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Knights Daily Update

Enhanced role for Jordan Spencer?

February 7, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

Another winter wonderland in Corvallis this morning, with more snow last night and today on top of the 7-9 inches were received on Thursday.

With all this white stuff around, it's hard to believe baseball season is coming, but it is! We're down to 117 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metro area. Former Oregon State star Kevin Gunderson, who played for the old Aloha Knights in 2004, will be their starting pitcher.

And, just in case you missed it, here's a wrapup of our Hot Stove Night III event, from the Knights' website. It was a fun night.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Knights' signee Jordan Spencer of Oregon is one of the names mentioned as a possible replacement for the injured Cole Irvin in the starting rotation. Irwin will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

Please check out GoDucks.com editor Rob Moseley's blog for more on the story. Jordan's a junior from Beaverton.

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Former Knights' star first baseman David Armendariz (2011) has transferred to Cal Poly Pomona from Cal Poly for his senior season. David's hitting .143 (2-14) through three games, with two runs, a double and three RBIs. Ex-Knights teammate Kyle McNutt (2011) also plays for the Broncos but has not pitched yet.

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Partner school Oregon State is picked to repeat as Pac-12 champions in the annual preseason poll. The Beavers received nine of a possible 10 first-place votes, and 98 of a possible 100 points. Voting was done by the coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Partner school Oregon (86) was picked to finish second, followed by national-champion UCLA (84), Arizona State (73), Arizona (61), Stanford (60), California (38), partner school Washington State (35), USC (33), partner school Washington (22) and Utah (14).

You can find more details on that story from OSUbeavers.com by clicking here.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed right-handed pitcher Riley Barr of New Mexico State for the upcoming season. He formerly played at Mt. Hood CC before heading off to Las Cruces. You can click here for more info, from the Falcons' website.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats are looking for a radio broadcaster for the 2014 season. More details can be found right here, from the Victoria website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed three more players for the 2014 season, season. Please click here for more details, from the Sweets' website.

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That's it for today. Have a safe weekend and we'll see you on Monday.


Wetzler ranked No. 17 by College Baseball Daily

February 6, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

We had a great time at Hot Stove Night III night last night. Thanks to everyone who came, and from the looks of things outside today, where Corvallis is covered in a thick blanket of snow, we lucked out by having it on Wednesday night.

And very special thanks to our special guests,

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie for their informative, entertaining remarks and answers. It was also nice to (unexpectedly) see head coach Brooke Knight, looking tanned, rested and ready after several months in Australia.

And now we're down to 118 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metro area. Knights' president Dan Segel revealed last night that ex-Beavers star/Knights alum Kevin Gunderson will be their starting pitcher.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Alum Ben Wetzler (2011), a senior left-handed pitcher at Oregon State, has been named the 17th-best player in college baseball by the College Baseball Daily website. Benny was outstanding for our 2011 WCL championship team has a supreme setup many for closer Mark Trentacosta, and as a team leader.

For CBD's complete evaluation of Wetzler, please click here. He's our fourth alum in the Top 100; pitcher Dylan Hecht (2013) of UC Santa Barbara, pitcher Jorge Perez (2012-13) of Grand Canyon and center fielder Blake Drake (2013) of Concordia also made the cut.

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The Our Sports Central website has added reporter/columnist Bruce Baskin to cover the West Coast League. Please click here to read his first analysis piece on the WCL. It's good stuff, from a website that does a great job with WCL news.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: Oregon State freshman pitcher Mak Fox of New Zealand is one of two new signees for the Elks. More information is available here, from the Elks' website.

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed three players from Lower Columbia CC, and another from the University of Portland, for the upcoming season. Please click here for more details, from the Cowlitz website.

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That's it for today. See you on Friday.


Knights sign Leopold to 10-day contract

February 5, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

It's Hot Stove Night III night, and time for our premier offseason attraction.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 o'clock tonight in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

And we're down to 119 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. It's coming fast, so get your season tickets now!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Knights have signed outfielder/infielder Phillip Leopold of Bellarmine University to a 10-day contract for the 2014 season.

He's a 6-foot, 190-pound junior who graduated from Trinity High in Louisville. He hit .261 (52-199) in 56 games as a sophomore, with two homers, 41 RBIs and seven steals in nine attempts.

Phillip hit .308 as a freshman with four homers, nine steals and a season-ending 15-game hitting streak. He also led the team in slugging percentage (.472), triples (5), and total bases (75) and was a Great Lakes Valley Conference academic all-league.

He was also all-league and all-district at Trinity before enrolling at Bellarmine, a NCAA Division III school in Louisville. Welcome to the club!

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Lots of Knights will be involved in Cal Poly's alumni game this Saturday. Among the alums expected to participate are Baltimore pitcher Bud Norris (2005); Toronto third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07); Milwaukee outfield prospect Mitch Haniger (2010) and St. Louis outfield prospect Adam Melker (2008-09).

Plus, there's a ton of alums and future Knights on the current CPU club. So it should be a Knightsapalooza! Here's more on that story from the Cal Poly website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have signed five more players for the 2014 season. Here's a complete rundown from the Victoria website.

YAKIMA VALLEY: The Pippins have signed Virginia Military Institute juniors Andrew Woods, Reed Garrett and Brandon Angus for the 2014 season. Woods and Garrett are pitchers; Angus is an outfielder. Please click here for more on that story from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. See you at Hot Stove Night tonight!


Knights name 2014 College of Business interns

February 4, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Just one more day until Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

And we're down to 120 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. It's coming fast, so get your season tickets now!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Knights have hired our Oregon State University College of Business interns for the 2014 season, and it's another bumper crop. These are the people who will run our promotions, act as our spirit leaders, and generally be the guys you fans will interact with all summer.

For more information on our newest Knights, please click here and read all about them. Welcome to the team, guys, we're thrilled to have you! We'll announce our 2014 OSU merchandise interns shortly.

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Partner schools Concordia and Pacific Lutheran hooked up for a season-opening doubleheader at PLU on Monday. Concordia won the opener 5-3; PLU took the nightcap 1-0 and several Knights were involved.

Center fielder Blake Drake (2013) went 2-for-4 with a steal in each game for Concordia. PLU pitcher Chris Bishop (2012-13) allowed one earned run and had two strikeouts in 3.1 innings and took the loss in the opener. Pitcher Derrick Mahlum (2014) got the win in the nightcap by allowing only four hits, with seven strikeouts, in 6.2 scoreless innings. Here's more, from the PLU website.

Outfielder Tim Rausch (2014) was 0-for-4 with an RBI and pitcher Zach Kayser (2014) got the win in the nightcap as Western Oregon swept a doubleheader from CSU-Monterey Bay 7-1 And 7-5 on Monday to win the series 3-1. Here's more, from the WOU website.

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Alum Eric Massingham (2006-07) and his Canberra Cavalry teammates have advanced to the Australian Baseball League finals, where they will play the Perth Heat in a three-game series that starts Friday (in Australia) in Perth. Massingham is a pitcher from Cal Poly. Canberra, which eliminated Sydney in the semifinals, is the defending champion. Here's more on that story from the ABL website.

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Three partner schools are ranked in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) preseason Top 40 poll. Oregon State is No. 3, Oregon is No. 11 and Cal Poly is No. 29. Partner schools San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and Washington State were in the "also receiving votes" category. Here's the poll, from the College Baseball Daily website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed freshman infielder Chris Baker and freshman left-handed pitcher Henry Baker of Washington for the 2014 season. Here's more on that story from the Bellingham website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Jesse Houser from Walla Walla Community College and Jacob Sanders from Murray State College for the upcoming season. Please click here for more on that story from the Sweets' website.

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That's it for today. See you on Wednesday.


Lots of Knights' news on a Monday

February 3, 2014

Happy Monday, Knights fans!

We hope you all had as great a weekend as the Seattle Seahawks, or at the very least a better weekend than the Denver Broncos. We were gone most of the day, got home during halftime and watched exactly one play of the Super Bowl, the second-half kickoff. After that, there wasn't much reason to keep watching.

We've got plenty of reasons for you to pay attention to the Knights, however. We're down to 121 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium, and the countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at two more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Knights' shortstop Marc Gallegos (2012, 2014) of Corban was a combined 4-for-9 with four runs and two steals on Saturday as the Warriors split a season-opening doubleheader with Whitman at Wilsonville High. That's a great start for Marc, who missed the second half of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury.

Western Oregon outfielder Tim Rausch (2014) was a combined 2-for-5 as the Wolves split a season-opening doubleheader at CSU-Monterey Bay on Saturday. Zach Kayser (2014) pitched a scoreless inning in the nightcap. Former Knights infielder Austin Hamilton (2012) is also playing at WOU.

And Cypress College catcher-infielder Joe Duffin (2013-14) is 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and an RBI in two games.

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Partner school Grand Canyon is picked to finish fifth and partner school Seattle University is picked to finish seventh in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll. Pitchers Joey Wise of GCU and Ted Hammond of SU will join us this summer. Pitchers Jorge Perez (2012-13) and Andrew Naderer (2013) were our previous two Antelopes; shortstops Trent Oleszczuk (2011) and Nate Roberts (2011, 2012) were our previous two RedHawks. Here's more on that story from College Baseball Today.

Also, partner schools Linfield, George Fox and Pacific Lutheran are picked to finish 1-2-3 in the Northwest Conference this year. Here's the complete poll, from the George Fox website.

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The Knights have released 10-day signee Ray Ayo, who left the Lane CC team this past fall. A former Westview High standout, he was a Metro League all-star, a second-team 6A all-state selection, and played in the Reser's Oregon All-Star Series in 2013. His father is Keke Ayo, a 1983-84 Oregon State letterman who coached Knights' head coach Brooke Knight at Crescent Valley High School in 1989 and 1990.

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Former Kelowna lefty James Paxton (2007) is No. 2 on the Seattle Mariners' prospect list, as compiled by Baseball America. The Ladner, British Columbia, native is the lone Canadian-born player to make any of BA's top 10 prospect lists of all the teams. Here's more on that story from the Kelowna website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed freshman infielder Gunnar Buhner and pitcher Kevin Sheets of Abilene Christian for the 2014 season. Buhner, from Issaquah, Wash., is the son of former Seattle Mariners star Jay Buhner. Here's more on that story from the Bend website; it's the top item on the menu.

MEDFORD: The Rogues have signed LHP Trent Shelton of Oregon State) and RHP Zack Ortiz of San Diego State to full-season contracts, and 1B Jake Herklotz of Chemeketa JC and infielder Stefano Speracino of Concordia to 10-day deals. Here's more on that story from the Medford website.

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That's it for today. See you on Tuesday.


Blake Drake ready for big season at Concordia

January 31, 2014

Happy Friday, Knights fans!

It's only 124 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent (yes, we do have someone lined up, it's just not official yet) on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at 5 more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 5) in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Nice story today in College Baseball Daily on Concordia junior center fielder Blake Drake, a standout on the 2013 Knights. Blake earned all-WCL honors and was ranked as one of the league's top pro prospects by Baseball America and by Perfect Game. Just click here for the complete story.

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Partner schools Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine are picked 2-3-4 and UC Riverside was picked No. 7 in the Big West Conference preseason poll. Voting was done by the coaches. Here's the complete story, from the Big West Conference website. Lots of Knights alums get mentioned.

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It's Friday, so it's time to update the stats of our Knights alums playing and coaching in the Australian Baseball League. The regular season has been completed.

BROOKE KNIGHT: The Adelaide coach led the Bite to a 21-25 record and a fifth-place finish in the six-team league. They did not make the playoffs.

ERIC MASSINGHAM (2006-07): The Canberra pitcher, from Cal Poly, was 4-2, 5.75 in 19 games, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. The Cavalry made the playoffs and face the Sydney Blue Sox for the right to play first-place Perth for the championship.

LIAM BARON (2008-09): The Perth reliever, from Linn-Benton and Gonzaga, appeared in one game and did not allow an earned run, but did not have an ERA yet because he didn't record an out. He was on the reserve roster for most of the season.

DEAN GREEN (2008): The one-time Oklahoma State/Barry University slugging first baseman was on the reserve list with the Sydney Blue Sox and did not play in the regular season.

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This story from MLB.com on the possibility of major-league baseball in Portland doesn't directly impact the Knights or the WCL, but I bet you fans will find it interesting to read. So please click here for the rest of the story.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Justin Erlandson, a freshman outfielder at Scottsdale Community College; Zack Close, a junior outfielder at ABI; Landon Frost, a sophomore outfielder at Corban College, and sophomore RHP Nick Bland of Northwest Nazarene University, for the 2014 season. Please click here for more details from the Bend website; it's the top item on the menu.

YAKIMA VALLEY: Here's more on the Pippins' two recent signings, from the Yakima Herald newspaper.

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That's it for today. Have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday.


Kline, Rausch named preseason all-league

January 30, 2014

Happy Thursday, Knights fans!

We're down to 125 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at 6 more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Two 2014 Knights were honored on Wednesday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in their West Region Division II preseason preview.

Returnee Kevin Kline of Dixie State, a junior first baseman, was named a first-team all-star by the NCBWA's regional membership. They also ranked DSU No. 5 in the preseason regional poll. Please click here for full details, from the DSU website.

Western Oregon junior outfielder Tim Rausch was named a first-team outfielder. He had a team-high .552 slugging percentage, four home runs and 38 RBIs and was a second-team GNAC all-star in 2013. WOU was ranked ninth. Here's more, from the WOU website.

Congrats to both players.

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We're thrilled that this is the 25th year of the Aloha/Corvallis Knights but we're not the only West Coast League team to be celebrating a major anniversary this summer.

It's also the 15th year for the Wenatchee AppleSox, a great rival and the other dominant power since the WCL's inception in 2005, and they've released a 15th anniversary logo to celebrate that accomplishment. You can click right here to access the Wenatchee website for more information, and to view the logo.

The AppleSox and Knights have played in the past two WCL Championship Series, and in four of the seven finals since the WCL adopted divisional play in 2007. This year we travel to Wenatchee on June 23-25, and then host the AppleSox on June 27-29 in what should be an exciting six-game showdown.

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Partner school San Diego, which will provide outfielder Grant Melker and incoming infielder Kevin Padlo to this year's club, is the preseason pick to win the West Coast Conference championship. The defending WCC Tournament-champion Toreros earned 6 of 10 possible first-place votes and 76 overall points in the poll; voting was done by the coaches.

Partner school Portland, which will send us infielder Mike Lucarelli and pitcher Jackson Lockwood this year, was picked seventh. There are 10 teams in the WCC; for more details from College Baseball Daily, click right here.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets are seeking host families for the upcoming season. If you live in the area and are interested, or know someone who does and may be interested, check out this link from the Walla Walla website for complete details.

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That's it for today. See you on Friday.


Jimenez, Jones to coach for Kelowna

January 29, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

We're down to 126 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at seven more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Kelowna Falcons will have a definite Corvallis Knights feel to them this season. All three of their coaches will be Knights alums, and three of the greatest players in our franchise history.

Former Knights' player (2006, 2008-09) and assistant coach (2010-11, 2013) Billy Clontz was announced as the Falcons' new head coach last October. On Wednesday, Kelowna announced that former Knights Richie Jimenez (2008-09), our 2009 MVP and the MVP of the WCL that season, and alum Dylan Jones (2009-10), our 2010 MVP, would be the assistant coaches.

Dylan, who played at Mt. Hood CC and at Oregon State, is presently helping out with the OSU baseball team. Richie played at Riverside City College and at UNLV, and then spent the 2012 season with the Gateway (Ill.) Grizzlies in the independent Frontier League. Here's more on the story, from the Kelowna website. Congrats to both guys! We host Kelowna on June 20-22, so it will be nice to catch up.

Former Knights' standout Josh Hogan (2007-09), a former teammate of Clontz, Jones and Jimenez, is in his second year as the head coach of the Medford Rogues. He also coached Klamath Falls in 2012.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed freshman pitcher Jordan Kron of UC Riverside and freshman catcher Tyler Boxwell of Central Arizona CC for the 2014 season. Click right here for more information, from the Klamath Falls Herald and News newspaper.

YAKIMA VALLEY: The Pippins have signed freshman pitcher Vince Fernandez of UC- Riverside and freshman catcher Alex Guenette of UC-Irvine for the upcoming season. Here's the complete story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. See you on Thursday.


Corban expects big year from Marc Gallegos

January 28, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

We're headed over to Oregon State baseball media day later this morning to learn more on the 2014 Beavers. Should be fun and informative; most think coach Pat Casey has another Pacific-12 Conference powerhouse on his hands, as they're rated No. 2 and No. 3 in preseason polls.

Former and future Knights will play a big role on that team. Pitchers Ben Wetzler (2011), Jace Fry (2011), Scott Schultz (2011), Brandon Jackson (2012) and Kevin Flemer will help anchor a formidable pitching staff. Alum Carlos Rodriguez (2012) is no longer with the team and alum Taylor Starr (2008, 2012) has retired.

Position players Kavin Keyes (2013), Gabe Clark (2013), Nate Esposito (2012), Logan Ice (2014), Dan James (2014) and Caylen Clardy (2012) will help elsewhere on the field.

And we're down to 127 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is getting closer too.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Returning Knights' standout shortstop Marc Gallegos of Corban University gets some major props from head coach Jeff McKay in a CU website story previewing the upcoming season, which start this Saturday with a noon doubleheader against Whitman College at Wilsonville High School.

An all-WCL choice in 2012, Gallegos was supposed to play for us again last summer but he injured a shoulder halfway through his college season and missed the balance of the school schedule and all of summer ball. He was also all-conference at CU as a freshman in 2012.

"Marc's freshman year and the first half of last year were very special," McKay said. "He followed up his initial collegiate campaign with a very good season for the Corvallis Knights of the West Coast Collegiate League. He has established himself as one of the best small college players in the country.

"The infield defense could really be the strength of the team if we are able to make a run for the championship especially the double play combination of Gallegos and [Stockton] Taylor (Wenatchee) up the middle. They are as good defensively as any infielders in the league."

We agree, and we're looking forward to Marc's return.

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The Brooke Knight-coached Adelaide Bite of the Australian Baseball League lost their final four games of the season to the powerful Perth Heat over the weekend and were eliminated from the ABL playoffs by one game.

"I've had a great experience in Adelaide, it's a great city and I've had a lot of support," said Knight, a two-time ABL-champion coach with Perth who was hired after the Bite got off to a slow start. Here's more on that story, from Australia.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed right-handed pitcher David Bigelow and catcher Jimmy Sinatro of Gonzaga for the 2014 season. Here's the complete story, from the Bellingham website.

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That's it for today. See you on Wednesday.


More high rankings for partner schools

January 27, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone.

We trust you enjoyed the sunshine and had a great weekend.

And we're now only 128 days away from our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is getting closer too.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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We had this on our home page and on Facebook this past Friday, and it should appear in the Corvallis Gazette-Times sometime this week. We've got two more signings to announce, freshman pitchers Michael Martin and Christopher Vargas of UC Irvine.

Martin is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound righty from Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. He was the Western League Player of the Year and was Cathedral Catholic's spring sports MVP. He was also a Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger All-American and a Perfect Game preseason All-American.

Vargas is a 5-11, 185-pound righty from Villa Park High School in Orange, Calif. He was the team's 2012 Pitcher of the Year and a four-time Century League all-star.

Welcome to the team.

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Partner school Oregon State is ranked No. 2 and partner school Oregon is No. 11 in Baseball America's preseason Top 25 poll. Both schools feature numerous future/alum Knights. Here's more on that story, from the Baseball America website.

The Beavers were ranked No. 3 and Ducks No. 9 in Perfect Game's preseason Top 25. Cal Poly was 28th, and almost cracked the Top 25. Here's a PG version of the Top 25, from the Perfect Game website.

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A familiar name surfaced unexpectedly on OSU's 2014 baseball roster: Infielder Caylen Clardy, a transfer from the College of the Siskyous who graduated from Aloha High School in Beaverton. Clardy hit .333 (9-27) with seven steals in 11 games as a 10-day signee in 2012.

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Partner school UC Santa Barbara is ranked No. 21 in the College Sports Madness preseason Top 45. Pitchers Greg Mahle (2012) and Dylan Hecht (2013) get some serious props. Here's CSM's analysis, from the College Sports Madness website.

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No news today from elsewhere in the West Coast League. See you on Tuesday.