Results tagged ‘ Tim Morris ’

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: Tim Morris (Vol. 2)

The Kings made it back-to-back wins in Peoria on a sunny Sunday afternoon yesterday, scoring eight runs (their most in one game since an 8-4 win vs. Wisconsin on July 28) to defeat the Chiefs, 8-2.  Tim Morris went 2-for-5 with a season-high four RBI on the day, driving in the game’s first run with an RBI smash scored an error on first-baseman Richard Jones and adding a “nail in the coffin” three-run homer inside the right-field foul pole (listen: Morris 3-R HR (#5) 8.14.11).  Anthony Phillips, Julio Morban and Stefen Romero all added an RBI each, supporting 6.2 innings of two-run ball from left-hander Roenis Elias in his second win of the year.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias picked up save #6 with three strikeouts over 2.1 innings.

Coupled with Beloit’s 3-0 loss to Burlington yesterday, the LumberKings are back to 3.0 games ahead of the Snappers for the West Division Wild Card spot.  A glance back in the history books to a year ago and Clinton is in relatively the same spot as the 2010 club through 119 games.  John Tamargo’s team was 27-22, tied for third (along with Kane County for the top playoff spot) and holding a 2.0 game lead on Beloit for the Wild Card.

Given yesterday’s breakout performance and his presence on both the 2010 and 2011 teams, it’s a good time to catch up with Tim Morris.  Seattle’s 11th round pick out of St. John’s University in 2009 is hitting .257 with five HR, 40 RBI and 18 steals in his sophomore year with Clinton.  He talks about yesterday’s game and the home run, his week-long stint with high-A High Desert, coming back into a different role with the LumberKings, this year’s pursuit of a playoff spot and more.

Listen Here:  Morris Interview 8.15.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.15.11 kingsnotes

In a season that has already seen shortstop Marcus Littlewood, INF/OF Stefen Romero, left-hander James Paxton, right-hander Keli’i Zablan and catcher John Hicks make their affiliated professional debuts with Clinton, we’ll see another highly-anticipated debut tonight.  Right-hander Carter Capps, the supplemental third-round pick (121st overall) by Seattle this year, makes his first start in the black-and-green tonight.  Capps went 14-1, 1.75 in 20 games at Mount Olive College (NC) this year, then dominated in the Cape Cod League to the tune of 4-1, 0.60 in 16 games with Harwich.  He’ll be opposed by notorious LumberKings-Killer, Chiefs’ left-hander Austin Kirk.  Kirk is a pretty average 5-8, 3.43 on the season, but 3-0, 1.11 against the Kings including that nine-inning no-no on July 4. 

The Kings owe Kirk some payback, and it begins with the first pitch at 7:00 PM here from O’Brien Field.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

Saturday Notes (8/13)

It’s back to the road for your LumberKings tonight as they open a three-game series against the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field.  Hitting the road might not be so bad after the Kings dropped two of three to the Cedar Rapids Kernels on a brief three-game homestand including an especially tough 2-1 loss last night.  It took the Clinton offense seven innings to get their first run on the board (by way of a Carlos Ramirez sacrifice fly), and the Kernels went right back ahead shortly after on a double by Rolando Gomez scoring Travis Witherspoon.  The Kings had a chance in the bottom of the ninth as pinch-runner Tim Morris took off from first base on a two-out 3-2 pitch that Matt Browning served into the right-center gap, but the Kernels held on for the win as Witherspoon fired in to first-baseman Ricky Alvarez, who then caught Morris at the plate.  The loss came despite 7.0 innings of one-run baseball from defending MWL Pitcher of the Week Stephen Kohlscheen.  Right-hander Matt Bischoff took the loss, his first since April 12.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.13.11 kingsnotes

Left-hander Anthony Fernandez, 3-1 with a 2.09 ERA and eight quality start in his last 10 outings, takes the hill for game one against the Chiefs.  It’s hard to believe, but in 17 outings this season, Fernandez has not once faced Peoria this year.  He’ll rely on experience against Chicago Cubs’ affiliate Boise (2-0, 2.84 in 2 starts with Everett last year) in his first match-up against the Chiefs tonight.  They’ll counter with lefty Frank Del Valle, a Havana, Cuba native that is 2-2 with a 4.02 ERA in seven outings.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

One other minor piece of news to pass  your way…right-hander Carter Capps, Seattle’s third-round pick in 2011 and the newest LumberKing as of yesterday will make his pro debut in the starting role on Monday in Peoria.  He’s on the roster as right-hander Taijuan Walker (who turns 19 today) heads to the Temporary Inactive List.  He’s likely done for 2011 after going 6-5, 2.89 over 18 starts, 96.2 innings in his first full season.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

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: Carlos Ramirez

For the first time this season (and the first time I can honestly recall), the LumberKings won a game after trailing in their final at-bat.  The team’s 11th last at-bat victory and fifth walk-off winner came in the bottom of the 11th courtesy of Carlos Ramirez, whose bases-loaded two-out single scored Robbie Anston and Matt Browning for a thrilling 2-1 win over the Peoria Chiefs yesterday (listen:  Ramirez Walk-Off 2-Run Single in 11th 7.31.11).

The clutch hit, producing just the second and the third runs of the series for the LumberKings, is not the first for Carlos.  Last season, the newly-promoted Ramirez stood at the plate with the Kings down 7-6 to the Lake County Captains in the 12th inning of Game 2 of the Midwest League Championship Series.  His single to right-center scored Tim Morris to tie the game, and although Mario Martinez was then thrown out at the plate trying to score the winner, the LumberKings would end up the victors in the bottom of the 18th on a memorable fielding error by Captains’ third-baseman Adam Abraham.   The 8-7 Clinton win is the longest championship series in league history.

Today, I interview Ramirez for the first time ever.  He admits that he had that MWLCS hit on his mind when he came up to the plate yesterday.  We talk about the game-winning hit, last year’s game-tying hit, his role as a utilityman and switch-hitter and more.

Listen Here:  Carlos Ramirez Interview 8.1.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.1.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.1.11 lineup

Roster Moves:  We saw the return of infielder Jake Schlander to the club yesterday as Jetsy Extrano was moved to short-A Everett, today, the LumberKings have re-added first-baseman Tim Morris from high-A High Desert.  Left-hander Nate Reed, who was scheduled to start tonight, has been promoted to High Desert.  Left-hander Roenis Elias, 1-0 with an 0.82 ERA with Pulaski, has joined the club and will fill Reed’s starting spot next Saturday in Burlington.

As for tonight, right-hander Jessie Nava (1-3, 3.13) makes his first start with Clinton in a spot role.  He’ll face off against Chiefs’ right-hander Starling Peralta (1-3, 7.48) in the rubber match.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the game on 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: 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

Mother’s Day Notes (5/8)

First off, happy Mothers Day to you all!  Looks like we’ll have a fantastic day for baseball here at AEF.

A reminder for all of you dedicated LumberKings fans, Mariners’ prospect followers and supporters of breast cancer awareness (that should be everyone, of course).  The LumberKings will be wearing special pink caps on the field today as they take on the Burlington Bees at 2:00 PM.  Those caps will be autographed and auctioned off both here at the game today and online through the Kings’ ebay site.

Expect hats from guys like Taijuan Walker, Stefen Romero, Forrest Snow, Jabari Blash and others to hit the web within the next few days.  It’s a one-of-a-kind item for a great cause…all proceeds from the cap auction are going to the Susan G. Komen fund.  So get your hands on a cap and help the cause also.

Getting to last night…the LumberKings battled all night with the West Division-leading Bees thanks to the efforts of right-hander Brandon Maurer.  The 23rd round pick in 2008 struck out a career-high 11 batters over 6.0 innings, exiting in a 1-1 game.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias pitched as well as we’ve seen all season with two scoreless innings but yielded the game-winning RBI double to Yordy Cabrera in the top of the ninth as the Kings fell 2-1.  Stefen Romero doubled twice and finished 3-for-4 and Tim Morris went 3-for-4 with an RBI, but it wasn’t enough to keep Clinton from falling to 1-5 against Burlington this season.

Listen to Maurer’s 11th punch-out:  Maurer Career-High 11th Strikeout 5.7.11

Left-hander James Paxton missed his last start after a minor BP injury, but he’s back today for his second career outing.  The Mariners’ 4th-round pick is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA following his debut outing against Peoria back on April 27.  The Bees answer with left-hander Jacob Brown, Oakland’s 26th round pick in 2010.  Brown is 3-0 with a sparkling 1.48 ERA on the season.

Today’s Game Notes:  5.8.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups: 

Burlington Bees (21-7):  Tyreace House/CF, Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Jose Rivero/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Josh Whitaker/1B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Wade Kirkland/3B, Daniel Petitti/C, Jacob Brown/LHP

LumberKings (9-21):  Julio Morban/LF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Stefen Romero/DH, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, James Paxton/LHP.

First pitch is at 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Nathan Baliva

I’ve seen some crazy games over the past seasons here at O’Brien Field in Peoria, especially last season.  From Chiefs’ right-hander Nick Struck’s 4.0-inning rain-shortened no-hitter, to Matt Cerda’s walk-off grand slam, to Vinnie Catricala and Mario Martinez belting solo home runs to overcome a 9th inning deficit, to Clinton’s double-digit doubleheader sweep, to the Chiefs’ huge ninth-inning comeback, we saw a little of everything at this place in 2010.

Last night, a new chapter was written…and not in a good way for the Kings.  Peoria left-hander Cam Greathouse tossed 7.0 one-hit innings and received help from a triple play started by shortstop Elliot Soto in the seventh as the Chiefs blanked Clinton, 3-0 to start the series.  The lone hit in the game belonged to Tim Morris, who singled to right with one out in the sixth inning.  That was the only support for right-hander Forrest Snow, who fell to 1-3 despite his team-best third quality start.

Chatting with Peoria Chiefs’ voice Nathan Baliva following Struck’s no-no last year seemed to provide better luck for the Kings, so I renew that interview today with my broadcast counterpart.  We cover Greathouse’s performance last night, manager Casey Kopitzke’s second season at the helm of the Chiefs, tonight’s all-first-round mound matchup and more.

Listen Here:  Nathan Baliva Interview 5.5.11

There’s rain clouds brewing just outside Peoria that could put a serious damper on tonight’s game, but if they hold off, we’re in for one heck of a pitcher’s duel.  Right-hander Taijuan Walker, Seattle’s first-round pick (43rd overall) out of Yucaipa High School will make his first pro start and fifth appearance tonight for the LumberKings.  The Chiefs counter with Chicago Cubs’ first-round pick, right-hander Hayden Simpson.

Read more about Walker’s first start in tonight’s Game Notes:  5.5.11 kingsnotes 

Tonight’s Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (8-19):  Julio Morban/LF, Matt Cerione/CF, Tim Morris/D, Stefen Romero/2B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Peoria Chiefs (13-13):  Pierre LePage/2B, Elliot Soto/DH, Rubi Silva/CF, Richard Jones/1B, Micah Gibbs/C, Smaily Borges/RF, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, DJ Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/3B, Hayden Simpson/RHP

First pitch, as far as I know, is still scheduled for 6:30 PM.  You’ll want to be listening to this one, so tune me in online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 2)

For the second-straight game, the LumberKings’ offense stormed out to a 7-0 lead on Beloit.  Unlike Sunday, the offense kept rolling late and the bullpen survived meltdown as Clinton won by its largest margin of the season, 13-6 over the Snappers.  Ramon Morla (2-for-4) and Carlos Ramirez (3-for-3) each drove in three runs apiece and Jabari Blash went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI to lead the offense, all backing 5.0 scoreless innings from right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen.

With the offense finally starting to produce, the starting rotation coming back strong (3-0, 0.75 over the last four games) and the addition of two new arms to the roster — including one very high-profile right-hander that you’ve likely heard about already), it’s the perfect time to catch up with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca for the second time this season.

We talk about the offense including Morla and Ramirez, Julio Morban, Tim Morris and others, the additons of right-handers Taijuan Walker and Jandy Sena, Chaca’s “win the inning” philosophy and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 5.3.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.3.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Beloit Snappers (13-9):  Jamaal Hawkins/SS, Andrew Leer/3B, Nate Roberts/DH, Michael Gonzales/1B, Daniel Ortiz/LF, Lance Ray/RF, Kyle Knudson/C, Wang-Wei Lin/CF, Derek McCallum/2B, Logan Darnell/LHP

LumberKings (8-17):  Julio Morban/LF, Carlos Ramirez/2B, Stefen Romero/DH, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP

First pitch is once again at 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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