Category Archives: Crutch’s Corner

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

 

2018 MLB Playoff Schedule

By Chandler Guadagnin

With the Major League Baseball playoffs soon approaching. Here is a visual breakdown of the schedule:

*If necessary

AL Wild Card

Athletics 2 FINAL 7 Yankees
NYY TO ALDS

The AL Wild Card Game can be seen on TBS

NL Wild Card

Rockies 2 FINAL/13 1 Cubs
COL TO NLDS

The NL Wild Card Game can be seen on ESPN

AL Division Series

Game 1 Indians 2 FINAL 7 Astros
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Indians 1 FINAL 3 Astros
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Indians 2 FINAL 11 Astros
HOU TO ALCS

 

Game 1 Yankees 4 FINAL 5 Red Sox
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Yankees 10 FINAL 2 Red Sox
1-1 1-1
Game 3 Yankees 1 FINAL 16 Red Sox
1-2 2-1
Game 4 Yankees 3 FINAL 4 Red Sox
BOS TO ALCS

The ALDS can be seen on TBS


National League Division Series

Game 1 Braves 0 FINAL 6 Dodgers
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Braves 0 FINAL 3 Dodgers
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Braves 6 FINAL 5 Dodgers
1-2 2-1
Game 4 Braves 2 FINAL 6 Dodgers
LAD TO NLCS

 

 

Game 1 Rockies 2 FINAL/10 3 Brewers
0-1 1-0
Game 2 Rockies 0 FINAL 4 Brewers
0-2 2-0
Game 3 Rockies 0 FINAL 6 Brewers
MIL TO NLCS

Games 1-3 of NLDS can be seen on FS1 or MLBN.

Games 4 and 5 of NLDS can be seen on FS1.

AL Championship Series: Best of 7

Game 1 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 13
RHP Verlander TIED 0-0 LHP Sale
Game 2 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 14
Game 3 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 16
Game 4 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 17
*Game 5 Red Sox AT Astros Oct 18
*Game 6 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 20
*Game 7 Astros AT Red Sox Oct 21

The ALCS can be seen on TBS

NL Championship Series: Best of 7

Game 1 Dodgers 5 FINAL 6 Brewers
LEADS 1-0
Game 2 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 13
LHP Ryu LEADS 1-0 LHP Miley
Game 3 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 15
Game 4 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 16
*Game 5 Brewers AT Dodgers Oct 17
*Game 6 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 19
*Game 7 Dodgers AT Brewers Oct 20

The NLCS can be seen on FOX or FS1

World Series: Best of 7

Game 1 NL AT AL Oct 23
Game 2 NL AT AL Oct 24
Game 3 AL AT NL Oct 26
Game 4 AL AT NL Oct 27
*Game 5 AL AT NL Oct 28
*Game 6 NL AT AL Oct 30
*Game 7 NL AT AL Oct 31

The 2018 World Series can be seen on FOX.

This article will be updated as the postseason unfolds, up to the World Series. Scores are updated every 3 innings.

The schedule can also be viewed on www.mlb.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

Official: Cutch to Yankees

By Chandler Guadagnin

According to Buster Onley of ESPN, the Giants have dealt Andrew McCutchen to the New York Yankees, in exchange for two prospects. This season McCutchen hit .255 with 15 home runs, 55 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Cutch led San Francisco in both home runs and stolen bases.

Update: The Giants have announced that they have received INF Abiatal Avelino and RHP Juan De Paula.

Avelino, New York’s 23rd ranked prospect, split time between Double and Triple-A. In 122 games, Avelino hit .287 with 36 extra-base hits (15 home runs) and 25 stolen bases.

In 10 appearances (9 starts) with short-season Staten Island, De Paula (ranked 26th) threw to the tune of a 1.71 ERA; posting a 2-2 record.

Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com and www.knbr.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

Sandoval Out For Season

By Chandler Guadagnin

A day after the Giants’ Johnny Cueto, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery; the club announced yesterday that backup infielder, Pablo Sandoval, will be out for the remainder of the season with a torn right hamstring.

Sandoval’s injury, at first thought not to be very serious, occurred on Wednesday evening when he slid home.

San Francisco has yet to make a corresponding move. It is probable that the Giants will rely on utility man, Alen Hanson, to back up Longoria as needed.

The estimated timetable for an injury of this magnitude is two months.

Cueto Headed For Tommy John

By Chandler Guadagnin

The San Francisco Giants announced, Wednesday afternoon, that right handed pitcher and ace, Johnny Cueto, will undergo Tommy John elbow surgery on Thursday; thus, ending his season.

In recent weeks, it has become clear that Cueto would likely undergo the operation. Cueto even admitted, earlier this week, that he was feeling pain with every pitch. Earlier this season, Cueto received an MRI, which revealed a partially torn ligament in his pitching elbow.

As others have done, the righty, attempted to pitch through the injury and have it repaired in the offseason. Ultimately, this attempt proved unsuccessful. The recovery for this surgery, takes approximately a year to get back to 100%. Accordingly, Cueto will miss the remainder of the 2018 season and the majority, if not all, of the 2019 campaign. Assuming Cueto returns in 2019, he will have approximately two and a half years left on his current contract.

In 9 starts this season, the 11 year veteran, has posted a 3-2 record, while accumulating a 3.23 ERA.

Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com