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney. A formidable Woodlaw/Mikan moved on to face Powerhouse Resmondo and FenceBorokers were set to corral Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’s.
A familiar style of victory for the Resmondo and Dan Smith teams as they completed 5 inning run rules over Woodlaw and FenceBrokers respectively. The games were competitive, but this was the calm before the storm.
The winner’s bracket final would feature the most anticipated battle of Conference USSSA leaders with the best in major softball squaring off. This game drew the largest and most rowdy crowd of the weekend and would feature a new rivalry developing this season between top pitcher’s Resmondo’s Andy Purcell and Dan Smith’s Geno Buck. These two teams have intense pride and a strong “on the field dislike” for one another.
A cool Saturday evening with the park buzzing and a packed house of anxious fans set the stage. No matter your view on Conference softball players, the fans want to watch the best in the game play. The bout began with an early lead by Resmondo as they held on for the first 3 innings as Dan Smith was stymied early.
As the game progressed, the defenses began to tighten and so did the score. At the close of the 4th inning, the score was tight at 20-18 with Dan Smith leading. The mood of the game was intense as Resmondo went to 20 in their half of the 5th and Dan Smith took it to 25 in theirs.
The sixth was the decisive frame as Resmondo surrendered a double play turned by SS Brett McCollum to MF Dal Beggs to Ryan Theide at first base. It was their second of the game. The Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’s team then began to serve notice to “The Sod Boys.” A 10-run outburst silenced Resmondo and was capped off by a 3 run homer from Brett McCollum that sailed well over 480 feet—easily the longest blast of the day. Then, Dan Smith pitcher Geno Buck followed with a solo walk-off homer sealing the winner’s bracket victory. The final score was Dan Smith 35 and Resmondo 20.
Awaiting Resmondo in the loser’s bracket final was Fencebrokers/Gametime/Worth who dispatched fourth place Woodlaw/Miken in a tight battle 20-14. Resmondo found itself challenged by an increasingly confident FenceBrokers. The A division programs have really pushed each other and the Majors this season. In their talent rich confidence, they are playing the Majors very well. Resmondo outlasted the third place
FenceBrokers/Gametime/Worth 46-36 in a game that was very competitive. The championship game was now set with Conference USSSA’s top two programs.
Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’s and Resmondo were ready to do battle for the second time this season for the Texas title. They were both motivated by the conclusion of the winner’s bracket game final game comments.
The game began much like their previous game. Resmondo was off to an early lead of 14-5 and the lead swelled to 21-14 after the third inning. Resmondo and Dan Smith would take the challenge presented by keeping the score within striking distance. The sixth and seventh innings proved to be the best softball this season. Both innings had excellent defense and pitching that held the offensive juggernauts down. The teams were laser focused on winning this event.
Dan Smith plated 2 runs and Resmondo scored 2 runs in the sixth inning. The score was now Dan Smith 38 and Resmondo 31 going to the top of the seventh. Resmondo rallied on key hits by Connell, Purcell, BJ Fulk, and Dedonatis Jr., finishing the seventh inning with 7 runs and tying the game at 38 each. Critical to this inning was Resmondo left the bases loaded with one homerun remaining, as Brett Helmer was brought in to relieve pitcher Geno Buck.
Helmer was able to get the last out on one pitch. The bottom of the seventh was very tight and both clubs were feeling the pressure. Dan Smith’s Dal Beggs, All tourney selection lead-off with a rocket at pitcher Andy Purcell that was caught with his cat like reflexes. Jeremy Isenhower, who only made 4 outs the entire tournament was next and he promptly delivered a single to right center.
Brett McCollum SS stepped to the plate and went to a full count against Purcell and stroked a line drive missle to right center. The speedy Jeremy Isenhower was waived home by third base coach/sponsor, Chris Chaney, and the throw was late to catcher Jeff Wallace. Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney’s would become Texas Legends Champions in 2010 with a 39-38 victory. A game full of grit and determination.
The win put Dan Smith at the top of the current Conference USSSA standings. This should prove to be a tremendous rivalry in 2010 since it already has been at four events. Dan Smith Manager, Pat Dalsanders stated, “We have assembled a great team. It’s a good win for our entire organization and we take great pride in our success”.