September 2010

WDCS Game Two – Notes and Lineups

Once again, the LumberKings find themselves trailing a best-of-three playoff series 1-0.  Last night’s loss at Kane County was especially rough as Clinton hitters struck out 16 total times and failed to produce a run in a 4-0 loss.

Thankfully, the series shifts to Alliant Energy Field for game two (and hopefully three).  The Kings are back home tonight with a 5:00 PM start against the Cougars.  A win keeps the series going, a loss sends us packing.  Left-hander Nick Czyz (4-5, 4.48 during the regular season, 0-0, 0.00 in the playoffs) gets the start tonight.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.12.10 kingsnotes _westfinals.gametwo_.pdf

Lineups:

LumberKings:

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

LHP Nick Czyz

Kane County:

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

RHP Kenny Smalley

Listen to the broadcast beginning at 4:45 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

 

WDCS Game One Lineups

The lineups for Game One of the 2010 Midwest League West Division Championship Series are now posted:

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 Taylor Stanton

Kane County:

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

RHP Dan Straily

-DL

Game Three in Cedar Rapids

Momentum is on Clinton’s side after the LumberKings evened the best-of-three first-round playoff series with an 8-2 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Perfect Game Field last night.  Right-hander Yoervis Medina played the role of stopper with two runs over 6.0 innings in the victory and received support from James Jones (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), Vinnie Catricala (1-for-5, HR, RBI), Mario Martinez (3-for-5, RBI), Henry Contreras (1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) amongst others.

Highlights:

One of these two teams begins their offseason tonight.  The LumberKings have kept Midwest League post-season All-Star Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 2.97) waiting in the wings for this pivotal start, he will take the hill for the second time against the Kernels.  Cedar Rapids originally planned to start left-hander Stephen Locke tonight, but have now opted to go with left-hander Tyler Kehrer (6-5, 4.56) instead.  We’ll see if that move works or backfires for them.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.10.10 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gamethree_.pdf

Game three lineups:

LumberKings:

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

RHP Erasmo Ramirez

Kernels:

  1. Jean Segura (2B)
  2. Matt Long (CF)
  3. Michael Wing (3B)
  4. Casey Haerther (DH)
  5. Jeremy Cruz (RF)
  6. Jose Jimenez (1B)
  7. Jon Karcich (SS)
  8. Justin Bass (LF)
  9. Carlos Ramirez (C)

LHP Tyler Kehrer

The first pitch is scheduled for around 6:35 PM, tune in for the broadcast on 1390kcln.com at about 6:20 PM for the LumberKings’ Pregame Show.

-DL

Game Two in Cedar Rapids

The West Division Quarterfinals shift to Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids with the Kernels leading the best-of-three series, 1-0.  Despite an RBI double by Vinnie Catricala (listen: 
Catricala Game Tying RBI double 9.8.10.mp3) and a solo homer by Mario Martinez (listen: 
Martinez Solo HR 9.8.10.mp3), the LumberKings fell, 3-2 last night and now officially have their backs against the wall.

It’s the simplest of baseball math all season long:  win and we play tomorrow, lose and that’s all.  With that being said, I think this is the night we make our statement.  Hopefully I’m right.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.9.10 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gametwo_.pdf

Tonight’s lineups:

LumberKings:

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

RHP Yoervis Medina (5-0, 2.50)

Kernels:

  1. Jean Segura (2B)
  2. Matt Long (CF)
  3. Michael Wing (3B)
  4. Casey Haerther (1B)
  5. Jeremy Cruz (RF)
  6. Jose Jimenez (C)
  7. Jon Karcich (SS)
  8. Justin Bass (LF)
  9. Mitch Blackburn (DH)

LHP Buddy Boshers (3-0, 4.31)

First pitch is at 6:35 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.  Let’s get this one and force game three.

-DL

Game One Lineups

I don’t often do this on the LumberBlog, but I figure playoff time is special.  Here’s the lineups for game one.

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. Kevin Mailloux (2B)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Kernels:

  1.   Jean Segura (2B)
  2. Matt Long (CF)
  3. Michael Wing (3B)
  4. Casey Haerther (1B)
  5. Jeremy Cruz (RF)
  6. Jose Jimenez (C)
  7. Jon Karcich (SS)
  8. Justin Bass (LF)
  9. Mitch Blackburn (DH)

RHP Ariel Pena

-DL

Mailloux, Bischoff Join Kings for Playoffs

Northwest League All-Star Kevin Mailloux, right-hander Matt Bischoff added for postseason

 

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the additions of infielder Kevin Mailloux from short-A Everett and right-hander Matt Bischoff from short-A Pulaski.  Right-hander Fray Martinez has been transferred to the inactive list.

 

Mailloux, 24, comes to Clinton after two highly-decorated campaigns in the Mariners’ system.  Drafted in the 45th round in 2009 out of Canisius College (NY), the Windsor, Ontario, Canada native hit .311 with 14 doubles, five home runs and 37 RBI in the Arizona League last year, winning a post-season All-Star award as the AZL’s best second-baseman.  This season, Mailloux hit .296 with 19 doubles, 15 home runs and 52 RBI in 65 games with short-A Everrett, taking home a post-season All-Star award as the Northwest League’s top third-baseman.

Bischoff, 23, arrives from short-A Pulaski.  Drafted by the Mariners in the 20th round of the 2010 June draft out of Purdue University, the right-handed Bischoff went 4-4 with a 3.30 ERA and five saves in 17 relief appearances in the Appalachian League.  Purdue’s all-time strikeout leader is known for his control, having walked just eight while striking out 45 in 30.0 innings with Pulaski.  Opponents hit just .204 against him.

 

Mailloux and Bischoff (no numbers yet) will join the LumberKings as they open the 2010 Midwest League Playoffs tonight against Cedar Rapids.  The Clinton roster stands at 25 active players with one on the inactive list.

 

Game notes and an interview with manager John Tamargo will follow later on today.

 

-DL

LumberKings, Mariners Extend through 2012

The big news of the day on the eve of the first round of the playoffs…

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings and Seattle Mariners have agreed to extend their Player Development Contract through the 2012 season, announced today by the two clubs.  The agreement keeps Seattle’s low-A affiliate in Clinton for two more years following a successful two-year partnership that began in 2009.

 

“We’re excited to be continuing a fantastic relationship with the Mariners, one that has brought success on and off the field for two seasons,” said LumberKings’ General Manager Ted Tornow.  “Seattle has provided us with talented coaches and players and has stayed competitive for two seasons, giving us much to look forward to through 2012.”

 

After a 2009 season that saw the LumberKings narrowly miss the post-season with a 69-68 overall record (fourth in the Midwest League’s West Division), the 2010 edition of the club went 74-65, qualifying for the playoffs as the second-half West Division Wild Card.

 

“We are pleased to have reached agreement with the Clinton LumberKings on an extension of our player development agreement”, Mariners’ Director of Player Development Pedro Grifol said.  “Clinton has provided a great environment for our players to experience championship baseball.  The LumberKings ownership has been great to work with for us, the players get a first-class environment and get to play in front of great fans”.

Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik added some quotes in Seattle’s formal release:

“We are happy to continue our relationship with the Clinton LumberKings,” said Zduriencik. “Clinton continues to be a place where our prospects have developed and our working relationship has been a positive one. We’d like to thank the great Clinton fans for their continued support and wish the LumberKings the best of luck as they begin the postseason in search of a Midwest League championship.”

-DL

Franklin Makes Jump to West Tenn

All-Star shortstop Nick Franklin called to double-A Diamond Jaxx

 

The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the promotion of shortstop Nick Franklin to double-A West Tennessee. 

 

The 19-year-old Franklin turned heads across the Midwest in 2010, hitting .281 with 22 doubles, seven triples, 23 home runs, 65 RBI and 25 steals in 129 games.  In his final game with the LumberKings yesterday in Burlington, Franklin lifted his 23rd homer to take the league lead and break Clinton’s 49-year-old franchise record for single-season clouts (22, hit by Dick Kenworthy of the 1961 Clinton C-Sox).

 

Seattle’s first-round pick (27th overall) out of Lake Brantley High School (FL), Franklin was both a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star in Fort Wayne, IN this year and a Post-Season All-Star.  The 16 managers of the league voted him as the top shortstop.  Franklin leaves the league amidst leaders in total bases (3rd with 249), runs scored (T-4th with 88), at-bats per HR ratio (4th with a HR per 22.30 at-bats), slugging percentage (9th at .485) and OPS (10th at .837).

 

No counter move has been made to replace Franklin.  The active Clinton roster stands at 24 players.

 

The LumberKings open the 2010 Midwest League West Division Quarterfinals at home against Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, September 8 at 6:30 PM.  For tickets and more information, call 563-242-0727 or visit the LumberKings’ main office at Alliant Energy Field.

 

Revisit my interviews with Nick during this 2010 season:

 

-DL

King Clinch, Franklin Belts #23

And all is right in LumberKing-land.  Despite their third-straight loss (6-4 at the hands of Burlington today), the LumberKings are back in the Midwest League Playoffs as the West Division Wild Card.  Clinton’s date with Cedar Rapids in the West Division Quarterfinals was secured today not by a Kings’ victory, but rather a 13-5 win by the Kernels that eliminated any chance for Beloit to catch up.

Unlike the previous night, there was actually bright spots to talk about in the loss for the Kings.  The brightest was Nick Franklin, whose wall-scraping opposite-field homer to left put Clinton ahead 1-0 in the first inning.  That blast was Franklin’s league-leading 23rd of the year and also puts him in a category by himself as Clinton’s best single-season home run hitter.  He had tied former C-Sox second-baseman Dick Kenworthy’s 49-year-old record on the last homestand and now holds the spot all to himself.

Listen Here: 
Franklin 23rd HR (Franchise Record) 9.5.10.mp3

You can hear by the tone of my voice how surprising a home run it was.  It barely got out over the short wall in left.

Unfortunately, that home run would not be enough to get right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and the LumberKings a win.  Burlington spoiled a 4-3 lead on Whit Merrifield’s seventh-inning two-run homer and ran away with the 6-4 victory.  Clinton finishes up the regular season in Burlington tomorrow at 2:00 PM (starting pitcher now TBA) before returning home for an off-day on Tuesday and then gearing up for game one against the Kernels on Wednesday night.

You can begin ordering your playoff tickets starting Tuesday at 10:00 AM by calling the LumberKings at 563-242-0727.  I’ve already got my seat picked out in the home broadcast booth.  Hope to see you there.

-DL

Magic Number: One

100_1988.JPG

Could the Kings finally clinch at Community Field in Burlington today?

Last night’s 6-1 loss in Burlington was short on highlights and silver linings, yet the LumberKings still were not burned after playing with fire.  The Kings are still in a 1.50-game driver’s seat in their playoff quest as Beloit also lost 5-4 to Cedar Rapids.

Clinton’s magic number entering today’s game is down to one.  One win or a Beloit loss and the LumberKings are guaranteed a playoff spot.  They still have a shot, be it slim, at overtaking Kane County for the top playoff spot in the West, but to do that, they’d need to win the final two games here in Burlington and hope for back-to-back Wisconsin wins at Elfstrom Stadium.

Point is, we need to win.  Take care of the game on the field and the rest takes care of itself.  We’ll see how today develops with the Midwest League’s top right-handed starter, Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 2.86) on the hill for the Kings.  He’ll go up against Burlington right-hander Keaton Hayenga (3-12, 6.14) beginning at 2:00 PM.  Don’t be fooled by Hayenga’s record…he’s coming off back-to-back wins against Wisconsin and Beloit, yielding just three earned runs in 13.0 innings in those two efforts.

Today’s Game Notes: 
9.5.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Tune in online at 1390kcln.com if you want to hear me struggle through a head cold in what is the most important game of 2010 (so far).

-DL

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