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Knights Daily Update

Closing in on a title

August 2, 2011

We're closing in on another title.

One more win (or a Cowlitz loss) clinches a playoff berth, and one more win (and a Bend loss) wraps up our fifth West Division regular-season championship in a row.

Ryan Gorton is the co-WCL Player of the Week, we've won seven WCL series in a row, and are 18-4 since July 6. It really is a great time to be a Corvallis Knight.

We can wrap this thing up once and for all during our three-game series at Klamath Falls, which starts tonight and runs through Thursday. The expansion Gems are in last place in the WCL West but they're no doubt itching for revenge after losing four straight to the Knights at Goss Stadium last week.

Chase Johnson of Cal Poly gets the start tonight. Kyle Hart of Redlands will start on Wednesday, and Dylan Stuart of UC Riverside will start on Thursday. That's a formidable rotation, with two WCL all-stars (Johnson, Stuart) and a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference all-star (Hart) on the mound.

Then we're back home for nonleague games against the WCL Portland Dukes and Ports on Friday and Saturday. We wrap up the WCL home schedule against Cowlitz on Monday and Tuesday, then head up to Longview for the regular-season finale on Wednesday night.

The playoffs will start on Friday, Aug. 12. Stay tuned for playoff ticket information, pairings and locations.

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The new camouflage jerseys we wore on Sunday games this season will be auctioned off during Saturday's home game with the Portland Ports.

We hope to see you this Friday night when your first-place Knights return home to play a non-league game vs. the WCL Portland Dukes. It's Mini Bat Night, presented by Barker Uerlings Insurance; the first 250 fans will receive a free Knights mini bat.

It's also our final Bicoastal Media $50,000 Friday. One lucky fan will get the chance to throw three strikes to win $50,000 in cash.

More cash is up for grabs on Saturday on $1,000 Kids Dash for Cash Night, presented by Dr. Curtis E. Trammell. Kids 10 and under are eligible to make the dash for the cash.

We've already set a team record for attendance this summer, but we want to build on that even more. So come on out to the ballpark!

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We're taking a radio feed from KLAD-AM 960 Klamath Falls for our series with the Gems. We can assure you that Gems' play-by-play announcer Michael Garrard will do an excellent job.

And be sure to listen to the MLB and West Coast League score updates delivered by his son, Cooper, who rocked Goss Stadium last week during his inning as a junior announcer.

Here's a link to the KLAD home page, where you can click on the icon to get the broadcast. It's also available on our web page, www.corvallisknights.com

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Cowlitz pitcher Jeff Gold threw a 5-hit shutout Monday night in a 2-0 victory, giving him three complete games this season. That ties the West Coast League record, set in 2010 by Ben Guidos of the Bend Elks, a former Corvallis Knight (2009).

Cowlitz is one game behind Bend in the battle for the West Division's other playoff spot. Each team has six games remaining.

So there's a good chance Gold - who defeated the Knights 2-1 in Cowlitz on July 24 - will be pitching again next Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when the Knights and Black Bears meet, and thus not available for the West Divison playoff series (should Cowlitz be involved), which starts Aug. 12.


Knights' magic number is one

August 1, 2011

We'll be brief today; the WCL All-Star Game and six home games in five days have left the Blog a little worse for wear.

The Knights' win over Bend and Kitsap's victory over Cowlitz on Sunday reduced our magic number for playoff qualification to one.

The top two teams in each division advance to the best-of-3 divisional playoffs. And we lead the third-place Black Bears by six games with seven games remaining.

So any win by the Knights or any loss by the Black Bears in the final week of the West Coast League season will clinch a second-place finish for the Knights (at the very least) and a fifth consecutive playoff berth.

It could happen tonight. We've got ace Chris Johnson going for us at Bend, while Cowlitz plays at Kitsap, and has to face BlueJackets' ace Richie Mascheri.

Obviously we have our sights set higher than second place; we're gunning for a fifth straight West Division title. But to win the playoffs you have to be in the playoffs, so making sure we will reach the playoffs is our immediate objective.

We also lead second-place Bend by four games with seven to play. A win tonight would give us a five-game edge with six games left, a mightly fine position to be in, for sure.

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Knights' catcher/outfielder Ryan Gorton of Oregon State was named the co-West Coast League Player of the Week on Monday.

He was 11-for-24 (.458) in six games, with 11 RBIs. He had nine RBIs in the four-game sweep of Klamath Falls and is hitting .325, with 16 RBIs, for the season.

He shared the award with Cowlitz pitcher Kevin Bosson, who threw a complete game five-hit shutout vs. Bellingham on July 29.

But we do have a few notes from around the WCL:

* The Wenatchee AppleSox clinched their fourth straight East Division title over the weekend. They will open the best-of-3 East Division playoffs on Aug. 12, at either Bellingham or Walla Walla.

The Bells lead the Sweets by one game in the race for second place.

* The WCL set a season attendance record over the weekend. A total of 214,662 fans (league games only) attended games through July 31, which surpasses last year's entire season total of 213,518. And the record fell in 15 fewer dates than in 2010.

* Wenatchee pitcher Owen Jones of the University of Portland won his seventh game on Saturday night, a WCL record. Max Beatty of the Knights has six and he should get one more start this season.

* Finally, here's a list of the 130 WCL alums active in affiliated baseball this summer. Lots of Knights on that list, including White Sox third baseman Brent Morel, the first former Corvallis Knight to make the Show.


Historic night at Goss Stadium?

July 29, 2011

Corvallis Knights history could be made tonight when we host the Klamath Falls Gems in a 6:40 p.m. Cap Night game, presented by the Mario Pastega House.

If we draw 1,495 fans - a definite possibility, considering the great weather and that Cap Night is one of our most opoular attractions - we'll set a franchise attendance record, with six regular-season and possible playoff games remaining.

Thursday's crowd of 1,339 on what might have been the nicest night at the ballpark this sumer raised our count to 30,042 in 23 dates, an average of 1,306 per game. We're 9,080 fans ahead of 2010 through 23 dates, and 11,172 fans ahead of 2009 at a corresponding date.

So come on out to the ballpark tonight and be a little part of history. Or better yet, come out tonight and if we don't hit that magic number, come back for Saturday's game with Bend, when we'll bust the record for sure.

Overall, it's another big year at the box office for the WCL. Here are the numbers from around the circuit, from the WCL's website.

The website counts league games only. The Blog's numbers also include a non-league game, our exhibition against the T.Gerding Construction American Legion team, and the All-Star Game.

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Here's a rundown of our Knights in the minor leagues:

NICK AKINS (2007, Dodgers): The former Vanguard College infielder is with the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League, where he's hitting .235 (42-179) in 51 games, with ninbe homers and 35 RBIs.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009, Padres): The former UC Riverside star is 2-1, 1.60 in eight games with the Eugene Emeralds, with 34 strikeouts in 33.2 innings.

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011, Athletics): The former Feather River outfielder is hitting .190 (12-63) with no homers and six RBIs in 20 games with the Arizona Rookie League Athletics.

CODY BARTLETT (2007, Blue Jays): The ex-Washington State middle infielder is hitting .203 (13-64) with Bluefield, W. Va., in the short-A Appalachian League, with no homers and 15 RBIs in 19 games.

CARTER BELL (2009, Diamondbacks): The former Oregon State infielder is hitting .286 (18-63) with Yakima in the Northwest League, with no homers and nine RBIs in 15 games.

MICHAEL BLAKE (2010, Diamondbacks): The former Mt. Hood CC/Hawaii star is 2-4, 5.29 in 14 games with the Yakima Bears in the short-A Northwest League, with 33 strikeouts in 17 innings.

ALEX BURG (2008, Giants): The MVP of the 2008 WCL champions, a Washington State alum, is hitting .322 (46-143) in 40 games with the San Jose Giants of the Class A California League, with six homers and 24 RBIs.

NIC CUCKOVICH (2011, Royals): The onetime Riverside (Calif.) CC standout is hitting .368 (21-57) in 14 games with no homers and eight RBIs with the Arizona Rookie League Royals.

DUSTIN EMMONS (2009-10, Mets): The former UC Riverside star is 1-0, 3.92 in nine games with Kingsport (W. Va.) in the short-A Appalachian League, with 12 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008, Giants): The former Mt. San Jacinto (Calif.) JC player is hitting .229 (24-105) in 28 games with Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League, with no homers and 12 RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009, Padres): The catcher from the University of Portland is hitting .071 (1-14) in five games with the AA San Antonio Missions, with no homers and no RBIs.

DREW GARCIA (2007, White Sox): The 2B from UC Riverside is hitting .230 (55-239) in 69 games with triple-A Charlotte of the International League, with five homers and 23 RBIs.

DEAN GREEN (2008, Tigers): The former Oklahoma State/Barry U. standout is hitting .342 (41-120) with three homers and 17 RBIs in 31 games with the (Norwich) Connecticut Tigers in the short-A New York-Penn League.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010, Marlins): The former UC Davis pitcher has been assigned to the Jamestown Jammers in the short-A New York-Penn League but has not pitched yet.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009, Cardinals): The ex-Cal Poly outfielder is with the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League and is hitting .246 (57-232) in 68 games, with no homers and 22 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (2007, Phillies): Our 2007 MVP as a first baseman from Washington State is at Lakewood in the Florida State League and is hitting .274 (97-354) in 98 games, with 20 homers and 65 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN (2009, Marlins): The former OSU righty is 3-1, 1.25 with four saves in 10 games with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. He has 26 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007, Mets): The one-time Oregon State pitcher is with the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League and is 4-2, 4.67 in seven games, with 22 strikeouts in 34.2 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009, Cubs): The Mt. Hood CC righty is 1-3, 4.30 in four starts with the triple-A Iowa Cubs, with eight strikeouts in 23 innings.


Walla Walla gets 2012 All-SAtar Game

July 28, 2011

We've mentioned this in several post all-star game stories, but now it's official.

The 2012 West Coast League All-Star Game has been awarded to Walla Walla. Here's the official release from WCL president Ken Wilson:

"Following the highly-heralded 2011 West Coast League All-Star Game in Corvallis, Oregon, the 2012 WCL All-Star Game will be held at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla, Washington.

"Everyone was pleased with the job the Corvallis Knights did in presenting the 2011 All-Star Game", said league president Ken Wilson. "The huge crowd enjoyed the game, 24 Major League Scouts were there, and it's clear the All-Star Game will be a big part of our West Coast League season for many years to come."

The West Coast League has held four All-Star Games, starting in Wenatchee in 2006. The 2007 game was played in Bellingham, while Moses Lake hosted the 2008 contest. The 2011 All-Star Game in Corvallis marked the return of the game following a two-year hiatus.

"Walla Walla is excited to be selected to host the 2012 WCL All-Star Game," said Walla Walla Sweets general manager Zachary Fraser. "We look forward to building on the incredibly successful event that Corvallis staged this week, and will welcome the baseball world to our town for what will be a wonderful showcase."

The 2012 WCL All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 24th.

Should be fun. I've never been to Walla Walla so hopefully we can make it next year and have a smuch fun as the employees from other WCL teams who came to Corvallis this week appeared to have.

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Knights' shortstop Alex Foulon of Mt. Hood Community College will miss the season with a shoulder injury. He was injured against Wenatchee on July 1 and has not played since. He hit .298 in 16 games, with no homers and three RBIs.

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Knights' president Dan Segel and your's truly will be pinch-hitting for Mike Parker on the radio broascast ofg tonight's 6:05 doubleheader against Klamath Falls. So bear with us.

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We've drawn 28,703 fans through 22 games this summer and are fast approaching our franchise record of 31,536, set in 2009. We're 8,604 ahead of last year after 22 dates, and a whopping 10,613 ahead of 2009, despite a terrible summer weather-wise.

We've always said we've got the best fans in the league, and you continue to prove it night-in and night-out. Thanks!


All-star game followup

July 27, 2011

We're still recovering from a big night at the WCL All-Star Game down here at the WWHQ. And what a night it was!

* A record all-star game crowd of 2,517, a Knights' record for a non-July 3 game.

* A competitive game, which came down to the last pitch and featured a homer, lots of other extra-base hits, and some great fielding.

* Knights DH/1B Sean Myrom (Home Run Derby) and pitcher Ben Wetzler (Top MLB Prospect) winning two of the three major awards.

* Representation by 24 of the 30 major-league teams.

* Top-notch fireworks, and the announcement of our third fireworks show of the season, set for Wilson Motors Night on Aug. 9. Free GAS tickets are available at Wilson's, so get them while they last!

* The ASG is at Walla Walla in 2012. Reps from the Sweets' organization were in town to watch our show, and we're sure they'll put on another great one next July.

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A few other notes of note:

* Greg Lowder, the author of CodBall, an Internet site highlighting summer league college baseball, was at the game. Check out his stories by clicking here.

Lots of good reading. You won't be disappointed.

* The Knights remained ranked No. 21 in Perfect Game's summer college baseball Top 25, which should be posted later today.

* Last night's ASG crowd of 2,517 raised out 2011 total attendance to 27,508 for 21 dates, an average of 1,310 per opening.

We are 8,389 ahead of last year's pace at a comparable time, and a whopping 10,130 ahead of 2009, when we set an all-time record of 31,536. We're hoping to pass both 2009 and 2010 during our current homestand, which continues at 6:40 p.m. today against Klamath Falls.

That doesn't happen without the best fans in the WCL, so thanks!

* Don't forget, Thursday's scheduled single game has been changed to a 6:05 p.m. doubleheader. Both games will be seven innings. Rumor has it that Knights' president Dan Segel and your's truly will be pinch-hitting for regular broadcaster Mike Parker on KEJO-AM 1240.

* And really don't forget about Cap Night, presented by the Mario Pastega House, on Friday. We have 750 white caps just waiting for a new home, so come on out to the stadium. The gates open at 6 p.m. and they'll go fast.

* Saturday is Stress Free Realty Night, presented by The Ann Morgan Group. It's also Mack the Knight's birthday, so come help Mack and his mascot friends celebrate.

Sunday's homestand finale against Bend has a special 12:35 p.m. start time. It's a Sunday Fun Day, with lots of stuff for the kids.


Chris Johnson added to West All-Star team

July 26, 2011

Corvallis Knights pitcher Chris Johnson has been added to the West team for tonight's West Coast Conference All-Star game at Goss Stadium.

A junior-to-be at the University of Portland, Johnson is 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 34.1 innings. He has an ongoing streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings over his last three starts.

He replaces teammate Chase Johnson of Cal Poly. Chase Johnson (1-1, 2.82) pitched an inning against Cowlitz on Sunday and is the Knights' scheduled starter on Wednesday when they resume WCL action against the Klamath Falls Gems in a 6:40 p.m. game at Goss Stadium.

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East pitcher Richie Ochoa (Bellingham) of Washington State won't play. He last pitched on July 19.

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West coach Brooke Knight of the Knights has announced his starting lineup, batting order and pitching rotation for tonight's game.

Here's the West lineup: SS Trent Oleszczuk (Corvallis); 2B Mike Benjamin Jr. (Bend); C Braxton Miller (Cowlitz); 1B Turner Gill (Klamath Falls); LF Kyle Garlick (Cowlitz); DH Sean Myrom (Corvallis); CF Royce Bollinger (Bend); RF Spencer O'Neil (Cowlitz), and 3B Jimmy Allen (Corvallis).

The West position player reserves are 2B Corey Moore (Corvallis); OF Billy Flamion (Cowlitz); SS Mitchell Walding (Cowlitz), and C Spencer Brann (Kitsap).

Lefty Dylan Stuart of Corvallis will be the West's starting pitcher, followed by Jeff Gold (Cowlitz); Ben Wetzler (Corvallis); Daniel Chavez (Bend); Max Beatty (Corvallis); Porter Clayton (Cowlitz); Chris Johnson (Corvallis); Richie Mascheri (Kitsap), and Mark Trentacosta (Corvallis).


All-star game update

July 25, 2011

We're hosting the West Coast League All-Star Game at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, as most of you know. The Home Run Derby starts at 5:30 p.m., the game's at 7:15 p.m., and there will be a fireworks show afterward.

Tickets are $10 for reserved, $5 for GA, and are on sale all day today and from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday at the WWHQ in downtown Corvallis. They also will be sold at the stadium on Tuesday, starting at 5 p.m., which is also the time the gates open.

We have a few other ASG news tidbits to report:

* KFLY 1240 AM will broadcast the game. Wenatchee's Chris King will be the play-by-play broadcaster. (Mike Parker of the Knights will be at Pac-10 media day in Los Angeles).

* It was in the papers this morning and online yesterday, but Knights' 2B Corey Moore was named to the West team on Sunday to replace the injured Evan Potter of Kitsap. Moore is hitting .297, with a homer and 16 RBIs, in 38 games.

* Knights' lefty Dylan Stuart of UC Riverside, the Big West Conference's 2011 Freshman Pitcher of the Week, will be the starting pitcher for the West. He's 2-1, 1.31 in six starts and has the best pickoff move in the WCL.

* Adrian Sampson of Bellingham, who plays at Bellevue (Wash.) College, will start for the East. He was a 15th-round draft choice of the Florida Marlins this past June and is 4-2, 0.84 this summer.

* Kelowna infielder Bo Folkinga was named to the East squad as a replacement for injured teammate Connor Joe. A senior-to-be at Western Oregon, he's hitting .307, with nine RBIs.

* Kitsap's Matt Forgatch was named to the Home Run Derby field, replacing teammate Claude Johnson. Fogatch is hitting .238, with a homer and eight RBIs, in 27 games.

* If the game is tied after nine innings, each head coach will name one player from his team to compete in a 5-out home-run derby to determine the game's winner. This will happen immediately following the game.

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Cowlitz left fielder Billy Flamion made a great leaping catch over the left-field fence on Sunday to rob Knights' 1B David Armendariz of a homer in the 2-1 loss to the Black Bears.

Here's a link with some photos of the catch, from the Longview Daily News website. As you can see, it was a big-time play.

However, after taking it over with several current players from the 2010 team, assistant coach Billy Clontz, trainer Jeremy Ainsworth and broadcast partner Dan Segel, we still rate a diving grab in deep center field by Mitch Haniger in a 2010 game against Wenatchee as the best we've seen.

Flamion's catch was great, no doubt. But he didn't have to retreat very far, the wall is only about three feet high where he jumped, and he also landed out of play, which enabled a tagging Trent Oleszczuk to score from second base under the one-and-one provision covering such instances.

Haniger, on the other hand, played a shallow center field and had a long sprint at a 45-degree angle with his back to the plate before catching the ball with a full-out, extended dive at the warning track. Also, not only did his catch save two runs, his relay throw resulted in an inning-ending double play.

So Haniger's grab is still the leader, at least in the eyes of The Blog.

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Here's a Knights' attendance update, entering Tuesday's all-star game and a six-game, five-date homestand against Klamath Falls and Bend during which we will probably set a franchise record for attendance.

We've drawn 24,991 in 20 dates, an average of 1,250 per game. That's an approximate 25 percent increase from 2010, even with the horrible weather for our opening series against Klamath Falls and for our six-game homestand last week.

Oh well, we're still 6,564 fans ahead of last year after 20 dates, and 8,594 ahead of 2009 at a corresponding date. So we're trending in the right direction.

We expect another big crowd for Friday's Cap Night, presented by the Mario Pastega House. We'll give away 750 white caps, adorned with a cardinal interlocking "CK," outlined in blue, on a first-come, first-capped basis. The gates and ticket office open at 6 p.m.

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The Knights no longer hold the WCL record for single-game attendance.

The Klamath Falls Gems drew 4,156 fans for its July 22 game against Walla Walla. The Knights set the old record of 3,506 on July 3, 2009, against the Bend Elks.

The Gems partnered with the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce, the Klamath Falls Herald and News newspaper, and nearly 30 local businesses to bring together the huge gathering at Kiger Stadium.

Also, the Bend Elks have drawn 41,593 fans in 23 games to surpass their former 2010 WCL-record mark of 37,963. The Elks have four home games remaining.


Myron to represent Knights in HR Derby

July 22, 2011

First baseman/designated hitter Sean Myrom will represent the Knights on Tuesday in the Home Run Derby at the West Coast League All-Star Game at Goss Stadium.

One player from each team has been selected for the competition, which begins at 5:30 p.m. One of nine Knights selected for the midsummer classic, Myrom leads the Knights with two home runs. He is a senior-to-be at Concordia University in Portland.

The other entrants are Jeff Gelalich of Bellingham (UCLA); Royce Bollinger of Bend (Gonzaga); Spencer O'Neil of Cowlitz (Southridge H.S./Kennewick, Wash./Oregon); Kyle Pearson of Kelowna (LSU/Shreveport); Claude Johnson of Kitsap (Arkansas State); Turner Gill of Klamath Falls (Portland); Elliot Stewart of Walla Walla (Cal Poly), and Adam Nelubowich of Wenatchee (Washington State).

The game starts at 7:15 p.m. and there will be fireworks afterward. Tickets are $10 for reserved and $5 for GA and are available at the Knights office on Monday and Tuesday, or at the gate before Tuesday's game. Gatges open at 5 p.m.

See you there!

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Here's our weekly roundup of our Knights in the minors. The stats are through Wednesday's games.

NICK AKINS (2007, Dodgers): The former Vanguard College infielder is with the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League, where he's hitting .217 (34-157) in 44 games, with seven homers and 27 RBIs.

DAVID ANDRIESE (2009, Padres): The former UC Riverside star is 2-1, 1.88 in seven games with the Eugene Emeralds, with 28 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011, Athletics): The former Feather River outfielder is hitting .149 (7-47) with no homers and two RBIs in 15 games with the Arizona Rookie League Athletics.

CODY BARTLETT (2007, Blue Jays): The ex-Washington State middle infielder is hitting .207 (12-58) with Bluefield, W. Va., in the short-A Appalachian League, with no homers and 12 RBIs in 17 games.

CARTER BELL (2009, Diamondbacks): The former Oregon State infielder is hitting .303 (10-33) with Yakima in the Northwest League, with no homers and six RBIs in eight games.

MICHAEL BLAKE (2010, Diamondbacks): The former Mt. Hood CC/Hawaii star is 2-3, 5.54 in 11 games with the Yakima Bears in the short-A Northwest League, with 22 strikeouts in 13 innings.

ALEX BURG (2008, Giants): The MVP of the 2008 WCL champions, a Washington State alum, is hitting .345 (40-116) in 32 games with the San Jose Giants of the Class A California League, with six homers and 21 RBIs.

NIC CUCKOVICH (2011, Royals): The onetime Riverside (Calif.) CC standout is hitting .358 (19-53) in 13 games with no homers and seven RBIs with the Arizona Rookie League Royals.

DUSTIN EMMONS (2009-10, Mets): The former UC Riverside star is 1-0, 3.70 in eight games with Kingsport (W. Va.) in the short-A Appalachian League, with 10 strikeouts in 19.2 innings.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008, Giants): The former Mt. San Jacinto (Calif.) JC player is hitting .228 in 21 games with Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League, with no homers and seven RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009, Padres): The catcher from the University of Portland is 0-for-6 in two games with the AA San Antonio Missions, with no homers and no RBIs.

DREW GARCIA (2007, White Sox): The 2B from UC Riverside is hitting .228 (49-215) in 61 games with triple-A Charlotte of the International League, with five homers and 21 RBIs.

DEAN GREEN (2008, Tigers): The former Oklahoma State/Barry U. standout is hitting .344 (32-93) with three homers and 14 RBIs in 24 games with the (Norwich) Connecticut Tigers in the short-A New York-Penn League.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010, Marlins): The former UC Davis pitcher has been assigned to the Jamestown Jammers in the short-A New York-Penn League but has not pitched yet.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009, Cardinals): The ex-Cal Poly outfielder is with the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League and is hitting .230 (49-213) in 62 games, with no homers and 20 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (2007, Phillies): Our 2007 MVP as a first baseman from Washington State is at Lakewood in the Florida State League and is hitting .282 (94-333) in 92 games, with 19 homers and 62 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN (2009, Marlins): The former Oregon State righty is 2-1, 1.53 with two saves in eight games with the Gulf Coast League Marlins. He has 21 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007, Mets): The one-time Oregon State pitcher is with the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League and is 3-1, 3.30 in five games, with 14 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009, Cubs): The Mt. Hood CC righty is 0-3, 5.63 in three starts with the triple-A Iowa Cubs, with seven strikeouts in 16 innings.

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That's all for today. See you at the ballpark!


Thursday update

July 21, 2011

Pretty slow day down here at the WWHQ. We're idle tonight and only have one home game this weekend, at 6:40 p.m. Friday against the Cowlitz Black Bears at Goss Stadium.

It's ZOOperstars! so we're expecting a good crowd. The weather is also supposed to cooperate finally, after dealing us a bad hand throughout last week's rain-filled homestand.

So come on out to the ballpark.

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Former Knights' catcher Chris Stewart (2001), now with the San Francisco Giants, had two knocks on Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to the Dodgers. He's also the subject of this Q & A on our website.

It's interesting reading, so check it out.

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We blanked Bellingham 4-0 on Wednesday night to win the series 2-1. That's a nice bounceback for us from Monday's 16-1 loss, the worst ever sustained by a Knights' team since the WCL was formed in 2005.

The previous record for our largest margin of defeat was 13 runs, in a 15-2 loss at Bellingham on June 8, 2010. Maybe that place is just bad luck.

Pitchers Max Beatty, Scott Schultz, Ben Wetzler, Nick Hoover, Jimmie Sherfy and Mark Trentacosta combined to allow just one unearned run and eight hits in 18 innings after the blowout loss.

Hoover went seven scoreless on Wednesday in his first start of the summer and staked his case for WCL Pitcher of the Week honors.

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The bad weather last week definitely hurt us at the box office but we've still drawn 23,418 fans in 19 games, a 1,233 per-game average. We're 6,155 customers ahead of 2010 at a comparable point, and 8,300 ahead of 2009 after 19 dates.

We should get back on track with decent weather, ZOOperstars!, Tuesday night's WCL All-Star Game, a Block 15 Thursday (July 28) and Cap Night (July 29) on the horizon.

The caps are sharp; they're white, with a cardinal interlocking "CK" logo outlined in blue. We only have 750 to give away, so get to the ballpark early.

And we're sworn to secrecy until Tuesday, but the August 9 Wilson Motors Night game against Cowlitz, our regular-season finale, will be special. Free tickets are available at the dealership, on the corner of 5th and Buchanan just north of downtown, and we recommend you stop by and pick some up.

You will not be disappointed.

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Finally, Knights' president Dan Segel and yours truly will be pinch-hitting for Mike Parker on the KEJO-AM 1240 radio broadcast of the Saturday and Sunday games against Cowlitz up in Longview, Wash.

The dynamic duo is 3-0 this year, as we were behind the mic for the June 27-29 sweep at Kitsap. Hopefully our good fortune will continue, and hopefully we won't mangle too many names or make too many other mistakes.

But consider yourself warned.

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We'll save our customary Knights in the pros roundup for Friday. See you then!


Beatty named to WCL All-Star Game

July 20, 2011

West Coast League president Ken Wilson announced Wednesday that since pitchers Jace Fry of Corvallis and Jeff Gold of Cowlitz will not be available to pitch in the July 26 All-Star Game at Corvallis, they have been replaced by pitchers Max Beatty of the Knights and Stephen Ostapeck of Bend.

Beatty defeated Bellingham 3-1 on Tuesday night and is 5-1, 2.38 in seven starts. Fry is scheduled to start against Cowlitz on Sunday and thus can't pitch on Tuesday.

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We won at Bellingham 3-1 last night to even the series with the Bells and to erase the taste of a 16-1 loss on Monday night.

And that's the beauty of baseball; you generally get another chance to turn things around right away, and even though we've been outscored 17-4 overall we each have a win. Now we just have to win tonight, and with WCL all-star Chase Johnson on the mound, I like our chances.

The game starts at 7:05 p.m. from Joe Martin Field, and it will be broadcast on KEJO-AM 1240.

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We've got a few items of interest to report today, so here goes.

* Here's a story from the Tri-City (Wash.) Herald newspaper on former Knights' announcer Jason Schwartz, who is the voice of the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League.

Jason worked for the Knights in 2010. A USC graduate, he also was the play-by-play voice of the USC women's basketball team this past season.

* The good people at Corvallis Community Access TV (CATV) has televised two of our games this summer and they're showing Game 2 on their station (Comcast 29) at 1 p.m. Thursday, 2 p.m. Saturday and at 7 p.m. Monday.

They also plan to tape the July 30 game against Bend for a future broadcast.

* The Knights are still ranked No. 21 in Perfect Game USA's Summer Collegiate Baseball Top 25 rankings.

* We just learned that 25 members of the Corvallis Community Band will perform at Goss Stadium on July 26 between the WCL All-Star Game and the fireworks show. They're also interesting to join us for our July 3, 2012 Fireworks Night game.

Welcome aboard!