Local teams have good showing in nationally known softball tourney
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
The roller coaster went back to the top for Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth after winning the 30th Dudley Budweiser Classic- Sponsored by Easton men’s major tournament in Brooklyn Center June 17.
The defending USSSA World Series and Dudley tourney champion has struggled some this season and is in a dog fight to be at the top of the points standings prior to the next softball World Series in September.
"We have had our ups and downs this season," said left fielder Scott Striebel about his Resmondo team, which has not dominated as in recent seasons. "We even lost to a class D team Friday night at one tournament."
Resmondo did dominate at this year’s Dudley tourney that included all four teams ranked major in the country, plus local class B, C and D teams hoping for some upsets of the top teams.
Claiming to be healthier than it had been all season, Resmondo run-ruled all six opponents, outscoring teams 187-66. Striebel, who grew up in the BC area and now lives in Florida, was named to the All-Tournament team.
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.
Newcomers spark Resmondo
"We were quite a bit healthier and went with a set lineup this weekend," said Frank Webb from Resmondo. "We are not used to being in this position. We are the one doing the chasing now. Last week in Chicago we went in as No. 1 and we stunk it up. We scored 30-31 runs in the games we lost, but found a way to lose them."
When Bryson Baker and Brian Rainwater left to play for Laservision, Webb said Resmondo decided to roll the dice and go with guys they had been looking at for a couple of years.
Outfielder Tim Howard was found in Arkansas. At the Dudley he batted .913 to be named tourney most valuable player. He only made one out in the first four games.
Other newcomers who contributed mightily have been Ronald Mack III, a 24-year-old from northern Florida and pitcher Lloyd Watson from Texas.
Webb said the team also gambled on an older player with the addition was the hall of famer Jeff Hall, who had not played in a couple of years. Hall, who had been a former MVP at the Dudley, was named to the All-Tournament team along with Jimmy Salas, Robert Hughes, George Connell and pitcher Andy Purcell.
Genter excels again
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.
Other Nordkap players named All-Tournament included Brent McCollum as offensive MVP, pitcher Chad Munger, Mike Bowlin, Donovan Pokraka, Kevin Filby and Joey Formosa.
Nordkap had two big innings against Combat in the 50-46 win, scoring 17 runs in the third and 14 in the seventh after the score was tied.
"The guys responded after the flat game Friday," said manager Rick Olson, who lives in Coon Rapids. "They didn’t like it and came back to show us they are more than capable. If they get down, they don’t stay there."
Son’s Bob and Josh Olson play for his dad on Nordkap. Rick played in the Dudley with Dave’s Sports Shop when younger and appreciated making it to the title game in a tournament with a "great tradition."
Team Combat builds for future
Scott Brown, who lives in Andover and is married to Cooper fastpitch coach Erin, formerly Brophy, helped put together Team Combat this year along with Jeff McGavin and Johnny McCraw.
"We added players by looking in hard places," said Brown, who represents the Combat product line. "We found our center fielder playing co-rec softball down in Florida. Our right fielder was found in South Carolina playing league ball."
Brown said he and others are getting older and wanted to look at the team from the company standpoint with Combat.
"We said let’s try to get younger players and teach them how to play the game so we have a team for the future when we are all done playing," said Brown. "We started throwing names in a hat, trying to do it on a low budget, yet, try to play the game the right way."
Local teams shine
Local teams did well, including Luther Auto/Tanel/360/NSK//Protandim, which tied for seventh in the 34-team field. 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 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. The sponsors are in Brooklyn Park. "We are peaking at the right time when we beat three B teams Saturday."
Dean 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.