Budweiser Festival College Station, TX

College Station, Texas was the site for this ASA/WSL Super, Class B, C & B women’s & co-ed tournament. This tournament hosted 219 teams. I will tell you that the softball numbers are down these days, but not in Texas. Greg Huchinson put together one of the most amazing events in softball today. To have this many teams and be able to have it run like a clock is truly unbelievable. Greg and his staff worked around the clock getting this tournament in, and it all went off on schedule. I don’t know Greg all that well, but have talked to him many times and he has invited me to his tournament for quite a few years, but this is the first time I attended, and it was everything he told me it would be and more. Greg hooked up with John Daniels and the WSL, and berths were given to teams both from the ASA and the WSL. They say they do things big in Texas, and believe me that is a fact, Great Job Greg and John, and to all the teams who made this the BEST NIT in the country. US Vinyl/Z-Wear/Anaconda Sports/Miken dominated in this one as they went undefeated and picked up an automatic berth to the ASA Worlds in Sanford, Fla. in Sept. The Miken boys were led by MVP, RJ Howerton who can flat out hit it. This young man is fast becoming one of the top players in the country. RJ went 21-21 with 6 homeruns, and believe me it doesn’t get any better than this, especially on big baseball fields. Veterans Ray Cowart and Bob Woldyk, Twinky Jones and two newcomers to big time softball, Jamal Heron and shortstop Dennis Shrum, who played a lot of pro baseball can pick it with the best in softball and is a very good hitter. He will make this team even better. Like I said “if this bunch catches it, they can and will beat anybody”. Congratulations to Steve and the gang on this win. Vinyl had to play this one without big Jeff Ott, who tore his rotor cuff in Daytona last week. I don’t know how long he’ll be out. Second place went to a very good team out of Houston, Texas called Capitol/Miken/DBG. I have seen this team play before this year, but this team has much more talent this year. This bunch has a whole team full of very good athletes who can play this game, both offensively and defensively. Capitol/Miken was led by former NFL football player, Ray Butler who hit it all weekend and caught everything that was sent his way in left field. Andres Newhouse, the nephew of former Dallas Cowboy Robert Newhouse also hit it and played great defense, and this young man has all the tools to play with anybody in the game today. He can go get it, and has a lot of power. I like the way this team plays, they can hit it, hit for power, they can catch it and they can run. This team doesn’t quit no matter what the score is. This team can play on baseball fields and will be a force at the WSL World Tournament in Panama Beach, Fla. the end of Sept. Keep a watch on this bunch, they can play that’s for sure. Great job guys! Third place went to Budweiser/Fairweather/Sunnyvale/Worth who ran into a buzz saw this weekend when they played Capital/Miken who got the best of Bud twice. The Bud boys are a very good team who should get it going soon. They need to play some more to get this team to come together and become a great team. There’s a lot of talent on this team, and with the addition of Tim Cocco should help them reach their goals. Fourth place was Mountain Top/USA Cash/TPS. This is a very good A team who have proved to be a much better team when they play on 300′ fields with a homerun limit. I believe they have the talent to play on baseball fields, but it’s very hard to compete when other teams are using the Miken and the Synergy, and that’s the facts. I’m not sure it won’t beat them on the 300′ fields also, we will see. Make no mistake this is one hell of a good team who can play. Overall this was a good open tournament, 12 good teams, a very good ball and big fields. The ball used was a .44 core 375 compression Trump, the same ball we used in Sanford, Fla. in the ASA Qualifier. This ball is only good when we play on big fields, with 370′ gaps or more and 400′ in center. This ball is perfect for those size fields. When we play on baseball fields with small gaps and short centerfields we have to use a lesser ball or it becomes a homerun derby and 50 or 60 runs are scored and 3 hour games are the norm. This is not needed. We are close to getting softball on TV doing live telecasts or showing complete games on taped delay. There’s no way we can show 60 run games nor 3 hour games, as TV will not buy it nor will the sponsors. Twenty or twenty five run games with some great defensive plays made, and some homeruns hit, games being done in an hour and a half or so, then we will have the best game in town. Just think about it. Once again great job Greg and your staff. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.

I want to say a special thank you to a First Class guy Lonnie, who did a great job keeping up with the stats with Taz and posting all the scores on our website this weekend, and most of all a Big Thank You to the 219 teams who made this a spectacular event.