Chico Heat Coaching Staff

Fred Ludwig – Field Manager


Ludwig, a former First Team Academic All American with Chico State Baseball, previously held the position of head baseball coach at Pleasant Valley High School where he earned a .729 winning percentage over a three year period. As a three-year baseball letterman at Chico State, Ludwig’s teammates elected him as their Team Captain 1991.

Fred is recognized as a community leader through his efforts with local kids. He has coached and mentored hundreds of our kids with both the Chico & Paradise American Legion baseball teams. Born and raised in Northern California, Ludwig is enshrined in the Paradise High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ryan Lauer


Coach Lauer is entering his first season with the Chico Heat after spending the last 6 years coaching college baseball throughout the Midwest and New Mexico. Ryan is a native of Chico and graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in 2005. Lauer grew up playing in the Chico American Legion program, while having playing stints at Butte College and Feather River College and was a standout for the NorCal Pirates summer collegiate team from 2008-2011. In the summer of 2015, Lauer was the Head Coach of the Springfield Sliders in Springfield, Illinois which is a summer collegiate team that plays in the Prospect League. He is currently living in Chico and working towards a Master’s Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration. His father Jim and his mother Deedee have worked at Butte College and Enloe Hospital for over 30 years and his younger sister Alexis works as a preschool teacher in Chico.

Reece Borges


Chico baseball fans should already know Reece well – for three seasons he was one of the anchors of the Chico Heat pitching staff, and for two years Borges was the pitching coach under Anthony Fello at Butte College. As a player, the Florida Marlins drafted Reece, a right-hander from Reno, Nevada into the major leagues in 1996 after starring at Lassen Junior College. Borges spent two seasons in the Miami Marlins system and another in the Houston Astros organization.

In 2000, Reece came to Chico and immediately became the workhorse of the Heat pitching staff and was a key member of Chico’s 2002 WBL championship team. Reece retired following the ’02 season with the third most career victories (19) in Heat franchise history, and ranked second all-time among Heat pitchers in innings pitched (275), third in complete games (4) and fourth in strikeouts (174). Reece is married to Allison and has two boys, Dominic and Brayden that currently play little league baseball at Chico Central.

Joe Garcia


Joe, a native Californian, comes from a baseball family and has a true love of the game. He was raised in the East Bay and is the youngest of five children all of whom played baseball and softball competitively. Joe lives and breathes baseball. He played college baseball at Los Medanos Jr College and later was named head coach for Ygnacio Valley JV baseball, Most recently, Joe has been an assistant coach at PV High School. Joe is married, has two daughters, and lives in Chico.

Kurt Laver


Kurt Laver is a Chico local who graduated from Pleasant Valley High in 2010. From there he played two years at Mendocino Community college earning All-Bay Valley Conference honors in both seasons and making the All-NorCal team as a sophomore. He transferred to Youngstown State University, a Division One school in Ohio, where he helped the Penguins storm through the Horizon Conference tournament and into the Bloomington Regional where they faced Indiana, Indiana State and Stanford. Laver came back to Chico State for his senior year where he proved himself to be the go to guy out of the bullpen and led the Wildcats with the most innings pitched of any reliever on the staff in 2015.

Chico Heat Sets Great West League Attendance Record in 2016

Fireworks Brought to You by Golden Valley Bank

What goes better with 4th of July than hotdogs, cold beer and baseball? Ask 4,415 Chico Heat Fans and they will tell you that baseball and fireworks is a recipe for success. Celebrating America's independence with over 4,000 fans, the Chico Heat set the Great West League single game attendance record while defeating the first place Medford Rogues. "The goal for tonight was to make sure we provided an affordable, family fun atmosphere for our fans on a day that rings true for many Americans" said Heat GM Hunter Hampton. [...]

Firework shows of this magnitude can cost upwards of $1,000 a minute said Hampton and added the show was made possible thanks to a partnership with Golden Valley Bank. Golden Valley Bank is responsible for bringing three fireworks shows to Chico this baseball season. As the fireworks sponsor, President and CEO Mark Francis of Golden Valley Bank was excited to see the crowd and said " this is the best, family, fun event in all Chico on the 4th of July."

Immediately following the game the fans were treated to a show that lasted almost 16 minutes where players, coaches, and host families sat along the first base line as the speakers blasted Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA and other patriotic songs. "The best fireworks show I have ever seen in Chico." said one season ticket holder after the game.

Nettleton Stadium seating capacity is approximately 4,200 seats and has two areas that are designated as a beer garden and picnic area. Each of these areas has picnic tables to sit and can hold up to another 300 people each. Once the announcement was made that there would be no more seats available to the 4th of July game, the Heat front office chose to offer standing room only tickets (SRO) where people could choose to stand and watch or visit one of the two picnic table areas to sit down and watch.

The Chico Heat and Golden Valley Bank will be offering more firework shows this upcoming year for the 2017 season. Tentatively, four shows are scheduled for Opening night, Fourth of July, GWL All-star game, and Military Appreciation Night.