Dan Smith Backman Menosse/Easton went to this tournament not only to play but also to receive their 2000 World Championship USSSA rings. They got more than the rings as they captured the championship by beating Budweiser/Summerlin/I-Team Travel/Master Graphics/Easton in the IF game 34-25. Budweiser had beaten Dan Smith in the first game of the finals 24-20 and were leading by 12 runs in the fourth inning of the IF game before losing. Dan Smith was led by MVP Dennis Rulli along with Carl Rose, Brett Helmer, Jeff Hall, John McCraw, DeWayne Nevitt, Mark Creson, Dan Houchin and Greg Cannedy. Dan Smith had to battle to win this one as Budweiser gave them all they wanted. This Bud team is no doubt one of the better teams in the country as they continue to play well and will give any team a battle every time out. They were lead by Scott King, Jerald and Jeff Smith, Shane Duboise and the rest of this great team. Getting the third spot in the tournament is another very good AA team who has been up and down this year but played good enough this weekend to capture the USSSA berth to Disney World in the 2001 USSSA World Series. This bunch also has a lot of good players and I am sure will be in the running more often than not. Congratulations to Winser/Aftershock/Easton for getting their berth. Finishing in fourth place was a pretty good A team from Outwest, RPM/TPS. This ball club always seems to find a way to make it to the Worlds and I see this happening again as I think they will get their berth somewhere down the road. Coach Jackie Hayes of Dan Smith told me that the play of Dennis Rulli, Dan Hutchen and the pitching effort they got from Greg Cannedy was crucial for them in their win. Without it, we would have been beaten said Jackie. As I said earlier, this Budweiser team is for real! Make no mistake about it. You better play your best when you play this team or your going to get beat. They definitely have a lot of talent. Once, again congratulations to Dan Smith/Backman/Menosse/Easton for winning this NIT. I will post the All Tournament team as soon as I get it.
All Tournament Team from Dan Smith
MVP: Dennis Rulli