Tonight’s Interview: Matt Bischoff

The LumberKings improved to 4-3 on this eight-game road trip last night with a 5-2 win in Burlington.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez pitched his fourth-straight quality start (2 R, 1 ER over 6.0 IP) and a solo homer by Stefen Romero (listen: Romero Solo HR (#15), 13 game hit streak 8.8.11) and two-out RBI single by Kalian Sams had the Kings tied with the Bees, 2-2 entering the seventh.  Right-hander Matt Bischoff came on for the top of the seventh and was immediately greeted by Nino Leyja’s line double into the left-field corner.  A passed ball later and Leyja stood at third base with nobody out.

Somehow, Bischoff got out of it unscathed.  He battled back to strike out Tyreace House and induced a chopper from Beau Taylor that reached drawn-in third-baseman Carlos Ramirez.  Ramirez started and finished one of the crazier plays on the basepaths this season, beginning a 5-2-6-2-5-1-5 rundown to get Leyja and then firing back to second-baseman Romero to catch Taylor over-rounding the bag.  The ripple effect of that momentum swing was a three-run eighth inning put together by the Kings to snap the 2-2 tie.  Mickey Wiswall’s liner to right-center scored Mike McGee for the winning run (listen: Wiswall RBI single 8.8.11), while Tim Morris and Sams added insurance RBI.  Bischoff secured his third win in relief by tossing 3.0 innings, striking out two (listen:  Bischoff Strikes Out Kirkland 8.8.11).

Today, I talk with Bischoff for the first time on the pregame interview.  The Decatur, Indiana native has already been well-traveled in the year since his 20th round selection out of the University of Purdue.  He started his pro career in Pulaski last season, but jumped to Clinton just in time to make a playoff debut for the Kings.  He turned in a memorable game three performance in the opening round at Cedar Rapids, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings and striking out four in relief of Erasmo Ramirez in Clinton’s series-clinching 6-2 win over the Kernels.  Bischoff endured a rocky start with the LumberKings this year and a minor arm injury, battling back to go 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and five saves in Everett before making his return to the Midwest League.  In his last seven outings, the 5’11” hurler is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

Bischoff talks about the wild seventh inning, coming back strong from the injury, playing baseball at New Haven High School for his father (legendary head coach Dave Bischoff, who reached 500 wins this past season as he guided the Bulldogs to the 3A Semi-State finals), his Big Ten rivalry with Tyler Burgoon (who pitched at Michigan), his “into the fire” playoff debut last year and more.

Listen Here:  Bischoff Interview 8.9.11

Tonight’s Game Notes: 8.9.11 kingsnotes

The road trip comes to a close tonight in Burlington, and it’s left-hander Roenis Elias on the hill for the LumberKings looking to secure a series win.  We’ll see if the Cuban defector Elias can duplicate his debut outing, a 6.1-inning, one-run (unearned) effort at Wisconsin last Thursday.  He’ll be opposed by Bees’ right-hander Jose Macias (4-3, 5.01).  First pitch is at 6:30 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

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