La Crosse, Wis. – The La Crosse Loggers front office announced today that field manager Brian Lewis will be returning for his second season at the helm and fifth overall in the Northwoods League in 2017.
After serving as an assistant for the previous three seasons Lewis guided the Loggers to their eighth winning season in the past nine years by posting a 38-33 (.535) mark during his first stint as skipper in 2016. The Lumbermen missed the post-season by 2.5 games, but the 38 wins was the eighth best overall record in the NWL. Under Lewis’ guidance, the Loggers produced a league-high four all-NWL selections in Mason McCoy (Iowa), Griffin Conine (Duke), Cullen Large (William & Mary) and Nick Raquet (William & Mary). The 2016 version of the Loggers enjoyed the long ball as they ranked third in the NWL with 52 homers, led by Conine’s league-leading 16. On the pitching side, the Lumbermen led the NWL in strikeouts as the staff recorded 579 punch-outs, which was the fourth highest team total ever in the 23 years existence of the NWL.
Coach Lewis was credited with bringing two-time Loggers team MVP Mason McCoy to La Crosse with the start of the 2015 season. McCoy went on to become the 2015 NWL MVP and ended his two-year career as the NWL career leader in runs scored (137) and the single-season NWL record holder in hits (112), runs (80), total bases (168), at-bats (305) and games played (71). McCoy also re-wrote the Loggers record book as the everyday shortstop broke nine single season marks and 13 different career records.
Along with serving as the field manager of the Loggers, Lewis is also enjoying his second season as an assistant with the Viterbo (La Crosse) V-Hawks. Prior to joining the V-Hawks, Lewis served as the head coach of the La Crosse Central High School baseball program during the 2014-2015 school year. Before moving to the La Crosse area, Lewis was the hitting coach at Illinois Central College and an assistant coach at Lewis & Clark Community College from 2001-2011. The Alton, Ill. native also coached professionally in the Frontier League (Independent Pro) where 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 for the Dubois County Bombers of the Prospect League. During his time in the coaching ranks, Lewis has coached four current and/or former major league players including Joe Thatcher, Cory Wade, Jeff Gray and Justin Christian.
Inside The Numbers …
– Through 14 seasons of play in the NWL, La Crosse boasts a 475-412 all-time record (.536) setting them up for a chance to record franchise win #500 during their upcoming 15th season of play in 2017.
– The Loggers 360 wins over the past nine seasons represents more victories than any other team in summer collegiate baseball during that time span.
The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The 23-year-old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 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 160 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (CHC). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.lacrosseloggers.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Loggers as your favorite team.