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 To Host the All-Star Game

Get your All-Star tickets now by calling 725-5444 or visit to buy tickets online.

The GWL All-Stars will be looking to leave their mark on the league’s mid-summer classic, showcasing their pro-prospect skills at Nettleton Stadium on the campus of California State University, Chico on Monday, July 24, beginning at 7:05 pm. The official pre-game ceremony will begin at 6:40pm with the introduction of this year’s All-Stars followed by the National Anthem. The Home Run Durby will begin at 5:15pm. Gates will open at 3:30pm for fans to watch batting practice, if they wish.   [...]

Last year, the All-Star Game was played in Medford, OR where the league’s best players were taken from each team and divided into North vs South rosters. This year, the All-Star game will offer fans a bit of a twist as the 2017 Chico Heat will face the best players from each of the five other teams in what the league has coined a “Chico Heat vs. the league” match-up.

“We wanted to give our fans in Chico an opportunity to see their home team take on the most talented players in the league and quite frankly some of the best baseball prospects in the country” said Heat GM Hunter Hampton.

The GWL World team will be compromised of twenty-three (23) players –nominated by the league managers; twelve of these players will be players identified by the Major League Scouting Bureau as “top prospects.” The roster for league team will be named Tuesday July 19th. Chico will have its entire roster available to play and will be coached by skipper Fred Ludwig. Last season, Ludwig was named 2016 GWL Coach of the Year and won the GWL Inaugural Season Championship with the Heat.

In the days leading up to the All-Star game, parents and fans will have the opportunity to bid on one of two Batboy/Batgirl spots: one for the Chico Heat and one for the World team. Proceeds from this bid process will go entirely to the Boys and Girls Club of North Valley. Stay tuned to for bidding details.

Chico Heat season ticket holders and twelve (12) game mini-plans will have their All-Star Game tickets included and individual tickets will go on sale May 15, 2017. For more ticket information call the Chico Heat office at 530-725-5444.

About the Great West League:

The Great West League is one of the premier summer collegiate wood bat leagues in North America, providing a professional, minor league-like atmosphere for top college players seeking professional baseball careers, while providing affordable family entertainment and enriching the quality of life in its member communities.



Hunter Hampton, Chico Heat GM

530-725-5444 (w)