La Crosse, Wis. – The La Crosse Loggers baseball club announced that pitching coach Mike Siwiec, third base coach Brian Lewis and first base coach Juan Calderon will be returning for the 2014 season and reuniting with field manger Jason Nell in the Logger dugout.
Under Siwiec’s guidance, the Loggers pitching staff ranked second in the entire NWL with a 3.52 team ERA while limiting opponents to a .238 batting average. Loggers pitchers also ranked fourth in the NWL with 545 strikeouts. Siwiec is currently in his fifth season as an assistant coach at Kishwaukee Junior College in Malta, Ill. where he oversees the Kougars pitching staff. Summer baseball is familiar territory to Siwiec as he served as the field manager of the Dekalb County Liners of the Prospect League & Midwest Collegiate League from 2010-2012, compiling a 79-72 record during that span. Siwiec is also familiar with professional baseball as he spent two seasons in the New York Yankees farm system after being drafted by them in the 29th round of the 1981 MLB amateur draft out of Triton Junior College.
Alton, Ill. Native Brian Lewis is currently in his third season as the hitting coach at Illinois Central College and excited to be returning to La Crosse for his second stint in 2014. Along with manning the third base coaching box this past summer, Lewis was instrumental in helping Logger hitters set new single season for most hits in a season (651) and most RBI’s in a season (366). Prior to joining the staff at Illinois Central College, Lewis served as assistant coach at Lewis & Clark Community College from 2001-2011. Lewis coached professionally in the Frontier League (Independent Pro) as well. He was director of baseball operations as well as the hitting coach for the River City Rascals from 2003-2006. Lewis’ summer collegiate experience dates back to the years 2001-2003 when he was the field manager of the Dubois County Bombers of the Prospect League. During his time in the coaching ranks, Lewis has coached four current major League players including Joe Thatcher, Cory Wade, Jeff Gray, and Justin Christian.
Returning to man the first base coaching box for the Lumbermen next summer will be Juan Calderon. Calderon is in the midst of his first season as an assistant coach at The College of Albemarle (North Carolina). Calderon previously served as the top assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College, where he worked with Loggers skipper Jason Nell. The Carcas, Venezuela native has also spent two summers as an assistant in the Perfect Game League, working in 2011 with the Amsterdam Mohawks and then in 2012 with the Cooperstown Hawkeyes. Calderon is a 2010 graduate of Oakland City College where he was a standout for their baseball program, having served as a team captain during his senior season.
The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized summer collegiate baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.lacrosseloggers.com.