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Knights Daily Update

Monday: Return of the rain

May 2, 2011

Well, I sure hope everyone enjoyed spring. It lasted from about 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Glorious, wasn't it!

The good news is, with the return of the rains you also get the return of the Knights' blog, just like clockwork. Lots to update after a pretty busy weekend.

The biggest news, of course, was the no-hitter at UCLA on Saturday by former Knights' standout Josh Osich. On Monday he got his just rewards, as he was named Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week and a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.

We're sure other awards will be forthcoming. Congrats to a great kid, who also (along with OSU's Taylor Starr, another standout on our 2008 WCL-championship team) worked as the Knights' grounds crew the past two summers.

Now, on with the rest of the blog:

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The Knights addressed their catching issues Monday by signing power-hitting Jaret Bogue, a sophomore at Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound switch-hitter is batting .455 in 29 games, with 20 doubles, five homers and 48 RBIs.

The Knights lost two projected catchers earlier this year. Beau Fraser of Portland suffered a season-ending arm injury in March, and Bo Altobelli of Texas Tech decided to take the summer off to concentrate on strength and conditioning.

Bogue was a second-team Golden Valley Conference all-star in 2010, when he hit .303 with five homers and 37 RBIs. He is a graduate of Foothill High School in Oak Run, Calif.

Teammate Dayton Alexander, an outfielder from Wailuku, Hawaii, who has signed with Washington, will also play for the Knights this summer. Pitcher Aaron Corwin and infielder Thomas McCarthy of FRC played for the Knights in 2010.

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Here's our weekly update on the 2011 Division I Knights:

OREGON STATE: Pitcher Scott Schultz is 2-0, 3.81 in 28.1 innings over 11 games. Pitcher Ben Wetzler is 5-2, 4.12 in 48 innings over 12 games, with 34 strikeouts. Pitcher Tom Zarosinski and infielder Brandon Defazio haven't played yet.

The Beavers won 2 of 3 at UCLA last weekend. They play host to Oregon on Tuesday and host California on Friday-Sunday.

OREGON: Outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .219 (7-32) with four RBIs in 20 games. Pitcher Jimmie Sherfy is 0-0, 81.00 in .1 innings in his lone appearance. Neither played last weekend, when the Ducks lost 2 of 3 at California. They visit Oregon State on Tuesday and host UCLA on Friday-Sunday.

CAL POLY: Outfielder Jimmy Allen is hitting .198 (17-86) in 30 games, with no homers and 11 RBIs. Infielder David Armendariz is hitting .155 (9-58) with a homer and four RBIs in 25 games. Pitcher Chase Johnson is 1-4, 4.06 in 10 games, with 26 strikeouts in 37.2 innings. The Mustangs play St. Mary's on Tuesday and visit UC Irvine this weekend. They were 1-2 vs. Long Beach State last weekend.

DELAWARE: Pitcher Eric Young won at VCU last Friday and is 5-2, 4.42 in 11 games, with 30 strikeouts in 59 innings. Delaware defeated Rutgers, lost to Villanova and took 2 of 3 at VCU last weekend. It plays Princeton on Tuesday and host Old Dominion this Friday-Sunday.

HAWAII: Outfielder Michael Blake is hitting .240 (31-129) in 38 games, with no homers and 23 RBIs. He's 0-0, 1.50 in six innings in seven games as a situational reliever. Hawaii is 2-1 against Fresno State in a series that ends tonight. It plays single games at Nevada on Thursday and Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.

SANTA CLARA: Pitcher Chris Mendoza is 3-5, 4.60 in 47 innings over 14 games. The Broncos lost three games to Gonzaga last weekend; it plays California on Tuesday and visits Pepperdine this weekend.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Pitcher Justin Hepner is 0-0, 5.06 in 5.1 innings over four appearances, with four strikeouts. The Aztecs play Long Beach State on Tuesday and visit Utah this Friday-Sunday; they were 3-0 at Western Carolina last weekend.

SEATTLE: Infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .172 (15-87) with a homer and eight RBIs in 30 games.

The Redhawks lost 3 of 4 to New Mexico State last weekend. They play at Utah Valley on Wednesday and at BYU this Thursday-Saturday.

UC IRVINE: Pitcher Nick Hoover is 2-4, 3.45 in 31.1 innings over 19 games, with 20 strikeouts. Pitcher Sebastian Santos threw a scoreless inning in his lone appearance. The Anteaters were 2-1 vs. Cal State Bakersfield last week. They play Pepperdine on Wednesday and Cal Poly this Friday-Sunday.

UC RIVERSIDE: Outfielder David Andriese is hitting .315 (41-130) in 35 games, with four homers and 23 RBIs. Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 1-1, 1.54 in 23.1 innings over 12 games, with 25 strikeouts. Reliever Mitch Patito is 1-3, 3.63 in 16 games, with six saves and 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings.

Riverside won 2 of 3 over UC Santa Barbara last weekend. It plays USC on Tuesday and Cal State Fullerton on Friday-Sunday. this Friday-Sunday.

PORTLAND: Pitcher Chris Johnson is 2-3, 3.70 in 10 games, with 41 strikeouts in 56 innings. Outfielder Nick Armenta, a 10-game signee, is 0-for-0 in his lone game. He's had a leg injury. Portland lost to Oregon State and defeated Oregon last week. It plays at St. Mary's this weekend.

WRIGHT STATE: Catcher Corey Davis is hitting .308 (45-146) in 38 games, with eight homers and 29 RBIs.

The Raiders swept UIC and split with Butler last weekend; they play at Ohio on Tuesday, host Cincinnati on Wednesday and host Valparaiso on Saturday and Sunday.

WASHINGTON STATE: Outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .211 (4-19) with no RBIs in 21 games. Infielder J.K. Dykes is redshirting.

The Cougars took 2 of 3 from Washington last weekend. They host UNLV this Friday-Sunday.


Knights' Friday update

April 29, 2011

It's the end of the work week down here at the Knights' WWHQ, but we can't head into the weekend without updating the blog.

We're down to 35 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and only 39 until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium. Some minor changes could be forthcoming for that first series against the Gems if the Beavers host an NCAA Super Regional, but let's not put the cart before the horse here.

So we'll just count on seeing all of you at Goss Stadium for that entire homestand. Our record for opening-night attendance is 822, set last year, and we'd love to smash that and get 2011 off to a great start.

Now, on with the blog.

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Most of our former Corvallis Knights in minor-league baseball have started their seasons all across the country.

Some, like pitchers Daniel Bibona (2007, Cardinals), Matt Way (2007, Phillies), Blake Keitzman (2007, Rockies) and Jared Eskew (2008, Marlins) haven't been rostered yet for one reason for another but here's a rundown of those whose seasons have started.

DREW GARCIA (2007, White Sox): The 2B from UC Riverside is hitting .247 (18-73) in 20 games at double-A Birmingham in the Southern League, with a homer and eight RBIs.

NICK STRUCK (2009, Cubs): The Mt. Hood CC righty is 2-1, 4.05 in four games at Daytona of the single-A Florida State League, with 17 strikeouts in 20 innings.

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 .235 (16-68) in 19 games, with six homers and 14 RBIs.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009, Cardinals): The ex-Cal Poly outfielder is with the Palm Beach Cardinals in the Florida State League and is hitting .186 (8-43) in 14 games, with no homers and three RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009, Padres): The catcher from the University of Portland was 0-for-12 with the Fort Wayne Tin Caps in the Midwest League and is 0-for-3 in one game at Lake Elsinore in the California League in two Class A stops.

NICK AKINS (2007, Dodgers): The former Vanguard College infielder is hitting .194 (13-67) with the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League.

GREG PEAVEY (2007, Mets): The one-time Oregon State pitcher is 1-1, 5.21 in four games at Class A Savannah in the Sally League, with 19 strikeouts in 20 innings.

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Here's some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed Washington State pitchers Mitch McQueen and Richie Ochoa for the 2011 season.

A Friday Harbor (Wash.) High School graduate, Ochoa is a 6-foot-2, 247-pounder who is 4-1, 2.70 in 14 relief appearances. He played at Bend in 2010 and was 1-2, 3.05.

The 6-2, 170-pound McQueen graduated from Thomas Jefferson High in Auburn, Wash. He has not pitched this season.

Click here for more details on Ochoa and McQueen.

KLAMATH FALLS: Many upgrades will greet the fans of the Klamath Falls Gems when they visit historic Kiger Stadiumn this summer, according to this story in the Klamath Falls Herald and News newspaper.


Big Wednesday for Knights pitchers

April 28, 2011

Wednesday was a big night for some former Knights pitchers.

University of Portland junior Kyle Kraus, a mainstay on the 2009 and 2010 staffs, shut down Oregon on six hits over eight innings to lead the Pilots to a 4-2 victory at PK Park.

Kraus had two strikeouts. Here are the details from the UP website. It's the second time this year he's defeated the Ducks, according to this story in the Oregonian.

And Atlanta Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson, who played for the old Aloha Knights in 2005, shut down the Padres on four hits over seven inings and had 10 strikeouts in a 7-0 victory.

Outfielder Dayton Alexander of Feather River CC, a 2011 Knight, was 3-for-6 with four runs and an RBI on Wednesday in a doubleheader victory over the College of the Redwoods.

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Andy Jenkins of Salem, one of our favorite all-time Knights (and Oregon State Beavers), has signed wth the Camden (N.J.) Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League. He was released by the Texas Rangers in the offseason after a six-year career in the Florida and Texas minor-league organizations.

Best of luck to Jenks, who played for us in 2002-04, before the formation of the West Coast League.

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Ex-Knights outfielder Daniel Dillard, a senior at Western Oregon, was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association's National Hitter of the Week for the week of Apr. 18-24.

Last weekend Dillard helped Western Oregon sweep a four-game series at Montana State Billings, and move into first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Dillard had a .600 (9-15) batting average and drove in 12 runs in four games.

He had a slugging percentage of 1.267, with four doubles and two homers in the series. He now has a 13-game hitting streak and has recorded an RBI in 11 of those 13 games.

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Here's some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed Marshall Yanzick, a junior infielder from Cornell, and his younger brother, Wake Forest outfielder Zane Yanzick, for the 2011 season. They're from Beaverton and played at Jesuit High.

Here's the rundown on their signing from the Bells' website.

Also, the Bells have named University of Southern California junior-to-be Johnie Freatman as their new play-by-play broadcaster. Here's the scoop from the Bells' website, which, by the way, has undergone a redesign and looks pretty sweet.

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WENATCHEE: If for some reason you're headed to Wenatchee this weekend you might see a familiar face in the annual Apple Blossom Youth Parade. Coyote, the AppleSox mascot, will be the parade's grand marshall.

He'll also be at Pepsi Youth Day on Sunday, so it's a busy weekend for the wily one.

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KELOWNA: The Falcons have had a flurry of signings lately, which we'll detail.

Utah pitchers Ben West and Luke Mordini have signed.

So have Murray State pitcher Jaron Stafford and infielder Tucker Alexander, who you can read about by clicking here.

Rounding out the new signees are Loyola Marymount pitcher Jacob Smigelski, who you can read about right here, and University of Illinois catcher Kelly Norris-Jacobs, a Victoria native you can read about by clicking here.

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WALLA WALLA: West Coast League president Ken Wilson will be the guest speaker at the Sweets' second annual Hot Stove Event at the Laht Neppur Alehouse at 6:30 p.m. May 5.

Sounds like a fun event. Wish we could make it!

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And speaking of the Sweets (pretty smooth segue, eh?), it's just 36 days days until the Knights hit Walla Walla County and Borleske Stadium for our June 3 opener against the Sweet.

And it's only 41 days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the expansion Klamath Falls Gems. Get your tickets and merchandise RIGHT NOW!


Knights sign Ranta, Nylen

April 27, 2011

We never sleep in trying to improve our club.

The Knights have signed George Fox University junior right-handed pitcher Brian Ranta and Mt. Hood Community College sophomore outfielder Matt Nylen to 10-day contracts.

Ranta is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound Clackamas native who graduated from Rex Putnam High School in 2008. He is 8-2, 2.35 in 12 appearances in 2011, with four complete games and one shared shutout in 11 starts. He has 63 strikeouts and nine walks in 84.1 innings.

Ranta has earned the Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Week award three times, and earned honorable-mention four other weeks, this spring. A three-year letterman, he was 4-3, 3.96 in 13 games as a sophomore and is 12-5 lifetime in 28 games, with one save.

Nylen is a 6-2, 205-pound Damascus native who graduated from Clackamas High School in 2009. Nylen is hitting .338, with five doubles, three homers and 16 RBIs, in 24 games this spring; he hit .330, with a homer and 14 RBIs, in 2010 as a freshman.

Welcome aboard, Brian and Matt.

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Somehow we skipped the countdown on Tuesday, and don't want to make that same mistake twice. So, it's only 37 more days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 41 until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Season- and single-game tickets; 10- and 15-game punchcards, and Knights merchandise are available at our WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. Stop in and see us.

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Former Knight James Nygren (2009) and future Knight Ben Wetzler (2011) teamed up for Oregon State to defeat Portland 6-1 on Tuesday.

Nygren (7-1) pitched 5.1 innings and allowed only three hits; he struck out eight. Wetzler finished up for the save, had five strikeouts, and the only run he allowed was unearned.

Neither pitcher walked a batter.

"Credit James and Ben; they threw very well," OSU coach Pat Casey said. "James set the tone early and Ben carried it throughout the end of the game."

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Several other of our 2011 players were in action on Tuesday.

Santa Clara pitcher Chris Mendoza allowed an unearned run in one inning and got the win in a 10-6 victory over UOP.

UC Riverside outfielder David Andriese tripled and scored in a 5-3 win over San Diego State.

Riverside CC infielder Nic Cuckovich was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run in a 7-3 loss to Orange Coast College.

Seattle infielder Nate Roberts was 1-for-3 with an RBI in an 11-4 win over Pacific Lutheran. Infielder Corey Moore was 1-for-3 with two runs, and pitcher Max Beatty gave up four runs in one inning for the Lutes.

UC Irvine's Nick Hoover pitched a scoreless inning in a 6-1 loss to UCLA.

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We'll have more Knights updates, and some news from around the WCL, on Thursday.


Meet Slider Guy

April 26, 2011

Our perseverance is paying off.

For a couple weeks we've been asking you fans out there in Knights Nation to send the Blog any questions you may have about our team.

Well, it's a historic day down here at the WWHQ, thanks to Jack Whittleton, who is now my favorite Knights fan. His question was also the best kind: One we could answer.

He asked, "Could you tell me the name of the player sliding on the front of the Knights 2011 pocket schedule?"

Sure, Jack. That's Matt Hague, a former Washington standout who played for the 2005 Aloha Knights when we were based at Mt. Hood Community College. He's now playing for the Indianapolis Indians, Pittsburgh's Triple-A franchise in the Pacific Coast League.

We affectionately call him "Slider Guy."

Mike Rougle, the Portland graphic artist who designs our programs and other promotional material, likes the photo and often uses it as the "Face of the Knights."

"He looks like an athlete [who] is in the process of an action," Rougle said. "And that action creates a great deal of gestalt.

"The tilt of the body, the outstretched arms, the foreshortening of the legs. You can feel the image, hear the sound of the grit under his shoes, and smell the cloud of dust on a summer breeze."

Coincidentally, we'll have a story on "Slider Guy" in our game program this year, so you can read all about him.

In the meantime, keep those questions coming to brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

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Our profile of new Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert of Washington State is now up on our website.

It's worth a read. The photos come from OSU student Ethan Erickson, who always helps us whenever we need him to. Thanks Ethan!

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Some other Knights-related news:

Former Knights outfielder Daniel Dillard (2010), a senior at Western Oregon, was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday for April 18-24 after leading the Wolves to a four-game sweep at Montana State Billings on April 23-24.

Dillard extended his hitting streak to a GNAC season-best 13 games with nine hits in 15 at-bats (.600). He scored six runs, had two steals and drove in 12 runs. He had four doubles and two home runs and a 1.267 slugging percentage.

Dillard is now hitting .350, with eight homers and 47 RBIs.

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We mentioned this briefly on the blog yesterday but it was updated late and some of you might have missed it.

Seattle University lefty Cam Christian, a junior transfer from Spokane Community College who grew up in Auburn, Wash., won't pitch for us in 2011 and will seek other opportunities instead. He is 0-1, 23.82 in 5.2 innings over eight appearances.

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Here's a rundown on the progress of our NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and JC players as they start the final stretch of their seasons:

COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN IDAHO: Pitcher Tyler Duffin is 1-4, 7.945 in 22.1 innings over 17 games, with 24 strikeouts. CSI was 3-1 against Salt Lake City Community College last weekend; it plays doubleheaders against Western Nevada this Friday and Saturday.

CONCORDIA: Infielder Sean Myrom, a 10-game signee, is hitting .280 (33-118) in 34 games, with five homers and 16 RBIs. The Cavaliers swept Corban and defeated Pacific last week; they plays doubleheaders with Corban this Friday and Sunday.

FEATHER RIVER: Outfielder Dayton Alexander is hitting .377 (52-138) in 34 games, with four homers and 23 RBIs. FRC swept Shasta College last week; it concludes its regular season on Thursday with a doubleheader against the College of the Redwoods.

HAWAII PACIFIC: Pitcher Taylor Hill is 1-1, 4.66 in 19.1 innings over nine games, with 14 strikeouts. HPU went 4-2 in three doubleheaders against Hawaii-Hilo last weekend and hosts the Academy of Art in a single game on Friday and doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Nate Dolman is 4-1, 3.86 in 21 innings in six games, with seven strikeouts. Pitcher Matt Pechmann is 1-1, 2.01 in 22.1 innings over six games, with 21 strikeouts. The Saints swept LBCC and Chemeketa last week; they play a doubleheader against Clackamas on Saturday.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Pitcher Max Beatty is 5-3, 2.48 in 10 games, with 54 strikeouts in 69 innings. Infielder Corey Moore is hitting .302 (39-129) in 32 games, with a homer and 22 RBIs. Shortstop Nicholas Hall is hitting .242 (22-91) in 27 games, with no homers and 15 RBIs.

The Lutes swept three games from Lewis & Clark last weekend. They play at Seattle U. today and host Linfield Saturday and Sunday in their final games of the regular season.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 8-2, 3.66 in 13 games, with 72 strikeouts in 76.1 innings. Redlands defeated Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and lost to Pomona-Pitzer last weekend; it plays host to Whittier on Saturday and goes to Cal Tech on Sunday.

RIVERSIDE CC: Pitcher Kyle McNutt pitched a scoreless inning in a loss to East Los Angeles CC and infielder Nic Cuckovikch went 0-for-6 with a run in the loss to East LA and a win over the College of the Desert.

Riverside finishes the regular season against Orange Coast CC today and Thursday.

WESTERN OREGON: Infielder Griffin Boyd, a 10-day signee and 2010 Knight, is hitting .298 (39-131) in 37 games, with a homer and 21 RBIs. The Wolves went 4-0 at Montana State-Billings last weekend and plays doubleheaders at Central Washington this Friday and Saturday.


Monday Knights' update

April 25, 2011

We're back, and three days closer to the start of the season than we were the last time we met. There are only 39 days left before our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 43 days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

So get your season tickets, your 10- or 15-game punchcards, or individual-game tickets online or down here at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

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Here's our weekly update on the 2011 Division I Knights:

OREGON STATE: Pitcher Scott Schultz is 2-0, 3.18 in 28.1 innings over 10 games. Pitcher Ben Wetzler is 5-1, 4.38 in 39 innings over 10 games, with 28 strikeouts. Pitcher Tom Zarosinski and infielder Brandon Defazio haven't played yet.

The Beavers won 2 of 3 against Washington State this past weekend; they play at Portland on Tuesday at at UCLA this Friday-Sunday. We expect either Schultz or Wetzler to start against the Pilots.

OREGON: Outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .219 (7-32) with four RBIs in 20 games. Pitcher Jimmie Sherfy is 0-0, 81.00 in .1 innings in his lone appearance.

The Ducks defeated San Francisco and Portland and took 2 of 3 against Arizona this past week. They host Portland on Wednesday and visit California this Friday-Sunday.

CAL POLY: Outfielder Jimmy Allen is hitting .215 (17-79) in 27 games, with no homers and 11 RBIs. Infielder David Armendariz is hitting .161 (9-56) with a homer and four RBIs in 24 games. Pitcher Chase Johnson is 1-3, 3.67 in nine games, with 23 strikeouts in 34.1 innings.

The Mustangs took 2 of 3 against Cal State Fullerton last weekend; they play at Long Beach State Friday-Sunday.

DELAWARE: Pitcher Eric Young is 4-2, 4.36 in 10 games, with 27 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. Delaware defeated St. Joe's and took 2 of 3 against James Madison last week. It plays Rutgers on Tuesday, Villanova on Wednesday at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia, and visits VCU this Friday-Sunday.

HAWAII: Outfielder Michael Blake is hitting .241 (31-125) in 37 games, with no homers and 23 RBIs. He's 0-0, 1.50 in six innings in seven games as a situational reliever.

Hawaii lost 2 of 3 to Valparaiso last week. It plays at Fresno State this Friday-Monday.

SANTA CLARA: Pitcher Chris Mendoza is 2-5, 4.80 in 45 innings over 12 games. The Broncos lost to Stanford and lost three games to San Francisco last week; they play Pacific on Tuesday and Gonzaga this Friday-Sunday.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Pitcher Justin Hepner is 0-0, 5.06 in 5.1 innings over four appearances, with four strikeouts. The Aztecs lost to UCLA, and dropped 2 of 3 at Air Force last week; they play UC Riverside on Tuesday and visit Western Carolina this Friday-Sunday.

SEATTLE: Infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .167 (14-84) with a homer and seven RBIs in 29 games. Pitcher Cam Christian , who was 0-1, 23.82 in 5.2 innings in eight appearances, has been dropped from the roster.

The Redhawks lost to Washington and were 1-2 at Dallas Baptist last week. They play Pacific Lutheran on Tuesday and host New Mexico State this Friday-Sunday. Saturday's game is a doubleheader.

UC IRVINE: Pitcher Nick Hoover is 2-3, 3.30 in 30 innings over 17 games, with 19 strikeouts. Pitcher Sebastian Santos threw a scoreless inning in his lone appearance.

The Anteaters defeated San Diego and took 2 of 3 against UD Davis last week. They visit UCLA on Tuesday and UC Santa Barbara on Friday-Sunday.

UC RIVERSIDE: Outfielder David Andriese is hitting .302 (35-116) in 31 games, with three homers and 17 RBIs. Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 1-1, 1.16 in 23.1 innings over 10 games, with 25 strikeouts. Reliever Mitch Patito is 1-3, 3.45 in 14 games, with six saves and 19 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

Riverside defeated Long Beach State and swept Cal State Bakersfield last weekend. It plays at SDSU on Tuesday and UC Santa Barbara this Friday-Sunday.

PORTLAND: Pitcher Chris Johnson is 2-3, 3.70 in 10 games, with 41 strikeouts in 56 innings. Outfielder Nick Armenta, a 10-game signee, is 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat. He's had a leg injury.

Portland lost to Oregon and took 2 of 3 at San Diego last weekend. It plays host to Oregon State on Tuesday, visits Oregon on Wednesday, and is idle this weekend.

WRIGHT STATE: Catcher Corey Davis is hitting .305 (40-131) in 34 games, with six homers and 25 RBIs. The Raiders defeated Urbana and were 3-0 against UW-Milwaukee last week. They play Dayton on Tuesday, host a doubleheader against Illinois-Chicago on Friday and play a pair at Butler on Sunday.

WASHINGTON STATE: Outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .235 (4-17) with no RBIs in 19 games. Infielder J.K. Dykes is redshirting.

The Cougars lost 2 of 3 at OSU last weekend. They host BYU today and Tuesday and UCLA this Friday-Sunday.

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We'll update our Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college players on Tuesday.


Knights pitchers leading Beavers

April 22, 2011

Former or future Corvallis Knights pitchers continue to shine for the Oregon State baseball team.

Ex-Knight James Nygren (2009) held Washington State to two runs over eight-plus innings on Thursday in a 4-2 victory over the Cougars at Goss Stadium. He allowed seven hits, one earned run, and had eight strikeouts.

Pitchers with Knights connections have now won every game in OSU's ongoing 10-game winning streak.

Ben Wetzler (2011), Josh Osich (2008) and Sam Gaviglio (2009) won last weekend's games at Stanford; Gaviglio, Nygren and Scott Schultz (2011) won against Arizona State on April 8-10; Nygren won at Portland on April 5, and Wetzler and Osich won at Arizona on April 2-3.

Plus, ex-Knight Matt Boyd (2010) has two saves in that stretch.

Another ex-Knight, Oregon lefty Tyler Anderson (2009) pitched a complete game in a 4-2 win over Arizona at PK Park.

And ex-Knights pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) and current Knights Dylan Stuart and Mitch Patito teamed up for UC Riverside in a 3-0 shutout of Cal State Bakersfield in a Big West Conference game.

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Speaking of pitching, 2011 Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert is in town with Washington State this weekend. A four-year WSU letterman (2007-10), he's a grad assistant this year and is the bullpen coach, working with WSU pitching coach Gregg Swenson.

We'll have a story on Lambert in the news section of our website early next week. Here's what Knights coach Brooke Knight said about the 22-year-old Olympia native, who graduates from WSU next month:

"Connor is a rising star. It doesn't take long to figure out he might have the 'it' factor. He still has a lot to learn, and some exciting challenges ahead of him, but I'm confident he's ready to take on this endeavor.

"He commands instant respect from his peers his same age, which speaks volumes about the type of guy he is and what he brings to the table. I am excited for our entire organization that Connor has chosen to be part of our 2011 family."

Indeed, welcome aboard.

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We close the week with the countdown now at 42; just 42 more days until our June 3 opener against the Walla Walla Sweets at renovated Borleske Stadium.

Other photos of the remodel are available by clicking here and here.

And it's only 46 days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

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Now, some news from around the WCL:

KLAMATH FALLS: We reported earlier this week about the Gems' latest signees; here's link to the story in the Klamath Falls Herald and News.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed three players, including returning closer Jeff Ames, one of the top pitchers in junior college.

KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson of Sam Houston State University. Here are all the details from the Falcons' website.


Happy 24th birthday, Brent Morel

April 21, 2011

Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel, the first Corvallis Knight to make the major leagues, celebrates his 24th birthday today. He played for us in 2007, our first season at Goss Stadium after the move south from Mt. Hood CC.

The White Sox play at Tampa Bay this afternoon. Have a great day, Brent, and celebrate by getting a couple knocks!

Morel's been slumping a bit lately and a 1-for-16 tailspin has dropped his average to .220 (11-50), but he still remains the ChiSox regular third baseman, according to this story in the Chicago Tribune newspaper.

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Five former or future Knights players/coaches at Washington State are in town this week for the Cougars' series with Oregon State at Goss Stadium. Games are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday, weather permitting, of course.

WSU freshman outfielder Nate Blackham (.250, 0-0) and redshirt freshman infielder J.K. Dykes will play for the Knights this summer. Dykes, who is redshirting this season, also played for the Knights in 2010 and hit .312 (0-8) in all games, and .300 (0-6) in WCL games.

Also, WSU graduate assistant coach Connor Lambert will be our 2011 pitching coach. He was a four-year letterman pitcher for the Cougs. We met with him on Thursday and should have a story up on our website in the near future.

WSU junior first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was one of the top sluggers in Knights history, and shortstop Cody Bartlett was expected to be an anchor of the 2007 infield but he was injured in the first inning of his first game and missed the entire summer as a result.

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The Knights announced that catcher Bo Altobelli of Texas Tech has decided to not return to Corvallis this summer, and will and focus on weight training instead. Altobelli caught last season for the Knights and is currently hitting .361 for the Red Raiders.

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Here's some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed Wesley Hoskins of Alberton, Gauteng, South Africa. Hoskins, 22, is a right-handed hitting first baseman scheduled to enter Green River (Wash.) Community College in the fall.

Hoskins played on the 2009 South African World Cup team and was on South Africa's 2009 World Baseball Classic team as a reserve. In the 2011 California Winter League, Hoskins hit .400, second in the league, for the Palm Desert Coyotes before moving to Washington to join the Green River team for spring workouts.

While in the United States, Hoskins has been working with Gems Coach Brian Embery at Embry's Evergreen State Sports baseball academy in Sumner, Washington.


Wednesday at the WWHQ

April 20, 2011

Happy Hump Day. I know we're excited down here at the WWHQ, where we just got a stack of 10-game punchcards we're ready to sell to any and all customers at the bargain price of $40.

That's right, 10 Knights general admission tickets for $40 - about what you and a companion would spend at one night at the movies watching Hollywood's latest overpriced bomb. So come see us.

First, some Knights news. If you haven't seen it on our homepage, we've posted a story on the Knights' connection to the No. 3-ranked Oregon State baseball team. It's a good read, if we do say so for ourselves.

And here's a few other tidbits gleaned from the transactions agate in the scoreboard page of today's Corvallis Gazette-Times, detected by the eagle eyes of our crack research staff.

Ex-Knight Mark Samuelson, a slugging first baseman from UC Riverside on our 2007 club who is now playing independent baseball, was traded to the Florence (S.C.) Freedom of the Frontier League from Yuma (Ariz.) of the North American League.

Samuelson missed a big part of the 2007 season because of academic concerns, but he could mash. He had four homers and 10 RBIs in just nine games, and his homer to dead center field at Goss Stadium against Moses Lake in Game 1 of the 2007 WCL Championship Series might still be in orbit.

Had he stayed eligible, he and Big Jim Murphy would have given the Knights an unbelievbable 1-2 punch.

Also, pitcher Trey Watt of Pacific Lutheran, who won his lone start in a cameo appearance for the 2007 Knights, was traded to Rockford from the Windy City Thunderbolts in another Frontier League deal.

Watt was an emergency starter in the annual exhibition game against the Richey's Market American Legion team, and alloswed one run in six innings of an 8-1 victory.

He was a three-time Northwest Conference all-star for the Lutes, played for Kitsap in the WCL, and signed with Arizona as a free agent last June and pitched for the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer League last summer before being released.

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Here's some news from around the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The expansion Gems have released their promotional schedule, according to the Klamath Falls Herald and Review newspaper. Also, new signage is being applied to the outfield fence at historic Kiger Stadium. Looks sharp.

BELLINGHAM: The Bells are holding a contest to name their new mascot. You can vote online by clicking on the above link, so help the Bells out if you wish.

BEND: The Elks have released their promotional schedule, and a new logo for some of their merchandise.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed three players from Lower Columbia College, including standout pitcher Jeff Ames, one of the WCL's top relievers in 2010.

KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed catcher Ryan Stoup of Eastern Oklahomas State for 2001. Here are his particulars, from the Falcons' website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets will partner with the Laht Neppur Brewing Company of Waitsburg, Wash., this season. So any Knights fan who heads there for our June 3-5 opening series will have something good to drink while watching the game.

Also, renovations are continuing at Borleske Stadium, as shown in these photos on the Sweets' website.

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We're down to 44 days before the aforementioned June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 48 days until the June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

So keep reading the blog, buy some tickets and merchandise, and prepare to get your game face on.


Northwest Conference honors Knights' Beatty

April 19, 2011

We're full of great news on a sunny Tuesday at the Knights' WWHQ in sunny downtown Corvallis.

Right-handed pitcher Max Beatty of Pacific Lutheran, a 2010 Knight (2-0, 3.86) who is expected to be a mainstay on this year's staff as well, was named the Northwest Conference's Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday.

A graduate of Fort Vancouver High in Vancouver, Wash., Beatty threw a complete-game five-hitter in the Lutes' 4-0 win over Puget Sound on April 16. He struck out seven, didn't allow more than one hit in an inning, and only two baserunners reached second.

No Logger reached third, and Beatty faced just 32 batters, five over the nine-inning minimum and finished the game in an efficient 2:23.

So congrats to Max, whose head coach, ex-University of Portland standout Geoff Loomis, formerly played and coached for the Knights.

Incidentally, Beatty's PLU teammate Kipp Godfrey, a freshman from Corvallis High School and the younger brother of Knights super-intern Mickey Godfrey, was nominated for Pitcher of the Week honors for April 4-10 but was not selected.

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We ran into ex-Knights catcher Andrew Susac (2009) at Oregon State's practice on Tuesday. He had the followup examination on his left hand/wrist in Sacramento on Monday and it was 100 percent good news.

The broken hamate bone was removed, he's feeling better every day, and he fully expects to return to active duty by the end of the season. Teammate Jake Rodriguez, another ex-Knight (2010) who had the same problem fixed by the same people, is in Sacramento and gets his post-op checkup on Wednesday.

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Here's a rundown on the progress of our NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and JC players as they start the final stretch of their seasons:

COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN IDAHO: Pitcher Tyler Duffin is 1-3, 6.75 in 21.1 innings over 16 games, with 24 strikeouts. CSI split a four-game series with the College of Southern Nevada last weekend; it plays doubleheaders against Salt Lake City Community College this Friday and Saturday.

CONCORDIA: Infielder Sean Myrom, a 10-game signee, is hitting .291 (36-110) in 31 games, with five homers and 15 RBIs. The Cavaliers lost four games to the College of Idaho last weekend; they play Corban today at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer and host Pacific of Forest Grove on Wednesday.

FEATHER RIVER: Outfielder Dayton Alexander is hitting .342 (40-117) in 30 games, with four homers and 14 RBIs. FRC plays Shasta College on Friday.

HAWAII PACIFIC: Pitcher Taylor Hill is 0-1, 7.30 in 12.1 innings over eight games. HPU split four games at Hawaii-Hilo last weekend and hosts the Vulcans in doubleheaders this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Nate Dolman is 4-1, 3.86 in 21 innings in six games, with seven strikeouts. Pitcher Matt Pechmann is 1-1, 2.01 in 22.1 innings over six games, with 21 strikeouts. The Saints swept a doubleheaders from Clackamas last week; they play a pair at Lane CC today and two more at Chemeketa on Saturday.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Beatty is 4-3, 2.32 in nine games, with 52 strikeouts in 62 innings. Infielder Corey Moore is hitting .310 (36-116) in 29 games, with a homer and 20 RBIs. The Lutes swept three games from Puget Sound last weekend; they play two at Lewis & Clark on Friday and a single game on Saturday.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 8-1, 3.36 in 12 games, with 71 strikeouts in 69.2 innings. Redlands defeated Occidental, Cal Lutheran and La Verne last weekend; it hosts Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday and visits Pomona-Pitzer on Sunday.

RIVERSIDE CC: Pitcher Kyle McNutt pitched a comnplete-game five hitter, with six strikeouts, and infielder Nic Cuckovikch doubled, singled and had three RBIs in a 7-1 win over Fullerton CC on April 15.

Cuckovich was 1-for-3 in a 7-5 loss to Cypress on April 12 and 2-for-4 with two RBIs in a 16-15 loss to Fullerton on April 14.

WESTERN OREGON: Infielder Griffin Boyd, a 10-day signee and 2010 Knight, is hitting .294 (35-119) in 33 games, with a homer and 18 RBIs. The Wolves went 4-0 at St. Martin's last weekend; they play doubleheaders at Montana State-Billings this Friday and Saturday.

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Not many people know it but former Oregon offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, now with the Carolina Panthers, pitched in one game for the old Aloha Knights back in 2004. He even won the game, even though his stats (27.00 ERA, three earned runs and four walks in one inning) were less-than-stellar.

Anyway, he apparently still loves baseball. He's the volunteer pitching coach at Fort Mill (S.C.) this spring and has made a positive impact on the team.

Fort Mill is a suburb of Charlotte, and the home of the Charlotte Knights of the triple-A International League.

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Finally, only 45 days before our June 3 opener at Walla Walla and 49 days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against Klamath Falls.

Tickets and merchandise are available at the WWHQ, or online. But you already knew that, right?

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That's all for today; we'll be back on Wednesday, with some news from around the West Coast League. We certainly compete against the Elks, AppleSox, etc., but we're all in this together and the more we can tell you about what's happening with the eight other franchises, the better WCL fan you'll be.

So, see you Wednesday. And remember, e-mail any Knights or WCL-related questions to the Blog at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com, and we'll get them answered for you.