Category Archives: Chico Heat

Chico and Lincoln will settle summer long rivalry tonight

Rarely does a rivalry take on a life of its own in one ten week summer baseball season. But, with tonight’s 15th installment of the Chico Heat and Lincoln Potters their summer long dispute will come to a decisive end.

Tuesday night the Potters beat Chico 10-7 forcing the third and final game in the series to determine who will play Medford or Portland on Friday in the best-of-three Championship Series.

Chico and Lincoln have been primary antagonists all season long. Both Chico and Lincoln have had thrilling wins against one another, snatching victories in dramatic fashion. The Heat captured Game One of the series on Monday in a 10-inning 4-3 thriller.

Rarely does a 10-week summer lend itself to the birth of rivalry but in the case of Chico and Lincoln it is clear. While the respect is clear, the joy and zest they get from beating one another is evident. Tonight’s winner will lay down the final gauntlet in what has been a tremendous 10-week ride. One team advances to try and capture a title, while the other is left to wonder what happened on a muggy Wednesday night in Chico.

Wild Pitches set stage extra inning loss for Heat

It wasn’t the Zach Hoffman double in the 10th inning that beat the Heat last night in Lincoln. When you dig deeper and see what ultimately led to Chico’s second extra-inning loss in less than a week the culprit were those free 90’s the Heat gave up in the 1st and 7th innings.

In the first inning a wild pitch with a runner at first and two outs moved Lincoln’s Will Law into scoring position. Two pitches later a double would bring home Law. He most likely would not have scored if he wasn’t at second base.

In the 7th with the Heat leading 3-1 the Potters put runners at 1st and 2nd with no one out. A wild pitch would move the runners to 2nd and 3rd and the Potters would again take advantage getting a SAC fly and an infield single to plate the tying runs.

The post-mortem of the Heat’s loss clearly points to self-inflicted wounds in their second straight loss to this season’s bitterest of rivals.

Chico still could have won Friday night’s game after loading the bases with no one out in the 9th inning but a ground out, strike out and ground out ended the threat and set the stage for Lincoln’s walk-off win.

Tonight will mark the half-way point for the 2017 season and after Saturday’s series finale the Heat will only have two games left against Lincoln. A win tonight moves Chico 1/2 game behind Lincoln, a loss and the Heat fall three back in the loss column.

Many feel these two are on a collision course for a playoff match-up, if that’s the case a win tonight would go a long way in determining home-field advantage should they meet in early August.

First pitch tonight is at 7:35pm with pre game at 7:15pm on the KpaySports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com

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

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.

Keeping Up With Kringlen

By Chandler Guadagnin

Many would agree that they did not get enough of former Chico Heat and Brigham Young University Cougar right fielder, Keaton Kringlen, this past summer. Not to worry. You can log onto www.kpaysports.com to read updates about the blossoming college career of Keaton Kringlen.

In 51 games played this past summer, Keaton Kringlen compiled 59 hits, 19 walks, 17 strikeouts and 28 RBIs on his way to a .303 batting average. Of those 59 hits, 8 were doubles, 1 was a triple, and 3 were homers. In his Freshman year with the Cougars, Keaton played in 42 games accruing 12 doubles, no triples and 5 home runs. Kringlen had a .369 batting average, a .560 slugging percentage and a .442 on base percentage. On defense, Kringlen was almost perfect as he fielded to a percentage of .979. For his outstanding Freshman performance, Kringlen was dubbed the WCC Freshman of the Year.

In a 12-1 preseason thumping of the Curaçao National Team, Kringlen contributed to the win with a 2 run single in the eighth. Fellow Cougar and former Chico Heat infielder, Daniel Schneeman, smashed an inside-the-park grand slam in the seventh inning.

The Cougars are set to next hit the field on February 17th at 1:00PM PT against Georgia Tech in Georgia.

Statistics courtesy of www.byucougars.com and www.chicoheat.com

Heat capture GWL title as pitching leads the way

Facing elimination the Chico Heat turned to their greatest strength.

Pitching.

With two stellar pitching performances the Heat captured the inaugural  Great West League Championship by beating Medford twice on the road. After a dismal Game One performance, where the Heat committed six errors and lost 12-4, the Heat rebounded with two wins to capture the title.

Chico was able to score 9 runs in their Game 2 win but the story was the performance of Arizona Wildcat Luke Soroko. The right-hander, 17 months removed from Tommy John surgery, took a scalpel to the Medford Rogues line-up limiting them to six hits and one earned run in a complete game victory as they Heat forced a third and final game.

Game 3 featured the penultimate game of Stuart Bradley’s year.  The Chico State right-hander pitched a complete game 4-hit shut-out striking out six, while the Heat offense cashed in an error, a bunt and a single from Wildcat teammate Kyle Kramer to score the only run they would need.

The clincher was quite the capper for Bradley who gave up only 8 earned runs in the final 80 1/3 innings he pitched on the season. Bradley rediscovered his change-up this summer, after losing confidence in the pitch during his Chico State season. He had three pitches he could throw for strikes and avoided the big inning which plagued him at times out of the bullpen for Wildcats.

The Heat certainly had a formidable line-up with BYU products Keaton Kringlen and Daniel Schneemann having fantastic summers. Kringlen hit well above .308 with 3 HR’s and 28 RBI. Schneemann hit .334 with 26 RBI and got hot at the perfect time down the stretch for Chico. UC Davis Aggie Cameron Olson was an extra base hit machine banging out 17 doubles and 7 HR’s during the year. Chico State outfielder Josh Falco had a solid season driving in 22 runs and banging out six triples, while also getting dosed 16 times.  All of the complimentary offensive pieces were critical to the Heat’s success down the stretch, but the run to the post-season probably would not have been possible without the play of Jerome Hill and Miles Bice. The Dixie State teammates had to leave the squad early to get back to school in St. George. Even though they weren’t there for the conclusion, the two can take great pride in their contributions to the championship.

The numbers are staggering for Chico’s BIG THREE on the mound and when you throw in the performances of Austin Lee and Ryan Byrd, there is no denying how important the Heat’s dominance on the mound led them to a Heat championship.

Luke Soroko 4-0 1.67 ERA

Stuart Bradley 8-2 1.57 ERA

Adam Davenport 4-3 2.28 ERA

Ryan Byrd 6-1 1.66 ERA

Austin Lee 2-4 3.98 ERA

The hashtag usually reads #PitchingWins, and in the Heat’s case, it not only wins, it won them a championship