2002 ISA Major Worlds

What goes around comes around. Backman/Dan Smith/Menosse/Easton is starting to dominate the Men’s Super Division and in this reporter’s eyes has a chance to win the Grand Slam. The Backman boys are doing it all, hitting with power up and down their line up. This bunch is also playing great defense both in the infield and outfield. This ball club has become a team. Jeff Hall is the best player in the country right now. He has changed his attitude toward the team. He is doing it all playing great defense, hitting and hustling and has become a team leader. When people talk about the pick ups Backman made this season they talk about Jason Kendrick, Robin Higgenbotham, Demond Thomas and rightly so. But I think, the biggest pick up was the young kid from Minnesota, Scott Brown. Brown has been a great addition and hitting out of the #8 or #9 spot in their line up and has been a big part of their explosive line up. Demond Thomas is also a big part of why the Backman team has turned things around in 2002. He is the best short stop in the game at this time and is learning how to hit it and he will be a threat on offense hitting out of the #11 spot. Backman was led by MVP’s veterans Todd Joerling and Shane Dubose. Some people said before the season they don’t have a pitcher, but Shane has proven them wrong and has done a great job, and we all know how he can hit it. Backman rolled through this one and left no doubt to the Long Haul Team that if they are going to beat the Backman boys they will have to play a lot better than they have against them this season. Remember last year it was the other way around Long Haul dominating Dan Smith. Make no mistake Long Haul/ Taylor Bros/ Shen Corp/TPS is not playing up to their potential right now for whatever reason, but they have enough talent to make a run at the Backman express but will have to give more of an effort, and some of the leaders will have to pick it up or they will not have a chance. The way they are playing right now the Long Haul club is just not hitting as well and they are not making the plays. They need to give a better effort both offensively and defensively if they are to win. There is a long way to go with four more Worlds and maybe Gary can get it turned around, that remains to be seen. Third place went to the Budweiser/Summerlin/Team Expert/Worth who at times shows it can play with anybody and at other times don’t win against teams they are supposed to beat. This ball club should not play in AA or A tournaments. It plays a lot better in the open division. I know it is difficult to play in the tournaments that they would like to because of financial means, but hopefully they will find a way to do that. This team has some very good players who can flat out hit it. Jeff Smith can hit with the best believe me. There are others who also can hit it. Fourth place went to Hague/Resmondo/ Walser/Worth who has not played up to its standards this season. They have some very talented players who need to step it up a little if Hague/Resmondo is to play up to last years World Tournament play. Last year they finished second place in all four Worlds. W.W. Gay/Aubrey’s/TPS, Lighthouse Baptist/Easton, U.S. Vinyl and Taylor’s also gave a good effort in this one. The ISA had a beautiful place to play this World Tournament. This was a great ballpark to play in. The ball used was way too hot for this size field. Some of the games ran past the two hour mark and more, definitely not good for the game. The young man who was the Tournament Director did a great job keeping things running, and the grounds crew did an unbelievable job getting the field ready after all the rain. Great job by Don Stratton, who without a doubt is the right man for the ISA. Good Luck to all the teams in Minnesota next week in the NSA Worlds.