K-Club Men’s Fastpitch, gearing up for 2013

Written by Bob on April 2nd, 2013

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Rick Kolda will be counted on to handle the catching duties as well as toe the rubber for the K-Club Men’s Fastpitch team of Moses Lake, Washington.

MOSES LAKE, WASH – Planning and plotting for improvement always rates tops as a ball club’s chief goal heading into a new season.

The 2013 K-Club men’s fastpitch team is no different.

But there’s just one thing. K-Club had a great season in 2012, so how much more can they improve? Well, with a few key additions, along with several returning veterans, maybe just enough to reach the top rung on the sport’s ladder of success: winning a national fastpitch championship.

In 2012, K-Club came just one step away by finishing runner-up in the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series, 32-team, A-Major Division with a 5-2 record (20-8 overall).

TRIED AND TRUE VETERANS
Returning to try and improve on that performance are tested veterans Mike Kolda, manager and player; Rick Kolda, pitcher and catcher; Ryan Welsh, infielder; Dan Kolda pitcher, along with Carlos Gonzalez, Kenny Cave, Randy Bitterman, Michael Tyacke and Chayce Christensen.

K-Club got its start in 2009 when the team was founded by the Kolda’s (thus the name K-Club). But the latest version has manager Mike Kolda feeling especially good about the fast approaching season.

He says that in his brother Rick, he has a proven catcher and solid No. 2 pitcher who, “will see some more Sunday pitching this year with Dan Kolda, still our ace, plus Rick’s (our) captain behind the plate,” Kolda said. (Dan Kolda, who is Mike, Rick and Ryan’s father, was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2012.)

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Veteran pitcher Dan Kolda returns as the K-Club’s ace of the staff.

ALL-WORLD TALENT
In the 2012 NAFA World Series, Rick Kolda, Gonzalez, Cave, Al Khalaf and Will Maddux were selected to the All-World, A-Major team.

Kolda and Gonzalez both hit an even .500 with Kolda going 7 for 14 with three RBIs, and Gonzalez went 10-20, five RBIs and six runs scored. Cave also contributed with a .318 average (7-22) and three RBIs. And Khalaf at .300, finished with four RBIs and five runs. Leading the pitching staff was Maddux with a 3-1 record in 27 2/3 innings, 2.02 ERA with 23 strikeouts.

Maddux reportedly has joined the Cal State Builders (Seattle based) this season, but will pitch for K-Club in the Seattle Invitational Tournament, says Rick Kolda, adding that the right-hander, who lives in Grass Valley, California, has asked for no special treatment.

“He flew up here last year to play a one day, three game super series with the Lacey A’s,” Kolda said. “It was on his (expense). That says a lot about him as a person and us as a team. We started talking on Facebook (and he committed) to go to NAFA with us last year, and obviously he showed up in Topeka (Kansas, where the World Series was held).”

Certainly K-Club had a great 2012 campaign with Kolda, Gonzalez and Cave and company leading the way. But Mike Kolda didn’t rest in the offseason on the club’s laurels. He went recruiting. And he found some talented athletes.

“Our additions are Scott Nokes, the fastest leadoff I’ve ever seen in my life with ten-plus years playing experience at all levels of the game,” Kolda said. “Scott will add runs to every game he plays.”

And then there’s Khalaf, who joins the team full time: “He’s a long time veteran, great hitter, great speed and a great outfielder and first baseman,” said Kolda, adding that Bill Price comes aboard with some pedigree as well. “Bill is a long time veteran with a good stick and will be able to give our catchers a breather every now and then.”

TOUGH TOURNEY TOUR
K-Club’s prospects look good for a successful season that includes a challenging tournament schedule, starting with the ball club’s own invitational, May 18-19: the Second Annual Columbia Basin Men’s Fastpitch Invitational in Moses Lake. (The Bucknell Park A’s from Lacey, Wash. defeated JRW & Associates of Yakima to take last year’s title.)

Then in June, K-Club travels to the Pasco, Washington tournament, the Rose Cup in Portland, and the Big Rock Invite in Mount Vernon, Wash.

On tap for July are the Seattle Invitational in Fife, Wash., July 26-28, and possibly a NAFA qualifier in Olympia. And in August K-Club will head for possibly two “Big Shows.” The ASA Men’s Class C National Tournament in Salem, Oregon, Aug. 29-Sept. 2. (In 2010 and 2011, the K-Club finished fifth and fourth respectively in the Class C national.) And perhaps a return to the NAFA World Series A-Major in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 8-11.

It’s an ambitious schedule, facing some talented foes. But before he plans and plots on how to win in those tournaments, Kolda is first working on making his own tournament a continued success.

K-CLUB’S OWN COLUMBIA BASIN INVITE

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He says five teams have committed for the Columbia Basin Invitational to be held at the Paul Lauzier Athletic Complex in Moses Lake. But he’s looking for three to five more. And he’s ventured an offer that could bring a local team on board, while also promoting the game.

“I have contacted some former professional baseball players who live in Moses Lake and offered them (a spot in the tournament) if they put a local team together,” Kolda said. “I would provide them the pitching. We are waiting to hear back on that idea.”

He says the tournament will be held May 18-19, and includes a three-game guarantee on Saturday and a single elimination on Sunday, with a third place game for the teams losing in the semi-finals.

TALENTED RETURNING TEAMS
Returning are Cleon’s Auto of Tacoma, Wash.; Interbay Door of Seattle; the Bonner Boys of Missoula, Montana; Spokane, Washington Souvenirs, and JRW & Associates of Yakima.

After last year’s tournament, Frank Hendrix III, manager and pitcher for Bonner Boys had this to say:

“It was a great tourney with great people. It is an important way to bring teams closer together and really helps expand this great fastpitch family, and brings us closer to one goal: getting people on the field.”

Kolda was pleased with the results and feedback from last year’s event. However, as the tournament director, along with brother Rick as the assistant, he is committed to the big and little affairs that make for a well-run tournament: such as having the fields and game balls ready by game time, keeping the dugout water jugs full, communicating with players and coaches about any problems they might be experiencing.

“These guys are coming here to play ball,” he says, “so if you can keep them from having to worry about anything else, they are going to be pleased.”

He also plans a few caveats to create interest and competitiveness. Like announcing scores and a game Most Valuable Player via a PA system after each game; and holding a 50/50 raffle…and more.

“This year I’d like to beef up the off field activities,” Kolda said.

For more information about the K-Club Columbia Basin Invitational, contact:

Mike Kolda
K-Club Men’s Fastpitch – Manager
mikekolda@hotmail.com
(509) 770-0886

2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mike Kolda says:

    We can’t continue to thank you enough for your support and interest Bob. Thanks again for the great article. Have a wonderful 2013 fastpitch season fellas!

  2. Bob says:

    Best of luck to you and K-Club this season Mike.

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