Heat sitting in good spot as halfway point approaches….

For the first time in 12 days the Chico Heat got a day off and they certainly looked like they needed the break.

The offensive prowess they showed agains the first place Medford Rogues at Nettleton Stadium did not accompany them to Marysville as the Heat were swept in a mini two-game set by the Gold Sox on Sunday and Monday. The day off gives the Heat a chance to decompress and recharge as they get ready for a four-game showdown versus the Lincoln Potters on Wednesday night.

The Heat lost a gut-wrencher on Monday night, a 13-inning 1-0 loss where the Gold Sox managed only four hits and stranded 17 runners but cashed in a walk, hit batsman, an error and SAC fly for the win. Chico wasted numerous opportunities in losing both games and Manager Fred Ludwig could sense his team was in need of a day off before Monday’s loss.

The Heat and Potters will lock horns on Wednesday at Nettleton Stadium with the Potters hosting the games Thursday-thru-Saturday at McBean Park. Even though the Potters are the new kid on the block they do not carry themselves like newbies. The Heat and Potters have taken turns beating each other on their home fields and the games have been unpredictable and spirited. The two squads figure to be going back and forth the rest of the season, but after Saturday’s game the two teams will only play one another twice in the final 30 games of the year.

Going into Wednesday’s series opener Hawaii-Pacific product Tanner Tokunaga leads the Great West League in four offensive categories, batting average (.385) hits (42) runs (29) and stolen bases (17) he also sits third in the league in walks with 18, trailing teammates Justin Watari (24) and Marcus Wilhite (23.)

The Heat also lead the league in stolen bases with a staggering 61 steals in 26 games. Chico is the third best hitting team in the league batting .292 and they have the second best on-base percentage at .401

Chico’s pitching is improving and they now have the second best team ERA in the league with an ERA of 4.64. They have the best WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched. Heat pitchers have surrendered the most hits in the league but they have issued the fewest walks.

GREAT WEST LEAGUE STANDINGS

Updated as of June 28

MEDFORD                    18-8             –

LINCOLN                        15-10       2.5

CHICO                             15-11          3

PORTLAND                  11-14       6.5

MARYSVILLE               9-16          8.5

YUBA CITY                    8-17          9.5

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.