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Knights Daily Update

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.


Sunny Monday update 4/18

April 18, 2011

The sun is finally shining (well OK, it always shines, sometimes it's just obscured by the clouds) and it actually feels like baseball season today.

And believe it or not, it's supposed to stay nice all week and we might even have comfortable weather for this week's Washington State-Oregon State series at Goss Stadium. That would be a first this year, after generally terrible weather for home games.

We hope to catch up with returning Knight J.K. Dykes sometime during the weekend for a story for the website. He's redshirting, but we expect he'll be in Corvallis to support his teammates and re-connect with his 2010 host family and other Knights fans.

The Knights' other Coug is freshman outfielder Nate Blackham, who is highly regarded but stuck behind some pretty good players and thus only seeing spot action this spring.

Other Cougars of note are ex-Knights Taylor Ard (2009), their first baseman, and shortstop Cody Bartlett (2007), who might have the shortest Knights career in history for someone not signed to a 10-day contract.

Bartlett was expected to play a major role on the 2007 Knights. But in the first inning of his first game, he injured a finger while sliding. He stayed in the game for three more innings and then had to leave, and was out for the season.

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Big weekend at Stanford for Oregon State's Knights/former Knights in the Beavers unprecedented road sweep of the Cardinal.

*Sam Gaviglio (2009) pitched eigtht shutout innings in Friday's 1-0 victory. Gaviglio was nominated for pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors, but did not win.

* Josh Osich (2008) pitched into the seventh and got the win, and Matt Boyd (2010)finished up for the save in Saturday's 8-1 victory.

* And Scott Schultz and Ben Wetzler, who should be mainstays on our 2011 staff, teamed up to top the Cardinal 6-4 on Sunday, completing the sweep. Schultz allowed two runs in 4.2 innings; Wetzler allowed two in four, and got the win.

So, congrats to the Beavers, who now lead the Pac-10 at 8-1 heading into this Thursday-Saturday's home series with Washington State.

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Here's our latest edition of The Knight Show on You Tube. Enjoy!

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

OREGON STATE: Schultz is 2-0, 3.21 28 innings over nine games. Wetzler is 5-1, 4.38 in 39 innings over 10 games, with 28 strikeouts.

Pitcher Tom Zarosinski and infielder Brendan Defazio haven't played yet. The Beavers, who swept No. 17 Stanford this past weekend, host Washington State this Thursday-Saturday.

OREGON: Outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .219 (7-32) with four RBIs in 19 games. Pitcher Jimmie Sherfy is 0-0, 81.00 in .1 innings in his lone appearance.

Neither played this past weekend as Oregon lost 2 of 3 at USC. The Ducks host San Francisco today and Tuesday and Arizona on Thursday-Saturday.

And speaking of the Ducks, ex-Knight Tyler Anderson (2009) was nominated for Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for his performance at USC on Friday, but did not win.

CAL POLY: Outfielder Jimmy Allen is hitting .211 (15-71) in 21 games, with no homers and nine RBIs. Infielder David Armendariz is hitting .164 (9-55) with a homer and four RBIs in 22 games.

Pitcher Chase Johnson is 1-2, 3.23, with 21 strikeouts in 30.2 innings over eight games. The Mustangs swept CSU Northridge last weekend; they host Fresno State on Tuesday and CSU Fullerton on Thursday-Saturday.

DELAWARE: Pitcher Eric Young is 4-2, 4.50 in nine games, with 23 strikeouts in 48 innings. Delaware lost 2 of 3 at Towson over the weekend; it hosts Temple on Tuesday, plays at St. Joe's on Wednesday and hosts James Madison this Friday-Sunday.

HAWAII: Outfielder Michael Blake is hitting .257 (28-102) in 33 games, with no homers and 21 RBIs. He's 0-0, 2.08 in 4.1 innings in six games as a situational reliever.

Hawaii has won 2 of 3 in a four-game series with La. Tech that ends tonight. It hosts Valparaiso this Thursday-Saturday.

SANTA CLARA: Pitcher Chris Mendoza is 2-4, 3.79 in 38 innings over nine games. The Broncos won 2 of 3 at St. Mary's last weekend; they host Stanford on Tuesday and play at San Francisco this Thursday-Saturday.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Pitcher Justin Hepner is 0-0, 6.75 in four innings over three appearances with four strikeouts. The Aztecs lost all three at TCU last weekend, and play at Air Force this Thursday-Saturday.

SEATTLE: Infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .149 (11-74) with a homer and five RBIs in 25 games. Pitcher Cam Christian is 0-1, 21.60 in five innings in seven games. The Redhawks won two against Central Washington last weekend. They play Washington on Tuesday and visit Dallas Baptist this Thursday-Saturday.

UC IRVINE: Pitcher Nick Hoover is 2-2, 2.57 in 28 innings over 15 games, with 19 strikeouts. Pitcher Sebastian Santos threw a scoreless inning in his lone appearance.

The Anteaters won 2 of 3 at Pacific last weekend. They host San Diego on Tuesday and play at UC Davis on Thursday-Saturday.

UC RIVERSIDE: Outfielder David Andriese is hitting .311 (33-106) in 28 games, with three homers and 17 RBIs. Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 1-1, 1.23 in 22 innings over nine games, with 24 strikeouts. Reliever Mitch Patito is 1-3, 3.38 in 12 games, with four saves and 13 strikeouts in 13.1 innings.

Riverside lost 2 of 3 at Long Beach Statelast weekend. Igt hosts CSU-Fullerton this Thursday-Saturday.

PORTLAND: Pitcher Chris Johnson is 2-2, 3.08 in nine games, with 36 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Outfielder Nick Armenta, a 10-game signee, is 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat. He's had a leg injury.

Portland was sweept by USF last weekend. It plays at Dan Diego this Thursday-Saturday.

WRIGHT STATE: Catcher Corey Davis is hitting .307 (35-114) in 30 games, with five homers and 23 RBIs. The Raiders host Xavier on Tuesday, and visit Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday (2)

WASHINGTON STATE: Outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .250 (4-16) with no RBIs in 18 games; he didn't play in last weekend's series with ASU. Infielder J.K. Dykes is redshirting. The Cougars were swept by the Sun Devils; they visit OSU this Thursday-Sunday.

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Finally, only 46 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 50 until Opening Night V: Return of the Knights, set for June 7 at Goss Stadium against Klamath Falls.

So remember, tickets and team gear are available online at our website or at the Knights' WWHQ in Madison Plaza in downtown Corvallis.


Friday update: WCL preview

April 15, 2011

It's a rainy, dreary Friday down here at the WWHQ but we remain optimistic the sunshine will eventually returtn in plenty of time to get everyone charged up for the upcoming season.

It is now only 49 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 53 until our June 7 home opener against Klamath Falls at Goss Stadium. We've never had a home game rained out in our four previous seasons in Corvallis, and we're not ready to start now.

Remember, single-game, 10- and 15-game punchcards, and season tickets are available online or at the Knights office in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

Now, on with the blog.

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Here's a WCL season preview from the league's website:

The continuing growth of the West Coast League is clearly seen in the group of players signed to play in the league this season.

"This is the best crop of players our league has had," noted West Coast League president Ken Wilson. "I trust our fans are as excited to watch these future professional players as I am."

WENTACHEE

The defending WCL Champion Wenatchee AppleSox return right-hander Jeff Ames, their closer from last season. Ames, who hits 97 mph on the radar gun, is a draft-eligible sophomore at Lower Columbia College. He was named to the 2010 All-WCL First Team and is a junior college preseason All-American.

Right-hander Owen Jones, who is having a standout spring for University of Portland, figures to be a key starter for the AppleSox. UCLA is sending high school recruit Joe Ross to Wenatchee. On signing day Bruins' coach John Savage called Ross "the best right-handed pitching prospect in California."

And, UCLA freshman infielder Pat Valaika, the younger brother of Chris Valiaka, who made his major league debut with Cincinnati in 2010, should be a stalwart for the AppleSox.

BEND

The Bend Elks, who played in the 2010 WCL Championship Series, figure to be strong again. Veteran WCL performer Royce Bollinger, a Gonzaga junior, will patrol the outfield for the Elks, while St. Mary's junior catcher Toby DeMello should provide strength behind the plate.

The Elks are looking for plenty of innings from Seattle University junior right-hander Seafth Howe, who has had an exceptional spring for the RedHawks, while UC Santa Barbara freshman southpaw Cameron Cuneo hopes to match his top-notch spring performance in Bend this summer.

BELLINGHAM

UCLA's Jeff Gelalich will join the Bellingham Bells and should be one of the top outfielders in the West Coast League. Gelalich played in the 2010 College World Series and is having a stellar 2011 season with the Bruins. Left-hander Chris Howard of Brigham Young University and Gonzaga infielder Eric Lane, who played for Wenatchee in 2010, are also key Bellingham additions.

CORVALLIS

The Corvallis Knights produce some of the top players in the WCL each season, and 2011 should be no different. Right-hander Mitch Patito, UC Riverside's closer, is back again this season and will be a starter for the Knights. Patito was selected in the 40th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Florida Marlins.

Oregon State starting pitcher Ben Wetzler, a freshman southpaw drafted in the 15th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Cleveland Indians, should log significant innings for the Knights. University of Oregon freshman Connor Hofmann should provide Corvallis with speed in the outfield. Hofmann was chosen in the 16th round of the 2010 MLB draft by the San Diego Padres.

COWLITZ

Improvement is what the Cowlitz Black Bears are seeking in their second season in the West Coast League. Pepperdine southpaw starter Matt Mauer has been one of the best pitchers for the Waves and should have a big season for the Black Bears. Maurer recorded 34 wins in his storied career at North Medford (Oregon) High School.

The Black Bears are also high on Arizona State freshman right-hander Mark Lambson and Cal State Fullerton freshman catcher Cody Webster.

KELOWNA

The Kelowna Falcons are looking to San Diego State 6-4, 215-pound sophomore right-hander Ethan Miller to lead their pitching staff. University of British Columbia outfielder Blake Carruthers is the fifth-ranked NAIA prospect in the 2011 MLB draft. Should he not sign, Carruthers should bring a big bat to the Falcons.

KITSAP

Left-hander Richie Mascheri, who shared the 2010 WCL lead for victories with six, returns to the Kitsap BlueJackets. Mascheri is a redshirt senior at Western Illinois. The BlueJackets have high expectations for Cal Poly freshman southpaw Reed Reilly.

KLAMATH FALLS

The expansion Klamath Falls Gems are counting on serious offensive production from Baylor third baseman Jake Miller and University of Portland slugger Turner Gill. Sacramento State freshman right-hander Dallas Chadwick, an 18th round selection of the Boston Red Sox in the 2010 MLB draft, has had a strong spring and should be key to the Gems' success.

WALLA WALLA: The Walla Walla Sweets are returning junior catcher Elliot Stewart of Cal Poly from their 2010 expansion team. Sophomore outfielder Brett Jacobs is having a big spring for the Washington State Cougars and should lead an outfield that will also feature UCLA freshman Brenton Allen, who was a 9th round selection of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 MLB draft.

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Here's some more news from around the WCL:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have already sold 522 season tickets and expect to sell even more before the season starts, according to this story in the Klamath Falls Heralld & News.

The Gems have also signed first baseman Rich Sanguinetti, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed hitter from Arlington, Texas. Sanguinetti has signed to play at Nebraska and is currently a sophomore at Texarkana (Texas) College.

Through April 10, Sanguinetti is hitting .325 with four home runs and 23 RBIs.

KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed freshman infielder/outfielder Ben Swinford of Cornell, a 6-foot, 185-pound Lake Oswego Highh graduate.

Swinford, who also played football for the Lakers, is hitting .261 (24-92) through April 13, with no homers and nine RBIs in 26 games, all starts.

WALLA WALLA: And here are 10 more things to knows about Sweets baseball, a recurring feature on the team's website.


Knights add PLU shortstop Hall

April 14, 2011

As most of you Knights fans know, it's often a problem compiling a competitive roster early in the season. Many of our players are still in school and are ineligible to compete until the term or semester is completed.

So we often augment our early-season roster with 10-day signees. Most move on to play elsewhere after fulfilling their commitment, but a few - Josh Hogan, Clayton Shaw and Griffin Boyd come to mind - play so well they stick with the team for the entire season.

Another player will have that opportunity this year. The Knights announced Thursday we have signed Nicholas Hall, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound freshman shortstop from Pacific Lutheran University. A slick fielder, he's hitting .231 (15-65) in 21 games (20 starts), with no homers and seven RBIs.

Hall is an Ashland High graduate who was a first-team 5A all-stater in 2010 and a second-team all-stater in 2009.

Welcome aboard, Nicholas.

Our other 10-day signees are pitcher Taylor Hill of Hawaii Pacific; infielder Sean Myrom of Concordia; the aforementioned Boyd, who plays at Western Oregon, and outfielder Nick Armenta of the University of Portland.

We may have a few more 10-day signees to announce before our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, which is only 50 days away. And it's only 54 days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

So, get those tickets now. Sales were brisk in the WWHQ yesterday, especially for July 3 Fireworks Nights tickets.

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Knights' 2011 intern Leslie Mak and the rest of the No. 3 Oregon State gymnastics team are in Cleveland for this weekend's NCAA Championships.

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Wright State catcher Corey Davis went 0-for-4 on Wednesday as the Raiders lost 7-4 to Cincinnati in the Joe Nuxall Classic at UC's Marge Schott Stadium. Davis played for the Knights in 2010 and will return this summer for an encore performance.

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Ex-Knights pitcher Aaron Corwin (2010) of Texas Tech pitched a perfect ninth inning on Wednesday to earn his first career save in a 7-6 victory at New Mexico.

He had a rough start with the Red Raiders but has been pitching excellently of late, and is 0-0, 5.11 in eight appearances, with 10 strikeouts in 12.1 innings.

Aaron's father, Mike Corwin, is a charter member of the Knights Corvallis Advisory Board, which was profiled here recently on the Knights' home page.

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Belated birthday wishes from the blog to Oregon State freshman infielder/Knights signee Brandon Defazio, who turned 19 on Tuesday.

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There's a story about Knights pitcher-to-be Ben Wetzler in Thursday's editions of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, our team's hometown newspaper.

There's also a Q&A with ex-Knights pitcher James Nygren (2009).

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One of our four Knights big-leaguers, Toronto reliever Marc Rzepczynski, was the winning pitcher on Wednesday night in the Jays' 8-3 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field.

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Former Knights' catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Oregon State and ex-Knights pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009) of Oregon are both on Baseball America's midseason list of the top 50 players eligible for this June's MLB draft.

Anderson is ranked No. 21, Susac No. 24. Here's the complete list.

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That's all for today. We'll be back on Friday with another edition of the Knights blog.