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By: Tyson Becker
Feb 26, 2015
2015 Season Kicks Off with DEA KICKOFF
The official start of the 2015 West Conference season begins with the annual DEA Kickoff in West Covina; CA. Twenty-two teams arrived to show off their new uniforms, and for some teams, new players. The Missouri Lawmen couldn’t wait to leave the frigid Midwest winter for some California weather. The tournament was once again sponsored by Bret Helmer and was an Easton provided bat format. Frank Terronez also provided Bass bats to the fields as well.
Six “Major” Division teams had to spot their opponents 7 runs in the round – robin games and one division had four possible A flights teams that would battle head to head to see who would come out on top. Lockdown, Alliance, DEA Combo, Battleborn, and Missouri came out 2 – 0. The new and improved West Coast United put up an impressive 44 runs in their first game and won their second game to show that they are once again a major’s team to be reckoned. The new look Cen Cal Connection also earned a ticket to the major division playoffs.

The best round robin game was Showtime versus Lethal Force. If you didn’t know who lethal force is, you did after this game. Lethal force was spotted 7 runs and they battled Showtime the entire game. Down in the bottom of the seventh, Joe Mestress (PS Hall of Famer), hit a 3 run walk off homer to beat Showtime to beat Showtime I believe 27-26. The format allows teams to compete against the major teams and can also give your team a huge boost going into the playoffs.

The “B” Flight (Gold) playoffs featured AZ Blaze, Cen Coast Heroes, LA Lawmen, WC Titans, SB Hit Squad, Gold Combo, Nitro2Go, VCO Combo, Team Vargas, LAX, So Cal Riot, Oakland PD, and Nor Cal Elite. The matchup most players wanted to see (Gold Combo vs Nitro2Go) didn’t happen, but there were some great matchups and some big surprises to some.

Come Playoff time the Gold Division was evenly matched as there were some exciting games. Lethal force was the number one seed coming off the impressive victory over Showtime, but they lost their first round matchup vs SB Hit Squad putting them into the loser’s bracket. Cen Coast Heroes knocked off SB Hit Squad and AZ Blaze beat LA Lawmen to set up a match up to determine who would go to the Championship. AZ Blaze defeated CC Heroes who were to face LA Lawmen who eliminated Nor Cal Elite. Then the rain came and the tournament came to a close. All games were competitive and fun to watch. There was no Champ Crowned this time, but expect the Gold Division to have some of the best games this year. Any team can win it at any tournament. They are all very evenly matched.

The major division had some great matchups. Lockdown defeated Missouri putting them into the losers bracket early. Alliance defeated Showtime, Battleborn and DEA Combo also advanced. That left a much anticipated match- up between Alliance and Battleborn. Battleborn added former Alliance player George Reyes and they felt as if they were ready to show everyone they were an improved team. The game started out slow until Alliance put up 2 big innings given them the victory and putting them into the undefeated game versus DEA Combo who defeated Lockdown. Missouri battled their way through the losers bracket and defeated Battle born. The matchup of the tourney was Lockdown vs Showtime. The winner to play Missouri. The game was tied 20-20 and they played into the 8th inning. Showtime put up an impressive 7 runs in the top half. Lockdown answered with 5 runs and then Jeff Moir hit a walk off 3 run homer to defeat Showtime 28 – 27. This set-up a round 1 rematch between Lockdown and Missouri. Lockdown had Missouri’s number again and sent them home.

The undefeated game was the two teams that have won the last 3 World Series, DEA Combo (Current Champs) versus Alliance. Both teams had all their players and were ready to rumble. Alliance had two big innings to remain undefeated and they waited for the winner of DEA Combo versus Lockdown. DEA found their stride again and cruised past Lockdown to set up the Championship Game versus Alliance.

DEA put up 8 in the first inning and then Alliance put up 6 with 1 out. Apparently, the softball gods wanted to suspense to continue to another tournament because the rain started and the game has to be stopped. It appears this matchup will be one to watch all season long. Do not be surprised to see these two teams battling all year for top dog.
Although there was no teams Crowned undisputed Champs, there were some great games and some new and improved teams. We look forward to some grudge matches in the up and coming tournaments. The 7 run format for Gold teams definitely benefits all teams involved. The West Coast also wants to thank the Missouri Lawmen for coming down and doing what they always do, play teams hard and they won several big games.

Final Results for Gold Division:
1) AZ Blaze (Only team in Final)
2) Cen Cal Heroes
2) LAPD Lawmen
4) Nor Cal Elite
5) SB Hit Squad
5) Lethal Force
7) Gold Combo
7) Nitro2Go
9) So Cal Riot
9) VCO Combo
9) WC Titans
9) Team Vargas
13) LAX
13) Oakland PD
All Tourney Honors
AZ Blaze:
MVP = Jeff Jakemer
Def MVP =Brian Wakefield
All Tourney: Brandon Kozeliski
Charlie Hernandez
Cen Cal Heroes :
MVP = Jake Domingos
Def MVP = Anthony Garcia
All Tourney = Luis Rameriz
Eric Tarkersley

Final Rankings for Majors
1) Alliance (In Championship Game)
1) DEA Combo (In Championship Game)
2) Lockdown
4) Missouri Lawmen
5) Showtime
6) BattleBorn
7) Cen Cal Connection
7) West Coast United

Majors All Tourney:
Alliance:
MVP = Keith Habig
Def MVP = Bryan Schmidt
All Tourney
Tommy Hayes
Eric Harryman

DEA Combo
Def MVP: Nate Baez
All Tourney:
Tyson Becker
Jerry Boyd
Justin Ankeney

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October 12-15, 2017
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Host: Northern Lawmen
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Wasaga Beach, Can.
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