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Knights Daily Update

Kevin Gunderson joins Corvallis coaching staff

September 15, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hope you all are enjoying the return of real Oregon fall weather. We sure need the rain, and fortunately it is supposed to be gone by the time the Beavers host San Jose State on Saturday night.

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Knights' president Dan Segel announced Tuesday that we have signed Kevin Gunderson to coach in 2016 and to assist us with baseball community relations, effective immediately.

A former Knights' (2004) and Oregon State (2004-06) pitcher, he will join our 2016 coaching staff, which features the West Coast League's most-tenured skipper, Brooke Knight, and associate head coach Connor Lambert. Both Knight and Lambert are returning in 2016; Lambert, presently the director of baseball operations at University of Utah, will continue as our pitching coach and act as our associate head coach for the first time after five successful seasons as an assistant.

Gunderson pitched at OSU from 2004-2006 and in the Atlanta organization from 2006-2009, reaching as high as Triple-A. He brings a wealth of pitching knowledge to Corvallis. His public relations skills will be leveraged in the baseball community as we work hard to perpetuate the game and share our best-of-breed development philosophies.

For more details on Kevin's hiring, please click here to access a story from our website. Welcome back to the Knights, Kevin! I guess we know who will wear No. 6 next season.

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Four 2015 Knights and one alum were named to Perfect Game USA's list of the West Coast League's top 30 pro prospects.

Middle infielder Nick Madrigal, an incoming freshman at Oregon State, was ranked No. 5. Pitcher Ryan Walker, a sophomore at Washington State, was No. 11; middle infielder Clay Fisher, a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara, was ranked No. 29 and right-handed pitcher Slater Lee, a junior at Cal Poly, was ranked No. 30.

Right-handed pitcher Justin Calomeni, a Cal Poly junior who played in Corvallis in 2014, was ranked No. 7; he played at Bellingham in 2015. Madrigal, Walker and Calomeni were also recognized on Baseball America's top prospect list.

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Alum David Andriese (2010-11) and his West Virginia (Pirates) teammates defeated Staten Island (Yankees) 3-1 on Tuesday night to win the best-of-3 New York-Penn League championship, 2-0. An outfielder, Andriese played at UC-Riverside and hit .217 (13-60) with six RBIs in 22 games. He did not play on Tuesday.

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Pitcher Scott Schultz of Missoula (A Pioneer, Diamondbacks) and Chattanooga (AA Southern, Twins) pitchers Greg Peavey (2007) and DJ Johnson (2008-09) are still playing in their minor-league championship series. The decisive Game 3 of the Pioneer League finals against Idaho Falls is Wednesday night. Peavey and Johnson are in the Southern League finals against Biloxi, starting Wednesday night in Mississippi.

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That is all for today. Have a great day and we will see you on Friday.


Hague back in majors with Toronto

September 14, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend.

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Great news to report on the alumni front.

Alum Matt Hague (2005), the International League's 2015 MVP after a great season with the Buffalo Bisons, is back with Toronto in the major leagues. He was recalled on Sept. 8 and had a hit against Boston on Sept. 9 in his first at-bat in his second stint with the club this year.

Hague hit .338 (177-523) in 136 games for the Bisons this year, with 11 homers and 92 RBIs. In two years in Buffalo he has a .342 average (197-576), with 12 homers and 102 RBIs in just 149 games.

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Alum Scott Schultz (2011) and his Missoula Osprey are playing Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League's championship series, which started Sunday night in Idaho. Schultz struck out four in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief and got the victory in a wild 17-9 game.

The Oregon State product, who won a Northwest League title with the Hillsboro Hops in 2014, was 3-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 14 games this summer, 55 strikeouts in 46 innings.

Alum David Andriese (2010-11) and his West Virginia (Pirates) teammates defeated Williamsport (Phillies) in the decisive third game of their New York-Penn League semifinal series on Sunday night. West Virginia will now take on Staten Island (Yankees) in the championship series, starting tonight. An outfielder, Andriese played at UC-Riverside and hit .217 (13-60) with six RBIs in 22 games.

Alum Peter Van Gansen (2011) was 0-for-3 with a walk for Tri-City (Padres) in a 6-1 loss to Hillsboro in the decisive Game 3 of the Northwest league championship series. Peter played at Cal Poly and hit .267 (72-270) in 67 games, with two homers and 30 RBIs, in his first year of pro ball.

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Schultz and Andriese are two of several alums still involved in playoffs in their respective leagues.

Chattanooga (AA Southern, Twins) pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) gave up five hits and had five strikeouts in six scoreless innings to get the win in a 7-3 victory over Montgomery in Game 3 of the Southern League championship series on Sunday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Chattanooga (AA Southern, Twins) reliever DJ Johnson (2008-09) pitched a perfect ninth inning to close the aforementioned 7-3 win over Montgomery.

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That is all for today. Have a great day and we will see you on Wednesday.


Taylor Ard named Frontier League MVP

September 11, 2015

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

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Great news to report on the independent baseball front.

Alum Taylor Ard (2009), a third baseman for the River City Rascals, was named the Frontier League's Most Valuable Player earlier this week. He will receive 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. The former Mt. Hood Community College/Washington State star has also played in the Seattle and Arizona organizations in affiliated baseball.

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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Alum Chase Johnson (2011) was named a California League all-star after a great season with the San Jose Giants that resulted in a late-August promotion to Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

The Cal Poly product was 8-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 18 starts and 20 total games with the Class A Giants, with 111 strikeouts in 111 innings. He made three starts with Richmond and was 1-1, 5.93, with 18 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

Congrats to Chase, who was a key member of our 2011 West Coast League championship team.

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The Victoria HarbourCats have signed returnees Austin Dondanville, a right-handed pitcher, and catcher Nick Meyer for the 2016 season. They both play at Cal Poly.

They also signed RHP Colin Ashworth of Orange Coast College and infielder Rykker Tom, a Team USA standout who has committed to the University of San Diego.

Here are more details on the team's transactions, from the Our Sports Central website.

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The minor league regular-season is over but we still have a few alums involved in playoffs in their respective leagues.

Tri-City (A Northwest, Padres) shortstop Peter Van Gansen (2013) was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk in a 2-1 loss to Hillsboro in the NWL playoffs on Thursday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

There were no honorable mentions.

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


Susac on DL for balance of the season

September 8, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Hope you all had great holiday weekends.

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Alum Andrew Susac (2009) of the San Francisco Giants has been placed on the 60-day disabled list and will be shut down for the rest of the summer. He has returned to San Francisco to see a hand specialist about a sprained ligament in his right wrist.

He is not expected to need surgery. He was bothered by the injury all season and hit .218 (29-133) in 52 games, with three homers and 14 RBIs. Here is more on the story, from MLB.com.

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Alum Dean Green (2008) of the Erie SeaWolves was named the Eastern League's all-star Designated Hitter. Erie is Detroit's franchise in the double-A circuit. Here is what the league had to say about Green in announcing his selection:

"Designated Hitter: Dean Green, Erie SeaWolves (.312, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 38 R): Erie SeaWolves slugger Dean Green hit .312 with 11 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs, 60 RBIs and 38 runs scored in 90 games this season before receiving a promotion to Triple-A on August 22. It is the second time Green has been promoted to Triple-A this season, as he also appeared in 12 games for the Toledo Mud Hens from July 16-27.

"Green is currently ranked third in the league in slugging percentage (.491), on-base percentage (.389) and batting average (.312). He is also tied for fifth in RBIs (6) and ranked sixth in home runs (15). Dean was named the Eastern League Player of the Week for the period of July 27th-August 2nd and was the starting designated hitter for the Western Division at the 2015 Eastern League All-Star Game in Portland."

Congrats to Dean, who played at Oklahoma State and at Barry University.

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The minor league regular-season is over but we still have a few alums involved in playoffs in their respective leagues.

Palm Beach (A Florida State, Cardinals) outfielder Blake Drake was 1-for-1 in a 14-1 loss to Port Charlotte in the FSL playoffs on Tuesday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Tri-City (A Northwest, Padres) shortstop Peter Van Gansen (2013) was 1-for-3 with a run and a walk in a 4-2 win Everett in the NWL semifinals.

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That is all for today. See you on Friday.


Padres promote Rocky Gale to majors

September 3, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone.

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Lots of good news to report, so let's get started.

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The San Diego Padres promoted alum Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) to the major leagues from triple-A El Paso of the Pacific Coast League on Wednesday.

Gale was recalled to replace veteran catcher Derek Norris, who hyperextended his left elbow and shoulder on Tuesday night in a home-plate collision with Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre. Norris sprained the AC joint in the same shoulder in July but did not go on the disabled list.

Considered a strong defender, Gale was hitting .307 at El Paso, with one homer and 39 RBIs. He also threw out 35 percent of would-be base-stealers this season. Here is the full story, from our website.

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Pitcher Ryan Walker and infielder Nick Madrigal of the Knights made Baseball America magazine's annual list of the top-10 pro prospects in the West Coast League for 2015. Walker was ranked seventh, Madrigal eighth.

Pitcher Justin Calomeni, a rising junior at Cal Poly who played at Bellingham this past summer after pitching for the Knights in 2014, was ranked ninth.

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Alum Matt Hague (2005) of the Buffalo Bisons, a standout on the 2005 Aloha Knights in the first year of the West Coast League, was named the International League's Most Valuable Player earlier this week. Buffalo is Toronto's top affiliate and Hague had a brief stint with the Blue Jays in August.

Matt is well on his way to claiming the IL's batting title and also leads the league in hits, RBIs, as slugging and on-base percentage. He was named the IL Player of the Month for July and played in his third career Triple-A All-Star Game.

Congrats to Matt, who was also the "Slider Guy" pictured in much of our promotional material in recent years. PLease click here for more details, from The Buffalo News.

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Chattanooga (AAA Southern, Twins) reliever D.J. Johnson (2008-09) struck out three of the four batters he faced and pitched 1.1 innings of perfect relief in a 5-2 loss to Jackson on Thursday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. He lowered his ERA to 4.99.

There were no honorable mentions.

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That is all for today. Have a great weekend and we will see you on Wednesday; no blog on Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.


Mahle earns Arizona Fall League spot

September 1, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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Pitcher Greg Mahle (2012) of UC Santa Barbara, our 2012 MVP, has been selected to play for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League. A two-year veteran in the Los Angeles Angels' farm system, Mahle is presently with Arkansas in the double-A Texas League, his fourth stop in his rise through the Angels' organization.

The AFL is comprised of top prospects from all 30 major-league teams. Games start Oct. 13; the season concludes on Nov. 21 with the championship game. Mesa features players from the Cubs, Angels, Marlins, A's and Rays. Please click here for more information on the AFL.

So congrats to Greg, who is 3-3, 2.84 in 28 games at Arkansas, with 13 saves and 33 strikeouts in 31.2 innings. He started the season at Inland Empire in the high-A California League before being promoted. He spent last season with Orem in the rookie Pioneer League and with Burlington in the low-A Midwest League.

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Victoria's 2015 Player of the Year, infielder Griffin Andreychuk and three others are the four latest players to sign with the HarbourCats for the 2016 season. They now have eight players on the roster. For more details, please click here for a story from the Our Sports Central< website.

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Toledo (AAA International, Tigers) DH Dean Green (2008) was 1-for-1 with a double, a walk and an RBI in a 7-5 win over Louisville on Tuesday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

There were no honorable mentions.

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That is all for today. See you again on Friday.


Beatty released by Wichita

August 31, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends.

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The Wichita Wingnuts of the independent American Association released alum Max Beatty (2010-12) after a two-day stint with the club. He was 0-1, 17.18 in his lone appearance, with one strikeout in 3.2 innings. Max pitched at Pacific Lutheran and spent parts of two seasons in the San Diego organization before being released in the off-season after spending 2014 at short-season Class A Eugene.

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Six former or 2015 Knights made the West Coast Conference's Commissioner's Honor Roll. It recognizes student-athletes who have balanced athletic success with academic excellence during the 2014-15 school year.

Earning silver (3.50-3.75 GPA) honors was pitcher Jackson Lockwood (2014) of Portland, with a 3.52 GPA in business. Earning bronze (3.49-3.0 GPA) recognition were infielders Cody Lenahan (2013) and Michael Lucarelli (2013-14) and pitcher Cole Doherty (2015) of Portland; outfielder Grant Melker (2013-14) of San Diego, and catcher Ryan Matranga (2015) of San Francisco.

Lenahan had a 3.38 GPA in marketing; Lucarelli had a 3.15 in marketing; Doherty had a 3.03 in organizational communication; Melker had a 3.10 in marketing and Matranga had a 3.26 in marketing. Congrats to all six players.

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Salem (A Carolina, Red Sox) pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) allowed three hits and one run and had three strikeouts in six innings in a 4-1 loss to Potomac on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. He got a non-decision while lowering his ERA to 1.24.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Frisco (AA Texas, Rangers) DH Alex Burg (2008) was 2-for-4 with two doubles in a 5-3 loss to Midland.

* Chattanooga (AA Southern, Twins) pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) allowed four runs and had four strikeouts in five innings and got the win to improve to 7-6 in a 10-4 victory over Birmingham.

* Lynchburg (A Carolina, Cleveland) pitcher Trevor Frank (2012) lowered his ERA to 2.03 with an inning of perfect relief in a 5-3 loss to Carolina.

* Lake Elsinore (A California, Padres) outfielder Nick Torres (2012) was 2-for-4 with a double in a 19-2 loss to Lancaster.

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That is all for today. See you again on Wednesday.


Madrigal, McGhee earn all-WCL honors

August 27, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone.

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Good news on the all-West Coast League front, as numerous current and former Knights earned postseason consideration.

Middle infielder/outfielder Nick Madrigal was named to the first-team and reliever Harrison McGhee was named to the second-team on Thursday when the WCL announced its 2015 all-league teams and top awards.

Seven more Knights earned honorable mention. Former Knights' player and assistant coach Billy Clontz was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Kelowna Falcons to the WCL Championship Series for the first time in franchise history.

You can read all about it by clicking here for a story from the WCL website.

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Alum Dean Green (2008) of the Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers) hit his first triple-A home run on Thursday night, a solo blast in the fifth inning off Turo Murata in a 4-3 loss to Columbus. He is hitting .227 for Toledo in his second stint with the club this year. He was promoted on Aug. 22 from double-A Erie, where he made the Eastern League All-Star team after hitting .312, with 15 homers and 60 RBIs, in 90 games.

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Birmingham (AA Southern, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) was 1-for-2 with a triple, two RBIs and two walks in a 5-3 win over Jacksonville on Thursday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Palm Beach (A Florida State, Cardinals) outfielder Blake Drake (2013) was 3-for-4 with a run, a walk and two RBIs in an 8-6 win over St. Lucie.

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


Nick Torres makes Midwest League All-Star team

August 25, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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Alum Nick Torres (2012) was selected to the Midwest League postseason All-Star team after a great season with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, San Diego's affiliate in the long-season Class A League. He hit .326 in 77 games, with two homers and 40 RBIs and earned a promotion to Lake Elsinore of the high-A California League.

Nick played at Cal Poly and was San Diego's fourth-round selection in the 2014 MLB draft. Here is more on that story, from MILB.com. Also selected was Dayton (Cincinnati) pitcher Tyler Mahle, the younger brother of 2012 Knights' pitcher/first baseman Greg Mahle.

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Detroit has promoted first baseman/DH Dean Green (2008) to Toledo in the triple-A International League for the second time this season. He was playing for Erie in the double-A Eastern League in both instances.

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Toronto has returned Matt "Slider Guy" Hague (2005) to Buffalo of the triple-A International League after a brief stay with the Blue Jays. He was hitless in his lone at-bat.

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The Victoria HarbourCats announced that outfielder AJ Alcantara of UC-Irvine and infielder/outfielder PJ Floyd of Sacramento State will return in 2016. They have also signed Floyd's teammate at Sacramento State, catcher James Outman, a top recruit out of Junipero Serra HS in San Mateo, Calif. Here is more on that story from Our Sports Central.

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Salem (A Carolina, Red Sox) pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) pitched 5.1 innings of scoreless relief, had five strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 1.19 in a 4-2 loss to Lynchburg on Tuesday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Great Lakes (A Midwest, Dodgers) second baseman Jimmy Allen (2011) was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in an 8-4 loss to Bowling Green.

* Arkansas (AA Texas, Angels) pitcher Greg Mahle (2012) pitched two shutout innings of relief and got the win in a 1-0 victory over Tulsa.

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That is all for today. Have a great day and we will see you again on Friday.


Alum Carter Bell traded to Joliet

August 24, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends and weren't smoked out by the numerous Northwest wildfires.

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Alum Carter Bell (2009), a third baseman from Oregon State who plays in the independent Frontier League, was traded to the Joliet (Ill.) Slammers by the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things recently. He is hitting .230 (44-191) in 54 games, with six homers and 21 RBIs.

The other Knights' alum in the league, Taylor Ard (2009) of Washington State and the River City Rascals, is hitting .304 (95-312) in 84 games, with 25 homers and 71 RBIs. He also played in the Frontier League All-Star Game.

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Victoria assistant coach Joe Meggs has taken a job as the director of baseball operations at Washington, his alma mater. His father is the head coach of the Huskies; the younger Meggs also played in the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization. Here is more on that story, from Our Sports Central.

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Nashville (AAA Pacific Coast, Athletics) third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) was 4-for-5 with three runs and a double in an 8-4 win over Reno on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. He raised his average to .312 since signing with the Sounds. And, here is a video of Morel making a great play to retire Knights' alum Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) of El Paso in a recent game.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Lynchburg (A Carolina, Indians) pitcher Trevor Frank (2012) earned his first save and had one strikeout in one inning of a 2-0 win over Potomac.

* Mobile (AA Southern, Diamondbacks) pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011) earned his second save and had one strikeout in a scoreless ninth inning of a 3-2 win over Biloxi.

* Eugene (A Northwest, Cubs) pitcher Casey Bloomquist (2013) allowed one hit and had four strikeouts in a scoreless three-inning start but got a no-decision in a 4-3 win over Spokane.

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That is all for today. Have a great start to your week and we will see you again on Wednesday.