Tag Archives: GWL

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.

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

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.