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By: John Koster
May 11, 2022
This year’s Desert Shootout Tournament was held on May 6th and 7th in beautiful Sparks, Nevada. It was once again held at one of best sites in the country, the Golden Eagle Sports Complex.
The Connection Prevails in Sparks
Another championship for The Connection
Again, a portion of this year’s proceeds went to the Ofc. John Hege Memorial Fund ( John gave the ultimate sacrifice on March 21st, 2009. As an organ donor, he lives on through those he was able help after his death. Combined events like ours and the OJHMF Golf Tourney raised over $30,000 in 2021! Please check out and become a donor.

This year’s Home Run Derby winner was LA Combos Daniel McClement. Daniel smashed through the wind to win a 2022 Miken Benefit the Badge Bat donated by the Oakland Police Softball Club. Thanks to all the participants and those who helped run the derby.

The player party was held at O’Skis Pub and Grille. We again packed the place and helped support a local business in these tough times. A special shout out to The Connection and their entourage who are always supportive of the player party. Thanks again to Cindy and her staff for their hospitality and support.
This year’s Upper Division round robin play featured a strong group of teams wanting to dethrone the reigning Desert Shootout champion Connection squad. After some solid games and an impressive push by Stanislaus Combo, The Connection maintained their hold on the top spot in the seeding.

This year’s big story was the SF Seals. The 2022 Seals team is not a revamped combo team that changes personnel often. They are a veteran squad of guys who have been around a long time donning the familiar orange and black. They went 2 and 0 team in round robin play and easily took the number one seed in the Lower Division.

The Upper bracket featured several good battles. Most notably, David Braun and his LA Combo team showed what true grit is all about (yes, a desert reference). After losing their first playoff game, they caught fire. They battled through the bracket beating West Coast powerhouses Stanislaus Combo, Razorbacks, and DEA Combo CONSECUTIVELY!
Unfortunately for LA Combo, they had to face the reigning Desert Shootout champion Connection team. After a hard fight, LA Combo wasn’t able to force an “If” game and The Connection pulled out another victory in the desert. The Connection were in control all weekend and should be a force rolling into the last half of 2022.

The Lower playoffs started with the Seals erasing an 18-run deficit to send the Bay Area Combo team to the losers’ bracket. The Seals received their first loss of the tourney to the surging 4-seed J-Cats. The 6-seed Reloaded team then began to show their dominance and march their way to the championship game. After a back-and-forth fight, the Seals moved past the J-Cats to face Reloaded. Reloaded proved too much and ended the Seals Cinderella story run without an “If” game being played. The Reloaded team continued their breakout season with a Desert Shootout championship. Congrats

1- The Connection
2- LA Combo
3- DEA Combo

2-SF Seals

Upper Notables;
Connection Tournament MVP – Stephen Martins
All-Tourney- Stephen Bautista (Connection)
All-Tourney- Danny Rutledge (Connection)

All-Tourney- Daniel McClement (LA Combo)
All-Tourney – Adam Jenkins (LA Combo)

Lower Notables;
Reloaded Tournament MVP – Chris Escobar
All-Tourney- Jordan Franks (Reloaded)
All-Tourney- Kailin Torres (Reloaded)

All-Tourney- Luis Guitron (Seals)
All-Tourney- Nick Shihadeh (Seals)

On behalf of the Officer John Hege Memorial Fund, I thank everyone for supporting our event. We also want to thank the Nugget Resort, Rusty Kawachi Doug Foremaster and Tyson Becker.

October 6-9, 2022
Las Vegas, Nv. (Big League Dreams)
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