Big K-Club comeback claims Seattle Invitational

Written by Bob on August 4th, 2013

k-club.1web K-Club won four games on Sunday, July 28 to claim the 53rd Annual Seattle Invitational Men’s Fastpitch tournament. Photo courtesy of K-Club.

SEATTLE, WASH. – The Seattle Invitational Tournament has a long and distinguished list of champions since its launch in 1963. In those 53 years, elite teams like Seattle’s Pay ‘N Pak and Peterbuilt, along with Payless of Victoria, BC, and Larry Miller Toyota of Salt Lake City have claimed the championship.

And now K-Club of Bremerton, Wash. can add its name along side the prominent ball clubs who have won this prestigious west coast tournament.

K-Club, with a lineup of talent from throughout the Northwest, won the 2013 11-team tournament by defeating the Portland Brewers 7-6 at Dacca Park in Fife, July 28.

“This is an indescribable feeling, I still can’t believe it,” said K-Club manager and player Mike Kolda. “This team has put in a lot of hard work and come a long way since our birth. We’ve suffered some tough championship game losses. To break through for our first win at such a quality event is better than anything I could have dreamed of for this program.”

    DIFFICULT VICTORY

But as the score suggests, this was a tough, hard-fought victory. In fact, going into the fourth inning, winning the tourney title appeared a lost cause as K-Club trailed 6-0.

“When we were down 6-0, my dad (Dan Kolda) looked at me and said, ‘ this is amazing,’” Mike Kolda said. “I asked what he was talking about and he said, ‘look where we’re at and look how flat we are’. That really woke me up and I did everything in my power to wake the team up. I think that’s the spark we needed to make such an amazing comeback.”

    MVP TYACKE A CLUTCH STICK

K-Club started its comeback in the fourth. Rick Kolda and Jim Decater doubled and Michael Tyacke hit an RBI single to pull K-Club within 6-2. And the sticks, now heating up, erupted for four runs in the sixth.

A walk by Carlos Gonzalez and a single by Decater, followed by Tyacke’s double and consecutive singles by Al Khalaf, Randy Bitterman and Kenney Cave tied the game.

Then in the seventh, Gonzalez again was the catalyst, starting the inning with a single. Then after Decater sacrificed him to second, Tyacke brought him home with a game-winning, walk-off single.

Tyacke, who was 3 for 4 with a run and four RBIs, was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Randy Bitterman, 2 for 3, RBI, and Decater 2 for 3, double, two runs and an RBI, were also big contributors in the title game.

    WRIGHT COOLS OFF BREWERS

Jason Wright pitched masterfully in relief to pick up the win. He came on in the fourth with K-Club down 6-0, and over the final three innings held the Brewers to four hits with three strikeouts. For his effort, Wright was selected All-Tournament, along with Gonzalez and Khalaf.

K-Club finished 1-2 in Saturday’s pool play and was relegated the No. 7 seed into Sunday’s playoffs, where they finished 4-0.

The cause of this sudden turnaround? Focus.

“We’ve always been a hot Saturday team, but have failed to put it all together for a full day on Sunday,” said Kolda.

“I talked with the guys early on in the day and reminded them of how many second place finishes we’ve had. I challenged them to focus for the next eight hours and give everything we’ve got. We just didn’t want that feeling again.”

    AIMING FOR NATIONALS

K-Club reached the championship by knocking off Interbay Door, Shalcom Construction, and the Dukes. Now they turn their attention to the post season and the ASA Class C West National Championship in Salem, Ore, Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.

In 2012, K-Club finished second in the NAFA World Series A-Major Division (32 teams) and hope to build on that success in the ASA championship. But regardless of the outcome, Kolda feels real good about the ball club that has been together since 2009.

“We’ve put together a group of class guys both on and off the field who play this game with pure joy,” he said. “I am very proud of this team and humbled to be a part of it.”

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mike Kolda says:

    Once again, you’ve made us look too good! Great article, thanks again Bob!

  2. Bob says:

    Mike, K-Club’s been made to look good because you guys played good – highlighted by that great comeback in the championship game. Wish you guys were going to the NAFA World Series, but I understand playing in the ASA since it’s so close and saves a ton in travel expense. Good luck to you guys.

  3. Rick Kolda says:

    Thank you Bob from all that play for your continued dedication to brining the fans and players alike closer to the game that we all love. I literally check ottoinfocus everyday to see what you are going to write about next. Next time you see Bob give him a nod or handshake of appreciation. I havent had the privelage of meeting Bob yet but i look forward to eventually shaking the hand of a true fan of the game. Thanks again as always.

  4. Bob says:

    Thank you Rick, your compliment is much appreciated. But I couldn’t have written the K-Club Seattle Invite story without information. And you and Mike have always stepped up and given me the facts and insight I’ve needed. So you two deserve much of the credit. Good luck in Salem, and I hope to be writing another K-Club championship story!

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