Wilhite’s blast gives Chico 7-6 win

The fourth lead change of the game was the charm for the Chico Heat on Tuesday night as the Heat’s Marcus Wilhite launched a two run 9th inning shot into the netting above the right field wall giving the Heat a come-from-behind 7-6 win over the Marysville Gold Sox.

Chico had coughed up an early 3-0 lead and had squandered a few opportunities before the Butte College and Oroville-native Wilhite turned the game around on one pitch. After falling behind 0-1 Wilhite launched the next pitch from Lamar University left-hander Noah Sills to deep right. It was the second home run of the year for Wilhite, who will be attending Cal State San Marcos next year to continue his college career.

Chico jumped on the Gold Sox early when Cole Lemmel hit a two-run home run in the 2nd. Chico starter Brian Coffey cruised for the first two innings but ran into command issues in the 3rd walking three straight hitters and then hitting a batter before being relieved. Zach Sherman came in to minimize the damage and two innings later Ryan Sanchez came in to retire all six batters he would face.

The Gold Sox grabbed the lead in the 7th after Tony Bolinger singled home two runs with two outs giving Marysville a 6-5 lead. Andrew Schantz would close the door in the 9th after a couple of walks picking up his second win of the a season. Schantz has yet to allow a run in 7.1 innings on the year.

The Heat go for the series sweep tonight in Marysville as they take on the Gold Sox at 7:05pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:45

Durant Gets it Done with Dubs

By Chandler Guadagjnin

Monday night the Golden State Warriors exacted their revenge on the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kevin Durant played a big part in this quest for the title.

Kevin Durant took a lot of flack for joining the team that knocked him out of the playoffs a year ago. Some said that it was flat unfair that he joined an already stacked team. I submit to you that if the Warriors were as great as had been said, then the Warriors would have taken home the trophy last year. No matter how dominant the core of Curry, Green, and Thompson are, the Dubs couldn’t have gotten it done without one Kevin Durant.

In his 10-year career, Durant has accomplished so much: an 8 time All-Star, a 4 time scoring champ and the 2014 NBA MVP. In joining the Warriors, Durant sought that one thing that had alluded him all these years- an NBA Championship.

The Warriors Small Forward did his part, dropping 39 points in Golden State’s 129-120 Game 5 victory; making him only the sixth player in NBA history to score 30+ points in every game of a five-game Finals.

I have watched his celebration and elation on his face several times and it never gets old. He showed that underneath all of the  competition and stress, it is still just a child’s game. The joy that the game produces is what it’s all about.

Congratulations to the 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors but especially Kevin Durant.

Durant statistics courtesy of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Kevihttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Kevin_Durantn_Durant

Pickles turn series opener sour for Heat

The Chico Heat were looking to stay perfect on the road but a late inning rally by the Portland Pickles resulted in the Heat’s first road loss of the year.

Matt Starcovic’s third hit of the night, a line single to right center plated two runs in the bottom of the 9th giving the Pickles a come-from-behind 8-7 win over Chico.

Chico had scored in six of the first seven innings but their inability to tack on runs proved to be their undoing. Justin Watari got the Heat on the board in the 1st with a solo home run. Jake Davison would hit a solo shot in the 3rd. Chico was scoring but also leaving a lot of runners on base as they left the bases juiced in both the 2nd and 5th innings. With that said, Chico led 7-3 going to the bottom of the 7th inning. That’s when the tables turned as the Pickles got to the Heat bullpen.

Portland would score three runs in the 7th. The rally was aided by a dusk-aided pop up double that was lost in the high sky by Heat fielders. Portland was also fortunate to see a popped up bunt land untouched on the wet turn between first and second that extended the inning.

The Heat still took a 7-6 lead to the bottom of the 9th but Tanner Clark walked the first two hitters in the 9th, after a SAC bunt moved the runners into scoring position, Clark would walk Bobby Kinne to load the bases setting the stage for Starcovic’s heroics.

Watari went 3-for-4 for the Heat with a double and a home run driving in two. Cole Lemmel went 3-for-5 and drove in a run.

Mikey Wright pitched great for Chico. The Chico State product twirled six innings scattering six hits giving up three runs while walking no one and striking out 7.

Chico and Portland will play game two of this three game series tonight at 7:05pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:45pm on the KpaySports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com. Just hit the listen live tab to hear all the action

7-run lead slips away as Heat drop series opener to Potters

A 10-3 lead is usually a sure thing but on Monday night at Nettleton Stadium the Heat learned the hard way that baseball can be fickle.

The Lincoln Potters scored eight unanswered runs in a stirring comeback to capture game one of a big early-season series between to the pole sitters in the Great West League.

Zachary Hall’s infield broken bat pop-up single scored pinch-runner Jacob Allen from third base with the tie-breaking run in the top of the 8th for Lincoln. Chico had a chance to win it in the bottom of the 9th, loading the bases with no one out but Zach Hoffman came in and shut the door striking out two and sniffing out a suicide squeeze.

Chico was led by Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga who had his second straight five hit game going 5-for-5. Jack Rotteveel went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI’s. Chico banged out 17 hits but stranded 14 runners and also committed 5 costly errors that kept Potter rallies alive.

The two teams meet in game two the three-game set on Tuesday night at The Nett. First pitch is at 7:05pm with the pre-game at 6:45pm on the KPAYSPORTS app and right here on KpaySports.com

 

Chico Heat in first place showdown with Potters…..

The Chico Heat open a three game series versus the Lincoln Potters in what is an early season showdown for first place in the Great West League.

Chico is coming off of a three game sweep of the Medford Rogues over the weekend. The Heat captured the series finale on the strength of a 13-run 2nd inning on Sunday night. Chico would hammer the Rogues 16-7 as six Heat hitters had multi-hit games led by Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga’s five hit game. Jack Rotteveel and Zach Sherman each drove in five runs.

Chico and Lincoln both come into Monday night’s contest with 5-1 records. The first two games of the three game set will be played at Nettleton Stadium while Wednesday’s series finale will be at McBean Stadium in Lincoln. All games will start at 7:05pm and can be heard on 101.7 KVXX and the KpaySports app.

Chico Heat shut down Pickles to move to 2-0 on season

For the second straight night the Chico Heat got a stellar pitching performance as they shut down the Portland Pickles 4-1 on Wednesday night.

Feather River College product Justin Watland shut down the Pickles  tossing 6 innings of 4-hit shut-out baseball walking no one and striking out four. Tanner Tokunaga, Marcus Wilhite, Chris Smutny and Bailey Zimmer each had two hits accounting for all the knocks the Heat would get. Chico State product Andrew Schantz pitched a scoreless 9th striking out the side to pick up the save.

Chico won their season opener on Tuesday 6-4 behind 5 innings of one-hit shut-out relief from Chico product Samson Abernathy. The Heat were able to rally from an early 4-0 deficit to get the win.

Chico will now go for the series sweep on Thursday as they host Portland at 7:05pm at Nettleton Stadium. Rory Miller will have the play-by-play with the Heat pre-game at 6:45pm. You can listen on 101.7 FM or the KpaySports app, also right here on the KpaySports website.

New Day….New Energy…..I Believe

Tommy Lasorda was asked after a tough loss once how he slept ?

“I slept like a baby, one hour up and one hour down.”

I imagine the Chico State Wildcats baseball team had a few restless hours after laying their heads on the pillow last night. The magical comeback resulting in victory was not to be at the Division II West Region Baseball Tournament and now the #1 ranked in the nation Wildcats have no more tomorrows, because today, and today only is their day of reckoning.

The Wildcats will take on Division-I bound Cal Baptist this morning in an elimination game at this regional. The winner gets to keep playing while the loser sees their season come to an unceremonious end.

In my 20 years calling Chico State baseball this team ranks right up there with some of the best and most fun I have ever called. At no time do I ever believe this team is out of a game. As I sit writing this I don’t see a daunting task in front of them that may seem to the outsider as insurmountable. I see another challenge laid down before this incredibly competitive and talented group.

How does a club win four or five games in four days against really good teams ? Ahhhh, there’s the trap. Chico State doesn’t have to win four or five games in four days. All they have to do is win today. That’s it. Just win today. Win the moment. Win the present. Be aware, with laser like precision of this very  moment and the Wildcats will be fine.

This team has always wanted to do things that this historic program has never done. Here is their chance. No Chico State baseball team has ever come back to win a regional, let alone play for a regional or World Series title after dropping their first game. The gauntlet has been cast. The challenge is before them.

I am excited to see them get after it today !!!

 

Let the Second Season Commence…..

It was a record-setting regular season for the Chico State baseball team notching 41 against only 8 defeats and now the Cats enter the most important time of the year, the post-season.

Chico opens CCAA Tournament play against Cal State Los Angeles. The Wildcats swept the Golden Eagles in mid-April at Nettleton Stadium beating LA 11-8, 7-1 and 8-1 . LA is playing better baseball having won 6-of-their-last-7 after losing 8 in a row.

Chico sends CCAA Pitcher of the Year and Newcomer of the Year Casey Costello to the hill this morning. Costello led the nation in wins with 12 and notched a glittering 2.05 ERA.

Listen on the LISTEN LIVE tab at 11am to Chico State post-season baseball……

Update: Bumgarner Officially Diagnosed; Will Miss 3 Months

By Chandler Guadagnin

The San Francisco Giants have announced today that Madison Bumgarner has been officially diagnosed with a Grade 2 left shoulder sprain, which he sustained during a dirt bike accident last week.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner started four games, going 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA. In 27 innings pitched, Madison struck out 28 batters while issuing four free passes and surrendering 2 home runs.

The injury will sideline him through the All-Star Break.

Statistics courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com

Bumgarner Out 2 Months After Motor Bike Accident

By Chandler Guadagnin

The 6-11 Giants received more bad news on Thursday. Their ace Madison Bumgarner will be out 6 to 8 weeks with bruised ribs and  a Grade 1 or 2 AC strain in his left shoulder, which he sustained during a motor bike accident during the team’s off day in Colorado. Bumgarner was placed on the 10-day Disabled List following the accident. MadBum, who was taken to the hospital, and has since been released.

In four starts this season, Bumgarner is 0-3 and owns a 3.00 ERA with 28 strikeouts and four walks, while allowing 2 home runs in 27 innings pitched.

To say that San Francisco has had it difficult in the injury department is an understatement. Thus far, in  17 games, the Giants have placed Buster Posey on the 7-day concussion DL, lost Jarrett Parker for 10 weeks after he suffered a fractured clavicle and have now added Bumgarner to that list. Before the season even started, San Francisco was forced to surrender pitcher, Will Smith, to Tommy John surgery and shelf Michael Morse after a hamstring injury.

The Giants will slot Ty Blach into the rotation to replace Bumgarner.

Statistics courtesy of baseball-reference.com