Results tagged ‘ Mike McGee ’

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

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

Today’s Interview: John Taylor

The win streak is seven and the magic number is one after the LumberKings’ 6-2 win over the Beloit Snappers last night.  Mike McGee had a huge performance in the three hole, going 3-for-4 with a game-winning solo home run in the fifth inning off left-hander Ryan O’Rourke (listenMcGee Solo HR (#4) 8.27.11).  John Hicks extended his hitting streak to nine-straight games with a 2-for-4 game including a two-run triple off lefty Nelvin Fuentes that broke the game open (listen: Hicks 2-R triple 8.27.11).  Left-hander Tony Butler allowed two runs over 5.2 innings and pulled off a nifty double play to help his cause (listen:  Butler Double Play 8.27.11).  Left-hander Ryan Kiel tossed 2.1 scoreless innings and right-hander Tyler Burgoon worked a scoreless non-save ninth to give Butler his third win of the year.  O’Rourke fell to 5-4 with the loss.

The math today is simple, beat Beloit and a playoff spot is secured.  The Kings also have a 3.0 game lead on Kane County for the top playoff spot in the West and are tied with Quad Cities for first place in the division, just their second day with a share of first all season (the other being June 24, the second day of this half).

Read more in today’s Game Notes:  8.28.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Lineups:  8.28.11 lineup

Usually I don’t do an interview on Sundays, but I caught up with Kings’ right-hander John Taylor (pictured) yesterday.  Taylor, Seattle’s 22nd round pick out of the University of South Carolina in 2011, worked his third hold in the finale of the series at Cedar Rapids.  He talks about his unique submarine-style delivery and when he picked it up, the pitches he throws from the drop-down angle, his experience with the two-time College World Series Champion USC Gamecocks, the playoff push with Clinton and more.

Listen Here:  Taylor Interview 8.27.11

Taylor and the LumberKings go for the playoff berth today, first pitch at 2:00 PM.  Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen, 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA in five starts, gets the call for Clinton today.  Beloit has right-hander Manuel Soliman (7-10, 4.08 ERA) slated to start.  Listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Friday Notes (8/26)

It’s another “show-and-go” night as the LumberKings finish off a three-game series at Cedar Rapids tonight.  Thus, no pregame interview for you.

The Kings look for the sweep of the Kernels tonight after a 5-2 victory at Perfect Game Field last night.  Clinton manufactured their way to the game’s first run in the third inning as Tim Morris walked, stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Phillips and scored on a groundout by Robbie Anston.  They never trailed after that.  Left-hander Roenis Elias gave up two runs over 6.0 innings to win for the third time on the road this year, and Morris added an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, Mike McGee doubled home another run in the sixth, Phillips added a double to drive in a run in the seventh and John Hicks capped a 3-for-4 game with his second home run of the year (listen:  Hicks Solo HR (#2) 8.25.11).  Right-handers Matt Bischoff and Tyler Burgoon combined on 3.0 scoreless innings in relief of Elias.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.26.11 kingsnotes

The LumberKings are eight games up on Beloit for a playoff spot with 11 games remaining.  Right-hander Carter Capps (1-0, 3.72) makes his third start tonight looking to get Clinton a step closer to clinching.  The Kernels counter with right-hander Brian Diemer (9-10, 4.11).  First pitch is at 6:35 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: 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: John Hicks

Following a 2-4 trip to the East Divison, the LumberKings are back at Alliant Energy to open a six-game homestand against Wisconsin and Peoria.  The Kings finished their schedule against the East with a win on Monday at West Michigan thanks to two more career firsts from catcher John Hicks.  A day removed from recording his first two extra-base hits (3-for-4 with two doubles, RBI), Hicks enjoyed his first multi-RBI game and plated his first game-winning run as he went 1-f0r-3 with two RBI.  His two-out bleeder to left-center in the eighth dropped in to score Mike McGee, giving the Kings the 4-3 lead and ultimately the win by that score.

Seattle’s fourth-round pick out of the University of Virginia last June, Hicks is just 10 games into his pro career with the LumberKings.  On his first pregame interview, the Sandy Hook, VA native weighs in on his big hit on Monday, adjusting to the pro game at the plate and behind it, working with hitting coach Terry Pollreisz and catching coordinator Roger Hansen, his time at Virginia alongside left-hander Danny Hultzen (Mariners’ 1st round, 2nd overall) and third-baseman Steve Proscia (Mariners’ 7th round) and more.

Listen Here:  Hicks Interview 7.27.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.27.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  7.27.11 lineup

Despite a 3-7 mark in their last 10 games, Eddie Menchaca’s club enters tonight alone in third place and just 3.0 games behind first-place Kane County.  Now facing only West Division opponents the rest of the year, it’s safe to say now is the time to make a playoff push.  The homestand begins with the Timber Rattlers, who after narrowly missing a playoff spot in the first half (what would have been their first since ’05 when they were the Seattle Mariners’ affiliate), are 13-17 in the second half.

Left-hander Nate Reed (2-3, 3.86) looks to snap a two-game losing streak as he takes the mound for his fourth start tonight.  He’ll be opposed by right-hander Maverick Lasker (1-3, 5.53) of the Rattlers.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 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

Tonight’s Interview: Matt Browning

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.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Mike McGee

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.

-DL

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