The USSSA Men’s Major World Series was held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Kissimmee, Florida, on September 23-26. The winners’ bracket and final day game by game recap follow. Game 1: 4 The Fallen/JTF/Hawaii, who earned their berth to the Major by winning the USSSA Military Worlds, came out guns a blazing with five runs in the top of the first inning and led, 5-3, after one. Their opponent, Pure Romance (PRI) from Ohio, had an offensive sputter in the early going. In the top of the sixth inning, 4 The Fallen got a two-run double from Clayton Shaw and another two-run homer from shortstop Chuck Garmon to take a commanding 16-7 lead. PRI shortstop Pat Foster made a nice play to hold the lead to nine. In the bottom of the sixth, PRI crawled back into the game with six unearned runs, led by big Jon Jamison’s three-run homer, to pull within four at 17-13. In the top of the seventh, 4 The Fallen got a three-run homer from Jesse Ayres, which led to nine runs, and 4 The Fallen won the first-ever Major World Series game they played in, 26- 15, to advance into the bracket to play number two seed Smash It Sports later on Wednesday evening. 18 4 The Fallen/JTF/Hawaii - 26; #15 Pure Romance/ Foulks/Headlines/Easton - 15. Game 2: VCH Worth from Texas, playing with special uniforms to commemorate a teammate’s recent loss, set the tone for the game in the first inning when power hitter Isaac Gonzales hit two massive home runs two-thirds of the way up the giant 45-foot-high scoreboard wall in straight away center field. The bombs had traveled more 400 feet when they hit the scoreboard and would have gone even further if not stopped. The fences at Champion’s Stadium at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports are 330-375-400-375-316. VCH led their fellow Worth team, Broughton (North Carolina), 6-2 after three innings. In the bottom of the fifth, VCH got seven more runs to lead, 13-7, and put away Broughton in the bottom of the sixth with three more homers, including a third homer from Gonzales, a homer from Josh Kirsten, and a homer from Zane Trammell, as they advanced to play top-seed Resmondo later in the evening. 17 Broughton/Bad Draw/Worth - 12; #16 VCH Worth 17. Game 3: In a first-round battle of solid ‘A’ teams, Team Racks, based out of Wyoming, jumped out to an early five-run lead in the top of the first inning. Albicocco from New York answered with a three-run homer by JD Genter in their eight-run bottom of the third to take a 9-7 advantage. In the top of the fourth, Racks pitcher Tyson Steele hit a three-run homer to give the lead back to Racks, 11-9. Albicocco batted around in the bottom of the fourth and scored eight runs—six of them with two outs—to take a 17-11 lead. Racks wouldn’t make another run until the top of the sixth, when left fielder Nick Price hit a two-run homer in a nine-run inning, and Racks led, 20-19. Back came Albicocco again, and they scored 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, started by leadoff man Cory Large, who hit a two-run homer. Albicocco held on, 29-24, in an entertaining, action-packed game. Albicocco out homered Racks seven to five. 11 Team Racks/Easton - 24; #6 Albicocco/The Scene/Easton 29. Game 4: It was all Backman, the major team out of Indiana, in the first inning as center fielder Brian Logan made a great catch against the fence to hold TG Brand (Michigan) to no runs. Backman came in and tallied five runs, all with two outs in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the third, TG Brand outfielder Jonathan Gastineau hit a three-run homer, and in the bottom half of the inning, Backman’s Ryan Harvey hit a three-run shot of his own, increasing his team’s lead to 11-4. Backman pitcher Lloyd Watson added a three-run homer in the bottom of the fourth to go up, 16-4. TG Brand got a grand slam from Jonathan Greer to close the gap to 17-8 but could get no closer. Backman finished TG Brand off, 28-13, to advance to the round of eight. Backman catcher Terry Baggs led the way with a 4-for-4, two-home run, five-RBI performance. Backman had 10 home runs in the game, including three from the bat of leadoff man Ryan Harvey. 14 TG Brand - 13; #3 Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger - 21. Game 5: Thursday morning’s opener found Red’s Astros from Indiana starting to get things going in the bottom of the second inning when Phillip White’s grand slam led to an eight-run frame and a 12-4 lead over FBI (‘A’ champs from Arkansas). In the top of the third inning, Fence Brokers grabbed the momentum as they scored the most runs in an inning in the tournament to that point with 16, the first 12 coming before the first out! Brian McBryde had the standout hit of the inning with a big three-run homer. In the bottom of the third, FBI left fielder Joe Gordon made a diving catch, but it wasn’t enough to hold back Red’s Astros, who scored eight runs, three on a Brandon Dillon homer, to tie the game at 20-20. But it was all FBI from there, as they scored 14 more in the top of the fifth and Red’s could only extend the game once on a Newbill homer and lost by the run-rule in six innings, 37-30. FBI hit 14 homers in the game, including three each from Billy Maggard and Alex Henry. 10 Fence Brokers Inc/Buzini/Worth - 37; #7 Red’s Astros/Louisville Slugger - 30. Game 6: Big Shannon Smith got Xtreme/Miken (Minnesota) going in the top of the second with a two-run triple to give them a 7-1 lead over OC Swats (‘B’ champs from California). OC Swats came back in the bottom of the second when two Xtreme errors and a bad hop led to five runs, as Swats closed the gap to 7-6. In the top of the fourth inning, Xtreme’s Shannon Smith struck again for a three-run homer and the team scored 16 runs, which led to a 23-7 “flip-flop” win over Swats. Xtreme’s Andrew Miller was 4-for-4 and Smith collected seven RBIs as they out-homered Swats, 7-0. 9 Xtreme/Miken - 23; #8 OC Swats Doerflinger/Miken/LCP - 7. Game 7: The Encompass (Minnesota) versus Team Combat (Washington) game was a bit of a “pillow fight,” as the teams each hit only two homers and scored 15 runs combined in seven innings. Early on it was some good defense as Team Combat second baseman Dal Beggs made a nice diving stop in the first inning and the team turned a double play in the top of the third. In the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Pearson had a home run overturned (foul) but Combat still led, 5-4. Encompass scored just one run in each of the first five innings and two in the sixth to go up, 7-6, with Patrick Ellwanger hitting two solo homers. Combat managed to tie it, 7-7, after six innings and Casey Rogowski won the game for Combat on a walk-off single to right field. 12 Encompass/Eurotech/Easton/CA - 7; #5 Team Combat/ Baugh Ford/Softball.com - 8. Game 8: The Illinois/Easton grudge match started with some defense as Precision left fielder Davis Bilardello made a nice sliding catch in the first inning and big Johnathon Williams made a diving stop and throw at third base for Compound Athletics in the bottom of the second. I say “grudge match” because a number of players on these two teams play league ball together back in Illinois and both teams were sponsored by Easton. Compound then exploded for nine runs in the top of the third inning and led, 14-5, with Zach Messer adding a two-run homer. In the top of the fourth, Lyf Nimmo gave Compound an 18-6 lead with a three-run homer and Ben Dunn added a three-run triple to make it 25-6 in the top of the fifth! Precision kept the game going with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth, but Compound’s Kyle Pearson, who hit four homers in the game, lofted one into the flags in left field. Pearson was joined in the homer parade by Brad Lunda, Johnathon Williams, and Matt Vern as Compound shocked Precision, 38-18. 13 Compound Athletics/Easton - 38; #4 Precision/Easton - 18. Game 9: Second-seed Smash It Sports (New York) out-powered 4 The Fallen military team, 11-3, as Smash’s Ryan Parfitt gave them a 10-5 lead on a two-run homer in the bottom of the third, Steven Lloyd a 15-5 lead in the fourth on a three-run homer, and Scott Kirby hit a two-runner, which run-ruled Fallen in the fifth. 4 The Fallen did get two homers out of shortstop Chuck Garmon, who was impressive, and two-hitter Clayton Shaw was 7-for-7 in his first two games of the World Series! 18 4 The Fallen/JTF - 7; #2 Smash It; Sports/Compound/ HAuto/LV/ASP/Easton - 22. Game 10: Top-seed Resmondo’s (Florida) first game Wednesday was against fellow Worth team VCH. Resmondo came out of the gate swinging, putting up 10 runs on seven homers in the top of the first inning, highlighted by Jimmy Salas’ home run over the giant scoreboard wall in center field! In the top of the second, VCH answered with six runs as Tom Crump hit a homer over the scoreboard! In the bottom of the second, Resmondo’s BJ Fulk hit a three-run homer, and they extended their lead to 17-6. VCH answered with three runs on a Kenny Hare home run to trail, 17-10. It was all Resmondo the rest of the way, as Greg Connell hit a missile through the flags at the top of the left field berm in the bottom of the third inning in his team’s 31-11 triumph. Resmondo was led by their lefties, as the wind was blowing to right field; they hit a tournament-high (to this point) 19 home runs, led by BJ Fulk, who was 4-for-4, with two home runs and six RBIs. 16 VCH Worth - 11; #1 Resmondo Specialty Tank/Worth; 31. Game 17: Albicocco jumped all over Backman in their quarterfinal game with 17 runs in the first inning! Backman would answer with 13 runs in the first two innings, but only a Reggie Schulte home run-rob could slow down the Albicocco offense that scored 11 additional runs in the top of the third inning. Albicocco led, 32-13, going into the bottom of the third. Albicocco was frustrating Backman by walking their leadoff and power hitter Ryan Harvey all five times he came to the plate, although he did score every time. In the bottom of the third Sam Lopez hit a three-run homer for Backman, but that was matched by Shaun Ballard in the top of the fourth and Albicocco led, 35-19. Ballard was 4-for-4 in the game with two home runs and 11 RBIs. In the fifth, Albicocco “flip-flopped” Backman and Backman’s Terry Baggs hit a grand slam to avoid the run-rule when they were down by 12. Albicocco would hold on to win, 48-33, the highest score of any team in the tournament, and did so on 12 home runs, three of which were hit by Josh Riley. 6 Albicocco/The Scene/Easton - 48; #3 Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger - 33. Game 18: Smash It Sports got a grand slam from second baseman Steven Lloyd in the bottom of the first inning to take a 4-2 lead on Fence Brokers Inc (FBI). In the top of the second inning, FBI’s Mike Cervantes hit a three-run homer to give his team a 6-4 lead, but Smash It right fielder Mike Umschied robbed FBI of a home run with a leaping catch at the fence to hold the lead to two. In the bottom half of the inning, Umschied hit a three-run homer to give them a 12-7 lead. The Smash It defense continued to hold down FBI with a double play in the top of the third, and Umschied collected a three-run double to give Smash It Sports a 24-13 advantage. In the bottom of the fifth, Smash It Sports finished off FBI by the run-rule on a Scott Kirby pinch-hit homer, 28-13. 10 Fence Brokers - 13; #2 Smash It Sports - 28. Game 19: Thursday night in the quarterfinals, Resmondo reached on a number of errors in the top of the first inning and Andy Purcell and BJ Fulk each hit three-run homers to lead Xtreme, 6-0. In the top of the second Xtreme leadoff man Andrew Miller hit a threerun homer to cut the Resmondo lead to 8-5. In the bottom of the second Resmondo got big home runs from Jimmy Salas and Nic Santana in a 15-run inning and never looked back, winning, 23-5, to advance to the final four. Bubba Mack was 4-for-4 with three home runs and four RBIs. 9 Xtreme - 10; #1 Resmondo - 26. Game 20: An upset-minded Compound Athletics team took to the field in game 20 against Team Combat. Compound separated from Combat in the top of the second when Kyle Pearson hit a three-run homer in a 13-run inning! In the middle frames, Compound center fielder Ben Dunn and Combat center fielder Brian Zirkle traded great catches against the fence, but Compound led by 15 runs in the bottom of the fifth when Combat’s Brian Lipman hit a clutch two-run homer to keep the game from being a run-rule. Combat also scored nine runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the final score look closer than it actually was, as Compound upset them, 29-24. Compounds Lyf Nimmo hit two homers and Kyle Pearson clubbed four! 13 Compound Athletics - 29; #5 Team Combat - 24. Game 25: The late semifinal game, which started after midnight Eastern time Friday night, kicked off with Albicocco scoring 11 runs in the top of the first inning. Only four runs were earned, as Smash It Sports had a tough time gloving it until third baseman Dale Brungardt’s nice diving stop and throw got them out of the inning. In the bottom of the second, Smash It’s Scott Kirby pulled them to within two runs with a three-run homer. In the top of the third inning, Albicocco’s Brad Reckart hit a two-out triple to push Albicocco’s lead to 17-11. Then Smash It backup pitcher and veteran Billy Messina hit a grand slam in the bottom of the third inning and they tallied 11 runs to take their first lead, 22-18. In the fourth, Albicocco’s Josh Riley hit a three-run homer to tie the game at 22-22, but Smash It Sports had a nine-run inning on a couple of homers and won the game, 38-31. Smash It’s Bryson Baker was 6-for-6 with four home runs and eight RBIs. 6 Albicocco - 31; #2 Smash It Sports - 38. Game 26: The first semifinal game Friday night started after a rain delay with upset-minded Compound Athletics jumping out to a 9-3 lead as left-handed outfielder Brad Lunda hit a big three-run homer. Resmondo closed the gap to 9-8 in the second inning when another rain delay halted play for almost two hours. When they resumed it was all Resmondo, as they outscored Compound Athletics, 21-6, the rest of the way, highlighted by grand slams from Bubba Mack in the 13-run third inning and a grand slam by Andrew Collins in the fourth. Resmondo hit 12 homers in the game, led by Collins with three to his credit. 13 Compound Athletics - 24; #1 Resmondo - 29. Game 29: In the first game Saturday morning, Red’s Astros played an Albicocco team that had just finished up losing to Smash It Sports in the winners’ bracket semi-finals after 2 a.m. In the bottom of the second Albicocco continued their offensive surge and solid ball striking, putting up eight runs to lead, 13-4. In the top of the fifth, Albicocco right fielder Sid Stephany ran a long way on a high pop in the infield and made a full-out diving catch, one of the best of the tournament! In the bottom of the fifth, Albicocco’s Josh Riley hit a two-run homer to end the game by the run-rule, 22-7. Riley was 3-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI in the game. Red’s Astros did not homer and finished tied for fifth. 7 Red’s Astros - 7; #6 Albicocco - 22. Game 30: In the other fifth-place game Saturday morning, Compound Athletics jumped out to a six-run lead in the first and Backman went down in order. In the third inning, a nice relay from Compound center fielder Ben Dunn to the cutoff man got Backman’s Reggie Schulte sliding at home plate. In the top of the fifth inning, big John Williams from Compound got a two-out triple to give them a 9-8 lead and first baseman Kyle Pearson made a nice catch near the tarp in foul territory to hold Backman down. In the bottom of the sixth, Ryan Harvey and Terry Baggs each blasted two-run homers to give Backman their first lead, 14-12. In the top of the seventh, Compound Athletics, who never gave up and substituted their entire bench into the game at some point, got a two-out double from Lyf Nimmo down the third base line to tie the game and a double from John Hopkins to take a 15-14 lead. The inning ended on a full-speed, full-out diving catch of a nice line drive in center field by Brian Logan, one of the best in the game! In the bottom of the seventh Backman’s Matt Crawford hit a gametying solo homer but Compound got a 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded to force extra innings. In extra innings Compound was held scoreless and Backman middle infielder Orlando Castillo hit a walk-off homer over the 45-foot high scoreboard in center field to win the game! Many of these great games can be viewed online at the USSSAToday Youtube page! 13 Compound Athletics - 15; #3 Backman - 16. Game 31: The heavyweight battle between #1 Resmondo and #2 Smash It Sports that everyone was anticipating occurred at 3 p.m. on Saturday and was aired on CBS Sports Network. The action started in this winners’ bracket finals in the top of the first inning when Resmondo middle infielder Dennis Rulli made a great diving stop behind the second base bag and beat the runner to second for the third out. Then, in the bottom half, Resmondo batted around the lineup, scoring nine runs, highlighted by Andrew Collins’ grand slam! In the top of the second, Smash It Sports center fielder Ryan Parfitt hit a clutch two-out grand slam of his own and Smash It led, 12-9. In the third inning, Smash It plated just one run and Resmondo went down 1-2-3, leaving the game tied at 13-13. Smash It Sports grabbed the lead with a Dale Brungardt three-run homer in the top of the fourth inning and added a grand slam in the top of the fifth to give them a 22-15 advantage, with five of the runs scored that inning being unearned. But Resmondo outscored Smash It Sports down the stretch, 11-3, and had a four-run lead going into the seventh inning, when Smash It Sports failed to score and Resmondo advanced to the championship game as the only undefeated team. Collins had four hits, three homers and eight RBIs in the win. 2 Smash It Sports - 25; #1 Resmondo - 26. Game 32: Albicocco and Backman, who both won games on Saturday morning, squared off at one in the afternoon in the loser’s bracket semi-finals. Albicocco’s Sid Stephany and Backman’s Sam Lopez traded three-run homers early on and Albicocco’s Lee Payne hit a three-run inside-the-park homer in the top of the second to take an 8-5 lead. In the top of the third inning, Backman left fielder Reggie Schulte robbed a home run and teammate Terry Baggs hit a three-run homer in the bottom half of the inning to keep the Albicocco lead to one run. In the fourth, it was the Backman defense again as Schulte threw out Lee Payne on the bases and center fielder Brian Logan robbed another home run. In the fifth inning, the Backman defense and offense finished off Albicocco when right fielder Ryan Harvey robbed a home run, and in the bottom of the inning, Billy Barrett hit a three-run blast and Matt Crawford connected on a two-run shot to win by the run-rule. Backman’s Terry Baggs and Reggie Schulte were each 5-for-5 in the game. 6 Albicocco - 17; #3 Backman - 32. Game 33: The losers’ final was an “instant classic,” as Backman’s left fielder Reggie Schulte got things going early when he robbed Smash It’s Scott Kirby of a homer. It was Reggie’s fourth home run rob of the tournament. Then he hit a three-run homer over the scoreboard to cut the Smash It lead to three runs in the top of the third. The momentum then swung Backman’s way when they scored 11 runs in the top of the fourth to take a 19-15 lead. In the top of the fifth, Backman’s Ryan Harvey smoked a homer off the flags at the top of the berm in left field, Kevin Kennington went over the scoreboard, and Sam Lopez continued the home run barrage to the tune of five straight homers and a 27-20 lead! In the bottom of the fifth inning, Smash It Sports answered with four straight solo homers of their own and then three straight outs to trail, 27-24. Backman then plated five runs in the top of the sixth and 11 runs in the top of the seventh to extend their lead to 43-27 as the crowd got behind their offensive surge to what seemed like an insurmountable lead. But Smash It, with the heart they have shown for years, started getting base hits, walks, and home runs and came all the way through the lineup with only one out. Eventual co-MVP Scott Kirby hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 43-43. Smash It had scored 16 runs on just one out! The next two batters couldn’t finish it and the game went to extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, Smash It needed just two to tie and three to win and received solo homers from Brungardt and Parfitt before Kevin Bazat hit a walk-off double to score Luis Reyna from first base for the incredible 46-45 win, snatching victory from what seemed to be certain defeat. Backman’s Ryan Harvey was 7-for-8 with five homers and 12 RBIs and Reggie Schulte was 6-for-7 with three homers and 10 RBIs in the loss. Brett Helmer was 6-for-7 with nine RBIs and six runs scored and Scott Kirby was 6-for-6 with five homers and nine RBIs for Smash It Sports. 3 Backman - 45; #2 Smash It Sports - 46. Game 34: The championship game, which was aired on CBS Sports Network, started on Saturday night with Resmondo needing to win one of two. Resmondo came out of the gates quickly with a 9-5 lead after one inning on three-run homers by co-MVP Bubba Mack and left fielder Jeremy Yates. In the second inning the two teams traded three-run homers by Brian Wegman and Don Dedonatis, Jr., and Smash It Sports grabbed a lead in the third inning, 20-13, as Kirby and Brungardt hit three-run homers with two outs in a 12-run inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Resmondo’s Andy Purcell hit a two-out, three-run homer to give Resmondo a 24-22 lead. In the fifth, Smash It’s Parfitt hit a three-run homer, and Resmondo’s Isenhower made a leaping catch against the right field wall. Resmondo veteran slugger Howie Krause then hit a clutch two-out, two-run homer to give his team a 28-25 lead. In the top of the sixth, Smash It Sports made a bid for a second game as they scored 10 runs on three-run homers by Kirby and Clark and a two-run pinch-hit single by Kevin Filby, but Resmondo answered with a big home run barrage, scoring 11 runs to lead, 39-35. In the top of the seventh Smash It could muster only two runs and lost, 39-37, and Resmondo won their 10th Major World Series title for head sponsor Travis Resmondo and Specialty Tank sponsor John Riccio! Santana had four home runs and Dedonatis and Bubba Mack had three home runs each in the game for Resmondo. Scott Kirby had three home runs for Smash It Sports. 2 Smash It Sports - 37; #1 Resmondo - 39. Resmondo wins their 10th Major World Series title. They played team ball, made some mistakes, but always made up for them with their hitting. Their .673 team batting average is probably one of the highest a team has ever had at the Major World Series since it was moved to baseball stadiums. Bubba Mack hit 11 homers; Nic Santana hit four in the last game. Rulli set the table at the top of the lineup, and Connell broke a car windshield in the parking lot on one of his long drives over the flags! Krause and Powers hit big homers off the bench and Resmondo put the home field advantage to good use by taking leads on Smash It Sports in the bottom of the sixth in both games before Andy Purcell really buckled down and threw some nasty pitches in the seventh inning to win again. They hit 76 homers in five games! Major World Series Awards: Tournament co- MVP Scott Kirby, Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics; Tournament co-MVP Ronald Mack III, Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth; Offensive Tournament MVP Nicolas Santana, Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth; Defensive Tournament MVP Luis Reyna, Smash it Sports/Compound Athletics; All World Manager - Frank Webb, Resmondo; Home Run Champion - Scott Kirby, Smash It Sports; Offensive MVP - Nic Santana, Resmondo; Defensive MVP, Luis Reyna - Smash It Sports; Co-MVPs - Bubba Mack, Resmondo, and Scott Kirby, Smash It Sports. Major World Series Final Standings: 1. fl- Resmondo Specialty Tank Worth; 2. NY - Smash it Sports/ Compound Athletics/Easton; 3. IN - Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger; 4. NY - Albicocco/The Scene/ Easton.
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