Giants shutout by Rays and drop series.

In the third and final game of their series the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Giants Sunday afternoon blanking them 3-0 and keeping them from winning their first series of the year. The Rays got on the board immediately with a lead off home run by Yandy Diaz, it was his second in the series and third on the season.

The Giants would continue their struggle of getting hits early in the contest as they’d manage just 2 hits through seven innings. While the Rays added a run in the fourth inning thanks to a base hit from former Giant Christian Arroyo who singled into right field AS Kevin Keirmaier would just beat the throw by Steven Duggar.

The Rays added one more run in the top of the eighth thanks to a balk by Nick Vincent who had just given up a triple to Kevin Keirmaier .

Yonny Chirinos(2-0) was fantastic as he allowed just two hits in his five innings of work striking out five while only walking one batter. Drew Pomeranz(0-1) took the loss going just four innings falling victim to a high pitch count, he surrendered six hits and two runs and striking out five.

Next up for the Giants they will continue their home stand hosting the San Diego Padres starting Monday night. It will be Madison Bumgarner (0-2) 1.38 ERA vs Eric Lauer (1-1) 3.27 ERA.

Giants get first home win at Oracle Park

The Giants secured their first home win of the season winning for the first time in the Oracle Park era beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3, Just as it was in yesterdays game the Giants found themselves down before they even had their first at bats as Ji-Man Choi doubled into triples alley just out of the reach of Kevin Pillar giving them the 1-0 lead off starter Jeff Samardzija who would go 4.2 innings giving up six hits while striking out four.

The Giants who have struggled to get hits the first time through the lineup so far this season changed that as Kevin Pillar led off the bottom of the third with a bunt hit, he would steal second and advance to third on a throwing error by Catcher Mike Zunino. Joe Panik would walk and Jeff Samardzija would bunt him over giving the Giants two runners in scoring position with only one out. Steven Duggar would hit a sacrifice fly to center field scoring Pillar and Brandon Belt would follow that with a sharp base hit into right field scoring Panik from second giving the Giants the 2-1 lead after three.

In the top of the fifth the Rays would load the bases on three singles and with one out Tommy Phan would drive in the tying run by hitting a sacrifice fly to center field. Choi would drive in his second run of the game hitting a one hopper to Gerardo Parra in left field in what was a close play at the plate the Giants would challenge the call, but were unsuccessful and would go to the bottom of the fifth trailing the Rays 3-2.

In the bottom of the fifth Panik would start the inning off with a walk and Connor Joe would finally get his first major league hit and put the Giants in business. Steven Duggar would rip a double into right field and bring home both Panik and Joe to give the Giants their second lead of the ball game. Brandon Belt would come up next and launch a homer over the left field wall and the Giants would finish that inning scoring four runs and leading the Rays 6-3.

In the sixth inning the Rays would get one of those runs back as Mike Zunino would single into left field scoring Kevin Keirmaier who singled and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Things would be quite through the next couple innings for both squads and it was Will Smith who would come in to try and save the game for the Giants. He would retire the first batter, but give up a single to the following batter. With one out Austin Meadows would beat out a double play to keep the Rays hope alive, but it was Tommy Phan who would drive a ball deep to left field just in front of the wall and the Giants would earn their first win at home beating the Rays 6-4.

In what was a very good game for the Giants they will look to win their first series on the season when they take on the Rays in the series finale tomorrow from Oracle Park sending lefty Drew Pomeranz(0-0) to the hill to take on Yonny Chirinos in some sunday day baseball.

Giants lose series opener vs hot start Rays

In what was the Giants home opener welcoming in the new era of the park now named Oracle Park the giants ran into similar issue that has plauged them early on to start the season, giving up runs early to begin the game and not being able to find base hits until their second time through the lineup. Derek Rodriguez (1-1) who was tasked with opening up the Oracle Park era and Bruce Bochy’s final home opener got through the first two Rays batters with relative ease , but what followed was four straight extra base hits Ji-Man Choi started it with a two strike double , Brandon Lowe ripped a line drive to fight field to bring home Choi , Yandy Diaz then hit a broken bat homer just over the left field fence and it was topped off by Kevin Kiermaier driving one near the Bonds 756 home run area in triples alley to go back to back to start the first inning and just like that the crowd was drained and the Giants were down 4-0. Rodriguez would settle in after that brutal inning and go 5.1 innings giving up seven hits, no walks and striking out five. His counterpart was Tyler Glasnow who was a big piece in the Chris Archer deal from last season and he was nasty, giving up zero runs and only allowing three hits, walking just one, all while striking out six , and going six very strong innings. The Rays would tack on another run in the 7th inning as another person involved from the Chris Archer trade Austin Meadows split the gap in left center field to push the lead to 5-0. In the bottom half of the inning the Giants would begin the attempt to claw their way back into the game. Newly acquired Kevin Pillar would notch his first base hit as a Giant sending one right back up then middle and then advancing over to second on a wild pitch, this led to Pablo shooting a double just in side the third base line to give the Giants their first runs scored at Oracle Park of the year , Steven Duggar followed that with a double of his own splitting the gap in left center and sailing just away from the gold glover in center field Kevin Keirmaier inching the Giants closer and bringing the score to 5-2. After an impressive inning from Trevor Gott striking out two in the top half the Giants would bat with momentum on their side in the bottom of the 8th. Evan LOngoria going againast the club he played with for many years he would reach on an error by second baseman Brandon Lowe . Buster Posey would connect on a pitch and hit it off the bottom of the right field wall for a double and then Brandon Crawford would get hit by the first pitch and the Giants were set up with the bases loaded and nobody out down by three. Giants newcomer Gerardo Parra was called out looking and Kevin PIllar would roll into a inning ending double play in what seemed like a kcockout punch. Mark Melancon would tight rope through the ninth leaving the bases loaded and the Giants would come up for their last chance. Joe Panik started it off with a single and pinch hitter Yangervis Solarte walked and the tying run was at the plate with nobody out. Duggar would roll into a fielders choice just beating out the throw and Brandon Belt would strike out chasing a breaking ball in the dirt. This set up former longtime Ray Evan Longoria as the last hope to send the Giants faithful home happy, but it was not to be as he would fly out to right and the Giants would drop the first of three to the Rays 5-2. It was a tough one for the Giants to lose as they had chances late in the game to make the Rays pay as they allowed the Giants to hang around by kicking the ball around and commiting errors to help get rallies going. What seems like a common theme this season so far the Giants have not been able to get their bats going early and late rally in the games fall just short especially thanks to untimely double plays. While they are showing fight in these early games it seems as if it will be a constant issue of coming up just short, may we all be able to take the gut punches that it seems the Giant will give us this season.

Giants drop game and series to arch rival dodgers

The Giants dropped Wednesday nights series finale to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 and in doing so lost the series as well dropping their record to 2-5 to start the season. In what looked to be a short outing for Derek Holland (0-1) turned out to be a fine one as he survived a rough first inning where he threw thirty-two pitches and gave up a homer to Kike Hernandez, but would settle in to last 5 innings recording 7 strikeouts to earn the no decision. The Giants would rally in the fourth to take the lead over the Dodgers thanks to home runs by Steven Duggar and Brandon Belt, it was Belts second homer in two days. The Dodgers would retake the lead in the seventh inning as Austin Barnes started the inning off dropping in a double . Pinch hitter Alex Verdugo who hit a solo homer the night before struck out swinging off a Reyes Moronta (0-1) changeup, the next batter was Kike Hernandez who drew a walk followed by a Justin Turner fly ball that moved Barnes over to third with two outs set up former world series hero David Freese as the next man up. Freese would take a Moronta fastball and drove it off the wall in right center driving in both the tying a go ahead run giving the Dodgers a 4-3 heading into the eighth inning. The Dodgers would add an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a Chris Taylor triple off the right center wall pushing the lead to 5-3. Kenley Jansen would retire the Giants in order in the top of the ninth to secure the Dodgers the series win. The Giants now will shift to their home opener hosting the Tampa Bay Rays (5-2) as the welcome in the new era of their home park which is now renamed Oracle Park. Derek Rodriguez(1-0) will be the one to take the hill and be opposite Tyler Glasnow(1-0).

Giants fall short in comeback bid

The Giants dropped the second game of their series against the Dodgers on Tuesday night as they fought in the ninth inning scoring three runs and having the tying run on third base. The effort was for naught as Pablo Sandoval grounded into the game ending double play . While losing to your rivals is never fun the fight they showed it something of a positive to take in the loss in a season that is set to be one of frustration and missed chances. Madison Bumgarner wasn’t as sharp as his outing on opening day, as he allowed a 5 run third inning which included an error to start the inning by Bum as well as walking the pitcher all made worse by giving up a grand slam to the red hot Cody Bellinger to cap the inning. Although Bumgarner got some revenge by hitting his 18th career home run a two run shot in the sixth inning . For the second night in a row the Dodgers bullpen proved to be shaky against the Giants late in the game as Dave Roberts chose to use Yimi Garcia as they held a 4 run lead in the ninth , but with Evan Longoria leading off the ninth with a single and Buster following with a walk Roberts optioned to go to his closer. As Crawford ripped a ground ball over to Muncy who bobbled the ball to start and a miss handle by Jansen covering first it opened the door wide open for the Giants to keep their hopes alive . With Jansen walking in a run and a strike out of Joe Panik , Gerardo Parra singled home two runs which had the Giants in prime position when Jansen got Pablo to ground into the game ending double play and while it was a big gut punch to the Giants who fought their way back to almost stun their juggernaut of a rival in a game that doesn’t mean much in terms of record , it does have have importance in terms of showing that this team is actually capable of putting runs on the board and that they will not go down this season without putting up a fight till it has been 27 outs, and for that we as Giants fans should embrace what this club brings night in and night out in Bruce Bochy’s farewell tour.

Wildcats primed for 2019….

Chico State Baseball Opens 2019 campaign in Fresno

The 2019 installment of the Chico State Wildcat Baseball team opens their 2019 season against a recognizable face. The head coach for Fresno Pacific is former Wildcat and NCAA National Champion Oscar Hirschkorn. Oscar was a pitcher on the Wildcats 1997 team that captured the Division II title in Montgomery, Alabama.

For Wildcat head coach Dave Taylor this season opening series will give him a glimpse at what he has for the upcoming season. It is also an important preview for the 2019 year, as the Sunbirds are the only in-region out of conference foe on the schedule.

The Wildcats have punched their ticket to the NCAA West Regional 18 times over the last 23 years and this year they want to keep dancing. Nine of those trips to regionals have resulted in nirvana…trips to the Division II College World Series in either Alabama or Cary, North Carolina. To put themselves in position the Cats will need to rely on a virtually brand new cast of characters.

Two years ago the Wildcats were the number one team in the nation and the top seed in the regional before being unceremoniously bounced in the regional. Last year the Wildcats got hot down the stretch and came up with some key wins in the final few weeks to garner the last spot in the regional field but also bowed out in two games.

Taylor says the team’s goals are pretty lofty this season. He says they want to host the Super Regional best of three series that determines who punches their ticket to Cary. To do it, the Cats will need to battle some of the best competition in Division II baseball. UC San Diego is looking to make their third straight trip to the D-II World Series. While they lost some key pieces, they also bring back a strong core that made a memorable post-season run last year.

Chico was able to just edge Pomona for the final NCAA Regional berth. The Broncos return some young solid position players and they always have arms with electric stuff. The Monterey Bay Otters were the top seed at the regional last year, but came up just short in their quest for a regional title.

The season is finally here. The 2019 Wildcats will take the field at 11am on Friday hoping its the first step in a journey that ultimately leads to Cary #RoadToCary

Friday morning at 10:35am click the LISTEN LIVE icon and we will bring you our Chico State pre-game show from Fresno Pacific Diamond. The double-header begins at 11am (weather permitting) with the final game of the series slated for Saturday afternoon at 11am on KpaySports.com, the KpaySports app and AM-1290 KPAY

Photo courtesy of http://www.chicowildcats.com

clemson secures place in history

(AP) — Dabo Swinney kissed the championship trophy and proclaimed this Clemson team the greatest of all time.

He’s got a case.

With stunning ease — and a freshman quarterback — Clemson toppled college football’s greatest dynasty again to become the first perfect playoff champion.

Trevor Lawrence passed for 347 yards and three touchdowns and the second-ranked Tigers beat No. 1 Alabama 44-16 on Monday night in the College Football Playoff national championship game.

In the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Tigers and Tide, Clemson evened the series and beat ‘Bama for the national championship for the second time in three years. Clemson is the first college football team to finish 15-0 since the 1800s, and the first team since the playoff started five seasons ago to get through a season unscathed.

“I mean, our guys had the eye of the tiger, but I’m so proud, and then for our seniors to be able to go out 15-0 and truly be the best ever — there was a lot of talk about best ever all year long,” Swinney said, talking about Alabama. “We were never in that conversation. But tonight, there’s no doubt. First 15-0 team, to beat Notre Dame and to beat Alabama to do it, this team won 13 games by 20 points or more and led by an unbelievable group of seniors, amazing group. I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban and the Tide (14-1) were looking for a sixth national championship in 10 years, trying to add to an already unprecedented run in the sport. Instead, Clemson crushed Alabama, becoming the first opponent to beat the Tide by more than 14 points since Saban became coach in 2007.

Swinney’s Tigers sealed their status as a superpower, no longer just 1A to Alabama’s 1.

“We’re 15-0, we beat the best team ever, nobody’s taking that away from us,” Clemson All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

Two seasons ago it was Deshaun Watson dethroning the Tide with a last-second touchdown pass. Clemson’s new star quarterback didn’t need the late-game heroics. The long-haired Lawrence cut though Alabama’s defense with the help of another fabulous freshman. Justyn Ross made a juggling grab, a one-handed snare and broke a 74-yard touchdown about midway through the third quarter that made it 37-16 and had Swinney high-stepping down the sidelines.

Ross, who scored two touchdowns in the semifinal rout of Notre Dame, had six catches for 153 yards against his home-state team.

Swinney takes a different approach than Saban, running a more fun-loving program than Alabama’s all-business organization. But the results have been every bit as good. And on Monday night at Levi’s Stadium, in a championship game played more than 2,000 miles away from Clemson’s South Carolina campus, the Tigers were way too much for an Alabama team that had spent the season mauling its opposition. The Tide won their first 14 games by an average of 31 points.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa threw two crucial interceptions in the first half, the first returned 44 yards for a touchdown by A.J. Terrell to put Clemson up 7-0. The Tide came in scoring 48 points per game, but was shut out over the final 44 minutes by an opportunistic Clemson defense.

Saban lamented numerous mistakes: blown coverages on third down (Clemson was 10 for 15), stall outs in the red zone and special teams mishaps, including a fake field goal that flopped on the first possession of the second half.

He laid the blame on himself. The Alabama program has set a championship-or-bust standard under Saban, but he didn’t want this season looked at as a failure.

“One game doesn’t define who you are,” Saban said. “But I also told the players that sometimes we learn more when things don’t go well, when we lose.”

Tagovailoa, the sophomore who came off the bench to win the championship game last year for the Tide, went 22 for 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns.

“We had a great season, but five words: Good is not good enough,” Tagovailoa said. “We didn’t finish the way we wanted to finish. We didn’t do the things we needed to do to execute and be successful in this game, and that’s all it is.”

The Heisman runner-up was also the second-best quarterback on the field in the championship game. Lawrence finished 20 for 32, and went 18 for 25 for 277 yards over the final three quarters.

The teenager who took over as the starter four games into the season raised the Tigers’ play, giving them an explosive offense to match a suffocating defense, led by All-American linemen Clelin Ferrell and Wilkins.

“Just these seniors, just taking me in, and they kind of dragged me along until I got my feet under me, and they just — they’re awesome people as well as players,” said Lawrence, the first freshman starting quarterback to lead his team to a national title since Oklahoma’s Jamelle Holieway in 1985.

Clemson hit Alabama with a 31-point first half, capitalizing on the Tide’s mistakes and unleashing Lawrence’s rocket arm.

Tagovailoa threw a second interception in the second quarter, this time into triple coverage, and Trayvon Mullen’s 46-yard return put Clemson in Alabama territory. That led to Travis Etienne’s third touchdown of the half, a 5-yard shovel pass from Lawrence.

With a chance to stamp itself as the best team in Saban’s remarkable 12 seasons at Alabama, the Crimson Tide played maybe the worst half of the coach’s tenure. The 15-point halftime deficit was the largest the Tide has ever faced under Saban.

Alabama seemed panicked in the third quarter, running a fake field goal into a waiting Clemson defense instead of kicking from 40. Three plays later, Lawrence faced down a pass rush and slung a pass to Ross, who was alone after Alabama defensive back Saivion Smith went down with an apparent leg injury.

Ross sprinted away and the shocking rout was on.

Almost as shocking as Clemson, a program that promoted an obscure receivers coach to lead the program 10 years ago, climbing over the traditional powers to the top of college football. Clemson finished No. 1 in the AP poll for the third time.

“Our goal is not to win a national championship. People don’t believe that. Our goal is to win the closer right there. The national championship is just a byproduct of that. It’s never been my goal,” said Swinney, who now has as many titles as Hall of Famers Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno. “I don’t measure teams by that, and I know we’ve got some rabid people that that drives them crazy, but I measure our team based on did we get better, did we reach our potential

Browns eye the Present and Future

By Ryan Mouser

The Cleveland Browns announced today that they have fired Head Coach Hue Jackson following their 33-18 loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While this had been a long time coming as this loss dropped Hue Jackson’s record to a horrific 3-36-1 record, they also choose to do away with Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley who had conflicts with the head coach. Parting with these two makes a lot of sense for new

GM John Dorsey as Hue Jackson was not his hiring and Todd Haley was someone that Jackson bought in. This will allow Dorsey to find a coach he can pair with franchise quarterback and number 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield. With doing away with the coaches this allows Dorsey to get a jump on the coaching search immediately instead of waiting another 8 weeks. Although the first place he should begin to look is the exact place where he found the guy he deemed to be his quarterback and that’s out in Norman, Oklahoma and his name is Lincoln Riley.

Riley took over the Sooners head coaching spot just 2 seasons ago after Bob Stoops retired and he and Baker together led the Sooners all the way to the Playoffs Semifinals in a close overtime loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. That year with Riley, Baker went on the win the Heisman  trophy and throwing for 4627 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and a 70.5 completion percentage. With the Browns looking to match Baker with a head coach that will help him to develop into the franchise cornerstone they drafted him to be, why  not rekindle the relationship that led Baker to have his best season ever and a season which gained him the status of being taken number 1 overall.

GWL Ceases Operations

By Chandler Guadagnin

Three years after it began, it has come to an end. On Thursday morning, Great West League officials announced that the league will suspend operations, effective immediately. The GWL, a collegiate wood bat summer league, began in 2016.

In it’s short life span, the league consisted of 10 teams (6 a year); namely the Chico Heat, Lincoln Potters, Medford Rogues, Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox, San Francisco Seals, Klamath Falls Gems, Lodi Crushers, Sacramento Stealth, Yuba City Bears and Portland Pickles. Only the Heat, Rogues and Gold Sox remained in the league for the entirety of it’s tenure.

In addition to a revolving door of teams, a fluid number of regular season games and an inconsistent playoff format, sources close to KPAY Sports cited a number of issues that, ultimately led to the GWL’s downfall. Reportedly sources stated that both Klamath Falls and San Francisco failed to meet any of their financial obligations for 2018. In addition, the Lincoln Potters, allegedly refused to pay for the umpires used for the 2018 season.

According to the Heat front office, the team searched for other options, to continue play in Summer of 2019. However, the several alternatives they researched were implausible for several different reasons.

It was great to have baseball back in Chico; however short it was. Thank you to the Chico Heat for bringing back baseball. Thank you to the many players who decided to call Chico home for their summer. Most of all, thank you to the loyal fans who cheered so hard from home and in the stands.

Official Press Release

Breaking: Potters Leave GWL

By Chandler Guadagnin

On Wednesday afternoon, the Lincoln Potters announced that the club is leaving the Great West League for the California Collegiate League in 2019.

Lincoln has spent the past two seasons as part of the GWL, compiling an overall record of 72-46. In each campaign, they made it to the post season, posting a record of 2-4.

A 2018, that saw them set a mark of 35-25 (2nd in GWL), culminated in a Championship Series sweep at the hands of the Chico Heat. This is not the first time that a team has left the Great West League.

Following the 2016 season, both the Lodi Crushers and Sacramento Stealth ended their tenure in the league. They were replaced by the Lincoln Potters and Yuba City Bears. At the conclusion of 2017, both of the Portland Pickles and Yuba City Bears bid farewell. Before the Summer of 2018, Yuba City and Portland were replaced by the Klamath Falls Gems and San Francisco Seals.

Teams are not the only thing that have changed from year-to-year, since the league’s inauguration in 2016. The league has made changes to the playoff format each year. In 2016, only the top two teams advanced to the postseason; which, consisted of a best of 3 championship. The next year, the playoffs expanded to 4 teams and 2 rounds. This season, the regular season division winner, received a bye straight to the Championship Series. The second and third teams in the standings, matched up in a best of 3 semifinal set. That was later reduced to a one game winner-take-all semi.

The Great West League needs to get consistent soon, or the league will evaporate completely.

Source: www.lincolnpotters.com

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com