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Knights Daily Update

Knights sign catcher from Arizona Central

October 15, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. Hope you are all ready for a great weekend.

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The Knights have signed redshirt sophomore catcher Brent Gibbs of Arizona Central JC for the 2016 season. He's a 6-foot-1, 220-pound transfer from Indiana University who redshirted for the Hoosiers in 2014.

Gibbs was an all-Illinois performer also tabbed as three-time All-Southwestern Conference and The Telegraph Player of the Year twice at Alton High School in Alton, Ill., before signing with Indiana. He hit .412 with 33 RBIs, 22 doubles and a .562 on-base percentage and was the team MVP as a senior.

He owns the school record for most doubles in a season and for career RBIs, and he led Alton to a regional championship.

Welcome to the Knights, Jake!

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Returnee Dakody Clemmer of Central Arizona College, a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Vancouver, Wash., has committed to Nevada and will sign a letter of intent with the Wolfpack next month.

"I'm excited to be a part of their program and for the opportunity Nevada has given me," Clemmer said. "I just want to continue to get better here at Central every day and hopefully compete for a championship."

He was 3-1, 2.98 in 14 games for the Knights in 2015, with 33 strikeouts in a team-high 51.1 innings. He was 6-3, 3.38 at CAC in 2015, with 51 strikeouts in 66.2 innings.

"Dakody has worked very hard over the summer and this fall to get this opportunity and I'm sure [Nevada's coaches] will be very pleased to have him in their program," CAC head coach Anthony Gilich said.

Added Central Arizona pitching coach Jerry A'Hearn: "He has a unique skillset, a good arm and I believe he is going to continue getting better."

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts! Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday.


Three Knights playing in Arizona Fall League

October 13, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hope you all celebrating the Cubs' victory over St. Louis in the NLDS. Just four more wins away from their first World Series since 1945, the year my dad, a huge Cubs fan his entire life, got out of the U.S. Army after WWII.

That's a long time ago. It's high time for the Cubbies to get off the schneid, and for my dad to see them play in the World Series.

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Alum Chris Rabago (2012-13) of UC Irvine has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League by the Colorado Rockies. He will play for the Salt River Rafters.

Chris hit .306 (52-170) in 45 games for Grand Junction in the Pioneer League this season, with three homers and 28 RBIs. He was a two-time Joe Segel Award winner for us and was a great teammate.

The Angels have assigned lefty Greg Mahle (2012) of UC Santa Barbara to the Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL. Greg started the season in the California League and finished with Arkansas in the double-A Southern League and was 3-3 with 16 saves and a 3.06 ERA in 31 games, with 36 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.

The Padres have assigned outfielder Nick Torres (2012) to the Peoria Javelinas of the AFL. He was promoted to Lake Elsinore in the high-A California League after making the all-star game for Fort Wayne in the low-A Midwest League and hit .275 (58-211) in 52 games, with three homers and 30 RBIs. He had five homers and 70 RBIs in 129 total games.

Congrats to all three players.

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The Victoria HarbourCats have signed returnee Michael Gretler, a sophomore at Oregon State, for the 2016 season. He hit .236 (25-106) and had a .373 on-base percentage in 32 games, with one homer, for Victoria in 2015.

The HarbourCats have also added four players from Fresno State: Catcher Joe Prior, shortstop/infielder Scott Silva, outfielder Jake Stone, and right-handed pitcher Mark Reece.

For more details, please click here for more details, from the Our Sports Central website.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts! See you on Friday.


Taylor Ard signs with Miami Marlins

October 11, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all enjoyed our much-needed Saturday rain shower, and had great weekends, no matter what you were up to.

In the meantime, we have some news to announce.

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Alum Taylor Ard (2009) has parlayed a great season in the Frontier League into a contract with the Miami Marlins. They signed the former Mt. Hood CC/Washington State star to a free-agent deal late last week.

A power-hitting corner infielder who played with the River City (Mo.) Rascals this past summer, was named the Frontier League's Most Valuable Player. He received the Morgan Burkhart Award, given annually to the league's MVP following a vote by general managers, coaching staffs, and local media in all of the Frontier League markets.

Ard hit .303, with a league-leading 26 home runs and 75 RBIs, in his second year with the Rascals. He previously played for three years in the Seattle and Arizona organizations and hit .265 (219-826) in 227 career games, with 24 homers and 128 RBIs.

Congrats to Taylor, a 25-year-old from Vancouver, Wash., who was selected by Seattle in the seventh round of the 2012 MLB draft out of WSU.

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More good news to report on the signings front.

Cal Poly junior pitcher Slater Lee will return for the 2016 season. A 6-foot, 200-pound righty, Slater went 2-1 with a 2.56 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 47 innings for us in 2015. He was named the Knights Top Pitcher by vote of the coaches and front office.

Slater was named the West Coast League's co-Player of the Week for July 6-12 for a 1-0, 4-hit win over Kitsap on July 10. He struck out three, did not issue a walk and faced just 29 hitters while completing the game in 1:43.

Lee shared that award with Chase Kaplan of Western Nevada CC, who is also returning for the 2016 season. Kaplan also shut out Kitsap 1-0, on July 9.

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A total of 25 WCL alums appeared in major-league games this past season.

Most of you know our MLB alums: Matt Duffy, Andrew Susac, Josh Osich, Matt Boyd, Brent Morel, Matt Andriese, Rocky Gale, Bud Norris, Matt Hague, Marc Rzepczynski and Chris Stewart.

Topping WCL/MLB honor roll is 2015 MLB home run leader Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles. He starred for the Kelowna Falcons in 2005, the WCL's inaugural season.

Also making the grade in 2015 were Trevor Brown of the San Francisco Giants, who played for Wenatchee in 2010; outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury (Bend Elks) of the New York Yankees; pitcher Jason Hammel (Wenatchee AppleSox) of the Chicago Cubs; southpaw Tommy Milone (Wenatchee AppleSox) of Minnesota; starting pitcher James Paxton (Kelowna Falcons) of Seattle and infielder Eric Sogard (Bend Elks) of Oakland.

Also, outfielder Cole Gillespie (Wenatchee AppleSox) of Miami; outfielder Daryl Ceciliani (Bend Elks) of the New York Mets; pitcher Blaine Hardy (Wenatchee AppleSox/Bend Elks) of Detroit; pitcher Tyler Wagner (Kelowna Falcons) of Milwaukee; pitcher Jeff Francis (Bellingham Bells) of Toronto; pitcher Chad Smith (Wenatchee AppleSox) of the Los Angeles Angels, and pitcher Marco Gonzales (Wenatchee AppleSox) of St. Louis.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts! See you on Wednesday.


Max Gordon named new assistant coach

October 8, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. Touched base with El Presidente, Knights' president Dan Segel, tonight. He told me the 2016 West Coast League schedule could be released in several weeks, after the upcoming league meetings.

Nice to catch up after several months and solve the world's problems over a plate of wings and a couple Frescas at Buffalo Wild Wings, one of our great sponsors.

In the meantime, we have some news to announce.

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Former Oregon State outfielder Max Gordon will join us as an assistant coach for the 2016 season. A native of Ashland, Gordon lettered in center field for the Beavers in 2011-13 and was a starter on the 2013 Pacific-12 Conference championship team that advanced to the College World Series. His 2011 and 2012 OSU teams also advanced to the postseason.

Known for his acrobatic catches, fiery attitude and aggressive baserunning, Gordon hit .227 in his three seasons at OSU, with no homers, 20 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 127 career games after joining the program as a walk-on following a season at Sierra College.

A human development and family sciences major at OSU, Gordon began his coaching career as an assistant for the Medford Rogues in 2014. He then was named the head coach of the Willamette Valley Brewers of the Oregon Collegiate Baseball League and led them to a second-place finish in 2015.

For more information on this story, please click here and read all about it, from our website.

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The Knights have signed freshman pitcher Willie Traynor of UC Santa Barbara and sophomore pitcher Cody Hoff of Linn-Benton Community College for the 2016 season.

Traynor is a 6-foot-1 right-hander out of Newark (Calif.) Memorial High School who was named to a first-team MVAL all-star. As a junior he was 8-1 with a 1.04 ERA, two shutouts, and a 37-11 strikeout-walk ratio in 60.2 innings.

"Willie has an athletic delivery with a projectable frame and arm action," UCSB coach Andrew Checketts said. "He pounds the bottom of the strike zone with his fastball and competes well.

"He reminds me of [former UC Riverside and current Boston Red Sox right-hander] Joe Kelly at the same age."

Hoff is a transfer from Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. He made 17 relief appearances and went 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA in 2015.

Welcome to the team, guys.

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Construction is underway on indoor batting cages at Borleske Stadium, and the new facility will be used year-round by the Whitman College baseball team, the Walla Walla Sweets, and elementary and middle school students who attend camps at Borleske Stadium. Please click here for more details, from Our Sports Central.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts! Have a great weekend, and we will see you on Monday.


Anna Seydel named Employee of the Year

October 6, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hope you all are still enjoying our wonderful fall weather.

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University of Oregon senior Anna Seydel, our community relations intern this past summer, was named our 2015 Staff Member of the Year earlier this week.

Anna was honored for her extraordinary efforts managing the Corvallis Knights Reading Club presented by Kettle Chips, and for our presence at more than 60 community events this past year. The Reading Club was launched in early 2015 and grew to 14 participating schools impacting more than 4,000 area children.

Congrats to Anna. For more on her award, and to read about our other 2015 staff awards, please click here for a story from our website.

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More signing to announce from the University of Portland, a longtime partner school under first-year coach Geoff Loomis, a former Aloha Knights' great. The newest 2016 Knights are freshmen outfielder Cody Hawken, freshman infielder Matt Kelly and freshman pitcher Cameron Richman.

Hawken was selected in the 34th round of the 2015 June MLB draft by the Chicago Cubs. He was first-team all-state as a junior at Vancouver (Wash.) Union High School. He was also named first-team Greater St. Helens League in 2013 and 2014 and he helped lead the Titans to a league and district title as a junior.

Richman is a three-time Washington 2A all-state selection and a three-time Southeast 2B All-Conference pick from DeSales HS in Walla Walla. A Max Prep All-American, Richman helped lead the Irish to three Washington state titles.

Kelly is a switch-hitting, 5A all-state shortstop from West Linn who played at Wilsonville High School. He was first-team all-Northwest Oregon Conference and led WHS in hits, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases and triples and earned team MVP as a senior.

Also a right-handed pitcher, Kelly set a program record for saves in a season. He was second-team all-league as a junior and he was an all-league selection in football too.

Welcome to the team, guys.

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As promised, here's a final statistical roundup for our alums who played major-league baseball this season:

* MATT ANDRIESE (2009): The Tampa Bay/UC Riverside pitcher was 3-5, 4.11 in 25 games, with two saves and 49 strikeouts in 65.2 innings.

* MATT BOYD (2010) : The Tigers/Jays/Oregon State pitcher was 1-6, 7.53 in 13 games, with 43 strikeouts in 57.1 innings.

* MATT DUFFY, (2010): The Giants/Long Beach State third baseman hit .295 (169-573) in 149 games, with 12 homers and 77 RBIs.

* ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): The Padres/Portland catcher hit .100 (1-10) in 11 games, with no homers or RBIs.

* MATT HAGUE (2005): The Blue Jays/Washington/Oklahoma State infielder hit .250 (3-12) in 10 games, with no homers or RBIs.

* JOSH OSICH (2008): The Giants/Oregon State pitcher was 2-0, 2.20 in 35 games, with 27 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.

* BRENT MOREL (2007): The Pirates/Cal Poly third baseball hit .286 (2-7) in three games, with no homers and an RBI.

* BUD NORRIS (2005): The Orioles/Padres/Cal Poly pitcher was 3-11, 6.72 in 38 games, with 71 strikeouts in 83 innings.

* MARC RZEPCZYNSKI (2006): The Indians/Padres/UC Riverside pitcher was 2-4, 5.50 in 72 games, with 41 strikeouts in 36 innings.

* CHRIS STEWART (2001): The Pirates/Riverside City College catcher hit .289 (46-159) in 58 games, with no homers and 15 RBIs.

* ANDREW SUSAC (2009): The Giants/Oregon State catcher hit .218 (29-133) in 52 games, with three homers and 14 RBIs.

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That is all for today. We have some big news coming later this week, so stay tuned. See you on Friday.


Colen, Farris to return in 2016

October 5, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend.

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We've signed two more returnees for the 2016 season, bringing our number of projected second-year Knights to six.

The newest "old" Knights are Cal Poly freshman pitcher Craig Colen and UC Riverside junior third baseman Michael Farris of UC-Riverside.

Colen was 1-1, 5.96 in 16 total appearances for us in 2015, following his senior season at Lowell High School in San Francisco. He had 16 strikeouts in 22.2 innings.

Farris earned all-WCL honorable mention honors in 2015 after hitting .258, with 27 RBIs and a team-high five homers in WCL games. He played third base and first base.

Colen and Farris join outfielder Emilio Alcantar, , utility Taylor Travess and pitchers Chase Kaplan and Brendan Cutsforth as returnees from 2015 who have signed thus far.

Welcome back to the team, guys.

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Alum Matt Duffy (2010) of the San Francisco Giants earned their Willie McCovey Award for the 2015 season. It is presented annually to the team's most inspirational player.

The former Long Beach State star hit .295 in 149 games in his rookie season, with 12 homers, 77 RBIs and 77 runs. He will certainly merit some consideration in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, although Kris Bryant of the Cubs will probably win that award.

Here is more on Matt's Award, from our website. Way to go, Matt!

We will have the final 2015 stats of all our Knights in the Majors in Wednesday's blog.

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Bellingham manager Jeff James, who skippered the Bells for the past two summers, will not return for the 2016 season. The Seattle resident plans to spend more time with wife and young daughter. Here is more on that story, from the Bellingham Herald newspaper.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts! See you on Wednesday.


10-day signee Taylor Travess to return

October 2, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone.

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We've signed another returnee for the 2016 season, president Dan Segel announced Friday.

Utility Taylor Travess, a sophomore at Mt. Hood Community College from Springfield, will be back. The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder was a 10-day player for us in 2015 and hit .294 (10-34) with three RBIs in nine games.

He also picked up a win in relief with two scoreless innings in his one appearance as a pitcher before being released with the arrival of our full-time players. He then played for the Willamette Valley Titans American Legion team.

He hit .248 (26-105) in 43 games, with a homer and 17 RBIs, at Mt. Hood in 2015. He is a left-handed hitter who graduated from Springfield High School, where he was a two-time all-league shortstop.

Welcome back to the team, Taylor.

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Alum Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) of the San Diego Padres lined a single into left field in the eighth inning of a 5-0 loss to Milwaukee at Petco Park on Wednesday night to record his first hit in the major leagues.

It was his first game as a starter. He was 0-for-7 to that point, as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement, since being recalled from triple-A El Paso of the Pacific Coast League on Sept. 2.

"It was such an honor to get a start," Gale said following the game. "I never wanted a hit so bad."

Here is video of that milestone hit, from mlb.com website, with legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg on the call. Rocky then went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter on Thursday night.

Way to go, Rocky!

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 campaign begins next June. Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday.


Knights add three pitchers for 2016

September 29, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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We've got three signees to announce as we continue to build our 2016 ballclub.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Nicholas Strange of Tacoma Community College; junior righty Tanner Howell of Dixie State and sophomore lefty Aaron Pope of Dixie State will join the team next summer.

An Astoria native, Strange was 0-1, 14.40 in limited appearances at Northwest Nazarene University in 2015, with four strikeouts in five innings over seven games. He is a 6-foot, 180-pounder.

A 6-4, 185-pounder from Boulder City High School in Boulder City, Nevada, Howell made 12 appearances and six starts in 2015 for the Red Storm, going 3-2 with a 3.99 ERA. He redshirted in 2014.

In high school, Howell was a two-time all-league selection and was first-team all-state as a pitcher in 2012 and first-team all-state as an infielder in 2013.

A 6-2, 190-pounder from Highland High School in the Pocatello suburb of Chubbuck, Idaho, Pope went 4-4 with a 4.33 ERA over 13 appearances, 12 starts and 60.1 innings pitched.

He was named the all-area Player of the Year by the Idaho State Journal as a senior. As a junior, he was all-league, all-region, all-state, and the MVP of his league.

Welcome to the team, guys.

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The Victoria HarbourCats have signed five more players for the 2016 season, bringing their total so far to 17.

The newest HarbourCats are Washington sophomore third baseman Nyles Nygaard of Torrance, Calif.; San Francisco junior pitcher James Kannenberg of Littleton, Colo., via Cuesta (jr.) College); Paradise Valley CC sophomore pitcher Nick Wojtysiak, a returnee from Scottsdale, Ariz.; UC Davis redshirt freshman outfielder Ryan Anderson of Pleasanton, Calif., and North Dakota State sophomore utility Brayden Resch of Saskatoon, Sask.

Wojtysiak is a returnee from 2015. Here is more on that story from the Our Sports Central website.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts!


Cutsforth, Kaplan to return in 2016

September 27, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends; the weather sure cooperated!

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Our 2016 roster continues to take shape.

We love returning players and we've got two more to add for the 2016 season.

We are pleased to announce that pitchers Brendan Cutsforth of Treasure Valley Community College and Chase Kaplan of Western Nevada JC will play for the Knights again.

Cutsforth is a right-handed pitcher from Central High School in nearby Independence who was 4-1, 3.41 in 14 games as a starter and reliever in 2015. He had 17 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Kaplan is a lefty from Hillsboro who was 1-2, 3.80 in 10 appearances, also as a starter and a reliever. He had one save and 27 strikeouts in 23.2 innings pitched in league games.

Welcome back to the team, guys.

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Alum Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) of the San Diego Padres is prominently mentioned in this story in Baseball America detailing the backstories of some September callups to the major leagues.

It is a nice story about a great guy, who played at the University of Portland and with two WCL runners-up in his seasons with the Knights.

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That is all for today. News gets a little harder to find in the offseason but we still plan to post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the 2016 season starts!


Medford moving to Great West League

September 24, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. Big night in Corvallis tonight, with the football game against Stanford; go Beavs!

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There has been a franchise shift in the West Coast League. The Medford Rogues, members since 2013, have bolted to join the Big West League, a new circuit formed by former WCL president Ken Wilson. Also in that league are Lodi, Chico, Sacramento and Marysville in California, and a Portland club that will play in Lents Park.

Here is more on that story, from the Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper, and another view of the move from the Ballpark Business website.

So, good luck to the Rogues. More changes could be forthcoming (don't worry, we're not going anywhere), but no matter what transpires the Knights will continue to field an outstanding club and the WCL will remain the top college wood-bat summer league on the West Coast.

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Our 2016 roster continues to take shape.

The Knights have signed sophomore infielder Greg Saenz and freshman pitcher Jake Wong of Grand Canyon University for next season.

Saenz hit .270 with nine doubles, a homer and 25 RBIs in 2015 as a freshman for the Antelopes. He's a 5-foot-11, 185-pounder from Phoenix who graduated from Sandra Day O'Connor High School.

Wong is a 6-2, 185-pound righty from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. Jake Wong joins the team from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. He had 12 strikeouts and a 2.17 ERA in 19.1 innings as a junior, when Hamilton won the Division I Arizona state championship.

"Jake may be the sleeper of the entire recruiting class," GCU coach Andy Stankiewicz said last November in announcing the 2014-15 recruiting class. "He comes from a great high school program. We targeted Jake early because of his delivery and upside on the mound."

Also signing was freshman Kyle Hatton of UC Santa Barbara. A lefty pitcher from Norco High School in Norco, Calif., he also plays first base and the outfield.

Kyle was named the MVP of his league and earned all-state, all-CIF and all-county honors. He was ranked the No. 320 prospect in the nation by Perfect Game, and was a second-team underclass All-American selection by the same publication.

"Kyle is as competitive as they come," UCSB coach Andrew Checketts said. "He likes to have the ball or bat in his hand when it matters.

"He is a proven winner who can hit, pitch and play a solid first base. Kyle should be an early contributor."

Welcome to the team, guys.

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That is all for today. Have a great weekend and we will see you on Monday. Go Beavs!