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Knights Daily Update

Knights Daily Update

Less than 20 weeks and counting until opening day!

January 17, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

We're down to 138 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. That's roughly 20 weeks away, but it will go fast.

In the meantime, don't forget about 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 the event, 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 at the Omaha Room is limited and reservations are coming in fast, 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 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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One of our newest partner schools, Linfield College in McMinnville, is the preseason No. 1 in NCAA Division III rankings released on Friday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA). We'll have three Wildcats on our roster to start the summer: Pitcher Chris Haddeland, the 2013 Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Year, and outfielders Jimmy Cleary and Jackson Ruckert, who are 10-day signees.

Another of our NCAA Division III partners, George Fox University, was in the "also receiving votes" category. GFU pitcher Sean Eberhardt returns for his second season with the Knights in 2014. Here's the poll, from College Baseball Today.

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Speaking of partner schools, long-time Knights supporter Cal Poly is ranked No. 36 in the College Sports Madness preseason top 40. There are tons of Knights alums on the 2014 Mustangs: Seniors Jimmy Allen and David Armendariz, stars on our 2011 title club; juniors Nick Torres, Alex Michaels and Bryan Granger, members of the 2012 Knights, and sophomores Peter Van Gansen and Casey Bloomquist, members of our 2013 championship club.

This year's Mustangs/Knights are pitchers Slater Lee and Justin Calomeni and infielder Alec Smith. Here's the Cal Poly preview, from College Sports Madness.

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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.

BROOKE KNIGHT: The Adelaide coach has the streaking Bite in tie for second place at 20-20, seven games behind league-leading Perth. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

ERIC MASSINGHAM (2006-07): The Canberra pitcher, from Cal Poly, is 3-1, 6.23 in 17 games, with 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings.

LIAM BARON (2008-09): The Perth reliever, from Linn-Benton and Gonzaga, has appeared in one game and did not allow an earned run, but he does not have an ERA yet because he hasn't recorded an out. He's on Perth's reserve roster.

DEAN GREEN (2008): The one-time Oklahoma State/Barry University slugging first baseman is on the reserve list with the Sydney Blue Sox and has not played yet this season.

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Just in case you missed it yesterday, the Knights have hired Alex Kuhn, a Dec., 2013, University of Iowa graduate, as our 2014 play-by-play announcer. He has an extensive broadcasting background as an undergrad at Iowa, and last summer was the play-by-play voice of the Hamilton (Ohio) Joes of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.

He now joins Mike Parker (2007-11, 2013), Jason Schwartz (2010) and Kevin Burke (2012) on the Mt. Rushmore of Knights' broadcasters. Welcome aboard!

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed lefty Spencer Hobson of Whitman College and righty Christian Jarnagin of George Fox University for the 2014 season. Here are full details from Our Sports Central.

WENATCHEE: For our readers in that region, the AppleSox are holding their Hot Stove Night at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 28, at Abby's West Pizza in Wenatchee. Manager Ed Knaggs is the scheduled guest speaker.

Admission is $20 per person and includes a pizza buffet; admission is free for season-ticket holders and sponsors, and limited to those 21 years of age or older. RSVP to Ken Osborne at (509) 665 6900 or e-mail ken@applesox.com.

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


Knights hire Alex Kuhn of Iowa as 2014 play-by-play broadcaster

January 16, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

We've got some big news to report today as we hit 139 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium.

The Knights have hired recent University of Iowa graduate Alex Kuhn as our 2014 play-by-play broadcaster.

And we've signed catcher Dane Lund, our 2013 Most Valuable Player, for the 2014 season. Dane's redshirting at Oregon State this spring following his transfer from San Jose State, and thus has another year of eligibility and therefore another chance to play for us. He will be the first four-year Knight since the inception of the WCL in 2005.

We'll have more on those topics later in the blog.

In the meantime, don't forget about 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 the event, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

Koho will address a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) current and possible future expansion; the new three-division re-alignment; what he envisions for the WCL down the road, and other topics. Nate will talk about the Beavers, their connection to the Knights, and other topics as well.

Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak. All four will be available for questions.

Seating at the Omaha Room is limited and reservations are coming in fast, 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 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge, and save five bucks.

Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com. We'll have more information as it becomes available, but save the night!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Knights are thrilled to announce the hiring of Alex Kuhn, a Dec., 2013, University of Iowa graduate, as our 2014 play-by-play announcer. He has an extensive broadcasting background as an undergrad at Iowa; last summer was the play-by-play voice of the Hamilton (Ohio) Joes of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League.

He now joins Mike Parker (2007-11, 2013), Jason Schwartz (2010) and Kevin Burke (2012) on the Mt. Rushmore of Knights' broadcasters. Welcome aboard!

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As promised, here's more on the signing of catcher Dane Lund for the 2014 season:

A native of Astoria, Dane was also first-team all-WCL in 2013 after helping lead the Knights to their third league title. He hit .343 (48-140) in 46 WCL games, with no homers and 16 RBIs, and tied for second in the WCL in steals (25-for-26) and sacrifice hits (11). He led the Knights in average and was sixth in the batting race.

He had a team-best .452 on-base percentage and struck out just 12 times in 162 total plate appearances. He also had 26 walks.

Lund hit .261 (30-115) in 38 games for the Knights in 2012, with a homer and 13 RBIs. He hit .259 for Corvallis in 26 games in 2011, with no homers and six RBIs.

He transferred to SJSU for the 2013 season after spending two years at Mt. Hood Community College, and hit .241 (19-79) in 32 games, with a homer and eight RBIs. Lund was a NWAACC all-star for Mt. Hood in 2012, when he hit .311, with no homers and 20 RBIs.

Welcome back, Dane.

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No news today from the West Coast League, so we'll close. See you all on Friday.

PS: Somehow Wednesday's edition of the blog got deleted. Sorry about that!


Lots of WCL alums in affiliated baseball

January 14, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

The Blog took in last night's great win by the Oregon State women's basketball team over Oregon with Knights' PA announcer Doug Blair. We saw lots of Knights fans at Gill Coliseum, cheering the Beavers on to their season sweep of the Ducks!

But now, back to baseball. It's a mere 141 days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. And it's less than a month until an appetizer for the upcoming season, Hot Stove Night III.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for the event, the highlight of the Knights' off-season. It's set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

Koho will address a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) current and possible future expansion; the new three-division re-alignment; what he envisions for the WCL down the road, and other topics. Nate will talk about the Beavers, their connection to the Knights, and other topics as well.

Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

We're taking reservations because seating at the Omaha Room is limited. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. Reserve your seat by e-mailing the blog at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

We'll have more information as it becomes available, but save the night!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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You know we never miss a chance to promote the Knights and the West Coast League. So, even though you may have already seen it, here's a refresher: A compilation of the 166 WCL alums who played in affiliated baseball in 2013.

That's mighty impressive, especially for a league that had eight or nine teams until the first round of expansion several years ago. Please click here for the complete list, which includes a whopping 42 Knights' alums.

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One of those aforementioned Knights in the pros, Pittsburgh Pirates' catcher Chris Stewart (2001), the guest speaker at Hot Stove Night II in 2013, gets looked at in a new, more appreciative light by reporter Zach Morrison in this story from the RantSports.com website.

Here's more on Stewart from another RantSports.com story, and here's yet more on Stewart from the Bucs Dugout website. It's a two-part interview; part 1 is also available on the link.

In reading the answers, it's easy to see why Stewie is so well-thought of in professional baseball.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed outfielder Nate Anderson of Bellevue JC and right-handed pitcher Michael Rucker of BYU for the upcoming season. Both also played for the Bells in 2013. Click here for more on the story, from the Bellingham website.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have added six more players to their 2014 roster, including University of San Diego outfielder John Grimsley, the son of former LMB pitcher Jason Grimsley. Click here for a complete list of the newest Harbour Cats, from the Victoria website. Here's even more on the signings, from the HarbourCats Baseball Blog.

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


Happy Monday, Knights fans

January 13, 2014

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

It's only 142 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. And, while that seems a long ways off, Hot Stove Night III should help whet your appetite for Corvallis Knights baseball.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho will be the special guest speaker for the event, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

He'll address a variety of issues, including (but not limited to) current and possible future expansion; the new three-division re-alignment; what he envisions for the WCL down the road, and other topics. He'll also answer any questions any attendees may have.

Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie, Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

We are already receiving reservation requests, so don't wait because seating at the Omaha Room is limited. Reserve your seat by e-mailing the blog at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com. We'll have more information as it becomes available, but save the night!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Baseball America has added more information to its list of the top 100 college prospects for the June, 2014, MLB draft. Three Knights' alums made the cut. Oregon State junior lefty Jace Fry (2011) is ranked 49th; OSU senior lefty Ben Wetzler (2011) is ranked 66th, and Cal Poly junior outfielder Nick Torres (2012) is ranked 79th. Please click here for more information.

We expect all three to be drafted this June and to join our growing list of professional alums. Fry was also drafted by Oakland out of high school in 2011 but did not sign; Wetzler was selected by Cleveland out of high school in 2010 and by Cincinnati in 2013; he twice turned down pro money. Torres was not drafted out of high school.

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Speaking of WCL president Dennis Koho, he was interviewed recently on a number of topics by senior staff writer Jacob F. Garcia of BestCoastBaseball.com. It makes for good reading; please click here to check it out.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed University of Portland freshman infielder/pitcher Austin Kelly; freshman infielder Dan Whitaker; sophomore pitcher Jordan Wilcox, and Morehead State outfielder Jason Rosen for the upcoming season. Click here for more on the story, from the Elks website. It's the top item on the menu.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats will play an exhibition game against players from the Victoria Mariners and Victoria Eagles of the local Premier Baseball League at Royal Athletic Park on June 5, one day before they are scheduled to open the WCL regular season in Kelowna against the Falcons. Click here for more on the game, from the HarbourCats Baseball Blog. More information is also available here, on the team website.

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That's it for today. Have a great night, and we'll see you on Tuesday.


Have a great Friday

January 10, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

Only 145 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. Hot Stove Night III will help you get there, and help whet your appetite for Corvallis Knights baseball.

In case you missed it, we announced on Thursday that West Coast League president Dennis Koho will be the special guest speaker at Hot Stove Night III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

He'll address current and possible future expansion, the new three-division re-alignment, what he envisions for the WCL down the road, and other topics. He'll also answer any questions any attendees may have.

Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie, Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak. All four presenters will be available for questions.

We're already receiving reservation requests, so don't wait! Seating at the Omaha Room is limited; reserve your seat by e-mailing the blog at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com. We'll have more information as it becomes available, but save the night!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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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.

BROOKE KNIGHT: The Adelaide coach has the Bite in tie for fourth place at 17-19, six games behind league-leading Perth.

ERIC MASSINGHAM (2006-07): The Canberra pitcher, from Cal Poly, is 3-1, 7.04 in 15 games, with 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

LIAM BARON (2008-09): The Perth reliever, from Linn-Benton and Gonzaga, has appeared in one game and did not allow an earned run, but he does not have an ERA yet because he hasn't recorded an out. He's on Perth's reserve roster.

DEAN GREEN (2008): The one-time Oklahoma State/Barry University slugging first baseman is on the reserve list with the Sydney Blue Sox and has not played yet this season.

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One last reminder to vote for Linfield junior pitcher/2014 Knights' signee Chris Haddeland, the 2013 NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Year, for DIII Baseball.com's preseason Pitcher of the Year award. Please click here to access the ballot to vote for Haddeland, the Northwest Conference's 2013 Pitcher of the Year, and a 2013 NCAA Division III All-American. He's still in third place, but is moving closer to second.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Morehead (Ky.) State pitchers Luke Schnieder and Patrick McGuff for the upcoming season. Click here for more on the story, from the Elks website. It's the top item on the menu.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed three players from the University of Portland: Pitcher Alex Fisher, catcher Cooper Hummel, and outfielder Ryan Littlefield. Click here for more on the story, from the Walla Walla website.

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


Hot Stove Night III set for Feb. 5

January 9, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

We're down to 146 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium, and we're pleased to announce an event to help you get through the dreary winter and let you know that West Coast League baseball is just around the corner.

We're pleased to announce that WCL president Dennis Koho and Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie will be the special guest speakers at Hot Stove Night III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

Koho will address current and possible future expansion; the new three-division re-alignment; what he envisions for the WCL in the future, and other topics. He'll also answer any questions any attendees may have.

Yeskie will speak on the 2014 Beavers, who feature Knights' alums Ben Wetzler, Jace Fry, Scott Schultz, Taylor Starr, Brandon Jackson and Kevin Flemer on the pitching staff. The Knights will also recognize Yeskie for the national Pitching Coach of the Year Award he recently received from Collegiate Baseball magazine.

Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak on our promotions and plans for the upcoming season. We also may have another special guest who should be of interest to area baseball fans.

Seating at the Omaha Room is limited, so make your reservations now by e-mailing the blog at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, and $5 for everyone else.

We'll have more information as it becomes available, but save the date. It will be another fun and informative night!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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A familiar face to Corvallis baseball fans has joined the coaching staff of the Medford Rogues. Former Oregon State first baseman and student assistant coach Jared Norris will be an assistant under head coach Josh Hogan, the former Knights' star (2007-09) who is entering his second year as the Medford skipper.

You can click right here for more on the story, from the Medford website. The story also contains news about Medford's latest signing, pitcher Steven Naemark of Campbellsville University. Welcome to the WCL, Jared!

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Don't forget to vote for Linfield junior pitcher/2014 Knights' signee Chris Haddeland, the 2013 NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Year, for DIII Baseball.com's preseason Pitcher of the Year award. Please click here to access the ballot to vote for Haddeland, the Northwest Conference's 2013 Pitcher of the Year, and a 2013 NCAA Division III All-American. He's still in third place, but is moving closer to second.

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Remember, even though the deadline for renewing your 2013 season tickets has passed, there's an excellent chance existing season-ticket holders who simply forgot to renew can still get their same seats. So if you spaced out and disremembered, don't despair.

Season tickets remain a great bargain, whether you're renewing, returning to the fold after an absence, or buying for the first time. And our popular 10-game punch cards are always available for just $50.

Stop by the World-Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) of the Knights in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis to buy tickets, or punch cards.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed Bethune-Cookman junior pitcher Keith Zuniga, who played for the team in 2012, and Pacific University sophomore outfielder Walker Olis, who played at Bellingham in 2013. Click here for more on the story, from the Bellingham website.

YAKIMA: The Pippins have signed right-handed pitchers Matt Trask and Nick Kern for the 2014 season. A native of Brea, Calif., Kern is a redshirt freshman at UCLA. Trask is a senior at Davis High School in Davis, Calif., who will enroll at UCLA this fall. Please click here for more on the story, from the Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper.

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


Max Beatty's recover a top story in Tacoma

January 8, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

Overcast, warm conditions in Corvallis this morning as the countdown to our June 4 nonleague opener on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium hits 147 days and counting.

We're gonna hammer you over the head with this during January; please bear with us. The deadline for renewing your 2013 season tickets has passed, but there's an excellent chance existing season-ticket holders who simply forgot to renew can still get their same seats. So if you spaced out and forgot, don't despair.

Season tickets remain a great bargain, whether you're renewing, returning to the fold after an absence, or buying for the first time. And our popular 10-game punch cards are always available for just $50.

Stop by the World-Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) of the Knights in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis to buy tickets, or punch cards.

Now, on with the news.

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Alum Max Beatty's (2010-12) inspiring recovery from testicular cancer, his return to the Pacific Lutheran University baseball team and his ensuing selection in the major league draft by the San Diego Padres was rated as one of the top local sports stories of 2013 by the Tacoma Weekly newspaper.

Here's the paper's report on Max's selection:

Former Pacific Lutheran University ace pitcher Max Beatty, who overcame testicular cancer to return to the baseball field in Summer 2012, achieved his ultimate dream when he was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 32nd round of the Major League Baseball draft on June 8.

"It's been something I've been looking forward to (for) forever," Beatty said. "It really is just a dream come true."

It was on Christmas Break in 2011 that Beatty was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Beatty tackled the two-month round of chemotherapy, five days a week, with his eyes set on returning to the field.

After playing with the summer league Corvallis Knights in June 2012, Beatty returned to PLU in the fall. He posted a 7-5 record and a 2.48 earned run average in 87 innings in the spring season, with 90 strikeouts and just 13 walks.

Congrats to Max, and best of luck in the minors this season. It's a great story.

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Remember, vote for Linfield junior pitcher/2014 Knights' signee Chris Haddeland, the 2013 NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Year, for DIII Baseball.com's preseason Pitcher of the Year award. Please click here to access the ballot to vote for Haddeland, the Northwest Conference's 2013 Pitcher of the Year, and a 2013 NCAA Division III All-American. He's still in third place, but is moving closer to second and every vote helps.

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The Victoria HarbourCats received a mention in the Victoria Times Colonist newspapers list of the "10 things brewing" in local sports for 2014. Here's a recap:

What will the Victoria HarbourCats do for an encore after an inaugural 2013 in which the baseball club was second in West Coast League attendance? The emphasis in the sophomore season needs to be to emulate on the diamond the initial-year success in the stands. The first game is June 6 in Kelowna with the home opener June 10 at Royal Athletic Park against the Cowlitz Black Bears from Kelso/Longview, Wash.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Creighton freshman middle infielder Nick Lopez, a 5-foot-9, 160-pounder from Naperville Central High in nearby Bolingbrook, Ill. Please click here for more on the story, from the Summer Baseball Insider website.

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


Knights nominated for Business of the Year

January 7, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

The rain has returned and Oregon finally looks like Oregon again. But a few raindrops can't extinguish our enthusiasm about the 2014 season and our June 4 season opener on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium is now just 148 days away.

So don't forget, even though the deadline for renewing your 2013 season tickets has passed, there's an excellent chance that existing season-ticket holders who simply forgot to renew can still get their same seats. If you spaced out and forgot to renew, don't despair.

Season tickets remain a great bargain, whether you're renewing, returning to the fold after an absence, or buying for the first time. And our popular 10-game punch cards are always available for just $50.

Stop by the World-Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) of the Knights in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis to buy tickets, or punch cards.

Now, on with the news.

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The Knights have been nominated for the "Business of the Year" award for 2013 by the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will announce the winners at an event Jan. 17, at Oregon State University's CH2M Hill Alumni Center, at 725 S.W. 26th St.

Mike Corwin, president of the chamber board (and the proud papa of former Knights 2010 and 2012 pitcher Aaron Corwin), said the event recognizes the accomplishments of individual citizens, and showcases area businesses.

"There is a lot of good done by the nominees," said Corwin, who works at the OSU Federal Credit Union, a longtime Knights' sponsor. "Just being nominated is significant."

Also nominated are Horsepower Productions; Henderer Design + Build; Re/Max Integrity - Carla Allen; PEAK Internet, and Forks & Corks Catering. Henderer D+B, Carla Allen, PEAK and Forks and Corks are also big Knights supporters, so it's a nice list to be on!

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Five Corvallis Knights partner schools are ranked in the Top 40 in Collegiate Baseball magazine's preseason poll, another example illustrating the top-quality programs the Knights draw their players from.

A College World Series participant in 2013, Oregon State leads the pack and is ranked No. 4. Oregon (6), Cal Poly (27), San Diego (33) and UC Santa Barbara (39) all cracked the Top 40. All six programs played in the 2013 NCAA tournament. Also, partners UC Irvine, Washington and Washington State all received votes.

For the complete poll, please click here. Best of luck to all our partner schools this spring!

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Don't forget to vote for Linfield junior pitcher/2014 Knights' signee Chris Haddeland, the 2013 NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Year, for DIII Baseball.com's preseason Pitcher of the Year award. Please click here to access the ballot to vote for Haddeland, the Northwest Conference's 2013 Pitcher of the Year, and a 2013 NCAA Division III All-American.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have re-signed RHP Ryan Taylor of Lubbock Christian University. He's a junior transfer from Salt Lake City and Olympic Community College who was 1-6, 5.53 in 13 games at Kitsap in 2013, with 34 strikeouts in 65 innings.

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


Vote for Linfield's Chris Haddeland for POTY

January 6, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Trust you enjoyed the wonder weather and had a nice weekend.

You'll see this notice a lot throughout the month because it's important, and we don't want anyone missing out. So remember, even though the deadline for renewing your 2013 season tickets has passed, there's an excellent chance that existing season-ticket holders who simply forgot to renew can still get their same seats. If you spaced out renewing, don't despair.

Season tickets remain a great bargain, whether you're renewing, returning to the fold after an absence, or buying for the first time. And our popular 10-game punch cards are always available for just $50.

Stop by the World-Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) of the Knights in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis to buy tickets, or punch cards. It's only 149 more days until our June 4 opener, so don't delay!

Now, on with the news.

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Linfield junior pitcher/2014 Knights' signee Chris Haddeland, the 2013 NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Year, is in third place in voting for the 2014 DIII Baseball.com's preseason POTY award. Please click here to access the ballot and to vote for Chris, who was also the Northwest Conference's Pitcher of the Year, and a NCAA Division III All-American.

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The new Yakima Valley Pippins were ranked as the No. 3 sports news story for 2013 in that area by the Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper in its year-end Top 10 list. Here's the paper's report.

"Number three on the YH-R's list involved baseball and the return of a summer team to Yakima County Stadium.

"After the Northwest League's Bears left for Hillsboro, Ore. following the 2012 season, the West Coast League announced its expansion into Yakima. The wood-bat summer league for college players will field a team, named the Pippins, here next season with Selah High School graduate and Yakima Valley Community College coach Marcus McKimmy serving as manager.

"The Pippins, owned by the same group that operates the Walla Walla Sweets, will open play next June."

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The success of the first-year Medford Rogues was named that area's No. 2 sports story of the year on a list compiled by Medford Mail Tribune sports editor Tim Trower, formerly of the Albany Democrat-Herald. Here's what Trower had to say about the Rogues:

"The Medford Rogues, a wood-bat team for college baseball players in the West Coast League, was already up and running by the start of the year and didn't slow down until it had crafted the most successful start-up in league history.

"Formation of the team was announced in June 2012. Then came plans for major renovations of Harry & David Field, a team naming contest involving the community and roster building. By the time the season started, general manager Chuck Heeman, a 20-year veteran of professional baseball, had all the pieces in place.

"A mediocre start to the season was followed by a late playoff push. The Rogues won 16 of their last 18 league home games and ended up tied with Bend with a 30-24 record. The Rogues advanced to the playoffs because of a 4-2 head-to-head record against the Elks. The Rogues' season ended with consecutive South Division playoff losses to Corvallis.

"They were the first WCL expansion team to make the playoffs and set a record for most victories by a first-year franchise. Medford was 31st among all summer collegiate baseball teams in attendance, averaging 1,372 fans in 26 homes games. It was third in the WCL behind Bend (1,574) and first-year Victoria (1,437)."

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets are looking for interns for the upcoming season. So, if you live in the area, plan on summering there, or just want to try something different for June, July and August, click here for more information.

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


Murphy playing in the Dominican Republic

January 3, 2014

We learned today that alum Jim Murphy, the former Washington State slugger who was our 2007 MVP in our first summer in Corvallis, is playing for the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League in the Dominican Republic.

A member of the Philadelphia minor-league organization, Murph is hitting .375 (6-16) in seven games, with no homers and one RBI. The DWL season runs though mid-January.

DWL rosters are huge, so playing time is at a premium. The Tigres roster includes many current or former major leaguers, including Jose Contreras, Hector Noesi, Manny Delcarmen, Emilio Bonafacio and Tuffy Gosewisch, to name a few.

Murph had his best year ever in pro ball in 2013 with the Reading (Pa.) Fightin' Phils. He hit .273 (138-505) in 139 games, with 23 homers and 83 RBIs. He also played in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

Best wishes to Murph, who will return to the U.S. later this winter to prepare for spring training.

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Improvements and upgrades should be forthcoming at Yakima County Stadium, the home of the West Coast League's newest expansion franchise, the Yakima Valley Pippins. Here's more on that story, from KIMA TV. The Knights don't play in Yakima this summer, as the league has an unbalanced schedule with the switch to three divisions and 12 teams.

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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.

BROOKE KNIGHT: The Adelaide coach has the Bite in fifth place at 14-18, five games behind league-leading Perth.

ERIC MASSINGHAM (2006-07): The Canberra pitcher, from Cal Poly, is 3-1, 7.04 in 15 games, with 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings.

LIAM BARON (2008-09): The Perth reliever, from Linn-Benton and Gonzaga, has appeared in one game and did not allow an earned run, but he does not have an ERA yet because he hasn't recorded an out. He's on Perth's reserve roster.

DEAN GREEN (2008): The one-time Oklahoma State/Barry University slugging first baseman is on the reserve list with the Sydney Blue Sox and has not played yet this season.

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Remember, the deadline for renewing your 2013 season tickets has passed, and now any seats not renewed are open to new buyers. However, there's an excellent chance that existing season-ticket holders who simply forgot to renew can still get their same seats.

Season tickets remain a great bargain, whether you're renewing, returning to the fold after an absence, or buying for the first time. And our popular 10-game punch cards are always available for just $50.

So, make sure to stop by the World-Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) of the Knights in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

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News from elsewhere in the WCL:

VICTORIA: New Victoria general manager Jim Swanson has been named one of the most influential persons in Canadian baseball. Here's more on that story, from the Victoria website.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have announced their 2014 schedule. The Knights visit Paul Thomas Sr. Field on June 23-25; it should be a classic series, as the Knights and AppleSox met in the last two WCL Championship Series and have played each other for top honors four times since 2008.

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