By Adam Holt
More than 50 teams take to the fields at Prairie Island Softball Complex this weekend for USA Softball Men’s C Slow Pitch Nationals.
The top six finishers from last year’s tournament are not in the 2019 field, and Silverbacks, out of Inver Grove Heights, is the highest returning placewinner from 2018, when they finished tied for seventh. There are 56 teams in the 2019 field.
The double-elimination tournament starts with afternoon games Friday, Aug. 30, and runs through Sunday night. The winner’s bracket final is 3:30 p.m. Sunday, and the loser’s bracket final is set for 4:45 p.m. Sunday, with the championship to follow at 6 p.m. If necessary, a second title game will be played at 7:15 p.m.
Seven teams received byes to start the tournament: Russells Paint & Body, Ziegler Custom Homes, OC/Drip City/Monsta, Blackies Softball, Coors Light/RiverLink Financial, Budweiser/Shameless and A&B Transmissions.
First-round matchups from the top quadrant of the bracket include: B-52/Hanson Specialties/Cro Hall vs. Square One/Spiderz; PIPAC/FAW/Kelling & Son Painting/Elite Sports vs. Buffalo House/PBR/Cold One/The Jack; SBI/Freeway Ford vs. The 10th Inning/Hendershot Trucking; Tryon Nation vs. J&I/SIS Westcoast; F1 vs. Streetkids/Softball Fans; and TimeOut Tavern vs. Kass & Co.
First-round matchups in the second quadrant include: Pearson Trucking/State Farm/River Inn vs. Liberty Maintenance; CIDW/Headlines Sportswear vs. Dick Raimann Farms/Garage Force/Excel Homes; RMI/First Class Mortgage/Budweiser vs. Frank’s Butchers/Aurora Coop; Exclusive vs. Precision Lining & Sewer; Heroes/NZone vs. Blueline/CR’s/Hegarty/Joebuck/Heintz&Clark/Lennox/TheBridge; and Stagecoach/CAGear vs. Ripke/KLN.
First matchups in the third quadrant include: OSS/State Farm vs. Silverbacks; The Gringos/Jet Enterprises Wyoming vs. Great River Harbor/ID Enterprises; American Dent Center/Bash Inc. vs. Nasty Boys/OCC; Paul Davis Restoration vs. Lionshare/Greater Than; Demars Softball vs. The Creek; and Showbombs/Commercial Systems vs. Dickson Law.
The fourth-quadrant matchups include: Minnesota Maniax/BSA vs. Express Athletics/Reno Cycles & Gear; Benchwarmers vs. Shadys/Stallions; Coors Light/The Box/MMB/Monsta Athletics vs. Red Stars; Shots Fired vs. Evan Knutson Homes/Hodgeman; 605 vs. Knutson Construction/Warriors; and Cubbys vs. Beloli/Smashitsports/OSS.
Winner’s bracket second-round games will begin Friday evening and continue into Saturday morning. Loser’s bracket games will begin Saturday morning.
The full bracket can be found here.