Results tagged ‘ Nick Czyz ’

It didn’t count, but it was still baseball

The LumberKings hit the field for batting practice and a simulated game this evening in front of a crowd of die-hard fans.  Seon Gi Kim and Edlando Seco got some work in against live hitters, two who already visited the Leinenkugel’s Lumber Lounge.  Both Kevin Rivers and Julio Morban hit home runs…home runs that don’t count for much other than pride.

Still, it was a fun first-time experience.  Probably not as fun as High Desert’s exhibition action against Victor Valley College last night.  Nine Mavs pitchers, including former LumberKings Jimmy Gillheeney (’10), Nick Czyz (’10), Jon Hesketh (’09-’10), Ogui Diaz (’09), Jose Jimenez (’09-’10), John Housey (’10) and Chris Kirkland (’09-’10) threw a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over the Rams.

I doubt we’ll see a nine-pitcher no-no tomorrow night in the 2011 Opener against Burlington, but we’ll get a good look at Forrest Snow and some other solid arms as well.  Here’s a look at the opening series rotation:

Thu:  RHP Forrest Snow vs. RHP Seth Frankoff

Fri:  LHP Anthony Fernandez vs. RHP Josh Bowman

Sat:  RHP George Mieses vs. RHP A.J. Griffin

Sun:  RHP Brandon Maurer vs. RHP Blake Hassebrock

Game notes will be up tomorrow along with an interview with likely interim manager Jesus Azuaje.  See you here at Alliant Energy Field tomorrow!


WDCS Game Three: Notes and Lineups

The biggest game in Clinton baseball history since 1993 (the last time a Clinton team reached the Midwest League Championship Series) is tonight at Alliant Energy Field as the LumberKings take on Kane County for the right to face either Great Lakes or Lake County for the 2010 title.

The Kings forced this decisive game three with a 6-2 win last night.  Mario Martinez keyed the offense with a 4-for-4, two-RBI game and left-hander Nick Czyz limited the Cougars to two runs over 5.2 innings. 


Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (0-0, 1.59 during postseason) makes the most important start of his career tonight in his second appearance of these playoffs.  The Cougars counter with right-hander Murphy Smith (0-1, 1.50 during postseason).

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.13.10 kingsnotes _westfinals.gamethree_.pdf



  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Kevin Mailloux (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Blake Ochoa (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

RHP Tom Wilhelmsen

Kane County:

  1. Conner Crumbliss (2B)
  2. Jose Crisotomo (CF)
  3. Michael Choice (RF)
  4. Rashun Dixon (LF)
  5. Myrio Richard (DH)
  6. Anthony Aliotti (1B)
  7. Leonardo Gil (3B)
  8. Jason Christian (SS)
  9. Ryan Lipkin (C)

RHP Murphy Smith

The game begins at 6:30 PM, you can listen online at! 


WDCS Game Two – Notes and Lineups

Once again, the LumberKings find themselves trailing a best-of-three playoff series 1-0.  Last night’s loss at Kane County was especially rough as Clinton hitters struck out 16 total times and failed to produce a run in a 4-0 loss.

Thankfully, the series shifts to Alliant Energy Field for game two (and hopefully three).  The Kings are back home tonight with a 5:00 PM start against the Cougars.  A win keeps the series going, a loss sends us packing.  Left-hander Nick Czyz (4-5, 4.48 during the regular season, 0-0, 0.00 in the playoffs) gets the start tonight.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
9.12.10 kingsnotes _westfinals.gametwo_.pdf



  1. James Jones (RF)
  2. Kevin Mailloux (2B)
  3. Vinnie Catricala (LF)
  4. Mickey Wiswall (DH)
  5. Henry Contreras (C)
  6. Tim Morris (1B)
  7. Mario Martinez (3B)
  8. Matt Cerione (CF)
  9. Gabriel Noriega (SS)

LHP Nick Czyz

Kane County:

  1. Conner Crumbliss (2B)
  2. Myrio Richard (DH)
  3. Leonardo Gil (3B)
  4. Michael Choice (RF)
  5. Rashun Dixon (LF)
  6. Anthony Aliotti (1B)
  7. Tyreace House (CF)
  8. Jason Christian (SS)
  9. Juan Nunez (C)

RHP Kenny Smalley

Listen to the broadcast beginning at 4:45 PM on



8/28 Game Notes

With no pregame interview lined up yet again today (yeah I know, you’re disappointed), I’m going to keep things brief.

Right-hander Yoervis Medina improved to 5-0 and didn’t allow a run on two hits while striking out nine against Quad Cities last night.  The surprising part about the outing was not Medina’s dominance (we’ve seen it now for five-straight outings), but the fact that he survived six walks, a season-high for himself and by a LumberKings’ pitcher this season.  In all, Medina stranded 11 men on base over his 6.0 innings.

Mario Martinez homered for the first time since August 7 (listen: 
Martinez 2-R HR (#11) 8.27.10.mp3) to help the Kings open up a 4-0 lead over the Bandits and Vinnie Catricala tallied the final run on an RBI double (listen:
Catricala RBI double 8.27.10.mp3) as part of a 2-for-4 game (extending his hitting streak to 16 games).

Left-hander Jose Jimenez contributed two scoreless innings on zero day’s rest and right-hander Brandon Josselyn pitched a perfect non-save ninth, also on no rest whatsoever.

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
8.28.10 kingsnotes.pdf

The Kings are 2.0 games up on Kane County for the top playoff spot in the West with 11 games to go, 4.0 games up on Beloit for a postseason berth as well.  Left-hander Nick Czyz (4-4, 4.71) gets the game-one start against the Peoria Chiefs tonight as a pivotal five-game, four-day series starts up at O’Brien Field, first pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen to the game online at


Franklin, Ramirez Named Post-Season All-Stars

In case you didn’t see it via…

Clinton, IA – Clinton LumberKings shortstop Nick Franklin and right-hander Erasmo Ramirez have been named Midwest League Post-Season All-Stars by the Field Managers of the league’s 16 teams.  The entire list was announced today by president George Spelius from the Midwest League office in Beloit, WI.


Both Franklin and Ramirez were voted as mid-season All-Stars and join the likes of Matt Adams (Quad Cities), Scooter Gennett (Wisconsin), Ian Krol (Kane County) and league Prospect of the Year and MVP Mike Trout (Cedar Rapids) on the list of the league’s best.


The 19-year-old Franklin, Seattle’s first-round pick (27th overall) out of Lake Brantley High School (FL) has enjoyed a memorable first full season in professional baseball.  Ranked the ninth-best prospect in the entire Mariners’ organization prior to the season by Baseball America, Franklin has gone on to hit .284 (129-for-454) with 20 doubles, seven triples, 20 home runs (2nd most in the MWL) and 57 RBI and has stolen 23 bases in 34 attempts.  The Longwood, FL native is just two homers shy of tying Clinton’s own single-season franchise record of 22, set back in 1961.


Ramirez, 20, came to the LumberKings in mid-April after an award-winning 2009 campaign.  He was the Mariners’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009, going 11-1 with a 0.51 ERA with Aguirre of the Venezuela Summer League.  In 2010, Ramirez has proved worthy of All-Star status as the league’s top right-handed starter.  He’s 10-4 with the league’s second-best ERA of 2.75 and also ranks amongst league leaders in WHIP (2nd at 1.04), fewest walks per 9.0 innings for starters (2nd at 1.17) and fewest baserunners per 9.0 innings for starters (3rd at 10.36).


Great Lakes Loons’ manager Juan Bustabad took home the Manager of the Year award.  A full list of the All-Star selections can be viewed at

I’ll be talking about the All-Star selections on tonight’s pregame show in lieu of an interview (I’ve interviewed both Franklin and Ramirez recently, as well as their manager John Tamargo).  One thing I MIGHT bring up is the double selection of South Bend’s Matt Davidson as both the third-baseman and DH.  He’s certainly deserving of ONE selection, but what about the now-forgotten Jerry Sands of the Loons for DH?  Or Clinton’s own Vinnie Catricala?  It’s worth thinking about.

There’s plenty to catch up on in tonight’s Game Notes following last night’s 3-1 win over Peoria.  Left-hander Nick Czyz tossed seven innings of one-run baseball and Catricala went 3-for-4 with the game-tying home run and an RBI single for insurance.  Mickey Wiswall had the game-winner on a seeing-eye single, and the bullpen combo of right-hander Jonathan Arias (H, 1) and Forrest Snow (S, 4) held on to the slim margin.

The Notes: 
8.24.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen (3-1, 2.55) has a key fifth start tonight as he looks to prove that the 4.2-inning, six-run blowup from his last outing is only a brief misstep in his magical 2010 season.  He’s on the hill for the finale against the Chiefs tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at


8/14 Game Notes

100_1974.JPGThe LumberKings fell 15-4 to the Burlington Bees last night to close the seven-game homestand at 4-3.  A pivotal series with Beloit starts tonight as the Kings look to maintain their 1.0-game lead over the Snappers for the second-half West Division Wild Card.

No pregame interview on tap for tonight, but enjoy tonight’s Game Notes: 
8.14.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Left-hander Nick Czyz (3-3, 5.40) makes his 10th start tonight in the series-opener against the Snappers.  First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at


Danks Immortalized in Bobble-Form

danksbobble.JPGThe star of tonight’s show as the LumberKings close out a three-game series against Cedar Rapids will be neither an active King or Kernel, but rather, the John Danks bobblehead.

Folks from miles around flock to Alliant Energy Field once a year for this day.  In the past, the likes of Dave Stewart, Mike Scioscia, Orel Hershiser, Jason Bay, Grady Sizemore and Ian Kinsler have been immortalized with their Clinton likeness in bobble form.  Danks takes his turn tonight.

Danks pitched with the LumberKings in 2004 a year after being drafted in the first round by the Texas Rangers.  That season, he went 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 14 games, eight starts.

Since then, he’s passed through the upper levels of the Rangers’ system before being traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2006 in a deal that brought Brandon McCarthy and former LumberKing David Paisano to Texas.  Since his 2007 debut with the Sox, Danks is 42-40 with a 3.89 ERA, including 11-7 with a 3.23 mark in 20 starts this season.

The giveaway bobbleheads aren’t expected to last long tonight, but we will have some available to sell through the Souvenir Store.  You can obtain one in the near future by calling the Kings at 563-242-0727.

As for tonight’s game, the LumberKings try to break free from a 1-8 skid that has dropped them from third place to seventh place in the West.  The playoff hopes are still very much alive with 38 games remaining, but a winning streak needs to start soon. 

Tonight’s Game Notes: 
7.30.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Left-hander Nick Czyz (2-2, 4.34) will be on the hill this evening facing the Cedar Rapids Kernels, first pitch scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Listen to the game on


Tamargo vs. Tamargo

tamargovstamargo.jpgThe six-game Michigan swing heads here to Cooley Law School Stadium (formerly known as Oldsmobile Park) in Lansing.  The LumberKings are ailing after being swept in a doubleheader by the practically-double-A Great Lakes Loons last night, leaving them suddenly in fifth place and a half-game behidn Burlington for the West Wild Card.

The playoffs are on the line every day here in the second half for the Kings, but that takes a backseat to a degree to an unusual occurrence.  Tonight, we get to watch Clinton manager John Tamargo (pictured left on the front page of face his own son, hitting coach and acting manager John Tamargo, Jr. of the Lugnuts.  I’ve been asked by a few folks if this is the first time a father and son will have managed against each other in Minor League Baseball, and to be quite honest, I haven’t been able to find out.

One thing is for sure — both Tamargos want to win this one.  JT Senior mentioned that in his speech to LumberKings’ fans at the 2010 Hot Stove Banquet way back in January.  Meanwhile, I can only imagine that JT Jr. wants to keep the playoff-hungry Lugnuts on a roll.  They’re coming off a series sweep of the Kane County Cougars, formerly the West’s first-place team.

My intention is to catch up with the Tamargos prior to tomorrow’s Sunday game.  Neither team was able to take the field today as a result of a major promotion going on at the ballpark all afternoon.

What I do have for you tonight is more LumberKings Game Notes and some highlights from last night’s doubleheader.  Enjoy:

Left-hander Nick Czyz (2-1, 3.51) makes a very important start tonight as he attempts to help snap a four-game losing streak.  The Kings have not lost five in a row this season.  The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 PM central time, listen online at


7/18 Game Notes and Musings

The combination of limited time and a cancelled pregame show from last night means the Terry Pollreisz interview will air on today’s pregame show.  However, it’s not like there weren’t plenty of performers worth talking to in last night’s 6-0 win over South Bend.

In three starts heading into last night’s contest, left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney had already been impressive.  After a second-straight outing of 7.0 scoreless innings, it’s hard to categorize Gillheeney as anything but the hottest pitcher in the Midwest League.  He most likely won’t win the MWL Pitcher of the Week award as his previous scoreless start came last Sunday, but he certainly deserves to be the first 2010 King to capture a league award.  Consider this paragraph my “Gilly for Pitcher of the Week” campaign ploy.

The offense was efficient last night, producing six runs on nine hits, including three extra-base hits.  Vinnie Catricala was the star, aptly busting out as Pollreisz had predicted with a 2-for-3, double, HR, three-RBI game.  The home run came on a hit-and-run in the fifth as Tim Morris took off, then slowed up to watch Cat’s majestic ball land on the left-field berm.  Mario Martinez added a flare double to right but also struck out three times and stranded four on base, and the other two RBI belonged to Blake Ochoa and Gabriel Noriega.  It’s good to see production from multiple parts of the order on a night when Daniel Carroll, James Jones and Nick Franklin went a collective 1-for-12 in the 1-3 spots.

It’s tough to be a Silver Hawk right now…Mark Haley’s club hasn’t scored in 27 innings, spanning three games.  Part of me wants them to score today, but maybe on an unearned run after Clinton has already built an eight-run lead.

Getting to the payoff of this post, here’s today’s Game Notes and some highlights from last night:

It’s Kings-Hawks in game two of this three-game series today as left-hander Nick Czyz (1-1, 2.96) makes his fifth start of the season.  First pitch is scheduled for 2:00 PM, listen online at  I promise we’ll have a pregame show today.


No Interview, Plenty of Content

I’m airing part two of the Tony Blengino interview from yesterday on tonight’s pregame interview, so I will not be recording a new one tonight.  I do, however, have plenty to share with you.

First off, the LumberKings won the series with Kane County with a 4-2 victory in the finale last night.  Left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney looked as impressive as we’ve seen this season, limiting the Cougars to two runs (one earned) over 7.0 innings and fanning six.  The Kings came back from a 2-1 deficit thanks to a three-run sixth as Vinnie Catricala, Tim Morris, Brandon Bantz and James Jones singled in succession off right-hander Rob Gilliam.  Mario Martinez recorded the game-winning RBI on a sacrifice fly.

Read more about last night’s game in the Game Notes: 
7.1.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Check out some highlights here:

carroll family living.jpgIn other news, the LumberKings were recently featured in the Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Family Living” Magazine.  Daniel Carroll gets some face time on the issue’s cover, and there’s photos of various LumberKings’ players, fans and staff (myself included) in the feature. 

This feature is reprinted with permission from Iowa Farm Bureau’s Family Living.

Check it out: 
Clinton LumberKings Family Living Article.pdf



Third off, a former LumberKing has been included in a Major League trade today.  The Texas Rangers shipped former Kings lefty Michael Main along with reliever Chris Ray to San Francisco, acquiring catcher Bengie Molina.

Main, one of two first-round picks by the Rangers in 2007, went 2-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts for the LumberKings in 2008.

Finally, the LumberKings open a six-game road trip tonight starting with a three-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels.  Left-hander Nick Czyz (1-0, 0.68) will try and duplicate the success from his first start (5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 K vs. Beloit) tonight against the Kernels.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, listen online at