Baseball season is upon us meaning it's a good time to check in with our Chico Heat to see how preparation are coming along for the summer season.
Action News Now's Ross Field met with Heat GM Hunter Hampton Saturday. He's hard at work studying the players that manager Fred Ludwick has been scouting and recruiting. The Heat already have plenty of commits including lots of players from the Division-I level.
Hampton says this year they're trying to assemble a wiser team.
"Last year we found that we won't old enough, we didn't have the leadership. So, this year Fred really wanted to make an effort to get some kids that have some experience. We've got kids from Arizona, BYU, Creighton, of course we've our Dixie State kids, Chico State too, we've got four kids coming from Chico," said Hampton.
The Heat lost in the GWL Championship last season, but they won it the year before.
So, Hampton hopes an older bunch will get Chico back to being the top dog.
It should be another fun season for the fans. In year one, Chico was 15th in the nation in attendance for collegiate wood bat teams but last year they dipped to 29th, granted the hot weather did not help. But that's not good enough for Hampton. He wants to go big this year.
"I want Chico to be listed in the top of collegiate wood bat summer baseball teams. If we can average 2,000 fans a game, we're in the top ten. That's really our goal. It's a challenge. I'm challenging Chico to get your butts in the seats, watch some baseball, eat some hot dogs, support these kids and we'll be in the record books," said Hampton.
Hampton says there will be plenty of deals to encourage fans to come to games. One example is on games that won't feature fireworks show afterwards, kids 12-and-under will eat free all summer long.