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Knights Daily Update

TGIF!

April 12, 2013

Yes, it's a TGIF here at the world-wide headquarters of the Corvallis Knights.

And better yet, it's a TGIF before a holiday weekend, a TGIF before a home football game, and a TGIF before a week of vacation. That's a triple crown in my book.

So now you know why the blog might be abbreviated again today. We're champing at the bit to start the weekend, and, to tell the truth, late August/September might be the slowest time of the year for the Knights and for the West Coast League.

But we always have some news, and today is no exception. So let's get started.

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A couple alums moves to announce:

* Miami has sent outfielder Alex Burg 2008) to Jacksonville in the double-A Southern League. He hit .300 in a short stint with triple-A New Orleans before being reassigned.

* Boston has sent pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) to Greenville of the low-A South Atlantic League after a stay at Salem in the high-A Carolina League. Kraus also pitched for double-A Portland (Eastern league) this summer, so it seems as if he's sent wherever pitching help is needed.

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We update the stats of our minor league alums on Fridays and some things jumped out at us today.

* Pitcher Trevor Frank (2012)of Mahoning Valley (A New York-Penn, Indians) has 39 strikeouts and just one walk in 33 innings.

* Pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) of Salem-Keizer (A Northwest, Giants) has 73 strikeouts and only seven walks in 78 innings.

* Kraus has 33 strikeouts and just four walks in 31.1 innings at Greenville, and just 18 walks in more than 80 innings overall this summer.

* Shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) of San Jose (A California, Giants) has five homers in just 99 at-bats.

* Catcher Bo Altobelli (2010) of Cedar Rapids (A Midwest, Twins) is hitting .333 (20-60) at low-A after hitting just .247 in rookie ball.

* First baseman Danny Hayes (2010) of Great Falls (R Pioneer, White Sox) has 47 RBIs in 50 games. He's fourth in the league despite playing at least seven fewer games than those in front of him due to Oregon State's extended run through the College World Series.

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Intern Davis Head pitches no-hitter for OSU club team

April 11, 2013

OK, you know we love to brag about the accomplishments of our interns.

Well, we've to more to crow about this morning. Davis Head, one of our 2013 Oregon State College of Business interns, pitched a no-hitter for the OSU club team in a 10-0 victory over Seattle University this past Saturday at Goss Stadium, and was named the National Club Baseball Association's National Pitcher of the Week.

Davis struck out two and walked one in the five-inning gem. A sophomore business marketing major with a Spanish minor, he's a sophomore from Ukiah, Calif., who graduated from Ukiah High School in 2011. He played baseball at UHS, is the president-elect and secretary of the OSU Club Baseball Team, and is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

So, congrats to Davis! Here's a link to the NCBA's website.

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First baseman Dean Green (2008) of the Lakeland Flying Tigers was 2-for-4 with a homer and an RBI in a 7-6 loss to Brevard County on Wednesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Lakeland is Detroit's affiliate in the high-A Florida State league.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Clinton (A Midwest, Mariners) first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was 1-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs in a 10-4 win over Kane County.

* Greensboro (A South Atlantic, Marlins) pitcher Scott Lyman (2010) allowed five hits and one run in five innings and got a no-decision in a 3-2 loss to Rome. He had four strikeouts.

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We're a day late, but here's another edition of the Knights Top 10.

Today's list highlights Knights' president Dan Segel's picks of the Top 10 players who the Knights signed, but who never played for us because they turned pro, or were injured, or just never made it to Aloha/Corvallis for some reason or another. We'll list the players in alphabetical order, with the year they were supposed to play for the Knights in parenthesis, and their career highlights.

NIC CUCKOVICH (2011): The infielder from Riverside City College signed with Kansas City instead. He's now playing for Lexington (Ky.) in the Class A South Atlantic League.

NICK HAUGHIAN (2008): The Washington lefty signed with Baltimore instead and played five years in its minor-league organization before retiring in 2012.

JOHNNY HEE (2007): The infielder from Hawaii was ticketed for our first Corvallis club but couldn't play because of injury. He's now with Pawtucket, Boston's affiliate in the triple-A International League.

CARSON KELLY (2012): The Westview High star, the 2012 Oregon 6A Player of Year, signed with St. Louis after being drafted in the second round. He played at Johnson City in the Appalachian League (rookie) last summer and has not yet been assigned a 2013 club.

JOE KELLY (2007): The UC Riverside pitcher was selected for Team USA after signing with the Knights. He's now with the St. Louis Cardinals.

THOMAS NEAL (2006): The outfielder from Riverside CC signed with San Francisco instead of joining the Knights. He made it to the majors with Cleveland in 2012 and is now in the Yankees organization.

JASON OGATA (2008): The Oregon State infielder signed with the Rangers instead and spent several years in their farm system before retiring.

DAVID ROBERTSON (2006): The pitcher from Alabama was seriously considering the Knights but ended up pitching in the Cape Cod League at the last minute and went there instead. He's now with the New York Yankees.

ALEX SILVER (2012): The Texas infielder had knee surgery after the 2012 college season instead of coming to Corvallis. He's hitting .286 for the Longhorns this spring.

KYLE SMITH (2009): The Cal Poly shortstop signed with Cleveland instead and is now with Columbus in the triple-A International League.

We'll be back next week, with another Knights Top 10.

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Here is some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets will host their fourth annual first pitch event, kicking off the start of the season, from 6-7:30 p.m. on May 2 at the Columbia REA Community Room. Food and drink will be available; new play-by-play broadcaster Howard Hoffman will emcee the event. Click here for more information.

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That's all for today. See you tomorrow on a TGIF.


Wednesday already?

April 10, 2013

Wow, Wednesday already? We're halfway through the week!

The calendar on the wall tells me we're just 55 days away from our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. That's less than eight weeks, if my math skills haven't totally eroded since my freshman year at the University of Richmond, the last time I took a math class.

So, got tickets? Got punch cards? Got your official Knights game-worm gray jersey, no on sale at the WWHQ for just $40? Got your Knights' cap, and other Knights merchandise? If not, come see us in the Madison Plaza in beautiful downtown CorVegas and we'll set you up.

Now, on with the news.

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Tuesday's a busy day in college baseball and there were lots of alums and future Knights in action for their respective teams. Here's a roundup (all players 2013 unless otherwise noted):

* Reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011) got the save with a scoreless inning and outfielder Connor Hofmann (2011-12) was 0-for-3 with an RBI in Oregon's 6-3 win over Oregon State at Goss Stadium. Taylor Starr (2008, 2012) allowed three runs in three innings, Brandon Jackson (2012) allowed one run in 2.1 innings and got the loss, Danny Hayes (2009) was 0-for-3 and Jake Rodriguez (2009) was 0-for-2 with an RBI for the Beavers.

* UC Irvine shortstop Chris Rabago (2012-13) hit his first career homer and was 3-for-6 with three runs and two RBIs in an 11-3 win over San Diego. Pitcher Evan Brock (2010) had four strikeouts and allowed one run in 2.1 relief innings. USD outfielder Grant Melker was a defensive replacement and did not have an at-bat.

* Central Washington first baseman Scott Stone was a combined 2-for-5 with a run in a doubleheader sweep of Northwest Nazarine.

* Cal Poly shortstop Peter Van Gansen was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, DH Brian Mundell was 0-for-3 with a run and pitcher Casey Bloomquist earned his first college win with six innings of two-hit ball in a 5-2 victory over Cal State-Bakersfield. Bloomquist allowed two runs and had five strikeouts. Jimmy Allen (2011) was 1-for-5, Nick Torres (2012) was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs and David Armendariz (2011) was 0-for-2 for the Mustangs.

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Pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10), a two-time all-West Coast League selection, earned his first save in Greenville's 5-3 win over Hickory to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Greenville is Boston's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose (A California, Giants) pitcher Josh Osich (2008) closed a 5-2 win over Bakersfield with two innings of relief. He allowed one unearned run and struck out three.

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Not sure how many of you saw this yesterday, but here's a story on 2013 Knights' pitcher Chris Bishop of Pacific Lutheran by PLU senior Allison McDaniel, who will be our media intern this summer. It's a good read.

Look for more from Allison this summer, on the Knights Facebook, Twitter and (soon-to-be started by Allison!) Instagram. She's our second straight intern from PLU; Corvallis High grad Brenna Sussman filled that role last summer.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have teamed with Wilson's Transportation, the team's Official Transportation Carrier, and Ambrosia Catering to deliver the "Wilson's Transportation Group Deck." The premium seating section will offer fans a selection of food items at all home games. Click here for more details.

WALLA WALLA: Here's the latest installment of "10 Things to Know About Sweets Baseball," a regular feature on the team's website.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox need four more host families for the upcoming season, so if you know anyone in the Wenatchee area who may be interested, ask them to click here for more details.

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That's all for today. See you on Thursday. We'll have our weekly Knights' Top-10 list on Thursday.


Alex Burg signs with Fargo-Moorhead

April 9, 2013

Happy Tuesday, everyone. We always like to start off the day with good news, and we've got some to report this morning (other than the fact it's just 56 more days until our June 4 opener, of course).

Utility Alex Burg, a former Washington State star who was the MVP of our 2008 West Coast League championship club, has signed with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the independent American Association. Click here for the complete details.

Alex was recently released by the San Francisco Giants after spending three seasons in their minor-league organization. He also played for the Brooke Knight-coached Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League in 2011-2012.

The RedHawks open their season at Winnipeg on May 6. Congrats to Alex!

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Alum Ben Wetzler (2011) of Oregon State was nominated for Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, but was not selected. The junior lefty gave up one run in a season-high seven innings and was the winning pitcher in a 5-2 victory over UCLA on Sunday that enabled the Beavers to win the series.

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Shortstop Matt Duffy (2010), a Long Beach State alum now playing for Augusta in the Class A South Atlantic League, was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, a run and a double on Monday in a 6-5 win over Savannah to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Augusta is a San Francisco affiliate.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Richmond's (AA Eastern, Giants) Andrew Susac (2009), who was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in a 12-10 win over Bowie.

* Las Vegas (AAA PCL, Mets) pitcher Greg Peavey (2007), who allowed two hits in two scoreless innings of relief in a 4-3 win over Fresno. He had one strikeout.

* Reading's (AA Eastern, Phillies) Jim Murphy (2007), who was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI in a 7-4 win over Portland.

* Wisconsin's (low A Midwest, Brewers) Mitch Haniger (2010), who was 2-for-4 with a double and a run in a 10-2 loss to Cedar Rapids.

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Several former and future Knights were in action on Monday for their respective college teams. Here's a roundup:

* Portland lost 2-1 to Gonzaga at home. Cody Lenahan (2013) was 1-for-4 with an RBI; Michael Lucarelli (2013) was 1-for-4; Caleb Whalen (2012) was 0-for-4; Beau Fraser (2012) was 1-for-4 with a double and Kramer Scott (2011) was 1-for-3 for the Pilots.

* Central Washington's Eddie Malone Jr. (2013) was a combined 1-for-4 with two runs and Scott Stone (2013) was 0-for-1 as the Wildcats split a doubleheader with Northwest Nazarene.

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It's Tuesday, so here is our weekly update of the 2013 college stats for our NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and junior-college players. We'll do this every Tuesday throughout the college season; stats for our NCAA Division I players are updated on Mondays. All stats are through Monday's games.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON: Junior infielder Eddie Malone Jr. is hitting .321 (9-28) in 13 games, with six RBIs. Junior infielder Scott Stone is hitting .280 (7-25) in 13 games, with one homer and three RBIs.

CONCORDIA: Sophomore outfielder Blake Drake is hitting .369 (55-149) in 37 games, with 17 RBIs.

CORBAN: Sophomore infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .393 (46-117) in 27 games, with a homer and 20 RBIs. He's been sidelined with a shoulder injury but should return to action next week.

DIXIE STATE: Sophomore infielder Kevin Kline is hitting .360 (32-89) in 28 games, with four homers and 28 RBIs.

GEORGE FOX: Junior pitcher Tom Zarosinski is 1-4, 4.47 in eight games, with 37 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Sean Eberhardt is 2-0, 4.35 in 11 games, with nine strikeouts in 10.1 innings.

GRAND CANYON: Sophomore pitcher Jorge Perez is 5-2, 2.97 in nine games, with 41 strikeouts in 57.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Andrew Naderer is 6-1, 2.41 in nine games, with 46 strikeouts in 52.1 innings.

MT. HOOD CC: Sophomore pitcher Eric Huson is 1-0, 2.60 in four games, with 17 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.

PACIFIC UNIVERSITY: Sophomore pitcher Kyle Treadway is 1-6, 3.77 in seven games, with 18 strikeouts in 43 innings.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Sophomore pitcher Chris Bishop is 1-3, 5.85 in 12 games, with two saves and 28 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Jake Otness is 1-1, 7.29 in 12 games, with 18 strikeouts in 21 innings.

TACOMA CC: Sophomore pitcher Brandon Choate, a Washington signee, is 0-1, 3.85 in five games, with two saves and 11 strikeouts in seven innings. Sophomore Chad Michaud is hitting .374 (13-35) in 10 games, with a homer and 11 RBIs as a catcher and is 0-0, 0.00 in three games as a pitcher, with a save and five strikeouts in three innings. Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert has the same job with TCC during the school year.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have released their 2013 promotional schedule. We play there June 25-27.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed infielder/outfielder Michael Livingston and right-handed pitcher DJ Milam of Cal State-Northridge for the 2013 season. For complete details, click here.

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


Back at the grind

April 8, 2013

It's a back-to-work Monday at the WWHQ on what's turning out to be a sunny morning in downtown CorVegas. Nice to see El Sol return after a wet and windy weekend.

Another great weekend for former/future Knights pitchers with the Beavers in Los Angeles during their 2-1 series win over UCLA. Matt Boyd (2010) pitched very well in a 3-2 defeat on Friday. Andrew Moore (2013) and Scott Schultz (2011) helped blank the Bruins 5-0 on Saturday, and Ben Wetzler (2011), Taylor Starr (2008, 2012) and Schultz combined to allow just one earned run in Sunday's 5-2 victory that won the series.

Great job, guys!

And with the passing of the weekend we're down to 57 more days until our June 4 nonconference season opener against the Portland Dukes on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. It will be here before you know it, so renew/buy those season tickets and get those 10-game punch cards before we run out.

Now, on to today's news.

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First, we've got some bad news to report, unfortunately. Dartmouth freshman center fielder Nick Ruppert was hit on the hand last week, suffered a broken bone and will be out for 4-6 weeks, until sometime in May. However, we expect he'll be ready (and probably very eager to go!) by the time our season starts.

Nick was having a great spring, as he'd started the first 16 games and was hitting .345 (19-55), with eight RBIs. Get better soon, and we'll see you in June.

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More bad news from the major league camps.

* Alum Thomas McCarthy (2010), a Corvallis native who played at Western Oregon, Feather River CC and Kentucky, was released by the Chicago White Sox. He hit .302 (45-149) in 41 games for Great Falls in the Pioneer League in 2012, with a homer and 18 RBIs.

* Alum Jared Prince (2006) of Washington State was released by Texas after four years in their farm system. He hit .234 (90-385) at double-A Frisco in the Texas League in 2012; for his career, he hit .266 in 414 games, with 34 homers and 221 RBIs.

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First baseman Jim Murphy of Washington State, our 2007 MVP who now plays for the Reading Fightin' Phils, was 2-for-4 with a homer, a double, an RBI and two runs in a 6-5 loss to New Hampshire on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Reading is Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Richmond's (AA Eastern, Giants) Andrew Susac (2009), who was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI in a 3-2 win over New Britain.

* San Antonio's (AA Texas, Padres) Matt Andriese (2009), who allowed two hits and no runs over five innings, with three strikeouts, in a no-decision in a 2-1 loss to Springfield.

* Lakeland's (high A Florida State, Tigers) Dean Green (2008), who was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in a 3-1 win over Tampa.

* Wisconsin's (low A Midwest, Brewers) Mitch Haniger (2010), who was 2-for-3 with a triple and a run in a 7-2 loss to Peoria.

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Alum Justin Viele (2009) of Santa Clara was nominated for the Rawlings West Coast Conference Player of the Month Award for March but was not selected. He's hitting .286 (32-112) in 29 games, with nine RBIs.

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Alum Tommy Hanson (2005), traded to the Los Angeles Angels from Atlanta in the offseason, won his American league debut on Saturday. Here are more details, from our website. Congrats to Tommy!

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Kelowna alum Chris Davis (2005) of the Baltimore Orioles set a major league record by having three or more RBIs in his team's first four games of the season. He also had homers in Baltimore's first four games, homered in 11 straight games dating back to the 2012 season, and set a MLB record with 16 RBIs in his first four games.

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It's a Monday, so here are updated 2013 stats for our 2013 Division I players:

CAL POLY: Freshman catcher/DH Brian Mundell is hitting .313 (30-96) with seven homers and 22 RBIs in 25 games. Freshman infielder Peter Van Gansen is hitting .306 (26-85) with no homers and five RBIs in 29 games. Freshman pitcher Casey Bloomquist is 0-0, 11.12 in two games, with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

COLUMBIA: Sophomore outfielder Gus Craig is hitting .286 (4-14) in 14 games, with no homers and two RBIs.

DARTMOUTH: Freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert is hitting .345 (19-55) in 16 games, with eight RBIs. He is presently sidelined until early-to-mid May with a broken hand.

OREGON: Freshmen pitcher Jared Priestley is 0-0, 0.00 in two games, with one strikeout in two innings. Freshman pitcher Sam Johnson is 0-0, 4.50 in two games, with two strikeouts in two innings.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Andrew Moore is 6-1, 1.28 in eight appearances, with a save and 32 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. Freshman infielder Gabe Clark is hitting .167 (5-30) in 13 games, with four RBIs.

PORTLAND: Sophomore infielder Cody Lenahan is hitting .259 (29-112) in 30 games, with no homers and 11 RBIs. Sophomore infielder Michael Lucarelli is hitting .243 (17-70) in 27 games, with no homers and eight RBIs. Junior pitcher Colin Feldtman is 2-1, 2.05 in 22 innings over 12 appearances, with two saves and 14 strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Kody Watts is 1-2, 9.00 in six games, with five strikeouts in 12 innings.

SAN DIEGO: Sophomore outfielder Grant Melker is hitting .000 (0-4) in 15 games, with two runs, no homers and no RBIs.

SAN JOSE STATE: Junior catcher Dane Lund is hitting .270 (10-37) with no homers and three RBIs in 16 games.

UC IRVINE: Utility man Chris Rabago is hitting .270 (27-100) in 28 games, with no homers and 10 RBIs. Freshman pitcher Elliot Surrey is 1-0, 5.06 in eight games, with nine strikeouts in 10.2 innings.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman outfielder Joseph DeRoche-Duffin is hitting .167 (1-6) in five games, with no homers or RBIs. Freshman pitcher Dylan Hecht is 0-1, 1.86 in 15 games, with 25 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

WASHINGTON: Freshman pitcher Alex Nesbitt is 0-0, 0.00 in one appearance, with a strikeout in .1 innings.

WASHINGTON STATE: Junior pitcher Kellen Camus is 3-0, 3.38 in 16 games, with two saves and 25 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. Freshman pitcher Jacob Schroeder is 0-0, 18.00 in three games, with no strikeouts in three innings.

Remember, stats for our Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC players will be updated tomorrow.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have finalized their roster by signing five local players, including Kevin Hammon, a 2012 graduate of Summit High in Bend who was the 5A Pitcher of the Year as a senior. For more details, click here and then click the first item on the main menu.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have unveiled the 2013 All-Star Game official logo and sponsor. It will be played July 23 at Royal Athletic Park in that great Canadian city.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed Gonzaga University catcher Joey Harris and Portland outfielder Ryan Barr for the upcoming season. Both players are freshmen. Read all about it by clicking here.

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That's all for today, see you on Tuesday.


Complete-game shutout for Jorge Perez

April 5, 2013

Hey, it's Friday! Finally! Hope everybody is as ready for the weekend as we at the WWHQ are!

And what better way to start off the weekend than with some good news about a 2013 Knight. Grand Canyon University sophomore pitcher Jorge Perez, one of several returnees from our 2012 club, threw a complete-game shutout on Thursday in a 5-0 win at Fresno Pacific. It was the 18th straight win for GCU.

Jorge struck out five and allowed just five hits and a walk. Here are the complete details, from the GCU website. Congrats to Jorge, who was the starting pitcher for the West team at last year's West Coast League All-Star Game at Walla Walla.

And we have more good news from Saint George, Utah, in the only other college game Thursday involving a 2013 Knight. Dixie State first baseman Kevin Kline was 1-for-2 with three RBIs, three runs scored, a double and a steal in a 15-3 win over Holy Names.

Perez, Kline and the rest of our 2013 team should be in action tonight for their respective college teams.

By the way, we're down to just 60 more days until our June 4 nonconference season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. That's less than two months away, so if you haven't renewed your season tickets, bought new season tickets, or purchased your 10-game punch card, come see us in the Madison Plaza building in beautiful downtown CorVegas and we'll set you up.

Now, on with the rest of today's news.

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We're thrilled to announce the formation of "Stew's Crew," thanks to a generous donation by New York Yankees' catcher Chris Stewart (2001) and his wife, Lindsey. Deserving members of the Lebanon and Sweet Home Boys & Girls Clubs will receive free reserved-seat tickets to every home game this summer.

Read more on this outstanding donation by clicking here. Thanks, Chris and Lindsey, who were special guests at our Hot Stove Night this past January.

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Not sure if you saw this Corvallis Knights notebook in today's editions of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, but if you didn't here's your chance to catch up on a few recent news items of note.

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Pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) made his triple-A debut for the Las Vegas 51s and threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief in a 10-5 win over Sacramento to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Las Vegas is the New York Mets' affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A, Midwest League, Milwaukee) earned honorable mention by going 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a double in a 5-4 win over Peoria.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Arizona State outfielder Cullen O'Dwyer, right-handed pitchers Eric Melbostad and Try Kamachie and infielder Jordan Aboites for the 2013 season. For more details, click right here to access the team's website and read the first item on the menu.

KELOWNA: Two-time Falcon alum Andrew Firth is off to a hot start with the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. For more on that story, click here.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats new mascot, Harvey, has been getting out and about in Victoria. Read all about his exploits in this story from the Victoria News.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets and the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation will host the second annual Sweets Downtown Block Party from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, on Main Street in downtown Walla Walla. Here are more details, from the Sweets' website.

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


Knights sign Concordia outfielder Blake Drake

April 4, 2013

Happy Thursday, everyone.

We've added another piece to what we hope will be a championship team this summer. The Knights have signed sophomore center fielder Blake Drake of Concordia (Ore.) University, a 6-foot-1, 165-pounder from Ramona, Calif.

Drake leads the Cavs in hitting with a .361 batting average, in at-bats (133); hits (48); runs (24), and in stolen bases (15).

He hit .271 (32-118) in 48 games (33 starts) as a freshman, with a homer and 16 RBIs. Had six multiple-hit games, and was 6-for-14 (.429) with six runs, three RBIs and two doubles in the NAIA West Tournament.

He was a three-time all-league selection and a three-time MVP and defensive player of the year at Ramona High School.

Concordia assistant coach Braden Wells, who played for the Knights in 2007 after his junior year at Oregon State, described Drake as an exceptional defensive center fielder.

"(Knights) fans will love how he plays the outfield," Wells said. "He can really play out there and is a special defender and great kid."

Here's more on Blake from our website. Welcome to the Knights.

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Two Knights' alums will be the opening-night starter for their minor-league team tonight.

* Scott Lyman (2010) of the Greensboro Grasshoppers (A, Marlins) gets the ball for their South Atlantic League game against Hickory.

* Tyler Anderson of Modesto (A, Colorado) is the Nuts' starter for their California League game against Inland Empire.

Our daily "Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day" feature will also start on Friday.

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MLB.com has ranked three Knights' alums as top-20 prospects in their respective minor-league organizations.

* Left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009) is ranked No. 6 in the Colorado organization. A South Atlantic League all-star in 2012, he'll start 2013 with Modesto in the California League. Here's MLB.com's analysis:

"The Oregon product spent his first full season of pro ball pitching in the bandbox that is Asheville's home stadium and ended up leading the organization in ERA and finishing second in batting average against. An advanced college lefty, he could start moving quickly now with a four-pitch mix at his disposal.

"His fastball is average, but he works it to both sides of the plate effectively, working quickly to throw strike one. His changeup is outstanding, an above-average offspeed pitch with sink. He throws a slider and a curve, with the former a touch better than the latter, and he mixes all his pitches well with a fairly deceptive delivery.

"His ceiling is limited, but he could fly up the ladder to the big leagues in a hurry now."

* Outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) is ranked No. 11 in the Milwaukee farm system. He will play for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League; he also played there in 2012 but suffered a season-ending knee injury (since repaired) in his first month with the club. Here's MLB.com's analysis:

"The Brewers kept on drafting bats in 2012, taking this Cal Poly product in the sandwich round. His pro debut was cut short by a knee injury, but he is healthy and ready to show he's the kind of college bat that can move quickly through a system.

"Improved plate discipline helped him tremendously during his junior season, allowing him to tap into his above-average power more consistently and be a better all-around hitter. There will be some swing-and-miss to his game, but it looks like there should be walks, long balls and enough hitting ability to make him a regular.

"Haniger played center field in college, and that's where he played during his brief time on the field for the Brewers in 2012, but most see him shifting over to right, where his strong arm and offensive profile should play just fine."

* Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was ranked as the No. 16 prospect in the San Francisco organization. He play for the Richmond Squirrels in the double-A Eastern League this season. Here's MLB.com's analysis.

* "The Northern California native got to play at home during his first full season of pro ball, going straight to San Jose in the California League after getting first-round money as a second-round pick in 2011. The Oregon State product has the skill set to be a solid all-around backstop.

"His best tool is his power and it's legitimate, though it didn't show up during his 2012 season. He moves well behind the plate and was able to throw out 32 percent of would-be basestealers. Look for him to get lessons from the lumps he took in 2012 and carry them over for a stronger 2013."

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Only one game on Wednesday involving former or future Knights, but it was a big one.

* Portland defeated Seattle U. 13-6 at Bellevue, Wash. For the Pilots, Michael Lucarelli (2013) was 3-for-5 with a double, two runs and three RBIs; Cody Lenahan (2013) was 1-for-5 with two RBIs; Caleb Whalen (2012) was 3-for-6 with two runs; starting pitcher Kody Watts gave up four runs in five innings, had three strikeouts and got the win, and reliever Colin Feldtman (2013) pitched .2 scoreless innings. Nate Roberts (2011-12) was 2-for-5 with a run and a stolen base for Seattle.

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West Coast League alums went 3-for-3 in Opening Day appearances.

* On Sunday, Knights' alum Bud Norris (2005) of the Astros recorded a win over Texas in the first game of the regular season.

* On Monday, former Kelowna Falcon Jim Henderson of the Milwaukee Brewers collected an Opening Day win in relief at Miller Park as the Brewers beat Colorado 5-4 in 10 innings. He tossed a scoreless 10th with a strikeout.

* On Tuesday, Baltimore starter Jason Hammel, an alum of the Wenatchee AppleSox, earned a win in a 7-4 victory at Tampa Bay. Hammel pitched six solid innings, allowing three hits and three runs.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells are looking for host families. Click here for more details.

COWLITZ: Cowlitz alum Cole Irvin of Oregon earned national honors for shutting out Washington on March 30. Here's more from the Cowlitz website.

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That's all for today. See you tomorrow on a TGIF!


Halfway home already!

April 3, 2013

Happy Hump Day, everyone.

Hard to believe it but we're already halfway through the work week, and a mere 62 more days until our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. Seems like a long ways away but it will be here before you know it.

Action in the various long-season minor leagues starts this week. We have about 30 Knights alums (no such thing as a "former" Knight - once you're a Knight, you're always a Knight!) in affiliated baseball and once their assignments have been determined we'll let you know where they 're playing this summer.

We'll also pick out a day for our weekly Knights Minor League Update, and begin our "Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day" feature, a popular fixture of The Blog until the minor-league season ends in September.

Now, on to today's news.

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Speaking of Science and Art Day, all students who attend will receive a coupon for a free general admission ticket to our June 12 West Coast League home opener against Kitsap, and coupons for a free order of French fries at McDonald's and a free taco at Qdoba.

We're also excited to announce that OMSI is returning, as is the Oregon State Colleges of Science and Engineering. Both did a great job engaging with kids at their stations last year, and made science fun! For more information, click here. To read the Corvallis Gazette-Times story on last year's event, please click here.

Don't miss out on this fun, interactive and educational experience. It's a super cool end-of-the-year field trip opportunity that's close to home!

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Lots of alums/future Knights in action on Tuesday for their respective college teams. Here's a rundown:

* Oregon State's 7-5 win over Portland was a Knightsapalooza. Danny Hayes (2009) and Jake Rodriguez (2009) each had two hits, two runs and two RBIs, and Scott Schultz (2011) allowed no earned runs in three innings to notch his sixth save for the Beavers. For the Pilots, Michael Lucarelli (2013) was 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs; Cody Lenahan (2013) was 0-for-4; Beau Fraser (2012) was 1-for-4; Caleb Whalen (2012) was 0-for-3 with a run; Kramer Scott (2011) was 1-for-4 with an RBI, and Colin Feldtman (2013) allowed two hits and a run and was the losing pitcher.

* UC Irvine shortstop Chris Rabago (2012-13) was 0-for-2 with run and starter Evan Brock (2010) allowed one run in four innings, with three strikeouts, but got a no-decision in a 3-1 win over USC.

* Columbia outfielder Gus Craig (2013) was 0-for-1 in a 15-6 loss at Rutgers.

* UC Santa Barbara relievers Dylan Hecht (2013) and Greg Mahle (2012) each pitched a scoreless inning in a 3-1 loss to Pepperdine.

* Washington State reliever Kellen Camus (2013) allowed one run in one inning of a 7-2 loss to Gonzaga.

* Mt. Hood CC pitcher Eric Huson allowed three runs and 11 hits in seven innings, with eight strikeouts, in a 4-3 win over Chemeketa. Huson got a no-decision.

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It's a Wednesday, so that means another edition of the Knights Top 10.

In last week's Top 10 we mentioned that you can't win a game until you get 27 outs (more if the game goes into extra innings, obviously). Staying with that theme, this week's list details the Knights all-time top 10 pitchers with the lowest opponent's batting averages (minimum 30 innings pitched, WCL games only).

1. .179, Jared Eskew (2008)

2. .184, J.R. Murphy (2007)

3. .191, Rob Dittrick (2012)

4. .193, Matt Andriese (2009)

5. .195, Mark Trentacosta (2011)

6. .201, Dylan Stuart (2011)

7. .204, Chris Johnson (2011)

8. .208, James McLaughlin (2008)

9. .211, Liam Baron (2009)

10. .213, Kyle Hart (2011)

10. .213 Bryan Granger (2012)

Opponents hit a paltry .162 off of UC Riverside's Trevor Frank in 2012, but he only pitched 29.1 innings and just missed qualifying. Another honorable mention goes to Liam Baron - already on the list for his 2008 season - for his 2009 season, when he held opponents to a .214 average.

We'll be back next week, with another Knights Top 10.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: Here's the most recent entry on the HarbourCats Baseball Blog, with an update on the team's Cal State Fullerton players.

WALLA WALLA: Here's the latest edition of "10 Things to Know About Sweets Baseball," a regular feature on the team's website.

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


Giants released 2008 Knights MVP Alex Burg

April 2, 2013

We'd like to wish everybody a happy Tuesday but it's a sad day here at the WWHQ.

We learned today the San Francisco Giants have released utility Alex Burg, the former Washington State star who was the MVP of our 2008 West Coast League championship team. He played for three years in their farm system, topping out at high-A San Jose the past two years, and hit .268 in 204 games, with 27 homers and 103 RBIs.

Burg was a rock for us in 2008, and earned MVP honors despite rather modest statistics (.206, 1 homer, 15 RBIs in 48 games). He handled the pitching staff with aplomb, was a clubhouse leader, and played through shoulder injuries that would have sidelined many players, especially in summer baseball. He was a true warrior.

Alex also played for coach Brooke Knight on the 2012 Perth Heat, the Australian Baseball League champions. So, best of luck to Alex, whatever the future holds outside of baseball.

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More bad news from MLB camps: The Los Angeles Dodgers have released former Knight Nick Akins, a starter on the 2007 West Division championship club that lost to Moses Lake in the WCL Championship Series. He played at Vanguard University. Nick played four years in the minors but never advanced beyond high-A; he hit .227 for us in 43 games, with three homers and 15 RBIs.

Nick was selected in the 19th round of the 2009 MLB draft by the Dodgers and hit .272 lifetime in 302 minor-league games, with 56 homers and 203 RBIs. Here's Baseball America's analysis:

"Nick Akins attracted attention from a segment of prospect watchers when he clubbed 15 home runs and slugged .650 for Rookie-level Ogden of the Pioneer League in 2010. Others, realizing that Ogden plays in an extreme hitter's park in an extreme hitter's league, preferred to wait to see what Akins could do in more neutral conditions before buying in to his prospect-dom.

"In this case, patience proved to be a virtue. In parts of two seasons with low Class A Great Lakes, Akins hit .226/.327/.407 with 20 homers in 575 plate appearances."

Best of luck to Nick in his future outside of baseball.

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We do have some good news as well, however.

* UC Riverside outfielder David Andriese (2010-11) was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week by the College Sports Madness website. He was named the BWC's Field Player of the Week on Monday, as we reported in yesterday's blog.

* And junior pitcher Colin Feldtman (2013) of the University of Portland was nominated for West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week honors, but was not selected. He did not allow a run in 5.2 innings and earned two wins in two relief appearances against Santa Clara over the weekend.

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Three former/future Knights pitched for Pacific Lutheran on Monday in a 5-4, 10-inning win over St. Martin's.

* Starter Max Beatty allowed no runs and three hits and had four strikeouts in seven innings, and left with a 2-0 lead.

* Reliever Jake Otness (2013) allowed two runs in .1 innings.

* Reliever Chris Bishop (2012-13) allowed two runs in two innings, with two strikeouts.

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Check out this edition of "On Campus" from the West Coast League's website. It highlights the many outstanding pitching performances from WCL alums so far this spring.

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It's Tuesday, so here is our weekly update of the 2013 college stats for our NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and junior-college players. We'll do this every Tuesday throughout the college season; stats for our NCAA Division I players are updated on Mondays. All stats are through Monday's games.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON: Junior infielder Eddie Malone Jr. is hitting .321 (9-28) in 13 games, with four RBIs. Junior infielder Scott Stone is hitting .280 (7-25) in 13 games, with one homer and three RBIs.

CORBAN: Sophomore infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .393 (46-117) in 27 games, with a homer and 20 RBIs.

DIXIE STATE: Sophomore infielder Kevin Kline is hitting .382 (29-76) in 24 games, with four homers and 23 RBIs.

GEORGE FOX: Junior pitcher Tom Zarosinski is 1-4, 4.47 in eight games, with 37 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Sean Eberhardt is 2-0, 4.35 in 11 games, with nine strikeouts in 10.1 innings.

GRAND CANYON: Sophomore pitcher Jorge Perez is 4-2, 3.51 in eight games, with 36 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Andrew Naderer is 6-1, 1.91 in eight games, with 44 strikeouts in 47 innings.

MT. HOOD CC: Sophomore pitcher Eric Huson is 1-0, 2.17 in three games, with 10 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

PACIFIC UNIVERSITY: Sophomore pitcher Kyle Treadway is 1-6, 3.77 in seven games, with 18 strikeouts in 43 innings.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Sophomore pitcher Chris Bishop is 1-3, 5.47 in 10 games, with two saves and 26 strikeouts in 26.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Jake Otness is 1-1, 7.94 in 10 games, with 14 strikeouts in 17 innings.

TACOMA CC: Sophomore pitcher Brandon Choate, a Washington signee, is 0-1, 3.85 in five games, with two saves and 11 strikeouts in seven innings. Sophomore Chad Michaud is hitting .374 (13-35) in 10 games, with a homer and 11 RBIs as a catcher and is 0-0, 0.00 in three games as a pitcher, with a save and five strikeouts in three innings. Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert has the same job with TCC during the school year.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: Abilene Christian junior infielder Kyle Giusti, a 2013 Elk, was named the NCAA Division II National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. For more details, click here and read the first item on the main menu.

VICTORIA: HarbourCats' single-game tickets are now on sale. Click here for more information.

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


Andriese named Big West Player of the Week

April 1, 2013

Happy Monday, everyone.

Can't say that we're thrilled to be at work after a great four-day weekend with gorgeous weather in CorVegas. Who doesn't love time off? But here we are, at the WWHQ pumping out another edition of the Blog, and catching up after four days out of the office.

Turned the calendar to April this morning and discovered we're down to only 64 more days until our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. So renew those season tickets and purchase your 10-day punch cards at the office.

And don't forget, we've still got some game-worn road gray jerseys for sale for $40. We're getting a new set of road uniforms this summer, so the old ones are being retired.

Now, on with the news.

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Good news from the Big West Conference this morning. Former Knight David Andriese (2010-11) of UC Riverside was named the Big West Conference's Field Player of the Week for March 25-31. He was 7-for-11 (.636) with a double, triple, two runs and three RBIs as the Highlanders swept No. 21 UC Irvine.

UCR senior pitcher Trevor Frank (2012) was nominated for Pitcher of the Week honors but was not selected. He saved all three wins. Here are the details, from the Big West Conference website.

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Cal Poly sophomore outfielder Nick Torres, a key member of our 2012 West Coast League runner-up squad, will play for the Green Bay Bullfrogs in the Northwoods League this summer. Here are the details from the Green Bay website.

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The Knights get a mention in this story on the mental and physical maturation of Oregon junior reliever Jimmie Sherfy in Baseball America magazine. We're pleased that the turnaround in "The Sherf's" promising career began with us in our 2011 WCL championship season.

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It's a Monday, so here are updated 2013 stats for our 2013 Division I players:

CAL POLY: Freshman catcher/DH Brian Mundell is hitting .353 (30-85) with seven homers and 21 RBIs in 22 games. Freshman infielder Peter Van Gansen is hitting .300 (24-80) with no homers and four RBIs in 26 games. Freshman pitcher Casey Bloomquist is 0-0, 11.12 in two games, with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

COLUMBIA: Sophomore outfielder Gus Craig is hitting .300 (3-10) in nine games, with no homers and two RBIs.

DARTMOUTH: Freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert is hitting .345 (19-55) in 16 games, with eight RBIs.

OREGON: Freshmen pitcher Jared Priestley is 0-0, 0.00 in two games, with one strikeout in two innings. Freshman pitcher Sam Johnson is 0-0, 4.50 in two games, with two strikeouts in two innings.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Andrew Moore is 5-1, 1.48 in seven appearances, with a save and 27 strikeouts in 42.2 innings. Freshman infielder Gabe Clark is hitting .167 (5-30) in 13 games, with four RBIs.

PORTLAND: Sophomore infielder Cody Lenahan is hitting .274 (26-95) in 26 games, with no homers and nine RBIs. Sophomore infielder Michael Lucarelli is hitting .218 (12-55) in 23 games, with no homers and four RBIs. Junior pitcher Colin Feldtman is 2-0, 1.89 in 19 innings over nine appearances, with two saves and 14 strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Kody Watts is 0-2, 10.29 in five games, with two strikeouts in seven innings.

SAN DIEGO: Sophomore outfielder Grant Melker is hitting .000 (0-4) in 13 games, with two runs, no homers and no RBIs.

SAN JOSE STATE: Junior catcher Dane Lund is hitting .212 (7-33) with no homers and three RBIs in 15 games.

UC IRVINE: Utility man Chris Rabago is hitting .244 (21-86) in 24 games, with no homers and nine RBIs. Freshman pitcher Elliot Surrey is 1-0, 5.06 in eight games, with nine strikeouts in 10.2 innings.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman outfielder Joseph DeRoche-Duffin is hitting .167 (1-6) in five games, with no homers or RBIs. Freshman pitcher Dylan Hecht is 0-1, 2.08 in 13 games, with 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings.

WASHINGTON: Freshman pitcher Alex Nesbitt is 0-0, 0.00 in one appearance, with a strikeout in .1 innings.

WASHINGTON STATE: Junior pitcher Kellen Camus is 3-0, 1.40 in 14 games, with two saves and 25 strikeouts in 19.1 innings. Freshman pitcher Jacob Schroeder is 0-0, 18.00 in three games, with no strikeouts in three innings.

Remember, stats for our Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC players will be updated tomorrow.

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Since we were out of the office for a couple days, we've got a lot of news from elsewhere in the West Coast League to catch up on. Here goes:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed seven players to 10-day contracts to give them some depth early in the season. Read all about it in this story from the team's website.

MEDFORD: The Rogues have added catcher Mason Ankeney of Oklahoma Baptist University, outfielder Daniel McNabb of Western Oregon and left-handed pitcher Connor Harris of George Fox University to their 2013 roster. Here's more information from the Our Sports Central website.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats' new mascot will be nicknamed "Harvey." Here's more on the story, and a photo, from the team's website.

WALLA WALLA: Sweets' general manager Zachary Fraser shares his vision of baseball in the Walla Walla Valley in this story from the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin newspaper. Also, the team has announced its full promotional schedule for the upcoming season.

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