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Knights Daily Update

Monday Blog II: Altobelli returns

April 4, 2011

The Knights are turning to a familiar face to address their catching problems for the 2011 season.

General manager Brooke Knight announced Monday that Texas Tech sophomore Bo Altobelli will return for his second season with the Knights. He will fill the void left by the loss of projected Knights Beau Fraser of Portland and Orrin Sears of Linn Benton Community College because of injuries and academic issues, respectively.

A 6-foot-1, 190-pounder from Plano, Texas, Altobelli is hitting .393 (22-56) in 21 games this spring, with no homers and 13 RBIs.

"We are really excited to have Bo back," Knight said. "Bo has a sound understanding of the game, an infectious passion, and a balanced disposition. "He is tearing the cover off the ball this spring in the Big 12 as well. We are looking forward to his arrival in June."

Altobelli hit .244 (10-41) for the Knights in 2010, with no homers and five RBIs in 20 games, before leaving the team in late July after suffering an injury. An all-stater in 2009 as a senior at Plano High, he hit .231 (6-26) with no homers and five RBIs as a TTU freshman in 2010.


No foolishness here on April 1

April 1, 2011

We're all business today, as the start of the new month brings us to within 63 days of our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 67 days away from our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

And just so you know:

Season tickets and merchandise are available online, and at the WWHQ (that's Blogspeak for world-wide headquarters, for you newbies) in downtown Corvallis. Our 2011 pocket schedules are also now available.

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OK, we knows this is early notice, but people get busy and calendars get filled. So here's the info on our free summer baseball clinic, sponsored by our good friends at Starker Forests, Inc.

It's scheduled for 12:30-4 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, at Goss Stadium, before our game with the Walla Walla Sweets, and is open to boys and girls age 5-14.

Instruction will be given by the Knights players and coaches, Oregon State players, and will be supervised by Knights' coach Brooke Knight. The clinic will emphasize the basics of baseball and ways to have fun with the game.

Campers must have a parent or guardian sign a liability release form to participate. To get a copy of the form prior to the camp, please email dan.segel@corvallisknights.com.

The Corvallis Knights head trainer will be present at the clinic and attend to campers if necessary.

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Some of our 2011 Knights had midweek games. Here's a roundup:

Cal Poly outfielder David Armendariz was 0-for-2 and pitcher Chase Johnson took the loss as the Mustangs fell 7-4 to Pepperdine on Tuesday.

Feather River College outfielder Dayton Alexander was 5 for 11, with three RBIs, as FRC swept three games from the College of the Redwoods on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hawaii outfielder Michael Blake was 0-for-8 in the first two games of a four-game home series against Wichita State that continues tonight and concludes on Saturday.

Riverside CC pitcher Kyle McNutt won his first game of the season in an 11-3 victory over Irvine Valley CC on Thursday. He allowed two hits and two runs, with two strikeouts, over five innings.

UC Irvine pitcher Nick Hoover pitched a scoreless inning in a 4-0 shutout of USC on Tuesday.

Portland pitcher Chris Johnson gave up two runs on five hits and struck out four over five innings on Tuesday but was not involved in the decision in a 5-4 loss to Washington.

Washington State outfielder Nate Blackham scored as a pinch-runner in a 17-11 win over Gonzaga on Tuesday.

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Former Knights outfielder Jordan Poyer (2009) has decided to drop baseball and concentrate on playing football for Oregon State, according to this story in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

A former star at Astoria High School, Poyer will be a junior defensive back/kick returner this fall. He played in seven games for the Knights in 2010 and hit .333 (1-3), with one RBI.

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Some updates from around the WCL:

WALLA WALLA: Upgrades continue at the Sweets' Borleske Stadium, where the Knights open the 2011 season with a three-game series on June 3-5. Here's a look at the project, from the Sweets' website.

We hope to get a first-hand look at Borleske - where Hall of Famers Tony Gwynn and Ozzie Smith, and OSU baseball coach Pat Casey all started their pro careers as San Diego Padres farmhands - during the opening series.

BELLINGHAM: We mentioned the Bells' new ownership group had unveiled new colors and a new team logo the other day, but here's another story on the ceremony, from Ballpark Digest.


Thursday 3/31

March 31, 2011

Let's say goodbye to March, and with good reason. It's finally going out like a lamb after 30 days of endless rain and gloom that made Corvallis Knights baseball seem further away than ever.

But today is Opening Day in the major leagues. It also brings us to within 64 days of our own June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and to within 68 days of Opening Night V, the Return of the Knights!! at Goss Stadium on June 7 against Klamath Falls.

And rest assured that the wheels are still turning behind the scenes to strengthen this year's ballclub and to make sure we contend for our fifth consecutive West Coast League West Division championship.

Some things get old. But this:

West Division champion

2007: Corvallis Knights.

2008: Corvallis Knights.

2009: Corvallis Knights.

2010: Corvallis Knights.

never does and we're committed to a five-peat.

Now, on with the rest of the blog.

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The Knights have released catcher Orrin Sears of Linn-Benton Community College, who has returned to his native New Mexico after being declared academically ineligible.

Coupled with the loss of Portland catcher Beau Fraser to injury, that leaves us a little shorthanded at that position. Returnee Corey Davis of Wright State is the only player on the roster with catching experience, but we're working to resolve that lack of depth and could have a resolution in the near future.

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Our interview with WCL president Ken Wilson can now also be found on the WCL homepage.

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From around the WCL:

KLAMATH FAllS: Here's an update from Gems' general manager Chuck Heeman on the construction at Kiger Stadium:

"The Kiger Association has been hard at it, cleaning, painting and completing construction on the new Diamond Terrace seating area. They're also installing a new screen behind the backstop, you'll see the difference right away.

"The equipment for the McDonald's Kids Dugout has arrived and will be installed in mid-May, I think you'll really be impressed! It's a great place to bring the kids, we know sometimes kids don't like to sit and watch the game as much as the rest of us, so we'll take care of them for you.

The McDonald's Kids Dugout will be attended by a Gems staff member to watch over the goings on, so you'll be able to watch the game.

The Sign Guy and his crew have been out behind the outfield fence, installing our second level of signage, and starting this weekend will be installing the signs from our valuable corporate partners. We'd hoped to get these up earlier but the weather has made field conditions too wet, but now we're back on track!

Construction has been ongoing for the new merchandise shop, I'm hoping to complete that in the next week or two."

The Knights visit the Gems on Aug. 2-4. If we accompany the club on that trip it will be neat to see one of the most historic stadiums in the Pacific Northwest.

There are also stadium upgrades underway in Walla Walla, and new ownership in Bellingham, all part of the WCL's ongoing improvement and evolution into one of the country's premier summer wood-bat baseball leagues.


The pocket schedules are here!

March 30, 2011

Big day down here at the WWHQ; 14 boxes of our handy pocket schedules arrived yesterday afternoon. (I feel like that guy in The Jerk, who goes nuts when the phone books arrive.)

We'll have them distributed around the Corvallis/Albany/Philomath/Lebanon area at some point in the future, but anyone who needs or wants one, just stop by Madison Plaza and we'll set you up.

They're just another indication that the season is fast approaching. Only 65 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and only 69 until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against Klamath Falls.

Now that the obligatory intro and countdown reference are out of the way, lots of other stuff to report.

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First, here's a Seattle Mariners preview from WCL president Ken Wilson, a charter M's radio broadcaster in 1977 who will be doing the play-by-play for 31 games this summer.

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Knights pitcher/outfielder Michel Blake (2010, 2011), a junior at Hawaii, was nominated for WAC Player of the Week for March 21-27 but did not win.

Blake went 6-for-19 (.316), with a triple, two doubles, two runs and four RBIs in five games to raise his season average to .262 (17-65) in 22 games. Hawaii opens a four-game series against Wichita State in Honolulu tonight.

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Ex-Knights pitcher Daniel Turpen (2005) was traded from Boston to Colorado yesterday. He'll probably start the season azt double-A Tulsa in the Texas League.

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Here's a roundup from around the WCL.

BELLINGHAM: The Bells released their new logo and colors on Tuesday in a ceremony at the Bellingham Boys and Girls Club. Read all about it in this story from the Bellingham Herald newspaper.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed UCLA freshman shortstop Pat Valaika and UCLA incoming recruits Joe Ross, Tyler Goeddel and Eric Snyder for the 2011 season.

"The relationship with UCLA head coach John Savage goes back to when he was an assistant at USC," Wenatchee coach Ed Knaggs said. "He does us a favor each season with the type of players he sends us."

Valaika was the only freshman in the opening-day lineup and he's hitting .190, with eight RBIs. He's a graduate of Hart High in Valencia, Calif., which is also Knaggs' alma mater; his brother Chris played for the Cincinnati Reds in 2010 and another brother, Matt, is in the St. Louis organization.

A right-handed pitcher, Ross will graduate from Bishop O'Dowd High School in Oakland this year. He was rated No. 21 overall in Baseball America's list of the top 100 high school signees during the early signing period in the fall. His older brother, Tyson Ross, pitched at Cal and now plays for the Oakland A's.

An infielder, Goeddel is one of the star players for St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif., the top-ranked high school team in the country according to the latest Baseball America poll. He was rated No. 27 overall in Baseball America's top 100 high school signees during the early signing period. His brother Eric Goeddel pitched at UCLA in 2009 and 2010.

An outfielder from Edison High in Huntington Beach, Calif., Snyder was ranked 74th in Baseball America's top 100 high school signees.

"Coach Savage likes his incoming freshman to play in our league to get some college level experience before they step on campus," Knaggs said. "With how talented the high school players are there is always a chance that we might not see them here. "All three of these guys will be tempted by the MLB draft in June, but it's a risk we are willing to take."

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have signed 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed pitcher Cody Woodhouse, an Arkansas State freshman, for the 2011 season.

A native of Mountain Home, Ark., he was al-conference as a junior and senior and all-state as a junior. At ASU this year he's 0-0, 3.60 in five innings over three appearances.

KELOWNA: The Falcons have added infielder Jeff Melby and right-handed pitcher Matt McCallister from the University of Portland, and outfielder Karl Kobler and pitchers CJ Blom and Evan Wolf of UC Davis for the 2011 season.

Melby (5-11, 180) is a sophomore who was an all-stater as a senior and a two-time KingCo all-star shortstop at Bellevue High in Bellevue, Wash. He is 0-for-4 this season in three games.

McCallister (6-2, 170) is a sophomore who graduated from Pinnacle High in Phoenix, Ariz., after earning all-region honors as a senior. He's 0-2, 9.00 in 12 inings over four appearances this season.

Kobler (6-2, 210) redshirted in 2010 after making the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat's all-Empire team, and the San Francisco Chronicle's all-metro team in 2009 as a senior at Cardinal Newman High School in Sebastapol, Calif. He's from Santa Rosa. He's hitless in 10 at-bats over seven games.

Blom (6-4, 230) is a sophomore left-handed pitcher/1b from Napa High School who was a Monticello Empire League and Napa County all-star in baseball and football. He hasn't pitched this year but is batting .500 (2-4) with two RBIs.

A right-handed pitcher from Clovis High in Clovis, Calif., Wolf (6-5, 235) redshirted in 2010. He has not played this year.

WALLA WALLA: Here are the latest 10 things to know about the Sweets, from their website.

That's all for today.


PEAK's onboard for the ASG

March 29, 2011

Well, the season's getting closer, rain or no rain.

The friendly UPS man just dropped five packages of Baden baseballs at the WWHQ in downtown Corvalls, another sign that summer and Corvallis Knights baseball is on the way.

We're down to 66 days before the June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and only 70 until we start Year 5 in Corvallis on June 7 against the Klamath Falls Gems.

So, keep the faith. It will stop raining.

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It's on our website already but we'd be remiss not to mention PEAK Internet's sponsorship of the 2011 West Coast League All-Star Game, set for July 26 at Goss Stadium. Here are the details of the agreement.

And a big thank-you to PEAK, a supporter/sponsor from the very start of the Corvallis era of the Knights' franchise.

The ASG will also feature a pre-game Home Run Derby, and a postgame fireworks show, so be sure to attend.

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It looks as if four former Knights will be in the major leagues when the 2011 season opens on Thursday: Atlanta pitcher Tommy Hanson, Toronto pitcher Marc Rzepcynski, Houston pitcher Bud Norris, and Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel.

Morel, of course, is the first former Corvallis Knight (2007) to make the show. Hanson, Norris and "Zep" played for the franchise when it was located in Gresham, before the 2007 shift to Goss Stadium.

We'll have more on that foursome, and some other Knights minor-league players, in the news portion of our website later this week.

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Jason Schwartz, the Knights No. 2 broadcaster last summer, is in beautiful Norman, Ill., this week with the USC women's basketball team for the semifinals of the WNIT. He's their play-by-play broadcaster, and the Women of Troy play Illinois State on Wednesday night.

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Here's an update, where possible, on how our NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC 2011 Knights are faring. Some of the JCs don't have updated stats, so they get left out, unfortunately.

COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN IDAHO: Pitcher Tyler Duffin is 1-3, 4.91 in 18.1 inings over 14 games, with 20 strikeouts. CSI lost four games to Western Nevada last weekend.

CONCORDIA: Rain washed out Concordia's series at Corban last weekend. Infielder Sean Myrom is hitting .344 (21-61), with four homers and 12 RBIs.

FEATHER RIVER: Outfielder Dayton Alexander is hitting .344 (25-73), with four homers and seven RBIs. FRC plays the College of the Redwoods today and Wednesday and the College of the Siskiyous this weekend.

HAWAII PACIFIC: Pitcher Taylor Hill is 0-1, 6.48 in 8.1 innings over six games. HPU is idle until April 6-7 doubleheaders against Dixie State.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Infielder Corey Moore is hitting .329 (26-79), with a homer and 14 RBIs. Pitcher Max Beatty isa 2-2, 2.92 in six games, with 29 strikeouts in 37 innings. The Lutes took 2 of 3 against Willamette last weekend; they play Whitman this weekend.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 5-1, 3.62 in nine games, with 56 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. He pitched three innings in a seven-inning no-hitter against Caltech last weekend. Redlands swept three games and didn't allow a run. It plays Whittier this weekend.

WESTERN OREGON: Infielder Griffin Boyd is hitting .293, with no homers and 12 RBIs, in 22 games. The Wolves play Northwest Nazarene this weekend.


Knights update for Monday

March 28, 2011

It's the start of a new week and we're ready to update the Knights' Blog.

First, former Knights infielder Brent Morel will be the Chicago White Sox opening-day third baseman, according to MLB.com. He's the first former Corvallis Knight (2007) to play in the majors.

Congrats to Brent, who we profiled earlier this year on the Knights website.

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Now that spring break is over and now that we've started the home stretch of the school year, it's only 67 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla and just 71 more days until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

In other words, June will be here before you know it, so don't forget to buy your season ticket, and to check out the new Knights team merchandise now available at the WWHQ in downtown Corvallis, or online.

OK, now for a couple updates:

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The Blog's "State of the West Coast League" interview with WCL president Ken Wilson is now online here. It details Wilson's thoughts about the upcoming season, and the future of the WCL.

Be sure to check it out.

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Just in case you missed it late last week, here's a profile of the Knights that appeared in the special Focus section of our hometown newspapers, the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the Albany Democrat-Herald last week.

Check it out, it's excellent reading.

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UC Santa Barbara finally ended former Knights' pitcher Sam Gaviglio's (2009) streak of consecutive scoreless innings at 41.2 on Friday night, but he and Oregon State still won the game and Sam the Man is now 5-0, 0.39 in six starts.

(We also saw ex-Knight/Beaver outfielder John Wallace at the games this weekend. Wally, who was a key member of the Knights' 2008 championship club, and of the Beavers' 2006 and 2007 NCAA champions, is living and working in Portland.)

Here's an update on how our 2011 Division I players are faring:

OREGON STATE: Pitcher Scott Schultz is 1-0, 3.12 in 17.1 innings over six games. Pitcher Ben Wetzler is 3-1, 4.08 in 28.2 innings over seven gamnes, with 25 strikeouts.

Pitcher Tom Zarosinski and infielder Brandon Defazio haven't played yet.

OREGON: Outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .219 (7-32) in 18 games, with four RBIs. Pitcher Jimmie Sherfy is 0-0, 81.00 in .1 innings in his lone appearance.

CAL POLY: Infielder David Armendariz is hitting .163 (8-49) in 18 games, with a homer and four RBIs. Infielder Jimmy Allen is hitting .214 in 11 games, with six RBIs, and pitcher Chase Johnson is 0-1, 1.93 in 14 innings over four games, with 10 strikeouts.

DELAWARE: Pitcher Eric Young is 2-2, 3.86 in six starts, with 15 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. He pitched into the seventh innings and defeated William & Mary this past Friday.

HAWAII: Outfielder Michael Blake is hitting .262 (7-65) in 22 games, with no homers and 12 RBIs. He's also made six appearances as a situational reliever and is 0-0, 2.08 in 4.1 innings.

SANTA CLARA: Pitcher Chris Mendoza is 2-2, 3.25 in 27.2 innings over five appearances.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Pitcher Justin Hepner is 0-0, 4.50 in two innings over two appearances.

SEATTLE: Infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .116 (5-43) with two RBIs in 14 games. Pitcher Cam Christian is 0-1, 12.60 in five innings over five appearances.

UC IRVINE: Pitcher Nick Hoover is 1-1, 2.30 in 15.2 innings in 10 games, with 10 strikeouts. Pitcher Sebastian Santos pitched a scoreless inning in his lone appearance, with two strikeouts.

UC RIVERSIDE: Outfielder David Andriese is hitting .338 (22-65), with three homers and 10 RBIs, in 18 games. Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 1-0, 0.00 in 12.2 innings over five games, with 16 strikeouts. Pitcher Mitch Patito is 1-2, 2.57, with four saves, in seven games.

PORTLAND: Pitcher Chris Johnson is 1-1, 5.01 in five games, with 21 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. OUtfielder Nick Armenta is hitless in his only at-bat.

WASHINGTON STATE: Outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .333 (3-9) in 13 games. Infielder J.K. Dykes is redshirting.

WRIGHT STATE: Catcher Corey Davis is hitting .321 (25-78), with a homer and 12 RBIs, in 21 games.

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


Friday wrapup

March 25, 2011

It's Friday down at the Knights' WWHQ in downtown Corvallis (and everywhere else too, unless you're reading this from the other side of the International Dateline) so we've got a few things to wrap up before we call it a week.

First, Knights' alum Sam Gaviglio (2009) of Oregon State will attempt to extend his amazing streak of scoreless innings to 39 and beyond when the Beavers play UC Santa Barbara today.

There's a nice photo of Sam in his Knights' uniform accompanying the story.

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Good story on the Knights by Corvallis Gazette-Times sports writer Aaron Yost on Page 14 in the second Focus section of today's G-T and Albany Democrat-Herald.

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The terrible weather up and down the West Coast is wreaking havoc with everyone, but Riverside CC was able to play twice this week.

Knights' signee Nic Cuckovich, a second baseman, had two hits in a 7-3 win over Golden West College on Tuesday and scored twice yesterday in a 14-13 loss at Golden West.


Big honors for a Knights intern

March 24, 2011

No better way to brighten up (another) drab March day than by reporting some good news for a member of the Knights family.

Oregon State gymnastics star Leslie Mak, one of our talented 2011 interns, was named the Pacific-10 Conference's Gymnast of the Year, and a first-team Pac-10 all-star in the all-around on Wednesday.

Leslie won the Pac-10 all-around and beam titles, and tied for first on bars, last Saturday in leading OSU to the Pac-10 title. She is tied for No. 1 in the nation on the beam, is tied for eighth in the all-around and is ninth on the bars.

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And three future or former Knights' pitchers helped OSU defeat Seattle University 4-2 on Wednesday at Goss Stadium.

Starter Scott Schultz (2011), went the first 3.1 innings and allowed two runs on two hits. Ben Wetzler (2011) relieved and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, and Matt Boyd (2010) pitched two shutout innings for the save.

And future Knight Nate Roberts (2011) of the Redhawks, who is profiled on our home page, singled in his lone at-bat.

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We promised to update the stats for our NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC players today, so here goes.

COLLEGE OF SOUTHERN IDAHO: Pitcher Tyler Duffin is 1-3, 5.87 in 11 games, with 18 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. CSI plays Western Nevada College this Saturday and Sunday in Twin Falls.

CONCORDIA: Infielder Sean Myrom is hitting a robust .344 (21-61) in 16 games, with four homers and 12 RBIs. The Cavaliers defeated Lewis & Clark on Wednesday and play Corban College this weekend.

FEATHER RIVER JC: Outfielder Dayton Alexander is hitting .342 (25-73) with four homers and seven RBIs in 18 games. FRC plays Redwoods College at home this Sunday and Monday.

HAWAII PACIFIC: Pitcher Taylor Hill is 0-1, 6.48 in 8.1 innings over six appearances. HPU doesn't play again until April 6.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Infielder Corey Moore is hitting .297 (19-64), with a homer and 11 RBIs in 16 games. Pitcher Max Beatty is 2-1, 1.78 in five games, with 22 strikeouts in 30.1 innings. The Lutes play at Willamette this weekend.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 4-1, 3.86 in eight games, with 52 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. Redlands plays Caltech this weekend.

WESTERN OREGON: Infielder Griffin Boyd is hitting .293 (24-82) in 22 games, with a homer and 12 RBIs. WOU's weekend series at Montana State-Billings was rescheduled until later this spring because of poor weather in Billings.

Stats for Mt. Hood (P Nate Dolman, P Matt Pechmann), Linn-Benton (C Orrin Sears) and Riverside CC (P Kyle McNutt, INF Nic Cuckovich) are not yet available.

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And yes, the weather may be dreary, as we said, but the sunshine, warm weather and our opening night draw closer every day. It's only 71 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 75 until Opening Night V at Goss Stadium, set for June 7 against the Klamath Falls Gems.

So get your tickets and merchandise now.

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Some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells will hold a special event on at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Bellingham Boys and Girls Club to showcase their new look to the community.

Their new team logos and uniforms will be displayed for the very first time.

"We are all extremely excited about showing our fans the Bells' new look," general manager Blake Buswell said. "We believe the new identity will not only energize the community, but will be a hallmark for the team for many years to come."

Front office staff members will also reveal some exciting improvements that will soon be incorporated into their online presence.

WALLA WALLA: Renovations are ongoing at Walla Walla's historic Borleske Stadium, home of the Sweets.

We hope to pay our first visit to the venue - where Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith and Pat Casey started their professional careers - for our opening series of the season.


Seattle's Roberts stays positive

March 23, 2011

The Blog talked to Seattle University infielder Nate Roberts, a 2011 Corvallis Knight-to-be, on Tuesday after the Redhawks defeated Oregon State 5-4 at Goss Stadium.

Roberts took a tough 0-for-5 collar, dropping his average to .111, but the 2010 star of the now-defunct Moses Lake Pirates remains upbeat that the hard balls he's hitting now thazt are being caught will eventually start to drop in for base hits.

Here's a preview of our story, which will be posted in the news portion of our home page later today.

Nothing ever comes easy when you're scuffling.

Seattle University sophomore infielder Nate Roberts was already 0-for-3 when he came to the plate in the seventh inning of the Redhawks' 5-4 victory over Oregon State on March 22, with one out and runners on second and third.

The 2011 Corvallis Knight-to-be ripped a pitch from OSU reliever Ryan Dunn up the middle for what appeared to be a certain two-run single. However, Dunn flicked his glove out at the last minute and speared the liner for the second out.

So instead of a confidence-building base hit, Roberts was retired before he'd even left the batter's box. Another hard shot in the ninth was gloved, and his 0-for-5 evening dropped his average down to .111.

That's a far cry from the .241 he hit as a 50-game starter as an SU freshman in 2010, when he hit .444 (4-9) with the bases loaded and laced 46 total hits, third-most on the team.

And it's light years away from the .335 average he authored with the Moses Lake Pirates last summer, when he led the West Coast League in RBIs (35) in his initial season in the circuit.

But, to paraphrase the great Yogi Berra, Roberts isn't in a slump, he's just not hitting. The play by Dunn that robbed him of a base hit epitomized his entire spring.

"That's been the whole season so far," Roberts said afterwards. "I've been hitting the ball hard, just right at guys.

"So it's been a little unlucky, but if I keep my same swing, I know eventually the hits will start dropping. I'm hitting the ball hard. I just have to keep working in practice and in BP.

"If I keep that same swing, I know something good will happen."

Here's the entire story, with art by OSU photographer Ethan Erickson, on our website. Check it out.

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Here's how our Division I 2011 Knights are doing this season:

OREGON STATE: Pitcher Scott Schultz is 1-0, 3.00 in 12 innings over four appearances. Pitcher Ben Wetzler is 2-1, 3.86 in five games, with 22 strikeouts in 23.1 innings.

Pitcher Tom Zarosinski and infielder Brandon Defazio haven't played yet.

OREGON Outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .219 (7-32), with four RBIs, in 15 games. Pitcher Jimmie Sherfly is 0-0, 81.00 in .1 innings in his lone appearance.

CAL POLY: Outfielder David Armendariz is hitting .156 (7-45), with a homer and three RBIs, in 16 games. Infielder Jimmy Allen is at .217 (5-23), with four RBIs, in nine games. Pitcher Chase Johnson is 0-1, 1.93 over 14 innings in four games.

DELAWARE: Pitcher Eric Young is 1-2, 4.94 in 23.2 innings over five starts.

HAWAII: Outfielder Michael Blake is hitting .255 (13-51) in 18 games, with no homers and 10 RBIs. As a pitcher, he's 0-0, 0.00 in 4.1 innings in five appearances.

SANTA CLARA: Pitcher Chris Mendoza is 1-2, 3.80 in 21.1 innings over five appearances.

SEATTLE: Infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .111 (4-36) with two RBIs. Pitcher Cam Christian is 0-1, 17.18 over 3.2 innings in four appearances.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Pitcher Justin Hepner is 0-0, 4.50 in two innings over two appearances.

UC IRVINE: Pitcher Nick Hoover is 1-0, 2.08 in 13 innings over seven appearances. Pitcher Sebastian Santos pitched a scoreless inning in his lone appearance.

UC RIVERSIDE: Outfielder David Andriese is hitting .338 (22-65), with three homers and 10 RBIs in 18 games. Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 0-0, 0.00, with 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings over five games. Closer Mitch Patito is 1-2, 2.57, with four saves and seven strikeouts over seven innings in seven games.

PORTLAND: Pitcher Chris Johnson is 1-1, 5.75 in 20.1 innings over four games, with 19 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. Outfielder Nick Armenta is 0-for-1 in his lone appearance.

WASHINGTON STATE: Outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .373 (3-8) in 12 games. Infielder J.K. Dykes is likely redshirting.

WRIGHT STATE: Catcher Corey Davis is hitting .317 (20-63), with a homer and 10 RBIs, in 18 games.

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We'll have updates on our Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC players on Thursday.


Tuesday 3/22 update

March 22, 2011

We can't stay away too long and stop the flow of Corvallis Knights information to our faithful fans, so we're back with a short update.

First, it's only 73 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and only 77 until our June 7 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Seems like a long time, but it will get here before you know it, so get your Knights' merchandise and tickets either online or at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

And, late wishes to Santa Clara pitcher and 2011 Knight Chris Mendoza, a returnee from 2010. He turned 20 years of age this past Sunday.

Now, a few updates:

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Former Knights pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009) hit the jackpot this week for his one-hit, 14-strikeout win at Long Beach State on March 18.

He was named the Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week; the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Baseball America Golden Spikes Spotlight Player of the Week.

More information is available on the Knights' home page.

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Former Knights' catcher Bo Altobelli is hitting .475 (19-40), with five doubles and 12 RBIs, for Texas Tech heading into today's game with Dallas Baptist.

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We'll have our weekly update on how our 2011 Division I players are doing on Wednesday.

We also hope to have a story on 2011 Knights infielder Nate Roberts of Seattle University; the RedHawks are playing at OSU today and we plan on catching up with him after the game.

Roberts played for the Moses Lake Pirates in 2011 and was one of the top hitters in the West Coast League.

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Now, some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed Hawaii outfielder Breland Almadova and infielder Conner George.

"We've had a lot of success with players from their program and they are always one of the first schools that call us every year," AppleSox coach Ed Knaggs said. "They do a lot of recruiting in the Northwest and often times they have players from our part of the country to send us."

A sophomore from Honolulu, Almadova is hitting .206 with four RBIs in 10 games. He was the Hawaii Gatorade Player of the Year and Hawaii Louisville Slugger Player of the Year awards in 2009.

"He has hit leadoff for them quite a bit this season and that is most likely a role he will fill for us," Knaggs said. "He is known for his speed and overall athleticism."

George is a freshman from Tualatin High in Tigard who has is 0-14 with an RBI in limited playing time. He was a three-time all-conference player and twice helped lead Tualatin to the state semifinals.

"He is a Northwest kid who wanted to be close to home for the summer," Knaggs said. "He is a versatile infielder who also runs very well."

Also, Wenatchee play-by-play broadcaster Chris King caught up with several former AppleSox who have played in the Majors. Here are his interviews with Cole Gillespie, Jason Hammel and Clay Mortensen recounting their days with the AppleSox.

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KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed freshman catcher Luke Lawyer of Oklahoma City University, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Shawnee, Kansas.

Here's more information on Lawyer from the Falcons' website.

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WALLA WALLA: Infielder Kevin Williams, the lone rising freshman on the inaugural Walla Walla Sweets team last season, is returning for 2011. He is a 6-foot, 185-pound Crespi High School product who was selected in the 41st round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Williams earned first-team All-CIF Southern Section Division II honors as a senior at Crespi. He hit .163 with six RBIs in 17 games, and played extremely well defensively, before departing early for UCLA freshman orientation. "We're thrilled to have Kevin back for a second year," Sweets' manager J.C. Biagi said. "Not many rising freshmen can hang tough in a collegiate wood-bat league, but he held his own offensively and performed exceptionally well on the field.

He's got the potential for a big season with us this year."