Results tagged ‘ Terry Pollreisz ’

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: Terry Pollreisz

After yesterday’s off-day, the LumberKings return to action on a six-game East Division trip, starting with a three-game set at South Bend.  It’ll be a historic night at newly renovated Coveleski Stadium (pictured left) as the Kings play on an artificial turf surface for the first time ever.

Clinton’s last game was equally historic as they closed out a three-game series with Lansing by overcoming a 5-2 deficit with a nine-run seventh inning.  Bases-loaded walks to Anthony Phillips and Carlton Tanabe helped tie the game, and a two-run double by Robbie Anston (listen: Anston 2-R double 7.18.11), two-run single by Mike McGee (listen: McGee 2-R single 7.18.11) and two-run homer by Subway Slugger of the Game Mickey Wiswall (listen: Wiswall 2-R HR (#8) 7.18.11) gave the Kings an insurmountable six-run lead.  Most astoundingly, all nine runs scored before Lansing right-handers Dayton Marze and Shawn Griffith could record a single out.  It’s the only time in my six seasons the LumberKings have posted a nine-run frame, and might very well be the franchise’s record (I don’t have accurate records on such things prior to 2006).

LumberKings’ hitting coach Terry Pollreisz has been around the game for a long time, and he’s never seen anything like it either.  Polls weighs in on the monster inning, the offense’s recent ability to score in bunches, the progression of the hitters from April until now, a philosophy change in batting practice, maintaining a positive attitude with his hitters and more.

Listen Here:  Pollreisz Interview 7.20.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.20.11 kingsnotes

Left-hander Tony Butler, coming off a 6.0-inning, nine-strikeout game against Great Lakes, makes his fourth start for the LumberKings in the opener of this three-game series against the Silver Hawks.  Manager Mark Haley’s club is 9-15 this half and is hitting just .218 in the last 10 games, but does feature the Midwest League’s top home run hitter and RBI producer, Yazy Arbelo (23 HR, 74 RBI).  First pitch of game one is set for 6:00 PM CT, listen 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

2011 Coaching Staff is Announced

We’ve just learned who will be guiding the LumberKings as they attempt to defend their West

Menchaca_Eddie.jpgDivision Title in 2011.  Eddie Menchaca, manager of the playoff-qualifying Pulaski Mariners in 2010, will become the 44th manager in Clinton baseball history.  The 29-year-old former infielder (yes, he won’t turn 30 until February) will be joined by former Everett pitching coach Rich Dorman, returning hitting coach Terry Pollreisz and trainer Jake Naas.

Read up on Menchaca and Dorman right now over at LumberKings.com.  I’ll have more information on Naas’s background later in the winter.  No Performance Specialist has yet been named to replace Jim Bose (assuming he doesn’t come back).

Wondering where all your favorite former LumberKings coaches from ’09-’10 are?  Well, they’re all still with Seattle.  Manager John Tamargo is taking over as the Latin America Field Coordinator, which means we’ll still see JT yell “little man hit it” and “pick ‘em up” a few times when he passes through AEF this year.  Dwight Bernard has ascended back to his old post as the pitching coach for triple-A Tacoma, where he was for four seasons prior to coming to Clinton.  He’ll have a nice, renovated Cheney Stadium to come back to.  Trainer B.J. Downie will be with short-A Pulaski next year.

Elsewhere, Scott Steinmann is back as a manager for the first time since helming the 2009 LumberKings.  He’ll try and lead Everett to a second-straight Northwest League title after serving as the AquaSox’ hitting coach last year.  Jesus Azuaje (’09) is back as the manager of the AZL Mariners in Peoria, and Lance Painter (’09) will once again be the double-A pitching coach for Jackson.  Eddie Tamez, the 2009 Midwest League Trainer of the Year, returns to high-A High Desert for his second season with the Mavs (which on another note were formally purchased by Main Street Baseball LLC today, the same group that owns the Quad Cities River Bandits).

-DL

LumberKings Announce 2010 Field Staff

Experience-laden staff includes Tamargo, Bernard, Pollreisz and Downie

 


2010 field staff.JPG

Clinton, IA – The Clinton LumberKings, in conjunction with the Seattle Mariners have announced the field staff for the 2010 season.  Manager John Tamargo, pitching coach Dwight Bernard, coach Terry Pollreisz and trainer B.J. Downie all join the LumberKings for the first time after different assignments in the Seattle system last year.

 

Tamargo brings 36 years of pro baseball experience to the LumberKings as the club’s new manager.  He joined the Mariners system last year, leading short-A Everett to a 39-37 record and a second-place finish in the Northwest League West Division.  Tamargo owns a career 1089-960 record over 18 seasons as a minor league manager with the New York Mets, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers organizations.  His career coaching highlights include managing New Orleans to the Triple-A World Series in 1998 and serving as Astros’ Bench Coach under Jimy Williams for two seasons.  Originally drafted in the sixth round of the 1973 June Draft by St. Louis, Tamargo played in 135 Major League games for the Cardinals, San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos.

 

Bernard joins Clinton as the pitching coach after holding the same title for triple-A Tacoma for four seasons.  Under his guidance, Rainiers’ pitchers finished 74-70 with a 4.82 ERA in 2009.  Bernard will begin his eighth season in the Seattle system, having also held the pitching coach post in high-A Inland Empire (2004) and double-A San Antonio (2005).  He has twice held the lofty position of Minor League Pitching Coordinator, including 2003 with the Milwaukee Brewers and 1990-1996 with the Minnesota Twins.  Originally drafted by the New York Mets in the second round of the 1974 draft, Bernard pitched in the Major Leagues with the Mets and Brewers and was a part of Milwaukee’s 1982 American League Championship team.

 

Pollreisz returns to the Midwest League after spending 2009 as the hitting coach for double-A West Tennessee.  His Diamond Jaxx club finished with a .242 team average and featured the Southern League’s top hitter for average (Ezequiel Carrera, .337) and top home run hitter (Greg Halman, tied with 25).  Pollreisz has spent 11 seasons in the Mariners system, managing the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2008 after coaching stints with Tacoma (2004-2007), San Antonio (2002-2003) and Everett (manager from 1998-2001).  The Whitefish, MT native also spent 10 seasons as the head coach at the University of Portland.

 

Downie assumes the role of LumberKings’ Trainer after spending 2009 as an assistant to triple-A Tacoma trainer Tom Newberg.  Clinton’s Strength & Conditioning Coordinator position has yet to be announced.

 

The 2010 season begins on Thursday, April 8 as the LumberKings host the Peoria Chiefs at Alliant Energy Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  For 2010 season tickets, group outings, merchandise and more, call the LumberKings at (563) 242-0727 or visit www.lumberkings.com.

 

On another note, all of last year’s staff has been reassigned within the Mariners’ organization.  Manager Scott Steinmann is taking over short-A Everett, pitching coach Lance Painter is now in that position with double-A West Tennessee, coach Jesus Azuaje assumes the role of Peoria manager and trainer Eddie Tamez is back up with high-A High Desert.  Former Clinton manager Andy Fox (’06) has been hired by Seattle and is the hitting coach with West Tenn.  There’s no word yet on where S&C coach Keith Swift is heading.

 

-DL

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