Tag Archives: Great West League

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.

Heat capture GWL title as pitching leads the way

Facing elimination the Chico Heat turned to their greatest strength.


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

Decisive Game 3 showdown as Heat and Rogues tangle for title

The Chico Heat will look to capture the inaugural championship in the Great West League tonight as they take on the Medford Rogues at Harry & David Stadium in Medford.

Chico forced the decisive game behind the splendid pitching of Arizona product Luke Soroko who pitched a 6-hit complete game striking out 7 and allowing only one earned run. Unlike Friday night’s Game 1, where the Heat committed six errors, the Heat flashed the leather on Saturday, including a nifty force play to quell a Rogue rally in the 5th.

The Heat also got great contributions from the heart of their order as hitters 2-thru-5 (Josh Falco, Keaton Kringlen, Cameron Olson and Daniel Schneemann) combined to go 8-for-17 with 6 runs scored.

Chico will hand the ball to Chico State right-hander Stuart Bradley for the title tilt. Bradley has been a revelation in this starting role for Chico. Ever since his season opening defeat in Marysville where he allowed 6 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning, Bradley has given up only 8 earned runs in an eye-popping 71.1 innings. While Bradley relied solely on a fast-ball and curveball during his collegiate season, his change-up has been his out pitch. His penchant for getting ground ball outs and keeping hitters off-balance has been second to none. He comes into the title game with a 7-2 record and an ERA of 1.75.

Game time tonight is 6:35pm with our pre-game coming your way at 6:15pm.  You can catch all the action right here on http://KpaySports.com or the KpaySports app.

Chico Heat prep for post-season; Phelps chases 22nd Gold

By Mike Baca

The Chico Heat saw their seven-game win streak go by the boards as they fell in Medford on Wednesday night 3-0. One night after securing their spot in the Great West League Championship Series the Heat saw their offense stymied.

Chico will play their regular season finale tonight in Medford and then head home to begin the best-of-three title series at Nettleton Stadium on Friday night. By virtue of having the best record in the league, Medford has home field advantage and will host Game 2 on Saturday and if necessary Game 3 on Sunday.

You can hear all the games on KpaySports.com and the Kpay Sports app that you can download for free in the app store.

*Tickets are still available for the Game 1 of the championship series. You can go to ChicoHeat.com and purchase your tickets online and also on the Chico Heat Facebook page. Tickets are also available at the Heat offices at 1722 Mangrove.


(AP) — The blowouts are over. The Olympics are underway for real in basketball.

After nothing but pushovers this summer, the U.S. men’s basketball team faced someone who pushed back.

The U.S. men’s basketball team is 3-0 at the Olympics after rallying to beat Australia 98-88 for its 20th straight victory in Olympic competition. Carmelo Anthony scored 14 of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter and Kyrie (KY’-ree) Irving added 17 points and five assists.

In his fourth Olympics, Anthony became the most prolific scorer in U.S. men’s Olympic basketball history. He passed LeBron James, who skipped a chance to play in his fourth games after leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an NBA title this season. James scored 273 points during appearances in Athens, Beijing and London.

“We showed a lot of character tonight,” Irving said of the come-from-behind victory.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski (shuh-SHEF’-skee) agreed, saying: “This is the real world now and that’s good for us.”

Next up for Team USA is Serbia on Friday with another group game Sunday against France before the medal round begins.

In other Olympic action:

— Superstar swimmer Michael Phelps has advanced to the final of the Olympic 200-meter individual medley as the top qualifier. Long-time rival Ryan Lochte (LAHK’-tee) will be right next to him again, ranking second. Thiago Pereira sent the Brazilian crowd into a frenzy by staying close to the two American stars, finishing third.

Phelps will be seeking his fourth straight 200 IM title at the Olympics. He’s also got a chance to pull off that feat in the 100 butterfly. Phelps already has won three gold medals this week, and owns 21 gold medals in his Olympic career.

— Katie Ledecky has led the United States to a gold medal in the women’s 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay. It’s her third gold of this Olympics.

— A gutsy performance by Kristin Armstrong provided the American with her third consecutive gold medal in Olympic cycling time trial.

Racing through wind and rain over a demanding course, the soon-to-be 43-year-old finished just 5.55 seconds in front of a Russian. Armstrong also won in Beijing and London.

Armstrong joins speedskater Bonnie Blair as the only American women to win three gold medals in the same event at any Olympics.

— The American men will be seeking gold in the 200-meter breaststroke and the 100-meter freestyle, while the women will be competing in the 200-meter butterfly and the 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

— American Sam Dorman and Mike Hixon won the silver medal in men’s 3-meter synchronized springboard diving. They finished four points behind the gold medalists from Britain. Favored China took the bronze.

— Diana Taurasi drained a personal Olympic-best six 3-pointers as the Americans Serbia 110-84 in women’s basketball. Taurasi wound up with 25 points to help the U.S. to its 44th straight Olympic win.

— In beach volleyball, Americans Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross have finished the Olympic group stage unbeaten, but not before losing their first set of the Summer Games. The U.S. women beat Switzerland 21-13, 22-24, 15-12 to win their pool with a 3-0 record. The round-of-16 begins Friday.

— Nico Hernandez is assured of at least a bronze medal in boxing after beating Ecuador’s Carlos Quipo to improve to 3-0. The medal will be the first in the Olympic boxing tournament for the United States since 2008.

— The United States women’s field hockey team has advanced to the Olympic quarterfinals after defeating Japan 6-1.

— The American beach volleyball team of Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson has been eliminated from the Olympics on a tiebreaker. They are the first U.S men’s team to fail to advance out of pool play in beach volleyball since the 2004 Games in Athens.

— Bad weather washed out 20 of the 26 tennis matches that were on today’s schedule. And the rowing schedule has also been postponed due to the weather.

— Kazakhstan (kah-zahk-STAHN’) has its first Olympic swimming medal — a gold one, at that. Dmitriy Balandin pulled off a stunning upset in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. Josh Prenot of the United States claimed silver.

— Rio Olympic officials say military police are stepping up security after a bus carrying journalists had two windows broken by what it calls “unknown projectiles.” Organizers say a preliminary analysis has shown that stones, not bullets, hit a bus carrying journalists, breaking two windows.

Heat face pivotal series finale versus Pickles

After two tough one-run losses on their sojourn to Portland the Chico Heat face as close to a must-win game as they’ve had all year. With a victory tonight the Heat will be sitting 2.5 games up on Portland with 8 games left to play, but a loss would mean the Pickles will have moved to within a half-game and will be even in the loss column.

What adds to the pressure for Chico is the Pickles clearly have the easier schedule in their final nine games. Chico will play two at home against Sacramento (7-30) and then three at home against Lodi (19-28) but Chico’s final three games will come on the road against the Medford Rogues (35-12) who have won an amazing 17 of their last 18 games.

Portland will play three games on the road starting Wednesday against the Marysville Gold Sox, who suddenly can’t win a game. Then the Pickles will host Sacramento for three and Lodi for two to round out the regular season.

Medford           35-12

Chico                  27-21

Portland           25-22

Gold Sox          24-24

Lodi                    19-28

Sac                        7-30

The winner of tonight’s game has to be considered the favorite to garner that second and final playoff spot. Chico Heat loyalists entered this four-game gauntlet saying a record of 4-2 would put Chico in control of their own playoff destiny. After a sweep against Marysville, the Heat have suffered two one-run losses, including last night’s walk-off defeat.

Chico is having to do a lot of this short-handed, either because of injury or some of their players having to go back to school. The core group is still in-tact but Chico’s playoff fate may ride on these new acquisitions who are trying to put the Heat over the top.

Tonight’s series finale is the biggest game of the year and could very well determine who will play Medford for the inaugural Great West League crown. Game time is at 7:05pm and the Loerke Insulation pre-game will come your way at 6:45. John Potter has the call on the KPAY Sports app and right here on KpaySports.com


*Photo courtesy of Chico Heat at ChicoHeat.com

Playoff format changes as Chico Heat begin two week sprint to the finish line

Tonight begins a two week sprint to the finish line for the Chico Heat in their inaugural season in the Great West League. Chico enters play tonight tied for second place with the Marysville Gold Sox  at 24-19 just a half-game clear of the Portland Pickles for the second and final playoff spot.

During the recently completed All-Star Break the league office completely changed the playoff format in the GWL. The hope was to have 4 of the 6 teams get into the post-season. But, upon further review this “plan” was deemed unfeasible for the first year league. Too many players on all of the teams need to be back at their respective schools. The school schedule was in direct conflict with the GWL’s playoff schedule and so an adjustment needed to be made.

As the league looks to expand in the 2017 season they will also be looking at how to best determine a champion next year as well. Remedies include shortening the regular season by a few games and lengthening the playoffs, doing away with the All-Star Game thereby allowing for longer playoff series’. Possibly instituting a Super Regional feel to the playoffs and having one site host the entire thing. *I should note these are not options I have heard from anyone with the league, these are simply ramblings from your friendly neighborhood play-by-play guy.*

With that said, the “feel” of these final two weeks takes on a different tone. With Medford comfortably in first place it appears there is a three-way race for one playoff spot.

Medford          30-12     .714     —-

Chico                 24-19     .558     6.5

Marysville      24-19     .558     6.5

Portland          23-19     .548       7

Chico plays three games against Marysville beginning tonight at Nettleton Stadium and that will wrap up their season series against the Gold Sox. Marysville has done a lot of their damage against the Heat this season but they are not nearly the same squad the Heat encountered earlier in the season. The Gold Sox have struggled after a blistering 15-2 start. Portland will host the Heat for a three game series early next week in what figures to be a fantastic series with a playoff berth possibly at stake.

The Heat’s fortunes changed when they finally got their the full complement of players. The rotation is probably the deepest in the league with UW’s Adam Davenport and Arizona’s Luke Soroko. Chico State’s Stuart Bradley has been tremendous in the 3rd slot and Ryan Byrd has been a stalwart all season long.

Offensively Chico has thump, with league home run leader and UC Davis product Cameron Olson (5 HR’s) and BYU Freshman All-American Keaton Kringlen providing the big bats in the middle of the order. The Heat are lamenting the loss of Cal State Northridge product Clayton Hubbard to an MCL injury and are mixing and matching to replace the consistent bat he provided all year.

The big question mark for the Chico Heat, as it has been all year, is defense. If they play good defense they are a very tough team to beat. If they kick the ball around, they are in trouble. More often than not this season when Chico gives teams extra outs in multiple innings it has bitten them. Their ability to pick it, and play catch could very well determine whether they will be playing for a championship.

The sprint to the finish line begins tonight as rival Marysville comes to Nettleton Stadium. Two weeks ago we figured it would be a big series. Now, it could be a make a break series with the adjusted playoff format.

Our Loerke Insulation pre-game show is at 6:45pm right here on KpaySports.com and on the KpaySports app that you can download for free in the app store.







Heat pummel Pickles as pitching and pop lead the way

The Chico Heat scored early and they scored often as they trounced the Portland Pickles 12-3  in game one of a big three game set at Nettleton Stadium.

Chico scored single runs in each of the first three innings but busted the game wide open with a seven-run 5th to take Sunday night’s game going away. The Heat banged out 12 hits in the game with seven of them going for extra-bases.

For the third straight game Chico got fantastic starting pitching as Spokane Falls Ryan Byrd pitched seven strong scattering six hits and allowing only two runs. Chico’s bats have been instrumental in their recent surge, it was a big night for Chico State product Josh Falco as he went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and three runs scored including a three-run triple in the decisive 5th.

Chico now sits at (16-16) 1/2 game back of Portland for third place in the GWL and will play 12 of their next 14 games at home as they look to make a strong push toward the finish line in their 2016 season.

The Heat’s fortunes have been buoyed by the consistency shown from their starting rotation. Chico State’s Stuart Bradley and the left-hander Byrd have consistently given the Heat strong outings. Bradley is now 4-2 with a 2.65 ERA. Byrd is now 4-0 with a glittering 1.86 ERA. Now, the Heat are leaning on their two Pac-12 arms, Adam Davenport from the University of Washington and Luke Soroko from Arizona. In five starts Davenport is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA. The red-shirt freshman has 30 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. Soroko, who got his first start of the year after traveling with the Wildcats to Omaha and the College World Series, shined in his season opening start Friday in Marysville. Soroko went six innings giving up five hits one run and striking out five in a no-decision. Soroko has an ERA of 1.03.

This fantastic four will make the Heat a tough team to beat with 25 games left in the Heat’s inaugural campaign.

Heat lose nail-biter; Durant inks deal with Dubs


The Chico Heat were on the brink, but in the end fell one hit short of catching the Marysville Gold Sox on Thursday night in a 4-3 loss to their rivals down the Highway 70 corridor.

Ryan McCarthy pitching 6 innings of 5-hit ball retiring 15 of 16 Heat hitters at one point to pick up his 5th win of the season.

Chico’s defense kept the game tight early as outfielders Jerome Hill and Josh Falco cut down Gold Sox base runners at third base to end the Marysville 1st and 4th innings.

The Heat could only score one run after putting their first two runners on base in the first inning. Chico’s best opportunity for a big inning came in the 7th when they had whittled the deficit to 4-2 and had runners on first and third with no one out, but Marysville reliever Tyler Waldrop escaped the jam, leaving the tying runs in scoring position.

The Marysville win moves them to 19-10 in the Great West League one game clear of Medford who lost to Portland 4-3. With the loss Chico is now 14-15 sitting 5 games back.

Game two of the series is tonight at 7:05pm. You can hear the the game on the Kpay Sports app and right here on KpaySports dot-com with our Loerke Insulation Pre-game show at 6:45

(AP) — Splash: Kevin Durant’s big move to the Golden State Warriors is done.

The Warriors formally announced the signing of the six-time All-Star on Thursday and were set to introduce him with fanfare at a news conference at the team’s downtown Oakland practice facility, where screens read, “WELCOME KD TO DUB NATION.”

Durant announced his decision Monday in a story on “The Players’ Tribune,” then Thursday marked the first day free agents could sign their deals. He joins the NBA runner-up Warriors — who rallied from 3-1 down to beat Durant’s former Oklahoma City Thunder in a thrilling seven-game Western Conference Finals before losing the finals in seven games to Cleveland — on a two-year contract worth more than $54 million. There is a player option after the first year.

(AP) — Ayesha Curry says she “didn’t think about the ramifications” when she called the NBA rigged on Twitter after husband Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the NBA finals.

Curry tells People magazine she regrets the ways she voiced how hurt she was and didn’t mean to offend anyone. She says what she wrote isn’t what she thinks about what her husband does for a living.

Stephen Curry tells the magazine he knows where his wife was coming from and adds that he’s advised her to ignore what people say, because “you’re not going to win any battles on Twitter.”

Ayesha Curry is a popular social media personality with 3.7 million followers on Instagram and 637,000 on Twitter.

(AP) — Yonder Alonso doubled and drove in two runs and Rich Hill tied a season-high with 10 strikeouts in six solid innings to give the Oakland Athletics a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Hill (9-3) allowed three hits and one run to extend his winning streak to six games in his second start since coming off the disabled list on Saturday. Ryan Madson pitched a perfect ninth for his 17th save.

The Athletics trailed by one in the second when Danny Valencia and Khris Davis singled before Stephen Vogt drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. The Athletics tied it when Marcus Semien grounded into a double play that allowed Valencia to score.

Alonso followed with his double to put Oakland up 2-1. He gave the Athletics an insurance run with an infield RBI single with two outs in the ninth.

Heat return home trying to get back in the race

After a brutal two and a half week stretch where the Chico Heat played in five different cities over a 15 days stretch, they finally return home to play in front of their home fans.

Chico dropped 7-of-the-12 games they played, which is good considering injuries to the heart of their order. BYU product and WCC Freshman of the Year Keaton Kringlen fouled a ball off of his shin early on the trip and has been out of the line-up for more than a week. UC Davis product Cameron Olson is also nursing some injuries and has not been available as well. This has led to some make-shift line-ups and has forced Heat manager Fred Ludwig to piece things together.

As the Heat heal they also now get to return home. Chico will play 19 of their next 25 games at home and will not have to make the lengthy trip to Oregon until August. This will certainly be their chance to get right back in the Great West League race.


Great West League W L PCT GB STREAK LAST 10
Marysville Gold Sox 17 5 0.773 1L 7-3
Medford Rogues 12 5 0.706 2.5 3W 6-4
Portland Pickles 8 10 0.444 7 1W 5-5
Lodi Crushers 8 11 0.421 7.5 1L 5-5
Chico Heat 8 13 0.381 8.5 1W 4-6
Sacramento Stealth 2 11 0.154 10.5 7L 2-8


Chico now takes on last place Sacramento at Nettleton Stadium tonight. Game time is 7:05pm with our Loerke Insulation pre-game show at 6:45pm


Heat wrap up home-stand knowing defense must improve….

After dropping two of three against the Portland Pickles this week the Chico Heat (2-4) learned the hard way that DEFENSE MATTERS. Chico committed 11 errors in the three game series against the Pickles hamstringing their chances at taking the three game set.

The short-handed Heat pitching staff had some good moments, but there were also other instances of fatigue. This was to be expected as Chico awaits reinforcements from some Division I schools that are wrapping up their seasons and taking finals. While Chico would have liked to win a few more games, there was a realization that this team will get much stronger in the next few weeks.

Expect some of the new faces to be in the line-up this weekend as Chico takes on the Sacramento Stealth. The Stealth are the traveling road show in the Great West League as their stadium plans were delayed and so they will be playing all 45 of their games this season on the road. They have had four days off after a season opening series loss against the Lodi Crushers last weekend.

HEAT NOTES: Chico’s Keaton Kringlen was named a Freshman All-American this week. Kringlen took over in right field for BYU after an injury and made the most of his opportunity hitting .369 with 5 HR’s and 34 rbi. Kringlen has had a great start to his 2016 Heat season banging out 7 hits in four games. Heat catcher Clayton Hubbard leads the GWL in RBI’s with 12. The junior red-shirt from Cal-State Northridge is a key piece for Chico in the middle of their order. Outfielders Jerome Hill  (Dixie State) and Josh Falco (Chico State) are nursing injuries and their status for tonight’s game against Sacramento will be a game time decision.

First pitch 7:05pm with our pre-game at 6:45pm