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Cal-State Builders claim third consecutive NAFA Masters West championship

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

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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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Big K-Club comeback claims Seattle Invitational

Sunday, 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.”

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