We previously posted a story on Santa Rosa Fastpitch’s remarkable 9 win run to the NAFA “A” World Series title — which included 7 wins over the final 24 hours, and 5 on the final day. Lumar Goss was a key addition to the championship squad. Thanks to Herb Dower, a regular contributor to Fastpitchwest, we provide more of Santa Rosa’s amazing weekend in Topeka. Lumar has pitched for the Palm Springs Express team in the So Cal league (SCIFL), and got some open caliber experience joining Tony Mancha on the New Mexico team that competed well at the Cal Classic in San Diego in June of this year. Lumar started pitching locally for Paul Castillo’s “Those Guys” team (teammate of the editor), in the local city leagues. He has learned from the likes of Sebastian Gervasutti and Bill Hillhouse videos, and worked hard to improve his game. A hard-throwing right hander, Lumar has the physical attributes and work ethic to pitch at the next level, he will no doubt get plenty of attention in 2013. I wonder if Team USA is taking note?
Story courtesy of Herb Dower
You never know what you’re going to get when you add players to your roster going into a major post-season tournament.
Comprised of mostly local talent, the Santa Rosa Fastpitch men’s team already had a lineup loaded with power hitters who could also dazzle teams with their speed on the bases as well as play outstanding defense.
With the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series in Topeka, KS, on their schedule, what the team needed was some pitching help.
They got plenty in the person of 27-year-old Lumar Goss from southern California, a relatively unknown pitcher for the Palm Springs Express. Several southern California teams were already headed for the NAFA Class A World Series, but the Express team was not one of them, and Goss wanted a team as much as Santa Rosa wanted a pitcher.
Goss wound up with a Santa Rosa team that was, and is, very good, and the combination proved golden for both because Santa Rosa came out of the losers’ bracket to win the NAFA World championship with a 9 -1 record.
With Santa Rosa bombarding opposing pitchers for 24 home runs in the 10 games, seven each by two of the game’s great power hitters, Brian Macler and Marc Young, Goss found the backing he needed to post an 8-0 record that included a four-inning no-hitter. In one remarkable stretch, he pitched and won seven consecutive games within 24 hours, two on Saturday night (Aug. 18) and five on Sunday, when the team was on the field 10 grueling hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m .
In pitching 42 1/3 innings, Goss gave up 40 hits, hit a batter and walked 21, but the Santa Rosa team played great defense and scored plenty of runs to bring Goss home a winner in every game. And while Santa Rosa was hitting .399 as a team with its 24 home runs, six triples and 11 doubles for 196 total bases and a lofty .775 slugging average, Goss held teams at bay by striking out 44 and allowing only six extra base hits, three doubles and three home runs.
Goss was just what the doctor ordered to bring home the championship in a field of 32 quality teams from the United States and Canada, but Santa Rosa has been close before and is recognized as one of the most talented teams in California and the country at this level.
The team placed fourth in the 2007 Amateur Softball Association’s Class C national tournament in Killeen, TX, with a 6 -2 record, and then came close to winning it all in the 2008 Class C championships in Prescott, AZ, when it posted an 8 -2 record to wind up second. In the first championship game against title-winning Landis Supermarket of Pennslyvania, Santa Rosa trailed 1-0 going into the seventh inning before Landis exploded for eight runs to win 9-0.
With their 9 -1 record this year, Santa Rosa has faced many of the best teams in North America and won 23 out of 28 games in placing fourth, second and first.
This year’s NAFA championship is a dream-come-true for 52-year-old Gary Dower, who pours thousands of dollars each year into the team for tournament entry fees, uniforms and equipment, in addition to fielding other teams in the 13-team Santa Rosa City League and pretty much running the whole show.
He now has an up-and-coming team presently called The Farm which defeated Santa Rosa Fastpitch to win the Wednesday Night League so there is plenty of talent to keep the city building on its reputation of fielding championship teams. Local fans remember the great Guanella Bros. teams that won the ASA Major Nationals in 1974 and 1991 and annually ranked among the Top 10 teams in the world. Even though playing at a lower level, players on this year’s Santa Rosa team are equally talented and, perhaps, more versatile.
Gary has always been around Sonoma County sports. He played basketball and pole vaulted at Analy High School (Sebastopol) and Santa Rosa Junior College, as did his 46-year-old brother Tom, who catches for Santa Rosa Fastpitch and spent 10 straight hours catching the hard drops and hard rise balls that Goss was throwing all day Sunday in Topeka. He caught all 10 games.
Both have been around softball since they were about 16 and like many fastpitch players, they are reluctant to give it up. Gary, a standout third baseman, will be playing in both the ASA and NAFA Masters Tournaments coming up, and Tom, who has played all nine positions, will be in the NAFA Masters in Carson City, NV, where he has earned All-World honors three times.
More than half of the players on this year’s Santa Rosa Fastpitch team played high school sports at either Piner or Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa as did past standouts like Jeff Schulz and pitcher Jeff Want.
All World honors at Topeka went to Nick Green, Dustin Green, Marc Young and Casey Hillman, Brian Macler was the most valuable player and Goss was the most valuable pitcher.
Opposing pitchers were in awe at how hard and how far these players can hit a softball. Macler will long be remembered by fans in Prescott for a towering home run he hit that may not have come down yet, and balls just jump off the bats of all of these players.
Both Macler and Young hit seven home runs in the 10 games and Hillman and the Green brothers accounted for nine more. Macler made only one out in the first five games when he was 10-for -11 , and he batted .593 (16-for-27), scored 18 times and, thanks to two grandslams, drove in 22 runs in the 10 games.
Hillman hit .516 (16-for-31), scored 14 and drove in 15; Young hit .393 (11-for-28) with seven homers and 13 RBI; Nick Green hit .517 (15-for-29), scored 15 times and had a hit in every game; and Dustin hit .400 with 16 RBI. In one game, the 8 -1 win over previously undefeated Tower Junction of Wisconsin in the first of the two games that decided the championship, Dustin hit two home runs and two singles to drive in seven of the eight runs.
Defensively, the team was outstanding. Dustin Green in right and Young in left tracked down everything to the outfield, and Chubbs Campbell, who played the outfield until the arrival of another “pickup” player, Jabari Wimbs of Grass Valley-Colfax, also played well.
Wimbs, who missed the first three games, is an outstanding leadoff man who can bunt and slap-hit, and he took over in centerfield after he arrived. Not only did he steal four bases in the only four opportunities he had, but he also hit two home runs.
Danny Macler at third, Hillman at short, Brian Macler at second and Nick Green at first all took turns making outstanding defensive plays. Green handled some very difficult chances at first without a miscue, and in the crucial second 10 -6 deciding game win over Tower Junction, Santa Rosa had four doubleplays.
One was a great relay throw from Wimbs in center to Brian Macler, who made a perfect throw to third to get a runner, and another was a sizzling line drive to Danny Macler that he snared and fired to first to double off a runner.
The championship game was tight all the way, but with Santa Rosa nursing a 7 -6 lead going into the bottom of the fifth, Danny Macler got a one-out single which was followed by a two-run home run by another pickup player, Steve Krupke, a coach from Wisconsin, who helped beat a team from his own state. One out later, Young rifled a home run over the left field fence for the game’s final run.
Almost every player added to the squad contributed as coach Gary Dower saw to it that everybody got into the act to share in the glory. Pitcher Ronnie Mizener picked up one pitching victory; Dan Fisherbaugh, a pitcher from Marin County, had a 1 -2 -3 inning that enabled Goss to get a little break on Sunday; first baseman Eddie Martin was 7-for-15 (.467) before sitting out the final games after Dower settled on his lineup; and Casey Remy was used as a pinch runner and bullpen catcher before getting to swing the bat, when he doubled high off the left-field fence and then scored on a single by Tom Dower.
Fisherbaugh also pitched batting practice one day and helped with the coaching.
It was a real team effort all the way, and it took every bit of it to bring home a championship.
Another Northern California entry, the Black Sox of Stockton who beat Santa Rosa in the Stockton Tournament just before the NAFA Tournament, exited early with a 2 -2 record.
The Sox opened with a 12 -2 win over Priority Mortgage of Michigan, lost 4 -2 to Ramsey Financial, stayed alive with a 5 -2 win over Smalltown FP of Michigan, and lost 9 -7 to Primetime of Southern California.
Eight of Santa Rosa’s 9 wins came against teams that finished in the Top 9: 2 against Tower Junction (8 -1 and 10 -6 ); 1 against Wizards of Oz (10 -3 ); 1 against DC Outlaws (3 -10 and 6 -3 ); 1 against Mac’s Sports Club (14 -5 ); 2 against Sight & Sound (12 -4 and 9 -2 ); 1 against Roca Tavern (10-0, 4-inning no-hitter)
The other win came against the Kansas City Angels (11 -7 ), who finished 3 -2 , losing to Santa Rosa and Rooters.