BY DAVE PEDERSEN
Softball players from the area showed well at the 30th Dudley Budweiser Classic- Sponsored by Easton men’s major tournament in Brooklyn Center June 15-17. The 32-team tourney that attracted the top teams and players in the country, including all four teams classified as men’s major. The Dudley is a stop for Conference USSSA where teams earn points for seeding at the softball World Series.
Luther Auto/Tanel/360/NSK//Protandim is a local team that tied for seventh place. The team that only plays in tournaments is ranked ninth among state class B teams. It is a collection of good players from the area.
The best effort by a state class C team was by 24Hr Corp/DBP/Breakaway, which plays in the Brooklyn Center league along with most of the top teams in the state.
After losing 23-11 to Precision/Shirts&Logos, a class B team from Illinois, 24Hr Corp defeated class C Maple Tavern from the BC league and Maple Grove 28-14. Next came a 9-7 win over Xtreme/Combat, another BC league foe who was ranked No. 1 in the state in class B.
The roll continued for 24Hr Corp with a 17-16 victory over class B T’s 13 from Nebraska and an 18-9 triumph over Class B Wheelhouse/Spiderz/Game Time Supply from Wisconsin.
The run ended with a 28-7 loss to class A power Team DeMarini/Famous Sports.com from California.
"We just got together this year," said manager Ric Dehn about the team that includes his sons Brandon, Robby and Eric from the Osseo Area School District. "We are peaking at the right time when we beat three B teams Saturday."
Dehn said team leaders switch every game. Players mostly come from the northwest suburbs including Brandon and John Miller, Michael Beardsley, Chris Dorpat, Jake Freeman, Nathan Gosso, Andrew Karlson, Brent Koning, Brad Lenzen, Judd O’Connor, Dillon Omdahl and Bill Seeker.
The team has qualified for the USSSA Class C World Series.
The four major teams reached the final four as expected. Resmondo beat Nordkap/Desert Storm/Easton 38-22 in the title game. The only other loss for the team with a Minnesota sponsor (Nordkap Construction of Ham Lake) was to Resmondo 26-6 in the semifinals.
Nordkap battled back to beat Class A R&M Metals 44-42, Team Combat/Pacific Headwear (major) 50-46 and Laservision/Annihilation/Supreme/D2E/Easton (major) 34-13 to get another crack at Resmondo.
In other key games, Resmondo beat Laservision 32-17 in the winner’s bracket finals and Laservision beat Team Combat 28-24 to claim third place.
The co-MVP was JD Genter of Nordkap, which is not a total surprise. The second baseman eared Dudley MVP honors when playing for Long Haul Trucking one year and Dan Smith another, both major teams.
Xtreme/Combat involves players from area high schools including Jeremy Abild, Justin Barber, Kiel Bistodeau, Alex Bremer, Dustin Fulton, Jake Gallery, Mark Harvanko, Derek Irving, Matt Kelsey, Andrew Lehman, Aaron Lewicki, Matt McGowan, Jake Meyers, Eric and Ryan O’Connell, Dustin Palm and Adam Winberg.
Maple Tavern has Mike Boettner, Brad Griffore, Dustin Irving, Dan Jones, Brandon Marquardt, Jarod and Neal Martel, Ryan Morgan, Tyler Ockuly, Colin O’Rourke, Derek Pugh, David Riley, Matt Roeder, Jeff Ross, Matt Smithknecht, Patrick Steinbring and Blake Torfin.