Results tagged ‘ Carlos Ramirez ’

Tonight’s Interview: Mike McGee (Vol. 2)

It was a Sunday for celebration for your LumberKings as they defeated Beloit 5-2 yesterday, extending their winning streak to eight-straight games and clinching a second-half playoff spot.  Mike McGee singled home a run in the first inning (listen: McGee RBI single 8.28.11) and Stefen Romero added a sacrifice fly to put the Kings ahead 2-0, but the Snappers came back to tie the game against right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen on a solo home run by Lance Ray and RBI single by Nate Roberts.

The game stayed tied 2-2 until the seventh, when the Kings scored three runs with just one hit off the combination of Snappers’ right-handers Manuel Soliman and Adrian Salcedo.  Mickey Wiswall reached first on an error by Ray in left and took second as Kalian Sams walked.  Kevin Rivers bunted both over into scoring position, setting up the winning play.  Anthony Phillips sent a chopper to Jairo Perez at third base and Perez threw home on Wiswall, but catcher Tobias Streich put a high tag down after Wiswall’s foot had crossed the plate.  Carlos Ramirez added a safety squeeze bunt to score Sams and Julio Morban lined the only hit of the inning to score Phillips (listen:  Morban RBI single 8.28.11).

Right-hander Matt Bischoff won for the fourth time in relief with 3.0 scoreless innings after Kohlscheen’s exit.  Right-hander John Taylor finished off the game with his first Midwest League save, striking out Roberts on a 3-2 pitch (listen: Taylor First Save, Playoffs Clinched 8.28.11).

Weighing in on yesterday’s clincher is McGee, a pivotal contributor to the most-recent two wins.  The Kings’ center-fielder talks about his home run to beat the Snappers on Saturday, the importance of scoring runs early during this tremendous two-week run, the team’s focus for the final eight regular-season games, the new-found confidence of the offense and more.

Listen Here:  McGee Interview 8.29.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.29.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.29.11 lineup

As McGee indicated, there’s still work to be done in these final eight games.  The LumberKings lead Kane County by 4.0 games for the West Division’s top playoff spot and have a magic number of five to edge the Cougars.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (7-3, 2.86) gets the start in game three of this four-game set against Beloit tonight, while the Snappers counter with right-hander A.J. Achter (4-7, 4.63).    First pitch on “Ashford University and Clinton Community College Back to College Night” is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Brad Miller

Your LumberKings own the top playoff spot in the West Division after last night’s 4-2 win over the Kane County Cougars.  The victory capped a 3-games-to-1 series victory over the Cougars and finished off a successful 5-2 homestand (including 2-1 against Quad Cities).  Both the Kings and the Cougars own identical 32-25 records and are tied for second in the standings, but Clinton owns the head-to-head tiebreaker (8 wins vs. 5 losses).

John Hicks finished the series 8-for-10, including 3-for-3 last night with two more doubles and two runs scored.  After the Kings fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, Hicks doubled down the right-field line to lead off the third and scored on a double by Anthony Phillips to tie the game (listen: Phillips RBI double 8.23.11).  Brad Miller, expecting to get his first day off since joining the Kings, came on to replace Carlos Ramirez and lifted a go-ahead double scoring Hicks in the fifth inning (listen: Miller RBI double 8.23.11).  Stefen Romero added an RBI triple scoring Mike McGee for insurance, extending his hitting streak to nine games (listen: Romero RBI triple 8.23.11).  Pitching-wise, it was another two-man show last night as right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen allowed a run over 6.0 innings for his fourth win and right-hander Jonathan Arias struck out five over the final 3.0 innings for his ninth save.

For tonight’s interview, I thought it appropriate to talk with Miller, Seattle’s second-round pick in 2011 out of Clemson Unversity and the newest cog to the LumberKings’ red-hot lineup.  The 2011 ACC Player of the Year talks about his wild first 48 hours as a Mariner, his thoughts on both the ACC award and the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year award, his ties to Iowa (Miller’s dad played baseball at Northern Iowa), his unique left-handed batting stance, joining a LumberKings’ club pushing for the playoffs and more.

Listen Here:  Miller Interview 8.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.24.11 kingsnotes

Ace lefty Anthony Fernandez gets the game-one start in a three-game series at Cedar Rapids tonight.  Fernandez is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA and nine quality starts in his last 12 outings and is 6th in the Midwest League with a 2.88 ERA.  He’ll go for win #7 tonight as he takes on the Kernels.  They’ll counter with right-hander Seth Fowler (2-3, 6.80 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Carter Capps

After dropping the opener 7-1 to Kane County on Saturday night, the LumberKings completely flipped the script on the Cougars yesterday, winning 7-1.  Carlos Ramirez ensured the Kings would not trail from the game’s first at-bat onward as he slugged a leadoff home run (listen: Ramirez Leadoff HR (#5) 8.21.11), Clinton’s second of the series.  Kevin Rivers added a two-out RBI single to center in the second to open a 3-0 lead (listen:  Rivers RBI single 8.21.11), and after right-hander Carter Capps allowed his only run of the day in the third, Kalian Sams homered for his team-lead-tying 16th time and Stefen Romero doubled home a pair (listen:  Romero 2-R double (#20) 8.21.11) to break open a six-run advantage.  Right-handers John Taylor and Tyler Burgoon combined for 4.0 scoreless innings to help Capps secure his first professional victory.

Capps, Seattle’s supplemental third-round pick, has seemingly always been ahead of the curve.  After starting out his college career as a catcher, Capps made a conversion to the mound as a red-shirt freshman at Mount Olive College (NC), learned a slider and went 10-0 in his first season.  This past year, he went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA for the #2 ranked Trojans, taking home the NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year award while leading his team to the National Semifinals.  While waiting to sign with the Mariners, he prepared for the pros with a 4-1, 0.60 stint for Harwich of the Cape Cod League.  Now, just two games into his pro career, he’s 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA for the playoff-hungry LumberKings.

Capps talks about his first professional win, the catcher-to-pitcher conversion, early work with pitching coach Rich Dorman, stepping in to Taijuan Walker’s rotation spot, his fantastic 2011 season at Mount Olive College, pitching in the Cape and more on tonight’s interview.

Listen Here:  Capps Interview 8.22.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.22.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.22.11 lineup

The four-game series with the Cougars continues with the pivotal game three tonight.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-3, 3.38) faces Kane County for the first time since May 24, 2007 when they were still an Oakland affiliate.  He’s countered by Midwest League ERA leader, Cougars’ right-hander Greg Billo (9-3, 1.56).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen to the game online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Mickey Wiswall (Vol. 2)

Prior to yesterday’s off-day, the LumberKings completed a three-game sweep of the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field, posting a three-run eighth and winning 9-5.  Mickey Wiswall led the way with a 2-for-4 game including a two-run homer (listen:  Wiswall 2-R HR (#10) 8.15.11) and game-winning RBI double (listen:  Wiswall go-ahead RBI double, 50th RBI 8.15.11), driving in three.  Carlos Ramirez fell a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-5 game that included his second home run as well.  Right-hander Carter Capps worked four scoreless innings to start his pro debut but then was touched for three runs over his final 0.2 innings in a no-decision.  Right-hander Jessie Nava twice gave up tying runs, but also left the bases loaded with a huge strikeout of Arismendy Alcantara (listen: Nava Leaves them Loaded 8.15.11 ).  Nava improved to 2-4 with the win in relief and lefty Ryan Kiel locked down his first save with two scoreless innings.

Wiswall joins me for the first time since early June for tonight’s pregame interview.  We talk about his game-winning performance on Monday, his growth as both a hitter and a first-baseman in his first full year in the Mariners’ system, the offense beginning to turn a corner, being part of playoff runs both last year and this year, his goals for the remainder of the season and more.

Listen Here:  Wiswall Interview 8.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.17.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.17.11 lineup

With the regular-season’s final off-day behind us, the LumberKings begin a challenging seven-game homestand against Quad Cities and Kane County, the top two teams in the West Division.  The Kings trail Kane County by 3.0 games for the top playoff spot, yet still lead Beloit by 4.0 games for the Wild Card.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-3, 3.43) faces Quad Cities for the first time since June 5, 2007 when they were still known as the Swing.  Meanwhile, the offense will attempt to stay hot against River Bandits’ right-hander Trevor Rosenthal (6-7, 3.61).  Game time is 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Today’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 8)

Still working hard in August. Sunday road BP in Peoria.

Every game is a must-win when you’re only up 2.0 games for the Wild Card spot, and the LumberKings earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Peoria Chiefs in 10 innings here at O’Brien Field last night to maintain that lead.  The Kings had just two hits over the first seven innings, but pinch-runner Julio Morban scored on a two-out double by Robbie Anston in the eighth and Carlos Ramirez snapped the 1-1 tie in the 10th, ripping a 3-2 pitch from Chiefs’ right-hander Luis Liria to the picnic tables in right for a two-run home run (listen:  Ramirez GW 2-R HR (#3) 8.13.11).  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the 10th before slamming the door shut for his 13th save (listen:  Burgoon Strikes Out Klafczynski for 13th Save 8.13.11).  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez, behind 1-0 much of the night, earned his much-deserved fifth win with just a run on five hits over a career-high 9.0 innings.

LumberKings’ Manager Eddie Menchaca joins me for today’s pregame interview.  We discuss the clutch performance of Ramirez, Fernandez’s development into the staff ace, Burgoon’s tough save, the still-struggling offense and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 8.14.11

Today’s Game Notes:  8.14.11 kingsnotes

Last night’s win means the Kings can secure a series victory today in Peoria.  Left-hander Roenis Elias (1-0, 3.00) makes his third start for Clinton today as he matches up against Chiefs’ right-hander Brett Wallach (0-2, 4.70 with Peoria, 3-5, 5.74 in high-A Daytona).  First pitch is at 1:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Saturday Notes (8/13)

It’s back to the road for your LumberKings tonight as they open a three-game series against the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field.  Hitting the road might not be so bad after the Kings dropped two of three to the Cedar Rapids Kernels on a brief three-game homestand including an especially tough 2-1 loss last night.  It took the Clinton offense seven innings to get their first run on the board (by way of a Carlos Ramirez sacrifice fly), and the Kernels went right back ahead shortly after on a double by Rolando Gomez scoring Travis Witherspoon.  The Kings had a chance in the bottom of the ninth as pinch-runner Tim Morris took off from first base on a two-out 3-2 pitch that Matt Browning served into the right-center gap, but the Kernels held on for the win as Witherspoon fired in to first-baseman Ricky Alvarez, who then caught Morris at the plate.  The loss came despite 7.0 innings of one-run baseball from defending MWL Pitcher of the Week Stephen Kohlscheen.  Right-hander Matt Bischoff took the loss, his first since April 12.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.13.11 kingsnotes

Left-hander Anthony Fernandez, 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA and eight quality start in his last 10 outings, takes the hill for game one against the Chiefs.  It’s hard to believe, but in 17 outings this season, Fernandez has not once faced Peoria this year.  He’ll rely on experience against Chicago Cubs’ affiliate Boise (2-0, 2.84 in 2 starts with Everett last year) in his first match-up against the Chiefs tonight.  They’ll counter with lefty Frank Del Valle, a Havana, Cuba native that is 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA in seven outings.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

One other minor piece of news to pass  your way…right-hander Carter Capps, Seattle’s third-round pick in 2011 and the newest LumberKing as of yesterday will make his pro debut in the starting role on Monday in Peoria.  He’s on the roster as right-hander Taijuan Walker (who turns 19 today) heads to the Temporary Inactive List.  He’s likely done for 2011 after going 6-5, 2.89 over 18 starts, 96.2 innings in his first full season.

-DL

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

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.

Tonight’s Interview: Carlos Ramirez

For the first time this season (and the first time I can honestly recall), the LumberKings won a game after trailing in their final at-bat.  The team’s 11th last at-bat victory and fifth walk-off winner came in the bottom of the 11th courtesy of Carlos Ramirez, whose bases-loaded two-out single scored Robbie Anston and Matt Browning for a thrilling 2-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs yesterday (listen:  Ramirez Walk-Off 2-Run Single in 11th 7.31.11).

The clutch hit, producing just the second and the third runs of the series for the LumberKings, is not the first for Carlos.  Last season, the newly-promoted Ramirez stood at the plate with the Kings down 7-6 to the Lake County Captains in the 12th inning of Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series.  His single to right-center scored Tim Morris to tie the game, and although Mario Martinez was then thrown out at the plate trying to score the winner, the LumberKings would end up the victors in the bottom of the 18th on a memorable fielding error by Captains’ third-baseman Adam Abraham.   The 8-7 Clinton win is the longest championship series in league history.

Today, I interview Ramirez for the first time ever.  He admits that he had that MWLCS hit on his mind when he came up to the plate yesterday.  We talk about the game-winning hit, last year’s game-tying hit, his role as a utilityman and switch-hitter and more.

Listen Here:  Carlos Ramirez Interview 8.1.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.1.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.1.11 lineup

Roster Moves:  We saw the return of infielder Jake Schlander to the club yesterday as Jetsy Extrano was moved to short-A Everett, today, the LumberKings have re-added first-baseman Tim Morris from high-A High Desert.  Left-hander Nate Reed, who was scheduled to start tonight, has been promoted to High Desert.  Left-hander Roenis Elias, 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA with Pulaski, has joined the club and will fill Reed’s starting spot next Saturday in Burlington.

As for tonight, right-hander Jessie Nava (1-3, 3.13) makes his first start with Clinton in a spot role.  He’ll face off against Chiefs’ right-hander Starling Peralta (1-3, 7.48) in the rubber match.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the game on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Going Green with Brad Seward

The LumberKings led 1-0 on a Carlos Ramirez solo home run heading into the seventh inning last night, but the bullpen combination of Edlando Seco, Tyler Burgoon and Jessie Nava surrendered three late runs as the Great Lakes Loons came back for a 3-1 win last night.  Left-hander Tony Butler had his most impressive start to date, striking out a career-high-tying nine batters while limiting the Loons to four hits over 6.0 scoreless innings, but Seco tied the game on a bases-loaded walk in the seventh and Burgoon allowed the game-winning run on a walk and two singles in the eighth.

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes:  7.15.11 kingsnotes

Tonight is not only the rubber match as Eddie Menchaca’s Kings look for their sixth series win in seven tries this half, it’s also “Going Green Night” at the ballpark sponsored by the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency and WQAD-TV.  Thus, it’s time for my yearly chat with Brad Seward, the Director of Operations and Education for the CCASWA and the veteran Public Address voice for the LumberKings.

Brad and I talk about the annual “Going Green” event, the expanded efforts by the LumberKings to recycle at Alliant Energy Field, the Enviro-Kids program and baseball topics such as the memorable 2010 season and this year’s second-half turnaround.

Listen Here:  Brad Seward Interview 7.15.11

Starting Lineup:  7.15.11 lineup

Left-hander Nate Reed, a winner in his first start of the year his last time out on July 9 at Beloit (5.0 IP, 3 ER), makes his second start and 16th appearance for the LumberKings in the series finale tonight against the Loons.  He’ll have a tough challenge as he tries to outduel Los Angeles’ Dodgers’ first-round pick, right-hander Zach Lee (5-3, 3.32).  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Thursday Notes (6/30)

Eyeing a second-straight series win to start the second half, the LumberKings instead suffered one of their worst defeats of the season last night as the Beloit Snappers, led by Michael Gonzales’s 3-for-5, two-homer, five-RBI performance, routed the Kings 14-5 last night at Alliant Energy Field.  Jairo Perez also capped a monster series going 3-for-5 with a solo homer and three RBI for the Snappers.

There were bright spots in the form of the first back-to-back home runs hit by LumberKings this season, as Carlos Ramirez and Mickey Wiswall each lifted solo homers off Beloit left-hander Ryan O’Rourke in the fourth (listen: Ramirez and Wiswall Go Back-to-Back 6.29.11).  Wiswall added another RBI single in the eighth inning, while Matt Browning singled home a run and then scored on an RBI triple by Mike McGee to make the score more respectable.  Still, right-hander Jandy Sena suffered his worst performance of the year with 10 runs, six earned over just 2.2 innings and lefty Edlando Seco took another step backwards with three runs allowed on two homers.

It’s back to the road for the first time this half now for Eddie Menchaca’s Kings, but they’ll only have to travel to neighboring Quad Cities for the next three games.  The Bandits swept the series here at Modern Woodmen Park back in early May, but the LumberKings are 10-8 on the road since then. 

Right-hander George Mieses (1-9, 5.58) hasn’t won since April 30 but hasn’t been as bad as the numbers look over his last three starts…he’s gone at least five innings all three times with fewer than three earned runs, but the offense has not scored him a run of support that entire time (17.0 innings).  Quite simply, it’s time to start putting up some runs behind Mieses.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.30.11 kingsnotes

No pregame interview tonight as I will be airing the second part of my Tony Blengino conversation at long last.  The broadcast begins at 6:45 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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