Results tagged ‘ Blake Ochoa ’

18-Inning Classic up for a MiLBY

Martinez Game of the Year.jpgThe MiLBY yearly awards are still going on over at MiLB.com, and they’ve moved on to the two final categories: “Best Game” and “Best Team”.

I’m happy to announce that Clinton’s 18-inning walk-off win in Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series is one of the six games up for fan vote in the Low A classification.  For those of you who missed it back on September 16 (many saw the beginning, far fewer saw th end), the LumberKings won a war of attrition over the Lake County Captains in the longest Championship Series game in league history when Mario Martinez (pictured) sent a hot shot through the legs of third-baseman Adam Abraham, scoring Blake Ochoa.

Listen to Ochoa’s game-winning run: 
Abraham’s Error Scores Ochoa in 18th 9.16.10.mp3

Abraham’s glove would end up on the roof of the clubhouse, but the Captains would go on to take the series in the decisive Game 5.  It’s the longest game I’ve ever broadcasted as far as innings are concerned, and it’s one the folks who stuck around won’t soon forget. 

Whether you were there or not, help us out by voting at this link:  http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/awards/y2010/game.jsp

In other MiLBY news, Nick Franklin finished second in “Best Hitter” voting for class A, trailing only Lexington’s J.D. Martinez.  Martinez received 29% of the vote, while Franklin earned 22%.

For some reason, the five-team field for “Best Team” did not include your West Division Champion LumberKings.  Instead, Lake County, Great Lakes and Quad Cities are the entrants from the Midwest League.  Augusta and Lakewood of the South Atlantic League round out the selections.

I’ll give you Lake County based on their Midwest League championship and Great Lakes based on their fantastic 90-win regular season, but I struggle with Quad Cities.  A first-half Wild Card entrant into the playoffs, the Bandits did go on to finish one game better than Cedar Rapids for overall record in the West Division.  However, they bowed out in the first round to Kane County.

Meanwhile, a Clinton club that went 5-1 in playoff elimination games, slugged a league-high 134 home runs and featured the league’s second-best pitching staff gets no love.

I’d tell you to cast anti-votes, but that’s not possible and it’s not very nice either.  Instead, vote for Lake County in this category…they deserve it:  http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/awards/y2010/team.jsp

A new edition of “The Interview Vault” is coming tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

-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 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

Special Guest: Bowen Hobbs

The seven-game winning streak saw its end last night as the LumberKings fell behind 7-3 and ultimately lost 9-6 to the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.  Mickey Wiswall, Blake Ochoa and Vinnie Catricala all homered in the losing cause for the Kings, who remain 1.5 games ahead of Beloit for the West Division Wild Card.

For tonight’s interview, I’ve decided to air and post a conversation I recorded recently with
bowenhobbsrattlerlogo.jpggraphic designer Bowen Hobbs.  You’ve probably seen his work if you follow the Midwest League, as Bowen was the artist who created the 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game logo when we hosted the event last season.  He also designed both logos for the LumberBlog.

In addition to those designs, Hobbs has also been working on creating new logos and uniform schemes for all kinds of professional teams.  He’s redesigned many of the logos of teams in our league, including tonight’s series opponent, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (pictured). 

My personal favorite logo is the one he recently posted on the Erie SeaWolves.  For more of Bowen’s original designs and critiques of existing logos and uniforms, visit his blog at http://44thandgoal.blogspot.com/

Listen to our conversation here: 
Bowen Hobbs Interview 8.1.10.mp3

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
8.10.10 kingsnotes.pdf

The series ends with Wisconsin tonight as right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (9-4, 2.54) makes his 18th start of the season looking for the series win.  Listen beginning at 6:45 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

A Busy Start to August

100_1952.JPGThe final full month of the 2010 season begins today as your LumberKings continue the series in Wisconsin.  The Kings beat up Rattlers’ right-hander Eric Arnett for seven runs last night, cruising to the 10-0 win.  Matt Cerione homered for the fourth time and fell a triple shy of the cycle, while Blake Ochoa victimized his old team with a towering drive to left for his fourth home run as well.

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez fired 6.2 scoreless innings to extend his scoreless streak to 14.2 and the bullpen kept the shutout in-tact.

I would love to have caught either Cerione or Ramirez prior to today’s 1:05 PM game, but a lot of other things have kept me busy.  For one, the LumberKings’ roster has been changing.  Ace lefty Jimmy Gillheeney and right-hander Ryan Moorer were both promoted to high-A High Desert yesterday, but the move had not been announced until today.

Furthermore, the Kings have received 26-year-old right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen, who is expected to start in the series finale in Wisconsin tomorrow night.  Wilhelmsen’s story is an intriguing one, and I will get to that in another post/interview.

The moves haven’t stopped there.  After tossing 5.2 scoreless innings in triple-A Tacoma’s 8-2 win over Reno last night, right-hander Yoervis Medina was sent down three levels and will join Clinton today.  I doubt he’ll be available to pitch, but you never know.

Plenty of things to read about in today’s Game Notes: 
8.1.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Taylor Lewis (3-1, 6.37) makes a spot start in place of injured righty Nolan Gallagher today, first pitch scheduled for 1:05 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com!

-DL

Sunday Interview: Blake Ochoa

It’s been a busy Sunday for me as I’ve gone the extra mile and recorded two interviews today.
Ochoa.Blake.jpg  Last night’s action here in Lansing forced my hand.  The big story heading into the contest was the John Tamargo Sr. vs. John Tamargo Jr. managerial battle, and I’m happy to say I have both video of their lineup card exchange (be it from long-distance) AND an interview with both JT’s as well.

As much of a broadcast golden nugget as that conversation is, I’m saving it for tomorrow’s pregame show.  Why?  Because one Blake Ochoa did something last night that I’ve never seen a LumberKing do.  He drove in seven RBI on the strength of two home runs (one of which was a grand slam) and provided all of the offense in an otherwise forgettable 12-7 loss.

Highlights:

Yes, the Kings have lost five-straight games, including the first four on this trip, but Ochoa’s attempt to bring his team back from 5-1 and 11-3 deficits is nothing short of amazing.  He easily could have had nine to 10 RBI in the contest as his first RBI came on a sacrifice fly to center field.  Kenny Wilson saved his liner from one-hopping the wall with a diving catch, allowing only one of the three baserunners to score.

Ochoa made sure no outfielder would catch his next two hits, dropping his second home run of the season onto the berm in left in the fifth inning before absolutely destroying a ball onto the street in left for the slam in the sixth inning.  Both homers came off of right-hander Ryan Shopshire of Lansing, who must have seen Blake in his nightmares last night despite improving to 7-8 with the win.

I’ve been doing my best to look back in the Clinton history books for the last time a player has driven in seven runs, but have been unsuccessful so far.  At least we know Ochoa is the most recent, and today we’ll hear more about just how he did it on the pregame interview.

Listen Here: 
Ochoa Interview 7.25.10.mp3

Today’s Game Notes: 
7.25.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (6-4, 2.90) looks to snap this five-game losing streak and get the Kings back to .500 in his 15th start of the season today.  First pitch in Lansing is scheduled for 1:05 PM central time, listen online at 1390klcn.com.

-DL   

7/18 Game Notes and Musings

The combination of limited time and a cancelled pregame show from last night means the Terry Pollreisz interview will air on today’s pregame show.  However, it’s not like there weren’t plenty of performers worth talking to in last night’s 6-0 win over South Bend.

In three starts heading into last night’s contest, left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney had already been impressive.  After a second-straight outing of 7.0 scoreless innings, it’s hard to categorize Gillheeney as anything but the hottest pitcher in the Midwest League.  He most likely won’t win the MWL Pitcher of the Week award as his previous scoreless start came last Sunday, but he certainly deserves to be the first 2010 King to capture a league award.  Consider this paragraph my “Gilly for Pitcher of the Week” campaign ploy.

The offense was efficient last night, producing six runs on nine hits, including three extra-base hits.  Vinnie Catricala was the star, aptly busting out as Pollreisz had predicted with a 2-for-3, double, HR, three-RBI game.  The home run came on a hit-and-run in the fifth as Tim Morris took off, then slowed up to watch Cat’s majestic ball land on the left-field berm.  Mario Martinez added a flare double to right but also struck out three times and stranded four on base, and the other two RBI belonged to Blake Ochoa and Gabriel Noriega.  It’s good to see production from multiple parts of the order on a night when Daniel Carroll, James Jones and Nick Franklin went a collective 1-for-12 in the 1-3 spots.

It’s tough to be a Silver Hawk right now…Mark Haley’s club hasn’t scored in 27 innings, spanning three games.  Part of me wants them to score today, but maybe on an unearned run after Clinton has already built an eight-run lead.

Getting to the payoff of this post, here’s today’s Game Notes and some highlights from last night:

It’s Kings-Hawks in game two of this three-game series today as left-hander Nick Czyz (1-1, 2.96) makes his fifth start of the season.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.  I promise we’ll have a pregame show today.

-DL

Six-Game Trip Starts in Lansing

100_1021.JPG
The LumberKings completed the eight-day homestand with a 5-3 record thanks to last night’s thrilling 3-2 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps.  Blake Ochoa tripled with two outs off left-hander Tyler Conn and Welington Dotel came through with his biggest hit since joining Clinton, an RBI double off the wood wall in left-center.  Read more in tonight’s notes: 
7.28.09 kingsnotes.pdf

Highlights from last night:

A six-game, two-city road trip begins tonight as the Kings head to Lansing to take on the Lugnuts.  We arrived at the ballpark at 5:00 PM eastern time for a 7:05 start, so there will be no pregame interview today.  Instead, enjoy this very brief video of Oldsmobile Park: 
Oldsmobile Park.wmv

-DL

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