Results tagged ‘ Interviews ’
The LumberKings struggled offensively in their first-ever game on turf, falling 6-2 in South Bend last night. A Kalian Sams solo home run underneath the gigantic Coveleski Stadium scoreboard in right-center field cut the deficit to 3-2 in the top of the eighth and Kevin Rivers doubled with one out, but a 1-for-9 trend with runners in scoring position continued as Rivers was left stranded. Right-hander Tyler Burgoon allowed a season-high three earned runs in the bottom of the eighth as the Silver Hawks gained separation and won by four. Left-hander Tony Butler took the loss with three runs over 4.0 innings.
The focus of my interview tonight is on the newly-renovated “Cove” here in South Bend, and so I cover that topic with the voice of the Silver Hawks, Owen Serey. He gives me the background of the ballpark improvements (which bare a not-so-coincidental likeness to Fort Wayne’s Parkview Field) and the Midwest League’s first-ever all-turf field, talks about the South Bend offense including league HR and RBI leader Yazy Arbelo, weighs in on former Hawks’ left-hander David Holmberg’s incredible 34-inning scoreless streak and more. For more from Owen, check out his blog for the Silver Hawks.
Listen Here: Serey Interview 7.21.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.21.11 kingsnotes
Lefty Nate Reed, 1-1 with a 5.00 ERA in his first two starts, takes the hill in game two of the series tonight. The game begins at 6:00 PM CT, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
After yesterday’s off-day, the LumberKings return to action on a six-game East Division trip, starting with a three-game set at South Bend. It’ll be a historic night at newly renovated Coveleski Stadium (pictured left) as the Kings play on an artificial turf surface for the first time ever.
Clinton’s last game was equally historic as they closed out a three-game series with Lansing by overcoming a 5-2 deficit with a nine-run seventh inning. Bases-loaded walks to Anthony Phillips and Carlton Tanabe helped tie the game, and a two-run double by Robbie Anston (listen: Anston 2-R double 7.18.11), two-run single by Mike McGee (listen: McGee 2-R single 7.18.11) and two-run homer by Subway Slugger of the Game Mickey Wiswall (listen: Wiswall 2-R HR (#8) 7.18.11) gave the Kings an insurmountable six-run lead. Most astoundingly, all nine runs scored before Lansing right-handers Dayton Marze and Shawn Griffith could record a single out. It’s the only time in my six seasons the LumberKings have posted a nine-run frame, and might very well be the franchise’s record (I don’t have accurate records on such things prior to 2006).
LumberKings’ hitting coach Terry Pollreisz has been around the game for a long time, and he’s never seen anything like it either. Polls weighs in on the monster inning, the offense’s recent ability to score in bunches, the progression of the hitters from April until now, a philosophy change in batting practice, maintaining a positive attitude with his hitters and more.
Listen Here: Pollreisz Interview 7.20.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.20.11 kingsnotes
Left-hander Tony Butler, coming off a 6.0-inning, nine-strikeout game against Great Lakes, makes his fourth start for the LumberKings in the opener of this three-game series against the Silver Hawks. Manager Mark Haley’s club is 9-15 this half and is hitting just .218 in the last 10 games, but does feature the Midwest League’s top home run hitter and RBI producer, Yazy Arbelo (23 HR, 74 RBI). First pitch of game one is set for 6:00 PM CT, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
A triple by Jetsy Extrano and RBI double by Anthony Phillips was all the offense could muster last night against Great Lakes’ right-hander Zach Lee as the LumberKings fell 6-1 to the Loons, dropping just their second series of the second half. After a six-run third inning gave the Kings a 6-2 win in game one, the bats scored just two total runs over the final two games of the series.
Left-hander Nate Reed yielded five runs but only two earned over 4.0 innings and relievers Ryan Kiel, Tyler Blandford and Jonathan Arias combined for a run over the final 5.0 innings. Still, one run usually isn’t going to cut it. The Kings, fortunately still in second place and a game out of first, now take on the Lansing Lugnuts. The ‘Nuts have the East Division’s best record of 51-37, captured the first-half East Division Wild Card in a race with Great Lakes that went to the final day, and are now 13-8 and in second in the division in a meaningless half. First-year manager Mike Redmond’s club just swept Kane County, the first place team in the West. Yes, runs are going to be needed to compete with Lansing, who leads the MWL in runs scored (469).
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.16.11 kingsnotes
To get a bit of a scouting report on yet another mysterious team from the East, I’ve caught up with Lugnuts’ third-year broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.
Listen Here: Goldberg-Strassler Interview 7.16.11
Starting Lineups: 7.16.11 lineup
Right-hander George Mieses (3-10, 5.42) gets the game one start against Lansing tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:00 PM on “Stay Late Saturday”. Mieses has been good when given run support to work with (2-0 in two starts prior to his last time out, 12 runs of support), but fell for the 10th time his last time out in a 5-0 loss at Beloit. He’ll go up against lefty Egan Smith (4-3, 3.48) of the Lugnuts. Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.
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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.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker’s nine-inning complete game effort might have stolen the show last night, but the LumberKings also put together their third six-run inning (tying a season-high for most runs in one frame) in the last week, scoring six times in the third inning to beat Great Lakes, 6-2. Mike McGee doubled home a run, Mickey Wiswall added an RBI double (listen: Wiswall RBI double 7.13.11) and Stefen Romero launched a two-run homer (listen: Romero 2-R HR (#9) 7.13.11), but it was Matt Browning’s clutch two-run single to center (listen: Browning 2-R single 7.13.11) that actually produced the tying and game-winning runs.
And so, it’s time to chat with Browning for the first time. Seattle’s 43rd round pick out of James Madison University enjoyed success in Pulaski last season (.330, 4 HR, 24 RBI in 34 games) and is making an impact both defensively and offensively as Clinton’s third baseman in 2011. Browning is 3-for-8 with three RBI over his last two games, just over 10 days removed from being struck in the helmet by a pitch from Quad Cities’ right-hander Trevor Rosenthal. He talks about last night’s performance, coming back quickly from the injury, his time at James Madison University, his hot start in Pulaski last season and more.
Listen Here: Browning Interview 7.14.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.14.11 kingsnotes
Starting Lineup: 7.14.11 lineup
Left-hander Tony Butler, a career 0-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Loons (both with Wisconsin in 2007), makes his third start for the LumberKings in game two tonight…he’s 1-0 with a 2.53 ERA over the first two outings. First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
As promised, here’s my just-now recorded interview with Krista Voda of SPEED / FOX Sports. We talk about the upcoming Coca Cola 200 race at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA, Krista’s Clinton upbringing including her days at then-Riverview Stadium, spending time on the sidelines for NFL and NCAA football games, throwing out tonight’s first pitch and more.
Listen Here: Krista Voda Interview 7.13.11
A reminder, the Coca Cola 200, Presented by Hy-Vee NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is this Saturday, July 16 at the Iowa Speedway. Watch Krista and the SPEED channel coverage with the race beginning at 7:00 PM CT.
The LumberKings put the finishing touches on their fourth series win in five attempts this second half, scoring six times in the first inning and five more in the eighth to rout the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 11-3 at Alliant Energy Field last night. An RBI single by Mike McGee (listen: McGee RBI single 7.8.11) and two-run double by Kevin Rivers (listen: Rivers 2-R double 7.8.11 ) highlighted the opening frame against right-hander Brian Diemer, while a two-run single by Carlton Tanabe (listen: Tanabe 2-R single 7.8.11 ) put the icing on the cake in the final inning against Kernels’ right-handers Justin La Tempa and Donn Roach. All that offense supported left-hander Tony Butler, who won with three runs over 5.1 innings and seven strikeouts in his second start with Clinton. Left-hander Edlando Seco stranded two inherited runners and worked 1.2 scoreless frames and right-hander Tyler Burgoon earned his 10th save of the season as he struck out five of the seven batters he faced.
For today’s interview, I chose to catch up with center-fielder McGee for the first time. Seattle’s 15th round pick out of Florida State University is hitting .306 with four extra-base hits and seven RBI over his first 10 games with Clinton. He talks about being the first 2011 draft pick to reach the LumberKings (he’ll be joined by fourth-round catcher John Hicks today), his time at FSU including the 2010 College World Series, winning the inaugural John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award in ’10 (Olerud himself called with congrats) and much more.
Listen Here: McGee Interview 7.9.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.9.11 kingsnotes
The LumberKings open a three-game road series against the one team that they have not won a series against this half, the Beloit Snappers. Both teams come into the action with 9-6 records, tied for second in the West behind Kane County (10-5). We’ll see a new-look battery for the Kings tonight as Hicks starts behind the plate for left-hander Nate Reed, who moves to the rotation to replace right-hander Jandy Sena. Reed went 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA as a reliever and started in both the AZL and High Desert last season.
LumberKings (9-6): Kevin Rivers/LF, Mike McGee/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Stefen Romero/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, John Hicks/C, Matt Browning/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Nate Reed/LHP
Beloit Snappers (9-6): Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Adam Bryant/3B, Jairo Perez/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Lance Ray/RF, Tyler Grimes/2B, Tobias Streich/C, Daniel Santana/SS, Blayne Weller/RHP
The game begins at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
Infielder Kyle Seager, a LumberKing just three seasons ago, is joining the Seattle Mariners today after hitting .455 in 12 games with triple-A Tacoma. Once he debuts, he’ll be the sixth former Clinton player to make an MLB debut this season and the 230th in the history of the franchise dating back to 1937. For the full press release on Seager, visit this link from LumberKings.com.
As I mentioned in my “Retro Interview” post on right-hander Blake Beavan (who debuted for the Mariners just last Sunday and won with a run over 7.0 innings against San Diego), my old audio links from the pre-WordPress days are inactive. So, here’s a re-visit of my 2009 interviews with Seager and a couple of his LumberKings’ highlights:
- Kyle Seager Interview 7.19.09
- Kyle Seager Interview 8.18.09
- Seager First Pro Hit (2-R single) 7.18 vs. Peoria
- Seager First Career HR (3-R) 7.23 vs. South Bend
- Seager double off Zambrano at Peoria 8.20.09
- Seager-Hansen-Savastano Double Play 7.19 vs. Peoria
Seager, wearing #15, will be available for Mariners’ manager Eric Wedge tonight as they take on the LA Angels. Meanwhile, we here in Clinton prepare for game two of a three-game series against the Angels’ Midwest League affiliate, the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.7.11 kingsnotes
Tonight’s Starting Lineup: 7.7.11 lineup
Right-hander Taijuan Walker dominated the Kernels with five innings of scoreless, two-hit ball back on May 26. That’s the last time the 18-year-old earned a win, as he’s gone 0-2 with four no-decisions since then. He’ll take the baseball starting at 7:00 PM tonight, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.
Following Monday’s no-hitter at the hands of Peoria, the LumberKings regrouped and found a way to win the series over the Chiefs with a 5-3 victory last night at O’Brien Field. Stefen Romero ended right-hander Starling Peralta’s bid for another no-hitter with one out in the fourth, launching a solo home run to the berm in left (listen: Romero Solo HR (#7) 7.5.11). He’d add a two-run triple (listen: Romero 2-R Triple 7.5.11) as part of a four-run sixth inning that gave the Kings a 5-0 lead. Right-hander George Mieses pitched 7.0 scoreless innings but ran into trouble in the eighth, yielding three runs (two on Micah Gibbs’ single off Tyler Burgoon after his exit) to cut the lead to 5-3. Burgoon retired the final four batters in a row, recording his ninth save as Mieses won back-to-back starts for the first time to improve to 3-9.
Clinton finished the trip 4-2 and are now 7-5 and in a three-way tie for second in the West Division. Manager Eddie Menchaca is my interview guest tonight, and he weighs in on the rebound win after Austin Kirk’s no-no, the red-hot Romero (3 HR, 10 RBI on the trip), Mieses, catcher Carlton Tanabe (he calls him the team’s MVP right now) and more.
Listen Here: Menchaca Interview 7.6.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.6.11 kingsnotes
Tonight’s Starting Lineup: 7.6.11 lineup
The LumberKings take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels for the first time since taking two of three on the road at the end of May. Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (2-2, 3.81) makes the start for Clinton tonight looking for his third quality start in four outings since coming back from High Desert. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.
Happy Independence Day! The LumberKings freed themselves from a 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th last night in Peoria as Mike McGee ripped a one-out double into the left-field corner, moved to third on a single by Carlos Ramirez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mickey Wiswall. Right-hander Jonathan Arias struck out six over the last 3.0 innings including two in the bottom of the 10th, securing his third win and giving the Kings a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Chiefs.
The “Cardiac Kings” have won five of their six games this second half in the last at-bat, with Wiswall now providing the game-winning RBI in the last two of them. Wiswall also drove in Kevin Rivers for the deciding run in Clinton’s 5-3 win at Quad Cities on Friday night.
In addition to the big nights for McGee (2-for-5, five-game hitting streak), Wiswall (1-for-4, 7-game hitting streak) and Arias (3-0, 2.16 ERA since May), the LumberKings also received a solid start from a familiar name to Mariners’ fans. Left-hander Tony Butler, making his first Midwest League start since August 31, 2007, turned in 5.1 innings of two-run, four-hit baseball in a no-decision. Despite walking five, Butler fanned three (listen: Butler Strikes Out Rohan 7.3.11) and did not allow an extra-base hit.
Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006 out of Oak Creek High School (WI), Butler has taken quite a journey already through six seasons in Minor League Baseball. As you’ve likely already read, he went from a top prospect in the Mariners’ system (#4 rated by Baseball America back in 2007) to injury-plagued in Baltimore following the Erik Bedard trade, then was released by the O’s, signed by Milwaukee and released again. This past Super Bowl Sunday, Butler made the decision to stick with his dream of playing professional baseball, moved to Arizona, worked out to get back into baseball shape and secured a tryout with the Mariners. Now at age 23, he’s using the lessons learned from the ups and downs to make his way back.
Butler talks about his return to the organization that drafted him, last night’s start against the Chiefs, pitching in short-A Everett for the first time since ’06, comparisons to right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen’s 2010 comeback and plenty more. It’s an all-OCHS interview that will likely make my old TV teacher Mr. Stock smile.
Listen Here: Butler Interview 7.4.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.4.11 kingsnotes
An excerpt from tonight’s notes to keep in mind on this Independence Day:
The LumberKings are 4-0 on July 4th dating back to 2007, including 3-0 on the road. Clinton erased a 3-1 deficit with a four-run ninth inning last year at O’Brien Field in Peoria as Mario Martinez laced a bases-loaded two-run double off Chiefs’ reliever Frank Batista and Brandon Bantz (sac fly) and Daniel Carroll (RBI single) added runs against Yohan Gonzalez…right-hander Daniel Cooper (W, 3-2) got the win and closer Brandon Josselyn (S, 10) the save. In 2009, the Kings hosted Kane County at Alliant Energy Field and won 5-0 behind 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Aaron Pribanic (W, 7-4)…Blake Ochoa had a three-run double, finishing 1-for-4. Clinton won in 2008 at Beloit behind 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Blake Beavan (W, 5-5) and RBI from Mitch Moreland (2-for-3, RBI #49) and Miguel Alfonzo (solo HR, his third of the season). The 2007 season started the trend as right-hander Kasey Kiker (W, 3-2) handcuffed the Swing of the Quad Cities with 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings and seven strikeouts. Craig Gentry powered the road win, going 2-for-4 with a solo HR (his third of the season). Chad Tracy, Marcus Lemon and Mauro Gomez each had an RBI.
Can right-hander Jandy Sena (4-4, 4.75) bounce back from his 10-run (6 ER) outing against Beloit and secure a fifth-straight July 4th victory for the Kings? We’ll find out tonight starting with the first pitch at 6:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.