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Cal-State Builders claim third consecutive NAFA Masters West championship

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013


By Dave Carlton / Owner and Manager, Cal-State Builders

CARSON CITY, NEV – The Cal-State Builders made its annual trip to Carson City, Sept. 13-15, with hopes of retaining the NAFA Masters World Series West 40-Over crown. The same rag-tag group from the previous two years consisted of 12-men (with newcomer Scott Budnick, Bothell, WA, and veteran Mario Pereira, Roseville, CA) who put their skills to the test as tough competition loomed.

The Portland Brewers – narrowly defeated last year at the hands of Cal-State ace Kevin Kammueller (Shakopee, MN) – were hungry to redeem the loss. The Boston Seadogs, eliminated in 2012 by Portland in a dramatic extra-inning walk-off, were similarly eager to avenge the past.

Ten hopefuls entered the NAFA West Masters, with Cal-State, Portland, and Boston opposite each other in separate pools.

    Cal-State 11, SoCal Quakes 0

Rain and heavy wind suspended Friday’s games deep into the night. Game one slated for 8 p.m. finally got started around 10:30. The SoCal Quakes sent veteran Doug Rooney to the mound to face Cal-State’s iconic big-man Kammueller.

The Builders showed no ill effects from the rain delay as they quickly plated seven runs in the top of the first inning, sending 13 men to the plate. Dean Waltier highlighted a six-hit inning with a two-run blast to the right field corner. Both Randy “The Hammer” Bitterman and Darin Michael posted two hits each, while Mark Summers and Scott Budnick added walks.

Former Builder Mario Pereira, who took a few years off from the team, added a base hit, and Duane Christensen began his path to tournament MVP with a single.

Kammueller began where he left off at the ISC World Tournament (ISC II All-World pitcher) by pounding the strike zone with nasty corners and wicked movement. The Quakes mustered three hits in the mercy-shortened contest but could not score a run off the stingy Builder’s ace.

Former University of Arizona standout Debby Day, the only female pitcher to ever pitch at the men’s event, took over for Rooney in the top of the second and held off the Builders until the fourth, when pinch-hitter Larry Machado got a rally started with a clean single.

kammueller.kevin.246web Kevin Kammueller shows the form that earned him ISC II All-World and NAFA Masters All-World. Photo By BOB OTTO / June 2013 California Classic Fastpitch Tournament

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Carson City, perfect for NAFA Masters World Series

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY, NV – North American Fastpich Association (NAFA) Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock has a few good reasons why he likes hosting the West Masters World Series in Carson City. Well, actually he has a lot of good reasons.

For one, there’s Joel Dunn, Carson City’s parks and recreation operations manager.

In a word, he’s “awesome to work with,” Hedgecock said. “The parks department provides field rental, homerun fences and field prep for free to keep us coming back. Concession staff and field prep staff, and scorekeepers and gate staff are awesome and have become part of the family.”

Hedgecock goes on to add that Carson City is within reasonable driving and flying distance for western states’ ball players, family and fans. And you just never know whose going to be leaving Carson City a big winner. Away from the ball park, that is.

“Someone in our party wins a $15,000 or more jackpot every year,” Hedgecock said.

Couple those positives with great weather, a city (and nearby Reno) in which the wives and girl friends can have fun away from the ball park, friendly people and great fields, and there’s little not to like about playing fastpitch softball in Carson City.

“There are just no negatives to lead players to say they want someplace new,” Hedgecock said. “Because they love it here.”

The World Series runs Sept. 14 – 16 at, John D. Winters Centennial Sports Complex 500 Centennial Park Drive, Carson City.

A total of 34 teams will be battling it out in four masters age divisions: 55-Over, 50-Over, 45-Over, and the “kids” tournament, the 40-Over.

And these ball players, still infatuated with a sport many have played well over 40 and 50 years, come from many parts of North America: Including Canada, and the U.S. states of California, Idaho, Washington, Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Kansas, and even Massachusetts.

On Saturday afternoon, a special ceremony will be held at 3:30, inducting Terry Traverso, Dean Waltier and Sam Aldridge into the NAFA Hall of Fame.

For more information, visit NAFA Fastpitch