Seattle Cal-State Builders want to be there again

Written by Bob on August 26th, 2011

“This season was so much fun…We want to be there (ISC World Tournament) again.” – Dave Carlton

The 2011 Seattle Cal-State Builders: Raul Gonzalez, Dublin, CA; Merrick Tan, Union City, CA; Macario Paz, San Diego, CA; Jeremy Wowk, Vancouver, BC; Dave Carlton, San Mateo, CA; Matt McMann, Surrey, BC; Rafael Gonzalez, Walnut Creek, CA; Antonio Gonzalez, San Ysidro, CA; Dustin Murao, Richmond, BC; Ricky Sivilla, El Cerrito, CA; Darren Strang, Richmond, BC; Cornel Wells, Hayward, CA; Jon Abbott, San Francisco, CA; Scott Tomasello, Union City, CA; Kevin Kammueller, Shakopee, MN; Rick Moore, Concord, CA; manager Mike Metcalf, Miramar, CA; coach Pete Mitchell, San Diego, CA, and coach Nick Bradshaw, San Diego, CA. Courtesy Photo / Alisha Larkin

SAN MATEO, CA – The Cal-State Builders entered the 2011 ISC World Tournament as a relative unknown in big-time softball. But as they continued knocking off teams in the 2011 ISC World Tournament, more than a few folks were asking:

“Who are these guys?”

A 4-2 record in the best club-team tournament in the world tends to draw some attention and turn some heads.

Call the Builders what you want, “first-time wonders” or “Cinderella” but the facts can’t be denied: in their first trip to the World Tournament, the Builders finished 17th of the 46 teams entered.

“I can’t express how proud I am of our 4-2 mark in our first trip because I know how difficult it is to win at the ISC World Tournament,” said Dave Carlton, who founded the Builders in 2010 and plays first base and the outfield.

“I’m glad my new guys could see what major-level fastpitch is all about – and the fact that we are all students of the game.”

Merrick Tan, one of Cal-State Builders rising stars of the game.
Courtesy Photo / Alisha Larkin

The Builders came into the tournament ranked No. 28 among the ISC’s top-32 teams. If some wrote them off due to ranking, they got an awakening. The Builders came out of the gate and knocked off the Alvinston, Ontario, Indians, 2-0, behind the five-hit, six-strikeout effort of right-hander, Kevin Kammueller.

Formerly of the West St. Paul, Minnesota Angels, Kammueller is no stranger to ISC-level fastpitch, and his performance ranked with the best hurlers in the world. Kammueller (4-2) won all four Builders’ games, hurled 35 innings, allowed 28 hits and seven earned runs, walked four, struck out 33 and had a 1.4 ERA.

Along with defeating the Indians, the Builders notched wins over the Pala (Calif.) Braves (2-1); No. 25 Sweaburg, Ontario, Crush (5-3), and No. 20 Aurora (IL) Dolan and Murphy (4-2). The Builders’ two losses were to No. 12 Fargo (ND) Kegel Black Knights (3-1), and the No. 8 Harrisburg (PA) Pennsylvania Power (2-1)

Against Power, in his sixth and final game, Kammueller was at his best and locked in a pitching dual with Power’s Karl Gollan (two hits, one run, 13 strikeouts.)

Kammueller held Power to seven hits, one earned run, while striking out three.

“Kammueller pitched brilliantly with excellent control,” Carlton said. “The key to our success, as it has been all year, was the pitching arms of Kevin Kammueller and Darren Strang. Together they posted (unofficially) a 1.67 ERA, and held some of the finest hitters in the game to a .206 batting average.”

The Builders came into the tournament as the 51st Annual Seattle Invitational Champions, and they finished third in the California Classic, hosted by the ISC’s No. 2 team, the California A’s. The Builders pushed the A’s to the limit in the semifinals of the Classic before losing 5-4.

So there should have been no surprise that the Builders are a solid ball club. One that can’t be taken lightly – offensively, defensively, nor by its pitching.

Indeed, the Builders pitching more than held its own in the World Tournament. But the offense scored the runs to make it all possible. And leading the way was Mexican National team star Tony Gonzalez, who had a .500 batting average (10 for 20).

“Gonzalez did the bulk of the work with his bat…with several key hits,” Carlton said. “He did a phenomenal job at shortstop even though he’s a centerfielder by trade.”

Tony Gonzalez performed exceptionally in the 2011 ISC World Tournament in helping the Cal-State Builders to a 4-2 record.
Photo Courtesy / Rafael Gonzalez, Leyla Productions

Also swinging good bats, said Carlton, were Californians’ Scott Tomasello and Merrick Tan, along with Canadians Matt McMann and Darren Strang.

Though the Builders were eliminated by Pennsylvania Power – which finished seventh – in the 46-team tournament, Carlton felt good about his team, and it’s future.

“To be eliminated 2-1 by Karl Gollan and a powerful Pennsylvania Power lineup isn’t a bad way to go out,” Carlton said. “The Builders will work hard to improve and will compete in all the regional ISC qualifiers possible to gain another coveted berth to the ISC World Tournament in 2012.

“This season was so much fun, I couldn’t imagine not playing (next season). We want to be there again.”

Cool photo collage By Rafael Gonzalez, Leyla Productions

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