Results tagged ‘ Kalian Sams ’

A Good Weekend for Holland

Former LumberKings’ left-hander Derek Holland may have given up four runs on three homers over 4.2 innings on Saturday, but he and the Texas Rangers are headed back to the World Series via a 15-5 win over the Detroit Tigers.  That means fellow former Kings Ian Kinsler (’04), Mitch Moreland (’08), Craig Gentry (’07) and Neftali Feliz (’08) get another shot at that ring, while Holland gets to keep growing the playoff ‘stache.  The Rangers will meet the Maikel Cleto-less St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the phyiscal city of Holland must be celebrating right now after the Netherlands captured the 2011 IBAF World Cup title with a 2-1 win over Cuba on Saturday.  The game, played in Panama, featured former LumberKings Kalian Sams (’09-’11) and Danny Rombley (’01-’02) in the lineup, while infielder Vince Rooi (’01) remained on the bench.

The only Danny Rombley photo on file from his 2002 season in Clinton.

Sams went 0-for-2 with a walk while Rombley went 0-for-4.  View the full box score of the title game here:  http://ibaf.prod.kgroup.eu/stats/2011/panama/games/76.htm

Who knew Clinton had so many ties to the Dutch, including “the Dutch Oven“?

-DL

Tuesday Notes (8/30)

The streak had to end sometime for your LumberKings, and that time came last night with a 6-3 defeat at the hands of the Beloit Snappers.  After tasting only victory over the last eight days, the Kings fell behind 4-0 in the fifth as Nate Roberts delivered a bases-loaded RBI single to center and Michael Gonzales followed with a three-run homer into the right-field Lumber Lounge.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez gave up a total of five runs, one earned, over 5.2 innings in his first loss since July 17.  Kalian Sams clubbed a three-run homer over the Coors Light Picnic Pavilion (listen: Sams 3-R HR (#17) 8.29.11) to cut the deficit to 5-3 in the sixth, but that would be as close as Clinton would get all night.  Snappers’ right-hander A.J. Achter picked up the win with three runs over 5.1 innings and 10 strikeouts.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.30.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.30.11 lineup

With seven games remaining (including tonight’s regular-season home finale), the LumberKings have a magic number of five games to clinch the West Division’s top playoff spot over Kane County.  Left-hander Roenis Elias (3-1, 3.94) hopes to get them one step closer to doing so.  He’ll be opposed tonight by Beloit right-hander Blayne Weller (5-6, 4.23).  First pitch (pending rain) is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-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: 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: Rich Dorman (Vol. 4)

The LumberKings won the series and kept a 4.0-game Wild Card lead on Beloit in-tact with a 5-2 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits last night.  Kalian Sams went 2-for-4 with a double (listen:  Sams RBI double 8.19.11) and a solo home run (listen:  Sams Solo HR (#15) 8.19.11), but it was Anthony Phillips’ two-out infield single scoring Mickey Wiswall in the fourth inning that stood as the winning run (listen: Phillips RBI infield single 8.19.11).  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez had a short 5.0-inning outing by his usual standards, but struck out a career-high 10 batters in that time and allowed just two runs to the Bandits (listen:  Fernandez Career-High 10th K, 8.19.11).  Relievers Jessie Nava, Ryan Kiel and Jonathan Arias combined on 4.0 scoreless innings in relief of Fernandez, with Arias picking up his eighth save.

With another great outing by Fernandez, more lock-down relief from Kiel and Arias and a host of new arms to talk about, it’s time to catch up with LumberKings’ pitching coach Rich Dorman for tonight’s interview.  He gives plenty of insight on Fernandez, right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen, Mariners’ third-round right-hander Carter Capps, tonight’s starter Roenis Elias, Arias and his dominant second half and more.

Listen to the 11-minute-long full interview here:  Dorman Interview 8.20.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.20.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.20.11 lineup

Mariners’ second-round pick, Brad Miller makes his professional debut tonight at shortstop, batting seventh.  Elias (2-0, 2.89) makes his fourth start for the Kings as he goes up against Kane County right-hander Leondy Perez (6-11, 3.35).  The game begins at 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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: Kalian Sams (Vol. 2)

The Kings secured their first home series sweep and extended their winning streak to a season-best four games last night, defeating Wisconsin 5-3.  Mike McGee, Kevin Rivers and Matt Browning all walked with one out against left-hander Alan Williams in the seventh.  Timber Rattlers’ right-hander Casey Medlen worked 2-2 to Kalian Sams and fired a wild pitch scoring McGee for the tying run, and Sams followed up with a two-run single to left putting Clinton ahead for good (listen: Sams 2-R single 7.29.11).

Left-hander Anthony Fernandez turned in his sixth quality start in his last eight outings with three runs (one earned) over 7.0 innings to improve to 4-3.  Left-hander Ryan Kiel (H, 2) and right-hander Jonathan Arias (S, 4) closed down the final two innings.

Sams joins me on the pregame interview for the second time this year to talk about the game-winning hit and other topics.

Listen Here:  Sams Interview 7.30.11

Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.30.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  7.30.11 lineup

Right-hander Taijuan Walker looks for a bounce-back start in the opener of a three-game set against Peoria (10-23) tonight.  Walker is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA (10 ER in 10.1 IP) in his last two outings and is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts against the Chiefs, but will look to reverse both trends against Casey Kopitzke’s struggling club.  The Chiefs counter with right-hander Matt Loosen (2-1, 1.73).  First pitch is at 6:00 PM, listen online at 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

2011 First Half Highlight Reel

James Paxton's All-Star-worthy performance (3-3, 2.70 ERA, 73 K in 50.0 IP) was one of the bright spots for Clinton in the first half.

Sometimes, first halves go by in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes, they drag on.  The 2011 first half falls somewhere in the in-between for me.  I’ve seen some impressive things so far out of these LumberKings (a red-hot week by Kalian Sams, the dominant outings of James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, the resurgence of Mickey Wiswall in June, the impressive range at short for Anthony Phillips, the emergence of Keli’i Zablan and Jonathan Arias out of the pen, etc.), yet also a lot of struggles as evidenced by a current 23-46 record.

But, as hitting coach Terry Pollreisz reminded me on our way into Elfstrom Stadium today, anything can happen in the second half.  Polls cited his 2002 San Antonio club that finished 25-45 and 17 games out of first place in the Texas League West Division in the first half.  That club (including for just six games a 21-year-old Eddie Menchaca) rebounded to win the division with a 43-27 second-half record and went on to win the Texas League title in seven games over Tulsa.  Something to keep in mind as we head to the second half of 2011 on Friday.

While looking forward here on the half’s last day, it’s also time to look back at some of the high points of the season so far (unfortunately last night’s game-winning homer by Matt Browning just missed the cut).  With that, I present the third-annual “First Half Highlight Reel”.

Listen Here:  2011 First Half Highlight Reel

Today’s Game Notes:  6.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (23-46):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Matt Browning/1B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP.

Kane County Cougars (28-40):  Angel Franco/2B, Geulin Beltre/CF, Cheslor Cuthbert/3B, Brian Fletcher/LF, Brett Eibner/DH, Jake Kuebler/1B, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Jason Adam/RHP.

Happy Father’s Day as well to you regular readers.  After today’s 1 PM game at Kane County, I’ll be heading home to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to spend my All-Star Break with family.  I won’t be covering James Paxton’s All-Star appearance in the Quad Cities on Tuesday, but you can follow along at with the MiLB Gameday Feature on MiLB.com.

I’ll be back on Friday to start with a clean slate.  Can’t wait.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 4)

After finishing up a 5-1 East Division trip with a 6-1 win at Lake County Sunday, driving nine hours home and enjoying their first off-day since May 16, the LumberKings are back at home to start a nine-game, 10-day homestand tonight.  They’ll take on the Dayton Dragons and Bowling Green Hot Rods of the East Division and then finish off the stand with a three-game set against Quad Cities.

Yesterday wasn’t an entirely quiet off-day around Alliant Energy Field as Kalian Sams was named the Midwest League’s Offensive Player of the Week.    And, of course, the process of drafting future LumberKings began for the Seattle Mariners.

My interview guest this evening is LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca.  Chaca weighs in on the Sams award, the successful road trip, left-hander James Paxton’s Midwest League All-Star Game selection, the upcoming homestand and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.7.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.7.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Dayton Dragons (28-29):  Billy Hamilton/SS, Devin Lohman/2B, Dominic D’Anna/1B, David Vidal/3B, Tucker Barnhart/C, Yorman Rodriguez/RF, Juan Duran/DH, Jefry Sierra/CF, Theo Bowe/LF, Daniel Renken/RHP

LumberKings (19-39):  Jorge Agudelo/2B, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, Kevin Rivers/LF, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/CF, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Join me for the broadcast at 7 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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