Results tagged ‘ Kevin Rivers ’

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: 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

Friday Notes (8/19)

After a difficult loss on Wednesday, the LumberKings rebounded for a 7-5 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits last night at Alliant Energy Field.  Kevin Rivers erased a 4-3 fifth-inning deficit with his 10th home run of the year, a three-run shot to right-center off Bandits’ right-hander Zach Russell (listen:  Rivers 3-R HR (#10) 8.18.11).  Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen wasn’t untouchable, but exited with a 6-4 lead and the bullpen combination of Ben Versnik, Ryan Kiel and Jonathan Arias managed to hold a slim lead.  Kiel left with two on in the ninth and Arias walked two to force in a run, but stranded the bases loaded to end the game as he struck out Nick Longmire, induced Oscar Taveras into a pop-up and fanned Jonathan Rodriguez (listen:  Arias Strikes Out Rodriguez for 7th Save 8.19.11).

The Wild Card lead is back to 4.0 games as Beloit lost 2-0 at Kane County last night.  The Kings’ offense received an added boost today as Mariners’ second-round pick, shortstop Brad Miller (pictured) was added to the roster.  Miller (wearing #9) took a brief BP today, but likely won’t be in action tonight after flying in from his Seattle meet-and-greet.  We’ll probably see his pro debut in the next few days.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.19.11 lineup

Ace lefty Anthony Fernandez (5-3, 2.84) gets the rubber match call tonight, and he’ll look to continue a hot trend.  He’s 4-1 with a 1.96 ERA and nine quality starts in his last 11 outings.  Fernandez faces off against the ace of the Bandits, right-hander Boone Whiting (3-1, 2.02).  First pitch is at 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tonight’s Interview: George Mieses

The LumberKings salvaged the series with a 6-1 win over South Bend last night thanks to co-Espresso, Cigars & More Players of the Game, Kevin Rivers and George Mieses.  Rivers finished the three-game series 9-for-13 after going 3-for-4 with a two-run single (listen: Rivers 2-R single 7.22.11) and another solo home run (listen: Rivers Solo HR (#7) 7.22.11)…he even chipped in with his fourth outfield assist (Rivers Throws Out Inciarte 7.22.11).  Mieses allowed an unearned run in the first but nothing more on five hits over 7.0 innings, working his team-lead-tying seventh quality start while improving to 4-10.

After catching Rivers yesterday, it’s high time to get to Mieses for the first time today.  We talk about last night’s outing including his use of the curveball (his best bender all year), being more comfortable with run support, his nickname of “El Toro” and more.

Listen Here: 

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.23.11 kingsnotes

Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (3-3, 3.69) looks to rebound from his last start against Lansing in which he allowed a season-high five earned runs over 5.0 innings.  He’ll face a West Michigan Whitecaps’ offense that ranks third in the Midwest League in team batting average (.257).  The ‘Caps counter with former Wichita State lefty Brian Flynn (2-1, 3.90) in game one of the three-game series, first pitch scheduled for 6:00 PM CT.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Kevin Rivers (Vol. 2)

Last night’s game in South Bend featured a season-high four home runs hit by LumberKings, but Clinton still fell 8-6 to the Silver Hawks as a result of Matt Helm’s four-RBI night.  Kevin Rivers homered twice, lifting a leadoff home run to right in the first inning (first King to do that since Daniel Carroll on July 28, 2010) and adding another in his second at-bat off right-hander Jeff Shields (listen: Rivers Solo HR (#6), 2nd of Game 7.21.11).  Mike McGee belted his first-career home run off Shields in the fifth inning (listen:  McGee Solo HR (First of Career) 7.21.11) and Stefen Romero tied the team lead with his 11th in the fifth as well to give Clinton a 5-4 lead.

Still, left-hander Nate Reed struggled through 5.0 innings as he allowed seven runs, four earned.  Helm’s three-run double in the bottom of the fifth put the Silver Hawks ahead 7-5.  Despite the sixth loss in the last seven games, the LumberKings are still 13-13 and just 3.0 games behind first place, 1.0 game out of the Wild Card. 

I catch up with Rivers for a quick chat about last night for tonight’s pregame interview.

Listen Here:  Rivers Interview 7.22.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.22.11 kingsnotes

Right-hander George Mieses (3-10, 5.36) looks to salvage the series with a win at The Cove tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM CT.  Listen to the game online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Sunday Notes (7/10)

The ball was jumping in the humid Beloit air last night, evidenced by a combined six home runs hit by the LumberKings and Snappers.  Fortunately, the back-to-back blasts by Anthony Phillips (listen:  Phillips Solo HR (#2) 7.9.11) and Kevin Rivers (listen:  Rivers Solo HR (#4) Back-to-Back with Phillips 7.9.11) in the fifth inning pulled the Kings back from a 3-2 deficit and a towering drive to left by Stefen Romero in the seventh (listen:  Romero 2-R HR (#8) 7.9.11) gave Clinton a healthy cushion as they took game one in Beloit, 8-5. 

Left-hander Nate Reed served up home runs to Jairo Perez and Tobias Streich, allowing a total of three earned runs over 5.0 innings in his first start since September 4, 2010 while with High Desert.  Reed earned the win with help from the bullpen, including left-hander Ryan Kiel and right-hander Jessie Nava.  Kiel, making his Kings’ debut, struck out six over 1.2 innings including four in the sixth inning alone (a wild pitch on strike three allowed Daniel Ortiz to reach base) to pick up a hold.  Nava worked in and out of jams in the eighth and ninth, inducing Perez into a game-ending force out at third base as he represented the tying run.

Not to be lost in the mix was a decent pro debut for catcher John Hicks, Seattle’s fourth-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Virginia.  Hicks reached on an infield single in his first at-bat (listen: Hicks First Pro Hit (Infield Single) 7.9.11 ), threw out his first attempting base-stealer in the second inning (caught Daniel Santana at second) and recorded his first RBI on a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

It’s day baseball today as the LumberKings, now alone in second place in the West and just a game behind first-place Kane County, look to secure their fifth series win of the second half against the Snappers.  Right-hander George Mieses (3-9, 5.38) looks to run his winning streak to three-straight games after a seven-game losing streak.  Mieses has pitched well against Beloit this season, he’s 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA in two outings. 

Today’s Game Notes:  7.10.11 kingsnotes

LumberKings (10-6):  Kevin Rivers/DH, Jetsy Extrano/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Stefen Romero/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, John Hicks/C, Robbie Anston/CF, Anthony Phillips/SS, George Mieses/RHP

Beloit Snappers (9-7):  Wang-Wei Lin/LF, Daniel Santana/CF, Jairo Perez/3B, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/RF, Lance Ray/DH, Tyler Grimes/SS, Jhonatan Arias/C, Andrew Leer/2B, Manuel Soliman/RHP

First pitch is at 2:00 PM on this muggy Sunday, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rich Dorman (Vol. 3)

The LumberKings are 2-0 in the “show-and-go” after last night’s 5-3 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits at Modern Woodmen Park.  Clinton took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out double by Tim Morris (listen: Morris 2-R double 7.1.11) and raised the lead back to two in the sixth on a two-out RBI single by Carlton Tanabe.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez dealt over 7.0 innings, limiting the Bandits to a run on four hits and turning in a highlight-reel-worthy 1-6-3 double play on a line drive back to the mound in the sixth inning (listen: Fernandez 1-6-3 DP 7.1.11).  The 3-1 lead wouldn’t last in the eighth as right-hander Keli’i Zablan loaded the bases and yielded a run on a wild pitch, but right-hander Tyler Burgoon gave up just one run in a bases-loaded no-out situation, keeping the game tied at 3-3.  In the ninth, the Kings went right back ahead as Kevin Rivers was hit by a pitch and scored on a Mickey Wiswall single to center (listen: Wiswall Go-Ahead RBI single 7.1.11).  Stefen Romero executed a safety squeeze bunt scoring Matt Browning in the ninth as well, and Burgoon worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to improve to 5-3.

With the outstanding outing from Fernandez, a seven-game losing streak snapped by George Mieses, the double-A promotion of James Paxton, the addition of left-hander Tony Butler and the three-win run by Burgoon, it’s high time to catch up with pitching coach Rich Dorman again.  Dor talks about those pitchers plus tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker on tonight’s pregame interview.

Listen Here:  Dorman Interview 7.2.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.2.11 kingsnotes

Walker and the Kings go looking for the sweep of the Bandits tonight, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.