September 2010

2010 Final Report in Progress

2010finalreport.JPGStay tuned to the LumberBlog…within the next week or so, the 2010 Final Report and Bios will be completed!  I’m happy to report that I’ve finished two pages so far.  I’ve still got a ways to go.

Hope your offseason has been as thrilling as mine so far.

-DL

2010: Closing Thoughts

In case you didn’t already see it, the LumberKings fell to Lake County in game five of the MWLCS on Monday night in Eastlake, OH.  The Captains, newcomers to the Midwest League are champions for the first time.

I wanted to take time out to give you some of my parting thoughts on what has been a thrilling season for the franchise and myself.

  1. In spending Spring Training down the the Peoria Sports Complex for the second time in the last two years, I heard a lot about the expected Clinton roster from folks around the Mariners organization and immediately got excited.  To be able to start the season with Nick Franklin, James Jones, Vinnie Catricala, Dennis Raben, Anthony Vasquez, Jimmy Gillheeney and some of the other names from the Opening Day roster, it was immediately apparent that the Mariners were giving us their top talent.  Seattle’s commitment to giving that talent some experienced leadership was also evident with the announcement of John Tamargo, Dwight Bernard and Terry Pollreisz as the field staff back in December.  The anticipation for the players and staff this season surpassed any of my previous four years.
  2. I had never broadcasted a walk-off homer (in a win, anyways) with the LumberKings.  That trend ended with Clinton’s first win on April 9 when Kalian Sams hit the first of his two walk-off blasts of the year.  I remember thinking after that cold Spring night that maybe this club had a knack for the dramatic.  Sams would give us another walk-off, Franklin would do it as well, and the Kings would win 13 times in their last at-bat during the regular-season.  That’s plenty dramatic for me.
  3. Finally, someone broke the Dick Kenworthy record.  Franklin accomplished what Samone Peters, John Mayberry Jr., Mauro Gomez and Jonathan Greene could not…hit one over that outfield wall 23 times in a season.  It was my pleasure to announce each and every one, even though I wish I could have called #23 more dramatically.  I guess after seeing the record challenged so many times, I was surprised to see him do it.  Maybe Franklin’s record won’t stand for 49 years, but his season will live on in Clinton baseball lore.
  4. Erasmo Ramirez is not only an amazing control artist and the league’s top right-handed pitcher, he’s also a pretty awesome human being.  His excitement and humility shined through every time I interviewed him or even talked with him.  You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about if you listened to my interview with him following his All-Star selection.
  5. Wow, did Jones and Matt Cerione make plate adjustments.  Both hit around .200 in the first half and went on to finish the season over .260.  Jones was solid all second half and Cerione was just about unstoppable over the final month of the season.
  6. Mario Martinez is a big-league third baseman defensively right now.  He’s a little too aggressive offensively at times, but that will be reeled in as he continues to develop.  For his age (just 20 years old), he was scary good in his second taste of the MWL.
  7. The additions of Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Mickey Wiswall in August reinvigorated the team and are probably the three most important late acquisitions this team has seen in recent memory.  Wilhelmsen and Medina combined to go 11-1 while Wiswall provided another power bat in the middle of an already-stacked lineup.  Was there a game more electric than the West clincher over Kane County when Tom fired 7.0 scoreless innings and Mickey added the game-winning two-run homer?  I think not.
  8. Winning the West is nothing to scoff at.  Going 5-1 in playoff elimination games is also something to hang our hats on.  I’ll be plenty proud to brag about our West title all fall and winter.
  9. An Alliant Energy Field playoff crowd is the loudest there is.  Lake County fans were loud once guided by their on-field emcee.  Not our crowd.  Even though Brad Seward does a great job pumping people up, I still contend that our fans are the most knowledgeable and dedicated in this league.
  10. Watching another team storm the field and take the championship trophy wasn’t as heartbreaking as I thought it might be, but it does fuel me for next year.  With plenty of members of the 2010 Northwest League Champion Everett AquaSox and an equally-good Pulaski Mariners club, maybe we’ll get a shot at this again.
  11. Finally, I had my biggest online listening crowd EVER for Game Five, and I know a lot of you that read this blog were tuned in.  I can’t express enough how grateful I am for the responses and emails I get from listeners.  Also, the fact that this blog continues to rank in the MLBlogs Top 50 astounds me.  It makes me want to continue to provide you fresh content in every way I can.

The season may be over, but the LumberBlog is not.  Stay tuned for plenty of features this offseason, many of which I’m currently brainstorming.  If you have any suggestions, comments, questions, etc. you can contact me at davelezotte@lumberkings.com.

For now, enjoy the hard-earned West title and enjoy your offseason!

-DL

MWLCS Game Five – Notes and Lineups

Tonight is the 150th game for the LumberKings in 2010.  The previous 149 were just a prelude to tonight.  I’ll spare you further dramatics and give you the goods this evening.

The Kings forced tonight’s decisive game five with a 3-2 comeback win over the Lake County Captains in Eastlake last night, looking all but dead on a go-ahead RBI single by Greg Folgia in the seventh.  However, James Jones would start the rally with a single to center in the eighth, and RBI hits by Mickey Wiswall (listen:
Wiswall Game-Tying RBI Single 9.19.10.mp3) and Blake Ochoa (listen:
Ochoa Go-Ahead RBI Double 9.19.10.mp3).

Right-hander Taylor Stanton struck out nine over 6.2 brilliant innings, but it turned out to be right-hander Forrest Snow that earned the win in relief.  Snow yielded Folgia’s hit but just about nothing more over the final 2.1 innings.  He ended the game against Folgia, inducing him into a groundout to Gabriel Noriega (listen:
Snow Induces Folgia into Groundout, Kings Force Game Five 9.19.10.mp3).

The biggest game in Clinton franchise history since 1991 is tonight, and right-hander Yoervis Medina (1-0, 2.19 in 2 playoff starts) will be on the mound for the Kings against Captains’ lefty Giovanni Soto (0-2, 6.00 in 2 playoff games).

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.20.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gamefive_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings: 

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Nick Franklin (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Yoervis Medina

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

LHP Giovanni Soto

The biggest game of the year starts at 5:30 PM central time, listen online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL

MWLCS Game Four – Notes and Lineups

100_2056.JPGI can’t help but feel we’ve been here before.  Up against the wall again are the LumberKings, trailing the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series two games to one after last night’s 7-3 loss to the Lake County Captains.  Clinton didn’t have too much going offensively against the Captains aside from Mickey Wiswall’s solo homer in the sixth (listen: 
Wiswall Solo HR 9.18.10.mp3) and Tim Morris’s monster shot in the ninth (listen:
Morris 2-R HR 9.18.10.mp3).  On the mound, right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen struggled with five walks and also allowed an uncharacteristic two home runs in his first playoff loss.

James Jones looked to have legged out an infield single that would have loaded the bases and brought Nick Franklin to the dish as the tying run, but the call went Lake County’s way to end the game.

Here’s my silver lining of the day…the last time Jones made the last out on a bang-bang play at first to end the game was in a 3-2 loss to Cedar Rapids on September 8, the opening game of the West Division Quarterfinals.  The Kings then went on the road and took two straight to eliminate the Kernels.  They’re in that same situation again, needing to win the next two here in Lake County to take the title.

John Tamargo’s club is 4-0 in elimination games in these playoffs.  Aside from the two wins in the Cedar Rapids series I just mentioned, they also took two at home over Kane County to win the West.  I can already tell you this club is relaxed and not in panic mode today.  They’re ready to force game five.

Game four is what’s in front of us tonight, and it will be right-hander Taylor Stanton taking the baseball for his second playoff start.  He’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in one outing in the postseason, but allowed all four of his earned runs in one bad inning in Kane County.  Stanton is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in one start against the Captains and will hopefully have a similar outing tonight (1 ER on 5 hits, 6.0 IP, 7 strikeouts).

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.19.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gamefour_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Nick Franklin (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS) 

RHP Taylor Stanton

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

LHP Vidal Nuno

First pitch is once again scheduled for 5:30 PM central time, cheer on your Kings by listening online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL 

MWLCS Game Three – Notes, Lineups and Game Two Highlights

100_2053.JPGAfter playing (and winning) the longest Midwest League Championship Series game in recorded history on Thursday night at Alliant Energy Field, it’s been nice to have a day off.  The LumberKings embarked on the nine-hour drive to Eastlake, Ohio yesterday and are now at Classic Park, the home of the Lake County Captains for the remainder of the MWLCS.

In case you missed the 18 innings of white-knuckle baseball including the game-tying RBI single from Carlos Ramirez in the bottom of the 12th and the error by Adam Abraham that scored Blake Ochoa in the 18th, I’ve saved a few highlight clips for your listening pleasure:

That thrilling victory plus the addition of Nick Franklin (yes, the same one) to the playoff roster has given the LumberKings a needed boost of confidence in this best-of-five series.  With no more home games remaining, John Tamargo’s club must take two of three on the road to hoist the Midwest League Championship trophy.

Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0, 0.71 in 2 playoff starts) takes the hill tonight for the Kings, he’ll go head-to-head with right-hander Brett Brach (0-0, 5.00 in 2 playoff starts) of the Captains.  Full lineups are below.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.18.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gamethree_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Nick Franklin (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

RHP Brett Brach

Game three begins at 5:30 PM central time and will air on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

MWLCS Game Two – Notes and Lineups

Well, here we are once again.  A game down in a playoff series, this time the best-of-five Midwest League Championship Series.  The LumberKings had a 6-3 lead through six innings thanks to a two-run single from Tim Morris, a two-run homer from James Jones and another RBI single from Jones.  However, Lake County scored six runs over the seventh and eighth innings to stun the Clinton faithful with a 9-6 game one victory.

Highlights from the loss:

It’s the final home game for the Kings at Alliant Energy Field tonight as they look to even the series with the Captains.  Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-0, 1.29 during the playoffs) makes his second post-season start for the Kings.  He goes up against right-hander Trey Haley (5-11, 5.97 during the regular-season) of the Captains.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.16.10 kingsnotes _mwlcs.gametwo_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Matt Cerione (CF)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Gabriel Noriega (SS)
  9. Carlos Ramirez (2B)

RHP Erasmo Ramirez

Lake County:

  1. Delvi Cid (CF)
  2. Tyler Holt (DH)
  3. Casey Frawley (SS)
  4. Adam Abraham (3B)
  5. Chase Burnette (LF)
  6. Roberto Perez (C)
  7. Jason Smit (1B)
  8. Greg Folgia (RF)
  9. Argenis Martinez (2B)

RHP Trey Haley

The first pitch is at 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL

Kings Open MWL Championship Series Wednesday

Tickets still available for Wednesday’s 6:30 game vs. Lake County at Alliant Energy Field

 

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings continue their quest for the city’s first Midwest League title since 1991 as they open the best-of-five Championship Series against the East Division champion Lake County Captains with game one set for Wednesday night at Alliant Energy Field.  Gates will open at 5:00 PM with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.

 

Right-hander Yoervis Medina has been tabbed by manager John Tamargo to make the game one start.  Medina went 5-0 with a 2.50 ERA in six regular-season starts and is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one playoff start.  He’ll be opposed by right-hander Jason Knapp of the Captains.  Knapp went 1-0 with a 3.94 ERA in four regular-season starts for Lake County and is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one playoff start.

 

A breakdown of the series:

 

Date / Game

Teams / Site

Time (CT)

Wed, September 15 (Game 1)

Lake County vs. LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field

6:30 PM

Thu, September 16 (Game 2)

Lake County vs. LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field

6:30 PM

Fri, September 17

OFF DAY – Travel to Eastlake, OH

 

Sat, September 18 (Game 3)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

Sun, September 19 (Game 4)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

Mon, September 20 (Game 5)

LumberKings @ Lake County, Classic Park (Eastlake, OH)

5:30 PM

 

Tickets for game one are currently on sale and can be purchased by visiting the Alliant Energy Field box office or by calling 563-242-0727.  Tickets for game two will go on sale following Wednesday night’s game.  Playoff ticket prices remain the same, with box seats at $8, adult general admission at $7 and students/seniors general admission at $6.  No regular-season tickets (bonus books, unused tickets, etc.) will be honored for the playoffs.

 

Catch all the continuing playoff action for your LumberKings on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at 1390kcln.com.

 

-DL

Video of the West-Clinching Out

Courtesy of our good friend and colleague Todd Brommelkamp, here’s video of the Tim Morris-to-Forrest Snow putout at first base that clinched the West Division Title:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMwISPUBD_A

-DL

The LumberKings are WEST DIVISION CHAMPS!

And we’ll play for the Midwest League Championship against either Great Lakes or Lake County.  Stay tuned to the LumberBlog for more updates, until then, enjoy the highlights!

Much more to come!

-DL

WDCS Game Three: Notes and Lineups

The biggest game in Clinton baseball history since 1993 (the last time a Clinton team reached the Midwest League Championship Series) is tonight at Alliant Energy Field as the LumberKings take on Kane County for the right to face either Great Lakes or Lake County for the 2010 title.

The Kings forced this decisive game three with a 6-2 win last night.  Mario Martinez keyed the offense with a 4-for-4, two-RBI game and left-hander Nick Czyz limited the Cougars to two runs over 5.2 innings. 

Highlights:

Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (0-0, 1.59 during postseason) makes the most important start of his career tonight in his second appearance of these playoffs.  The Cougars counter with right-hander Murphy Smith (0-1, 1.50 during postseason).

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.13.10 kingsnotes _westfinals.gamethree_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Kevin Mailloux (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Kane County:

  1. Conner Crumbliss (2B)
  2. Jose Crisotomo (CF)
  3. Michael Choice (RF)
  4. Rashun Dixon (LF)
  5. Myrio Richard (DH)
  6. Anthony Aliotti (1B)
  7. Leonardo Gil (3B)
  8. Jason Christian (SS)
  9. Ryan Lipkin (C)

RHP Murphy Smith

The game begins at 6:30 PM, you can listen online at 1390kcln.com! 

 
-DL

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