LA CROSSE, WIS. – The first former player to become a field manager is coming back to captain the Loggers dugout once again as La Crosse Loggers team officials announced today that Josh Frye will be returning to manage the Loggers in 2024.
Frye, a California native, led the Lumbermen to a 40-28 (.588) mark in 2023 including a Great Plains East division championship and a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020. That postseason berth did not come easy for the Loggers as Frye navigated the 2023 team through a 12-game losing streak in June before going on to win a team-record 27 games in the second half of the season en route to capturing the division title. After starting the season 3-12, La Crosse went 39-17 from June 16 through the end of the season and into the playoffs. The Loggers would sweep the Eau Claire Express in a best-of-three divisional series before eventually losing in walk-off fashion to the St. Cloud Rox in the Great Plains Divisional Championship Game.
“I’m honored to be donning the Loggers uniform again for what will be my 5th season in La Crosse, spanning from player to coach,” exclaimed Frye. “As field manager, I hope to build off the learnings and accomplishments of last year to bring together a team of champions the Copeland Crazies can be proud of this 2024 season.”
Team president Chris Goodell echoed Frye’s sentiments. “This past season showed just how resilient and great our group of players and coaches were when they can persevere through the challenges and adversity that a NWL schedule provides in the way that they did,” said Goodell. “Coach Frye was the ever-steady leader through all of it and we are thrilled to have him returning.”
When Coach Frye returns in 2024, it will mark his seventh season on the Northwoods League circuit. Frye was a key part of the Loggers pitching staff back in 2012 when La Crosse won it’s only NWL title and he returned a year later to lead the NWL in strikeouts while going 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA en route to earning mid-season and postseason all-NWL honors as well as the 2013 Loggers Cy Young Award.
As a collegiate pitcher at Long Beach State, Frye was named a 2014 first team all-Big West pitcher and a 2014 second team all-American after going 8-1 with a 1.94 ERA. In addition to his time with the Loggers, Frye also played summer ball for the Long Beach Legends of the California Collegiate League, where he was their 2012 Pitcher of the Year and was inducted into the Long Beach Legends Hall of Fame in 2015.
Frye also played professionally after college, spending two years in the Los Angeles Angels organization, a year in the Frontier League and finished his final two years in the Western Australia League. He began his coaching career in 2016 as the Assistant Pitching Coach at Long Beach State in 2016, before becoming the pitching coach at Cypress College. The Long Beach, Calif. native had also spent three previous summers as a pitching coach in the NWL, including a stop with the Rochester Honkers during the summer of 2017-18 along with leading the Loggers pitching staff in 2022 before becoming the manager this past season for the first time. Frye also currently serves as the pitching coach at Long Beach City Community College.
The 2024 Northwoods League slate of games is set to be released next month. Season tickets and ticket packages for the 22nd season of Loggers Baseball will be on sale soon with information available at www.lacrosseloggers.com or by calling the Loggers ticket office at 608-796-9553. Fans can also visit the Loggers office at 1225 Caledonia Street, La Crosse between 8:30-5, Monday thru Friday.
The La Crosse Loggers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Now in its’ 30th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 24 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, over 325 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (TEX), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. League games are viewable live at watchnwl.com and on ESPN+. 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.