2002 Milwaukee Major NIT

Long Haul/Taylor Bros/Shen Corp/TPS finally gets it’s berth to Disney World to try and repeat it’s chances at another Grand Slam. I don’t believe anybody thought they would not get it, because of their scheduling this season this was their first USSSA event. The Long Haul boys played extremely well playing in this homerun controlled tournament. They used very good base hitting and hit their homeruns in timely fashion. They did what you have to do, and that is adjust in the USSSA events. One of the managers of a very good team told me “the reason Long Haul is so good is that players like Wallace, Bumgardner, Martin and the rest of that team can base hit it when they want to and they’re not selfish players, they do what it takes to win and that’s why they’re the best at this time”. Brian King, the valuable utility infielder for Long Haul was the tournament’s MVP. Brian, who doesn’t play all that much is always ready when called on and can flat out play this game. He is without a doubt a big piece of the Long Haul machine, this week filling in for the injured Johnny Mello. Randall Boone was named Offensive Player of the tournament going 18-19. This tournament came at the right time as most of the teams will have to play the same format next weekend at the Dudley.

Backman/Dan Smith/Menosse/Easton who lost to a very good A team, Mountain Top/TPS early in the tournament came charging back through the loser’s bracket to claim 2nd. place. This team is still a threat to win as the season rolls on. Third place went to Mountain Top/Advanced/TPS who has had an up and down
season so far in 2002, but have a lot of talent. When Mountain Top and Advanced Roofing made their merger and got it together I knew they would be a very strong team and very competitive every weekend. This team has a mix of young and veteran players who know how to win and could very well win one or two National Titles. Fourth place finish went to another very good A team, Florida Heat/Joe Black’s/Worth who has played extremely well all season long. I believe this bunch will be a contender in the Class A Worlds this year. I
just can’t say enough about the A teams this year. It is a joy to go out and watch these good A teams play, or AA teams as some people like to call it. I talked to a bunch of the managers and players and they told me this was a very good tournament. I believe this because Pudge and Roger always run their Milwaukee tournament First Class. I was glad to see the USSSA bring it back to Milwaukee in 2002. See you all at the Dudley.