2002 USSSA NIT Cocoa, FL

What more can I say about the Class A teams in the country. This is truly worth coming out to watch. I would of liked to have seen this tournament, but as you know I have pushed hard for the World Softball League and had an obligation to be there , and had to miss this great one. That does not mean it’s the only game in town. This USSSA Nit had one of the best field of teams you will see this year. Nine great evenly matched teams of which anyone of the 9 could of won. I am an avid supporter of playing these tournaments on baseball fields and that is what they played on this weekend in Cocoa. The problem was that these fields were a little bit too big. They couldn’t use the stadium because of the Rodeo going on, so they had to use the outside fields. The one field is not too bad, pretty big like the stadium, but the other field was monstrous, but fair for both teams that had to play on them. But play they did, and the team I’ve been talking about all season long, that being Team Mizuno wins the first USSSA berth to Mickey Mouse World in 2002. I’ve said this team can flat out play defense, and believe me it doesn’t get any better than this. Put this team on a baseball field and they can compete with anybody. The Mizuno bats are beginning to heat up and this bunch will get better on the offensive side of the game as the season progresses. USA Mizuno Sports has stepped out in their sponsorships this year and now have a whole bunch of good teams playing around the country. It is good to see another one of the big manufacturers going full board in the sport. Team Mizuno was led by MVP Roy Eppley and all tournament team members, JC Battista, Greg Neal, Augie Nunen, Jesus Merejo and Defensive Player of the tournament Brian Milstead. Mizuno had to earn this championship by coming back through the loser’s bracket and double-dipping a very good Hooters/Mizuno team. Hooters, who finished 2nd. here hasn’t played as much as the teams entered in this one, but make no mistake about it they are very good and they will contend all season long. I didn’t have them ranked for I knew nothing about this year’s team and did not know which players were playing from last years team, but I had an idea they would be good and they answered that this weekend. The third place finisher was Budweiser/Absolute/Team Expert/Worth who played very good, but just came up short again. Fourth place went to another very good A team, a team who has played just about everybody this season and has proven they can play with anybody was Florida Heat/Nave/Joe Black’s/Worth.