Results tagged ‘ Julio Morban ’

MWL Quarterfinals – Game 2 Notes

The LumberKings opened the 2011 Midwest League Playoffs at home with a 9-5 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits last night.  Bandits’ first-baseman Jonathan Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with five RBI on the night including a three-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Tony Butler that ensured Quad Cities would never trail.  Oscar Taveras drove home two more runs as part of a three-run second inning, giving the Bandits a 6-0 lead.  Mike McGee doubled home Anthony Phillips in the third (listen:  McGee RBI double 9.7.11) and John Hicks blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line in the sixth (listen: Hicks 2-R HR (#1) 9.7.11) to cut the deficit to 6-3 and chase right-hander Boone Whiting from the game.  RBI from Hicks and Julio Morban brought the Kings to within two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Mickey Wiswall missed out on a golden opportunity with the bases full and one out.  Bandits’ right-hander Aidan Lucas got Wiswall to bounce back to the mound, then turned a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon surrendered an RBI single to Taveras and RBI double to Rodriguez in the top of the ninth, and Clinton couldn’t touch left-hander Dean Kiekhefer in the final at-bat.

Thus, Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings are down 1-0 in the best-of-three series as things shift to Modern Woodmen Park.  The Davenport, IA home of the Bandits wasn’t kind to the Kings this season as Quad Cities won seven of the nine meetings, but the only path to the West Division Championship Series is back-to-back road wins.  Fortunately, left-hander Anthony Fernandez has excelled in road parks this year, going 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts.  He’ll earn the pivotal Game 2 start tonight, while the Bandits counter with left-hander Anthony Ferrara (13-7, 3.03).

Tonight’s Game Notes:   9.8.11 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gametwo_

A bonus note that is encouraging for the Kings tonight…Clinton went 0-6 in the opening games of playoff series from ’07-’10, but followed up with wins in Game 2 four times in that span, winning three of the six series.  Last year, the Kings went 5-1 in elimination games in the playoffs, including back-to-back road wins at Cedar Rapids in the West Division Quarterfinals.  Meanwhile, Quad Cities held a 1-0 lead on Kane County returning home last year, but were eliminated with two-straight home losses to the Cougars.  Will history repeat itself?  Listen to the broadcast at 7:00 PM on 1390kcln.com to find out.

-DL

Saturday Notes (9/3)

Things have been admittedly quiet over here at the LumberBlog as the LumberKings have dropped four-straight games since clinching a playoff berth last Sunday.  The last series against Quad Cities, the team they’re likely to face in the first round of the postseason, saw the River Bandits sweep by a combined score of 34-16.

Last night, Stefen Romero beat out an infield single to score Brad Miller in the first inning, but the Bandits scored four unanswered runs — three coming against left-hander Tony Butler in an otherwise-quality outing — to take the game, 4-1.

The last regular-season series begins tonight for Eddie Menchaca’s crew as they take on the Kane County Cougars at Elfstrom Stadium.  These two teams met up at the conclusion of the first half with nothing on the line as they finished fifth and sixth in the West.  This time around, the Kings are looking to clinch the top playoff spot with a win in one of the three games.  The Cougars, also headed to the playoffs, would need to sweep the series to move ahead of Clinton in the standings.  Thus, if the Kings win tonight, they’re assured a first-round match-up with rival Quad Cities.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  9.3.11 kingsnotes

Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen (4-3, 4.70) started the last time the LumberKings won, but took a no-decision against Beloit.  Still, he’s 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in six starts with Clinton this season.  He’ll be opposed by Cougars’ right-hander Jason Adam (6-8, 4.22), a loser at the hands of the Kings back on June 19 when they finished the first half with a 1-0 victory on a Julio Morban home run to right field.  Morban is in the lineup batting second tonight.

First pitch is at 6:00 PM, listen to the broadcast at 1390kcln.com.  Hopefully the rain holds off tonight.

-DL

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: John Hicks (Vol. 2)

Three, it’s the magic number.  Literally.

And yet it was almost still four as the LumberKings watched a 4-1 lead suddenly turn into a 4-4 tie heading into the 10th last night in Cedar Rapids.  A pair of two-out hits from Julio Morban and another from Kevin Rivers helped the Kings establish the early lead behind right-hander Carter Capps, who gave up just one run over 5.0 innings and struck out seven.  Right-handers John Taylor and Ben Versnik combined on 3.0 scoreless innings, but right-hander Jonathan Arias allowed a two-run single to Brian Hernandez in the ninth and issued a wild pitch on what was supposed to be the final strike of the game on Jean Almanzar.

Instead of Almanzar going down swinging and Arias locking down his 10th save, the ball kicked to the left of catcher John Hicks for a wild pitch, scoring Ricky Alvarez to tie the game.  Arias recovered to strand runners at second and third, and in the 10th, Hicks lifted a sacrifice fly scoring Morban to put the Kings back ahead (listen:  Hicks GW sac fly 8.26.11).  Right-hander Jessie Nava then worked the Kernels 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th to secure Clinton’s sixth-straight win (listen: Nava Strikes out Cruz for 3rd Save 8.26.11).

Hicks saw a string of three-straight three-hit games come to an end as he went a mere 1-f0r-4 last night, but he still extended his hitting streak to eight games and notched the game-winning RBI in the latest “must-win game” for the LumberKings.  Now, he joins me for the pregame interview for the second time this season.  We talk about the wild pitch that scored the tying run in the ninth, his game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th, his recent offensive hot-streak (which he credits to work with hitting coordinator Jose Castro and Terry Pollreisz), catching Capps last night and more.

Listen Here:  Hicks Interview 8.27.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.27.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.27.11 lineup

It’s an action-packed opening night of the final homestand of the year as the LumberKings take on the Beloit Snappers.  Once the nearest challenger to the Kings for the Wild Card spot, the Snappers are now fighting to catch up to Kane County as they trail the Cougars by 6.0 games for the West’s final playoff spot.  Clinton can secure their trip to the postseason with two wins against the Snappers in this four-game set. 

Left-hander Tony Butler (2-3, 3.16), 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA against the Snappers back in 2007, gets the game-one nod tonight.  He’ll take on Beloit left-hander Ryan O’Rourke (5-3, 3.05).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.  And, if you’re coming to the game, we’ve got post-game fireworks sponsored by WQAD-TV and post-game karaoke by Fat Dawgs Productions.  Should be a good time on this final regular-season Saturday.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Tim Morris (Vol. 2)

The Kings made it back-to-back wins in Peoria on a sunny Sunday afternoon yesterday, scoring eight runs (their most in one game since an 8-4 win vs. Wisconsin on July 28) to defeat the Chiefs, 8-2.  Tim Morris went 2-for-5 with a season-high four RBI on the day, driving in the game’s first run with an RBI smash scored an error on first-baseman Richard Jones and adding a “nail in the coffin” three-run homer inside the right-field foul pole (listen: Morris 3-R HR (#5) 8.14.11).  Anthony Phillips, Julio Morban and Stefen Romero all added an RBI each, supporting 6.2 innings of two-run ball from left-hander Roenis Elias in his second win of the year.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias picked up save #6 with three strikeouts over 2.1 innings.

Coupled with Beloit’s 3-0 loss to Burlington yesterday, the LumberKings are back to 3.0 games ahead of the Snappers for the West Division Wild Card spot.  A glance back in the history books to a year ago and Clinton is in relatively the same spot as the 2010 club through 119 games.  John Tamargo’s team was 27-22, tied for third (along with Kane County for the top playoff spot) and holding a 2.0 game lead on Beloit for the Wild Card.

Given yesterday’s breakout performance and his presence on both the 2010 and 2011 teams, it’s a good time to catch up with Tim Morris.  Seattle’s 11th round pick out of St. John’s University in 2009 is hitting .257 with five HR, 40 RBI and 18 steals in his sophomore year with Clinton.  He talks about yesterday’s game and the home run, his week-long stint with high-A High Desert, coming back into a different role with the LumberKings, this year’s pursuit of a playoff spot and more.

Listen Here:  Morris Interview 8.15.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.15.11 kingsnotes

In a season that has already seen shortstop Marcus Littlewood, INF/OF Stefen Romero, left-hander James Paxton, right-hander Keli’i Zablan and catcher John Hicks make their affiliated professional debuts with Clinton, we’ll see another highly-anticipated debut tonight.  Right-hander Carter Capps, the supplemental third-round pick (121st overall) by Seattle this year, makes his first start in the black-and-green tonight.  Capps went 14-1, 1.75 in 20 games at Mount Olive College (NC) this year, then dominated in the Cape Cod League to the tune of 4-1, 0.60 in 16 games with Harwich.  He’ll be opposed by notorious LumberKings-Killer, Chiefs’ left-hander Austin Kirk.  Kirk is a pretty average 5-8, 3.43 on the season, but 3-0, 1.11 against the Kings including that nine-inning no-no on July 4. 

The Kings owe Kirk some payback, and it begins with the first pitch at 7:00 PM here from O’Brien Field.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tonight’s Interview: Nate Kreinbrink

It’s one of the biggest nights of the year at Alliant Energy Field tonight, the Casey’s General Stores and KWQC-TV Bobblehead Giveaway and also the 5th Annual Scout Sleepover.  This year’s bobblehead is 2008 LumberKings’ right-hander and 2010 A.L. Rookie of the Year, current Texas Rangers’ closer Neftali Feliz.  Joining me to talk about the busy evening is the man instrumental in both promotions, LumberKings’ Assistant General Manager, Nate Kreinbrink.

We talk about Nate’s opportunity to watch Feliz save Game 3 of the 2010 World Series in Arlington, TX, the success of “Stay Late Saturdays” this season, the upcoming appearance by the “Ghostriders” Monkeys on August 19, his memories of the 2010 MWLCS in his home state of Ohio, this year’s playoff push and more.

Listen Here:  Kreinbrink OTD Interview 8.12.11

The LumberKings nearly erased a five-run deficit last night over the final three innings, but the Cedar Rapids Kernels prevailed, 6-5.  Right-hander John Taylor allowed a three-run homer to Ricky Alvarez in the seventh that broke open a 6-1 lead for the Kernels, but Julio Morban tripled home two runs (listen:  Morban 2-R Triple 8.11.11) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Stefen Romero to make it a one-run game.  Unfortunately, the Kernels closed the door from there as right-hander Daniel Tillman earned save #11.  Lefty Tony Butler fell to 1-3 with the loss despite a quality start (6.0 IP, 3 ER) while Cedar Rapids’ right-hander A.J. Schugel improved to 4-3 with just a run on one hit over 6.0 innings.

Tonight’s Game Notes:   8.12.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.12.11 lineup

The Kings see their lead on Beloit for the Wild Card spot knocked back to 3.0 games as a result of last night’s loss.  They’ll try and capture the series with the Kernels in the rubber match tonight with defending MWL Pitcher of the Week, right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen (2-3, 5.52) makes his third start tonight.  He’s 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in his two starts with Clinton this year and faces the Kernels for the second time.  Cedar Rapids counters with right-hander P.J. Jang (1-4, 4.38).  The game begins at 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Sunday Notes (8/7)

The Kings dropped the opener of the four-game set in Burlington last night, 8-4 to the Bees.  Left-hander Tony Butler gave up four runs in the first to make a 1-0 lead short-lived, and the Bees added two more runs over the next two innings including a solo home run from Nino Leyja to take a 6-2 lead.  Julio Morban went 3-for-4 with a solo home run and two runs scored to keep Clinton close, but Tyreace House added a two-run single off right-hander Ben Versnik in the bottom of the eighth to put the Bees back up by four.  Burlington right-hander Jonathan Joseph gave up three runs over 5.0 innings in the winning effort.

Beloit and Cedar Rapids both lost last night, so the LumberKings are still 3.0 games up on the Snappers, 4.0 games up on the Kernels for the second-half West Wild Card spot.  Kane County gained another game for the top playoff spot, meaning the Kings enter the day 4.0 games behind the Cougars.  T-minus 29 games remaining.

Today’s Game Notes:  8.7.11 kingsnotes

Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen returns to the club to make his second start, 17th appearance.  Kohlscheen is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA in the Midwest League, but was successful in nine game, seven starts at Everett, going 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA.  His only win with Clinton is ironically in his only start, a 5.0-inning scoreless effort against Beloit on May 2.  We’ll see how the Auburn product fares in his return to the rotation today.  Burlington counters with right-hander Nate Long, who is 6-5, 3.27 on the season including 3-0, 2.31 in four outings against the Kings.

First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tonight’s Interview: Ed Randall

It’s officially a three-game winning streak for your LumberKings after an 8-4 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers last night at Alliant Energy Field.  The Kings erased a 3-0 deficit on an RBI double by Mickey Wiswall, two-run single by Julio Morban (who also helped out with an outfield assist, listen:  Morban To Tanabe Play at Plate 7.28.11) and RBI groundout by Kevin Rivers.  Wisconsin tied the score at 4-4 against right-hander Matt Bischoff in the top of the seventh, but Clinton rallied for four runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.  Rivers singled home Mike McGee (listen:  Rivers Go-Ahead RBI single 7.28.11), Stefen Romero added a two-run double (listen: Romero 2-R double 7.28.11) and Kalian Sams finished the job with an RBI single.  Bischoff (W, 2-2) ended up with the win despite a blown save, while right-handers Tyler Blandford and Tyler Burgoon closed things down in the eighth and ninth.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.29.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  7.29.11 lineup 

While there’s many suitable interview subjects from your LumberKings based on last night’s win, tonight’s interview is all about our Prostate Cancer Awareness night, taking place tonight.  Ed Randall, the founder of “Bat for the Cure”, joins me on tonight’s pregame interview via phone.  The host of Ed Randall’s Talking Baseball on Sirius/XM Radio’s MLB Home Plate channel, Randall talks about the importance of early detection in the fight against prostate cancer, his own personal experience with the disease, the 2011 Minor League Road Trip for “Bat for the Cure” and more.

Listen Here:  Ed Randall Interview 7.29.11

The LumberKings look for their first sweep since late May/early June at Fort Wayne tonight as they close the series with Wisconsin.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (3-3, 3.45) is 2-1 with a 2.40 ERA in his last seven games, he’ll start for Clinton tonight against Rattlers’ right-hander Brooks Hall (5-3, 4.19).  Listen to the 7 PM game on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Jon Hesketh

The LumberKings opened the six-game homestand with a wire-to-wire 5-3 win over the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers last night.  Julio Morban, playing in his first game since June 26, connected on the first pitch he saw from right-hander Maverick Lasker in the first inning, belting a solo home run to the right-field Lumber Lounge (listen:  Morban Solo HR (#2) 7.27.11).  Two batters later, Stefen Romero dropped the back shoulder and lifted a two-run shot to left (listen:  Romero 2-R HR (#12) 7.27.11), putting the Kings ahead 3-0.

Winning left-hander Nate Reed held the Rattlers to a run over 5.0 innings and an RBI double by Kevin Rivers and solo homer by Kalian Sams raised the lead to 5-1.  Right-hander Jessie Nava yielded a run over 3.0 innings and left-hander Jon Hesketh worked past a run to lock down his first professional save, striking out T.J. Mittelstaedt as the potential tying run to end the game (listen: Hesketh Fans Mittelstaedt for First Pro Save 7.27.11).

My pregame interview tonight is with Hesketh, the veteran arm on the staff.  Seattle’s 20th round pick in 2009 out of the University of New Mexico, Hesketh has come back from a nearly two-month stint on the DL (was hit in the left thumb by a comebacker on May 22 at Peoria) and is back in the Clinton bullpen.  The Langley, BC, Canada native talks about his first pro save,

Listen Here:  Hesketh Interview 7.28.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.28.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  7.28.11 lineup

The series with Wisconsin continues tonight with right-hander George Mieses (4-10, 5.00) on the mound for his team-leading 20th start.  Despite the season numbers, Mieses is actually pitching strong in the second half.  “El Toro” is 3-2 with a 3.16 ERA so far in the second half.  He’ll go up against Milwaukee Brewers’ 2010 second-round pick, right-hander Jimmy Nelson (5-7, 4.19).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the game online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 7)

The six-game East Division swing wraps up tonight in West Michigan, and your LumberKings are again looking to avert a sweep after a close loss.  The Whitecaps scored five runs over the first two innings against a struggling Taijuan Walker and the Kings never fully recovered, scoring four times to keep it close but ultimately falling, 6-4.  John Hicks had a breakout offensive game, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI (listen: Hicks RBI double 7.24.11) and Kevin Rivers sealed his Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week award with a solo home run (listen:  Rivers Solo HR (#8) 7.24.11). 

For tonight’s pregame interview, I check in with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca.  We talk about the tough trip so far, Rivers’ offensive breakout, Hicks’ season-best performance, Walker’s setback outing, the promotion of Tim Morris and addition of Julio Morban off the DL, tonight’s starter Tony Butler and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 7.25.11

Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.25.11 kingsnotes

Butler (1-1, 2.61) starts against West Michigan for the second time in his career, first time since April 22, 2007 while he was with Wisconsin.  The Whitecaps counter with right-hander Kevin Eichhorn (7-3, 3.65).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM CT, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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