Category Archives: Chico Heat

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

 

Fred Ludwig Steps Down

By Chandler Guadagnin

According to the Chico Enterprise Record, Chico Heat skipper, Fred Ludwig has announced via Facebook, that he has decided to step down as manager of the Heat.

“What an amazing three seasons coaching/managing the Chico Heat,” Ludwig wrote. “Two Great West League Championships, gameday memories that will never be forgotten, and bonds that will never be broken. To the Chico Heat ownership, management, host families, boosters, sponsors, the greatest fans in the Great West League, City of Chico, and of course our radio guys, Thank You. Thank you for your all your support. To all the coaches and players, thank you for your dedication to the team and grinding it out together. I will never forget you guys. I look forward to watching many more games and championships from the stands.”

Ludwig spent three seasons at the helm of the Chico Heat. Over that span, the Heat went 115-59 (.661), including a record-setting 43-14, 2018 campaign.

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

GWL MOY, POY, and Pitcher of Year Named

By Chandler Guadagnin

On Tuesday, Great West League Commissioner, Ken Wilson, announced the GWL Manager of the Year, Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year.

Manager of the Year

Fred Ludwig, manager of the Chico Heat, earned GWL Manager of the Year as he led the Heat to an all-time league record for wins, going 43-14. Ultimately, Chico would claim the 2018 Great West League Title, sweeping the Lincoln Potters in the best of 3 Championship Series.

Player of the Year

Cole Carder of the Medford Rogues claimed Player of the Year honors. In 44 games, Carder hit for a .349 average, with 34 RBIs and 6 long balls.

Pitcher of the Year

Chico Heat Pitcher, Justin Sterner, captured Pitcher of the Year honors. The BYU product, primarily started for the Heat. He went 7-0 with a 3.02 ERA and 75 punchouts in 38.2 innings pitched.

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

2018 All-GWL Teams Announced

By Chandler Guadagnin

On Monday, the Great West League announced the All-GWL teams of 2018. The committee of voters consisted of the team managers. Thirteen players received votes from all six managers in the GWL. The Chico Heat led the way with 13 players selected to either the first or second team. The Lincoln Potters ranked second with 7 honored players. Medford rounded out the top 3 with six honorees; while, the San Francisco Seals, Yuba-Sutter and the Gems each had two.

All-GWL First Team

All-GWL First Team

Honorable Mentions

Chico Heat: Alex Crouch (Consumnes River), Tim Frith (Texas A&M-Arkana), Cole Galvagno (Folsom Lake), Matt Kimura (Chico State), Dalton Smith (Chico State)

Klamath Falls Gems: Kyle Yamada (Hawaii-Hilo)

Lincoln Potters: Austen Swift (William Jessup)

Medford Rogues: Tommy Ahlstrom (Simpson), Blake Baumgartner (UC-San Diego), Kolby Button (Shasta College), Cole Elvis (Cal Berkeley), Gabe Smith (Everett CC)

San Francisco Seals: Jake Vincent (University of Pikeville)

The Great West League will announce the Player of the Year, Pitcher of the Year and the Manager of the Year on Tuesday.

Heat Scorch In GWL Championship Game 1

By Chandler Guadagnin

Game 1 of the 2018 Great West League Championship Series is in the books. On Wednesday night, the Chico Heat and Lincoln Potters met at McBean Stadium, for Game 1 of the best of 3 series. Blake Hannan manned the mound for the Chico Heat. He was opposed by Lincoln hurler, Craig Schmich.

Each team hung goose eggs on the scoreboard; until, in the top of the third inning, the Chico Heat broke through. Andrew Meggs, began the inning with a walk. The next hitter, Cole Lemmel, would also reach via a error by the third baseman. That blunder would prove crucial, as 3 batters later with the bases loaded and one out. Trenton Stowe cranked out a 2-run double. Chico would score three more times in the frame, thanks to RBI knocks from Tim Frith and Matt Kimura.

The Potters would score their only run of the contest, in the bottom half of the inning on a one out, home run off the bat of JJ Santana.

Both squads would remain scoreless, until the Heat added single runs in the 7th and 9th.

Coming into the matchup, it was a question of which would win out: Lincoln’s high-powered offense or Chico’s superb pitching and defense.

Thanks to the outstanding combination of Blake Hannan and the shutdown Heat bullpen, the Heat are one win away from claiming the GWL’s ultimate prize. In all, Heat pitching allowed just 4 hits and 4 walks; while, striking out 11. Following Hannan’s exit after 7, the Heat ‘pen threw 3 innings of no-hit ball.

The Heat bats did the job as well- going 12-34 for an average of .353; including, 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

The Heat will look to close out the series tomorrow night at Nettleton Stadium. Game 2 of the series comes your way at 6:35PM, with the Chico Heat Pregame Show beginning at 6:15. Catch all the action on www.kpaysports.com, the KPAY Sports App and 101.7FM The Edge.

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

By The Numbers: 2018 Chico Heat

By Chandler Guadagnin

This season’s edition of the Chico Heat was unforgettable. This collegiate word-bat league team was record-setting. They set high marks in almost every facet of the game; beginning with their record.

In what turned out to be a 57 game season, the Heat posted an amazing 43-14 record. In fact, they never lost a series all year long, until the final set of the year, when they dropped both games in a fire-shortened, 2 game series against the Lincoln Potters. A team can only do this if they are firing on all cylinders.

In the batting category, Chico was tops in the Great West League, hitting .303, with 608 hits, 32 of which were home runs. The Heat also racked up 469 runs; 402 of them RBIs. The club did not just go up to the plate swinging wildly, they also had a discerning eye. As a team, the Heat drew 332 free passes.

On the defensive side of the ball, Chico came in first with a .963 fielding percentage. They recorded the second least amount of errors (75) with 463 assists.

On the mound, the Heat through to the tune of a league-best 4.03 ERA. The pitching staff struck out 457 batters, in 498.1 innings pitched.

The Heat drew a total of 41,852 fans to Nettleton Stadium. That gave them an average attendance of 1,443 spectators; ranking them first in both statistics for 2018.

The Heat will look to have their regular season success translate to the postseason as they will take on the winner of the Lincoln-Medford first round matchup. Chico will hit the field on the road beginning this Wednesday at 6:35PM. Pregame festivities begin at 6:15PM with the Chico Heat Pregame Show. You can catch all of the Championship Series action on the KPAY Sports App, www.kpaysports.com and 101.7FM The Edge.

Statistics courtesy of www.pointstreak.com

Resolved: Technical Difficulties With Chico Heat Baseball Broadcast

We are currently experiencing technical difficulties. At this time we are unable to bring you the Chico Heat Baseball broadcast on 101.7FM. However, you can still listen on the KPAY Sports App and here, on kpaysports.com. We continue to work on the issue and apologize for the inconvenience. We will continue to update this article with any new information. Thank you for your understanding.

At this time, the Chico Heat lead the Medford Rogues 3-0 in the bottom of the 4th.

8PM UpdateThere are currently no new developments.

8:27PM Update: All technical difficulties have been resolved and we are back on 101.7FM The Edge! Thank you for your patience

Heat dominate first half; gear up for stretch run

Big things were expected from the Chico Heat in 2018 but even their most faithful of followers would not have predicted such domination through the first half of the Great West League season.

Chico enters the mid-point of the summer campaign with a 23-6 record with a five game bulge over the Lincoln Potters and seven games clear of the Medford Rogues.

The Heat have done it with a balance of pitching (4.17 ERA) and offense (.307) leading the league in both team ERA and batting average.

The Heat’s starting pitching has been tremendous with Justin Sterner leading the league in wins (5) and strikeouts (49). Will Clawson has four wins while Shane Gustafson has three victories.

The Heat also have three of the top six ERA leaders with Sterner at 2.46, Gustafson at 3.04 and Tucker Weaver at 3.70. The relief corps has impressed as well with Clawson at 1.86 in ten outings. University of Washington products Cole Eigenhuis at 2.25 in six appearances and Cole Galvagno at 2.84 in five outings. Youngster Reid McLaughlin has appeared in 11 games and has a 2.82 ERA and three saves while Brayden Bonner leads the club with 4 saves and has 26 strikeouts in 18 innings.

The Heat offense has been consistent. Up and down their line-up the Heat have gotten production. Brown University product Parke Phillips is leading the GWL in hitting with a .414 batting average. He has banged out 46 hits while driving in 25 runs. The consistency that Creighton Blue Jay Andrew Meggs has given the Heat can not be over-looked. Meggs is hitting .320 while driving in 20 runs. Cole Lemmel is among the league leaders in home runs with 6 and has driven in 18.

UC San Diego is one of Chico State’s biggest baseball rivals but the Triton program has let the Chico baseball fans borrow of couple of their young stars. Sophomore Brandon Stewart has played in 12 games for the Heat has 20 hits and is hitting a cool .400 with 14 RBI’s and 6 stolen bases. Red-shirt freshman Joe DeBaca is hitting .432 in twelve games with 12 runs batted in. The two Tritons have given the Chico Heat a tremendous boost.

Tanner Roundy is hitting .356 in 14 apperances. Arizona product Jordan Parker is hitting .280 and has driven in 18 runs.

One of the biggest challenges for Manager Fred Ludwig has been to keep everyone happy with playing time. It’s a great problem to have with such and competitiveness on the 2018 squad. Ludwig and the brain-trust of Ryan Lauer and Reece Borges know that having depth is important as the 60-game grind can wear down even the best of players.

After tonight’s game with Lincoln the Heat will have 15 more home games and 15 more on the road.

As well as the Heat are playing they know they want to be playing their best baseball in late July into August with the playoffs a little over one month away. But, so far so good for Chico as they look run away with the regular season.

 

Heat Rally from 8 runs down to stun rival Potters…..

After giving their faithful fans 15 memorable games last year in a newly born rivalry, the lid lifter for the Chico Heat and Lincoln Potters in 2018 did not disappoint.

Trailing the 10-2 going to the bottom of the 3rd and 11-9 going to the bottom of the 9th the Heat rallied for an improbable and thrilling 12-11 win over the Potters in front of a packed house at Nettleton Stadium on Friday night.

Lincoln jumped on the Heat scoring two runs in the 2nd and 8 runs in the third to build the 10-2 lead, but the Heat would chip away four in the 5th and three more in the 6th to cut the deficit to 10-9. After the Potters cashed in a three-base error to start the 7th, the Heat would circle the wagons and deliver another fabulous chapter to this great rivalry.

Heat left-fielder Jordan Parker opened the 9th with a bloop down the left field line. Despite protests from Lincoln that the ball landed foul down the line, the umpire ruled the ball was fair and Parker cruised into 2nd with a double. After a fly out to left, Heat 1st baseman Cade Stephens drew a walk as did Alex Crouch loading the bases with only one out against Potters reliever Josh Ragatz.

With Matt Kimura at the plate and the bases loaded, Ragatz was called for a balk that forced home Parker and moved the tying and winning runs into scoring position and also took away the chance for a game ending double play. Kimura would fly out to deep center and that would bring home pinch runner Tucker Weaver tying the game at 11. The next hitter was UC Riverside product Kai Ho, who had homered earlier in the game, Ho would ground a single into right field bringing home Crouch with the winning run setting off a wild celebration at Nettleton Stadium.

With the win the Heat moved to 8-1 on the season and 6-1 on their current home stand, while the Potters had their four game win streak snapped and they fell to 6-4.

Chico out-hit the Potters 11 to 8 but Chico was quite generous to the Potters issuing 9 walks, hitting 4 Potter batters and throwing three wild pitches, when you throw in the two errors Chico committed the Heat gave the Potters 18 free 90’s in the game. The Potters had a chance to put this game away numerous times but left 12 runners on base, leaving runners at 2nd and 3rd in the 5th, bases loaded in the 6th and runners at 2nd and 3rd in the 9th.

Game two of the series is tonight at The Nett with pre game at 6:45pm and first pitch at 7:05pm