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Knights Daily Update

Spring break? Not for the Blog

March 25, 2013

Spring break started Monday in Corvallis. The public schools and Oregon State are closed until April 1, and a lot of people have already left our little slice of paradise for a week's vacation.

Not the Blog, however. We're taking Thursday and Friday off, but until then you'll get all the Knights news you can handle as we soldier on at the WWHQ, in the relative quiet of beautiful downtown CorVegas.

And we're down to only 71 more days until our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. It will be here before you know it, so make sure you renew those 2012 season tickets and yada yada yada. You all know the drill by now (and don't forget the gray road jerseys we're retiring are still for sale).

Now, on with today's news about your Corvallis Knights.

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Former Knights' lefty pitcher Matt Way (2007) has signed with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

A West Coast League all-leaguer for us from Washington State who helped us reach the WCL Championship Series against Moses Lake in our very first year in Corvallis, Matt played several years in the Philadelphia organization after leaving WSU. He then had arm surgery and was released, then had a couple outstanding seasons in two independent leagues and earned another shot at affiliated baseball. He pitched for the Laredo (Texas) Lemurs in the American Association in 2012.

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Future 2013 Knight Eric Huson of Mt. Hood CC, a sophomore right-hander from Forest Grove, pitched a nine-inning no-hitter against Blue Mountain CC on Sunday. He had seven strikeouts, one walk, faced just 30 batters and needed just 76 pitches, 54 of which were strikes. Here's the box score.

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Lots of talk lately about a possible 2014 WCL expansion team in Redding, Calif. Here's a story about a possible team nickname from reporter Dave Benda in the Reading Record Searchlight newspaper.

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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 .358 (24-67) with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 18 games. Freshman infielder Peter Van Gansen is hitting .313 (21-67) with no homers and three RBIs in 22 games. Freshman pitcher Casey Bloomquist is 0-0, 18.00 in one game, with one strikeout in two innings.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Andrew Moore is 5-1, 1.63 in six starts, with 25 strikeouts in 38.2 innings. Freshman infielder Gabe Clark is hitting .172 (5-29) in 11 games, with four RBIs.

OREGON: Freshmen pitcher Jared Priestley is 0-0, 0.00 in one game, with one strikeout in one inning. Freshman pitcher Sam Johnson is 0-0, 9.00 in one game, with one strikeout in one inning.

UC IRVINE: Utility man Chris Rabago is hitting .232 (16-69) in 20 games, with no homers and seven RBIs. Freshman pitcher Elliot Surrey is 1-0, 5.06 in seven 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, 1,88 in 10 games, with 17 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

PORTLAND: Sophomore infielder Cody Lenahan is hitting .282 (22-78) in 22 games, with no homers and six RBIs. Sophomore infielder Michael Lucarelli is hitting .222 (10-45) in 19 games, with no homers and three RBIs. Junior pitcher Colin Feldtman is 0-0, 2.70 in 13.1 innings over seven appearances, with two saves and 11 strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Kody Watts is 0-2, 14.40 in three games, with two strikeouts in five 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 2-0, 1.88 in 12 games, with a save and 17 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. Freshman pitcher Jacob Schroeder is 0-0, 18.00 in three games, with no strikeouts in three innings.

COLUMBIA: Sophomore outfielder Gus Craig is hitting .286 (2-7) in five games, with no homers and one RBI.

DARTMOUTH: Freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert is hitting .385 (15-39) in 11 games, with five RBIs.

SAN JOSE STATE: Junior catcher Dane Lund is hitting .185 (5-17) with no homers and an RBI in 12 games.

SAN DIEGO: Sophomore outfielder Grant Melker is hitting .000 (0-3) in 12 games, with two runs, no homers and no RBIs.

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:

MEDFORD: Here's a story on the pros and cons of hosting players from the Medford Mail-Tribune. It might be a pain in the butt to access because it requires registration on the paper's website but it's a good read. Also, the team's new mascot, Rowdy, made his first public appearance last week at a local elementary school and was a big hit.

VICTORIA: The exploits of the HarbourCats' Canadian players are highlighted in the latest edition of the HarbourCats Baseball Blog.

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


Finally, it's Friday

March 22, 2013

Finally, it's Friday.

Another week in the books and another week closer to our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos in a nonconference game on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. It's only 74 days away.

We've ordered our new merchandise for the coming season and it should be for sale here at the WWHQ in downtown CorVegas in another month or so. For sure it will be available on opening day, but you might want to come down sometime in May for a sneak preview.

We've had lots of Knights news items on the Blog this week, so let's keep it going and end the week with a flourish today.

Here goes nothing!

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We'll have some exciting news concerning Knights' alum Chris Stewart (2001) of the New York Yankees, one of our two guests of honor at Hot Stove Night II, in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we've got several updates on his status with the team.

ESPN New York reports Stewart could catch three of every five games because manager Joe Gerardi likes the way he calls pitches. Here's more on that, from reporter Andrew Marchand.

And former Yankees' catcher Russell Martin, now with the Pittsburgh Pirates, told The New York Daily News that the team's catching was in good hands with Stewart and Francisco Cervelli. Here's that story.

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We've had several stories this week about the West Coast League's possible expansion to Redding and Chico, Calif. Here's another, an editorial in the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper advocating the renovation of Tiger Field, which could be the home stadium of the new team.

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Just a couple of 2013 Knights in action for their respective college teams on Thursday, as most clubs took the day off in anticipation of upcoming weekend series. Here's a roundup:

* Dartmouth freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI in an 11-8 win over Bradley at Winter Haven, Fla. He's hitting .424 in nine games.

* Grand Canyon University freshman pitcher Andrew Naderer improved to 5-1 with a 5-3 win at Hawaii-Pacific. He gave up two runs on eight hits in five innings, and had five strikeouts.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed University of Portland junior Turner Gill, a returnee from the 2012 season. For more details, go here and click on the first item on the menu.

VICTORIA: Here's the latest edition of the HarbourCats Baseball Blog, with news about the team's players from UC Santa Barbara.

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


You call this spring?

March 21, 2013

I could see my breath today while walking through downtown CorVegas on my way to the WWHQ of the Corvallis Knights. Thirty-five degree and rain, and you call this spring?

Thankfully, however, we are getting closer to warmer weather every day. The countdown today is 75: just 75 more days until our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium. So, it will be here before you know it.

Here's a reminder to 2012 season-ticket holders who haven't renewed yet: You should have received a call by now, but if you haven't, drop us a line at 541-752-5656 or stop into the WWHQ and we'll set you up with your 2013 seats.

Lots of Knights-related news today, so let's get started.

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Good news from the Lancaster JetHawks, Houston's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League. Former Knights broadcaster Jason Schwartz, the USC graduate who teamed up with Mike Parker on our 2010 radio crew, will return to Lancaster for his second season with the club.

You can read more on the story by clicking right here. Nice photo of Jason, who lived with host family Tom and Peggy Loveday during his stay, and who has returned to Corvallis several times since first leaving our fair city in Aug., 2010.

He worked for the Tri-City Dust Devils in 2011; there he was succeeded by former Wenatchee AppleSox broadcaster Chris King, another Friend O' the Blog.

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It's Matt Boyd's world; the rest of us just live in it. Here's another story on the Oregon State senior left-handed pitcher, a 2010 Knights alum, from my old friends at the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Matt will be OSU's starter on Friday in the series opener against Arizona State at Goss Stadium. It will be a Beavers/Knights weekend on the mound for OSU: freshman Andrew Moore, a 2013 signee, is Saturday's scheduled starter and alum Ben Wetzler (2011) will go on Sunday.

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Some bad news from the Chicago White Sox training camp in Sarasota, Fla. Knights alum Brent Morel (2006-07), their starting third baseman on opening day the past two seasons, has been sent down to triple-A Charlotte of the International League.

He's healthy again after battling back injuries in 2012, but apparently he's the odd-man out in the six-player scramble for five infield jobs. Here's more on the story from the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and more yet from MLB.com, and even more from CBS Chicago.

It sucks for now, but we have no doubt he'll be back up in Chicago before too long because when he's healthy he's too good a player to stay in triple-A for very long.

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Here's another story from the Redding Record Searchlight newspaper about possible West Coast League expansion to that Northern California city. No matter what happens, looks like Redding's baseball facilities are going to be improved.

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Several 2013 Knights were in action for their respective college teams on Wednesday. Here's a review:

* Grand Canyon sophomore pitcher Jorge Perez gave up three runs in six innings in a 6-5, 10-inning win over Hawaii Pacific. Perez struck out four and lost out on a possible win when the bullpen blew a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning.

* Corban sophomore infielder Marc Gallegos was 3-for-3 with a run, two RBIs, two doubles and two steals in an 8-4 victory over Pacific University. Pacific's Kyle Treadway, who will pitch for us, was 0-for-2 as a DH.

* Dartmouth freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert was 3-for-4 in a 7-3 loss to Slippery Rock in Auburndale, Fla. It was the first loss of the season for Dartmouth.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Bears announced The Myron Noodleman Show will return to Longview for JH Kelly Night on Saturday, July 20. Here's more from the Cowlitz website.

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That's it for a Thursday. See you on Friday.


It's the first day of spring!

March 20, 2013

Happy spring, everyone!

And even though some rain and wind accompanied spring's arrival this morning, it's another tangible sign that the West Coast League season is approaching. We're down to only 76 more days until our June 4 season opener with the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium.

We've got a number of news items for your inspection this morning, and another edition of the Knights Top 10 (even though today, it's more like a Bottom 10). So, on with the show!

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It's Matt Boyd Day in the blog. We've got a couple items of interest on the Oregon State senior left-handed pitcher, who was second-team all-West Coast League for us as a two-way player in 2010.

First, Matt was named Pacific-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday for the second time this season, for his seven innings of two-hit ball in a 6-2 victory over defending NCAA champion Arizona in Tucson this past Friday. Here are more details on his selection, from osubeavers.com.

And here's a feature on Matty B from reporter Jeff Dahn of the Perfect Game website; the Knights merit a mention. There are a few factual errors (hey, we all know nobody is perfect), but if you can see the forest for the trees you'll enjoy reading it.

And congrats to Matt, another great representative of our franchise!

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Speaking of Pitchers of the Week, Pacific Lutheran (and Knights legend) junior right-hander Max Beatty was nominated for top pitching honors in the Northwest Conference, but was not selected. He struck out five and allowed two earned runs on five hits in a complete-game win over Whitworth on March 16.

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Lot of 2013 Knights, and alums, in action on Tuesday for their respective teams (all players on 2013 team unless otherwise noted).

* Dartmouth freshman Nick Ruppert was 0-for-4 with two RBIs and a run in a 10-2 win over Vassar.

* Columbia freshman Gus Craig was 0-for-1 in a 9-6 loss at Miami (Fla.).

* Portland sophomore Cody Lenahan was 1-for-3 with a run, sophomore Michael Lucarelli was 0-for-1 with an RBI and junior Colin Feldtman pitched the final inning for his second save in Portland's 4-2 win at Washington. Sophomore Caleb Whalen (2012) was 0-for-3, senior Kramer Scott (2011) was 0-for-3 with an RBI and a run and junior Beau Fraser (2012) was 0-for-3 for the Pilots.

* Washington State sophomore pitcher Kellen Camus allowed one unearned run in one inning in a 10-8 loss to Gonzaga.

* Central Washington junior Eddie Malone Jr. was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI in a 10-8 win over Whitworth.

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Our players aren't the only ones who use their summers to hone their skills for what they hope will be a professional career. Our interns do too, and quite often an internship with the Knights can lead to a job in the sports field.

That's the case for the blog's 2012 media intern, Pacific Lutheran University sophomore Brenna Sussman of Corvallis. She's worked as a Sports Information Assistant at PLU since December, writing press releases for several PLU teams, and handling the live tweeting during games.

Congrats to Brenna, a Corvallis High grad who also starts on the PLU women's soccer team.

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Time for our weekly Knights Top 10. This week, however, it's a Knights Bottom 10, the 10 smallest crowds in Corvallis Knights history.

Now, don't think I'm going all Negative Nancy here, because I'm not. In a way, compiling this list is a positive, because it shows how far our franchise has come in the past six years, and especially in the past two, when we've average nearly 1,300 fans per game, almost triple our first-year average.

So go with the flow, and if you actually in the stands for any of these games, give yourself a pat on the back, because you're a hard-core Knights fan!

1. 215, July 12, 2007 (Kelowna)

2. 253, July 4, 2007 (Moses Lake)

3. 257, June 20, 2007 (Bellingham)

4. 266, June 16, 2007 (Bend)

5. 272, June 21, 2007 (Bellingham)

6. 278, July 31, 2007 (Kitsap, played at Taylor Field)

7. 281, July 29, 2007 (Tacoma Cardinals)

8, 286, June 19, 2007 (Bellingham)

9. 293, July 6, 2007 (Gresham Stars)

10. 299, July 15, 2007 (Wenatchee)

All 10 all-time lows came during 2007, our first season, when we drew a grand total of 12,729 fans. The next year we increased to almost 18,000; we took off to 30,000-plus in 2009 and haven't looked back.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed Arizona State freshman Christopher Beall and ASU freshman catcher R.J. Ybarra for the 2013 season. Click here for the rest of the story, from the Bells' website.

KITSAP: Finally, some news from the BlueJackets, who've been the quietest team in the league in the offseason. First, they have a new website. And they have signed three more pitchers: Right-hander Matt Eames from Montana State-Billings; lefty Monty McCasland from Lubbock Christian, and righty Sam Fry, also from Lubbock Christian.

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

VICTORIA: Here's today's edition of the HarbourCats Baseball Blog, keeping you up-to-day on the new team in Victoria, British Columbia.

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


Happy Tuesday

March 19, 2013

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Don't know what it's doing in your neck of the woods, but it's drizzly and cool here in downtown CorVegas at the WWHQ of your Corvallis Knights. Summer is definitely over.

The 2014 season is just more than eight months away, but the wheels are turning. Hopefully we'll have a schedule by the end of October and we can start to plan our promotional lineup, etc. And we should have announcements on our player signings for 2014 as the paperwork starts trickling back in.

In the meantime, we'll scour the world for Knights-related news, for news from other West Coast League franchises, and even some news from the many other summer leagues around the country, if it's interesting or appropriate.

So, on to today's Knights blog!

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We've got some bad news to report.

Right-handed pitcher Mike Koons (2007), an original Corvallis Knight and a 2007 WCL all-star game selection, has been released by the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association. He was 2-2, 4.61 in 14 games (8 starts) this season, with 22 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.

A San Diego State alum, Mike signed with Houston during the 2007 All-Star break and played two years in their farm system before being released. He's subsequently played for Sioux City, El Paso and St. Paul in the American Association; for Orange County and Victoria in the defunct Golden Baseball League, and for Maui in the defunct North American Baseball League.

He turns 28 later this year. So if this is finally the end of the road, at least he played all over the country and also got to experience a season with the Saints, the premier - and maybe the most fun - franchises in independent baseball.

Best of luck to Mike, wherever he lands.

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Big West honors for Cal Poly's Mundell

March 18, 2013

Happy Monday, everyone. Once again the weekend went by way too fast, and we're back at the WWHQ with some good news to start the week.

Cal Poly freshman DH Brian Mundell was named the Big West Conference Field Player of the Week for March 11-17. He hit .500 (8-16) with two doubles, two home runs, four runs scored and four RBIs as the Mustangs went 2-2.

Mundell has five homers, all in the last two weeks, and is No. 4 on Cal Poly's chart for home runs by a freshman in the school's 19-year Division I history. He is batting .345 and has hit safely in seven of the last eight games. Here are complete details, from the Cal Poly website. Congrats to Brian!

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Our 2013 promotional schedule has been finalized. It should be a great summer at Goss Stadium!

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It was a big weekend for the hometown Oregon State Beavers, sweeping their Pac-12 opening series over defending national-champion Arizona at Tucson, and once again former or future Knights played a huge, huge role.

* On Friday, Matt Boyd (2010) was the winning pitcher and Brandon Jackson (2012) got the save.

* On Saturday, Andrew Moore (2013) got the win, Scott Schultz (2011) got the save, and Jake Rodriguez (2009) drove in two runs.

* And on Sunday, Rodriguez drove in five runs, Schultz got the save, Jackson pitched in relief and starter Ben Wetzler (2011) gave up only one run in 4.2 innings.

Another future Knight has been contrubuting as well, but we can't announce his identity yet.

So, a great weekend for OSU, and a great weekend for the Knights!

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We've mentioned possible WCL expansion to Redding and Chico, Calif., many times in the past. Now those cities are apparently planning on facility improvements that would make such a move possible. Here's more from Ballpark Digest, and here's even more from The Redding Searchlight newspaper.

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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 .345 (19-55) with five homers and 14 RBIs in 15 games. Freshman infielder Peter Van Gansen is hitting .321 (18-56) with no homers and one RBI in 19 games. Freshman pitcher Casey Bloomquist is 0-0, 18.00 in one game, with one strikeout in two innings.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Andrew Moore is 5-0, 1.36 in five starts, with 24 strikeouts in 33 innings. Freshman infielder Gabe Clark is hitting .179 (5-28) in 10 games, with four RBIs.

OREGON: Freshmen pitcher Jared Priestley is 0-0, 0.00 in one game, with one strikeout in one inning. Freshman pitcher Sam Johnson is 0-0, 9.00 in one game, with one strikeout in one inning.

UC IRVINE: Utility man Chris Rabago is hitting .232 (16-69) in 20 games, with no homers and seven RBIs. Freshman pitcher Elliot Surrey is 1-0, 5.06 in seven 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, 0.75 in eight games, with 14 strikeouts in 12 innings.

PORTLAND: Sophomore infielder Cody Lenahan is hitting .288 (19-66) in 18 games, with no homers and six RBIs. Sophomore infielder Michael Lucarelli is hitting .243 (9-37) in 15 games, with no homers and one RBI. Junior pitcher Colin Feldtman is 0-0, 3.12 in 8.2 innings over four appearances, with seven strikeouts. Sophomore pitcher Kody Watts is 0-2, 14.40 in three games, with two strikeouts in five 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 2-0, 2.03 in 11 games, with a save and 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. Freshman pitcher Jacob Schroeder is 0-0, 18.00 in three games, with no strikeouts in three innings.

COLUMBIA: Sophomore outfielder Gus Craig is 0-for-2 in three games, with no homers and no RBIs.

DARTMOUTH: Freshman outfielder Nick Ruppert is hitting .429 (9-21) in six games, with two RBIs.

SAN JOSE STATE: Junior catcher Dane Lund is hitting .174 (4-23) with no homers and an RBI in 10 games.

SAN DIEGO: Sophomore outfielder Grant Melker is hitting .000 (0-2) in 10 games, with two runs, no homers and no RBIs.

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:

KELOWNA: Here's an update on 2010 Falcon Cody Atkinson, a Corban University alum who is now coaching at Everett CC in Washington.

MEDFORD: The Rogues new mascot will be named "Rowdy." Here's more on the story, and a photo, from Ballpark Biz.com

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox will have a new concessionaire this season at Paul Thomas Sr. Field, where we open the West Coast League season on June 5-7. Here are more details, from the AppleSox website.

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


Another bomb for Cal Poly's Mundell

March 15, 2013

The Knights brass were very impressed with Cal Poly freshman Brian Mundell when they visited San Luis Obispo last fall to meet with Mustangs' coach Larry Lee to discuss Mundell and the other two players he'd be sending to Corvallis this summer.

Now, it's easy to see why.

Mundell hit his fifth homer in his last five games on Thursday, a three-run shot, as the Mustangs defeated Notre Dame 6-3 in the opener of a three-game series at SLO. The win improved Cal Poly to 15-2.

Mundell is now hitting .298 (14-47) in 13 games, with five homers and 14 RBIs.

He was one of five former or future Knights in the game. Junior third baseman Jimmy Allen (2011) was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs; freshman shortstop Peter Van Gansen (2013) was 2-for-3 with a run; junior first baseman David Armendariz (2011) was 1-for-4, and sophomore outfielder Nick Torres (2012) was 2-for-4.

We're really looking forward to having Brian, who could be our best power hitter since Taylor Ard in 2009.

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Several other 2013 Knights were in action on Thursday.

* San Diego outfielder Grant Melker was a pinch-runner but did not bat in a 7-5 win over BYU.

* Dixie State first baseman Kevin Kline was 0-for-4 in a 7-0 loss at Hawaii Pacific.

The rest of our 2013 players should be in action this weekend.

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Alum Brent Morel (2006-07) might be the odd-man out of the scramble for infield jobs on the Chicago White Sox, according to this story by reporter Adam Hoge of CBSChicago. The gist of the story is, Morel could be starting the season in triple-A Charlotte even though he's having a fine spring with the club.

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Nice story from KATU-TV reporter Carl Click on the revival of University of Portland pitcher J.R. Bunda, who collapsed after suffering a heart attack while working out at the Chiles Center this past winter. J.R. played for the Bend Elks in 2012 and at Bellingham in 2011.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets and Public House 124 are bringing $2 Tuesdays back to Borleske Stadium this summer. Click here for 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.


Some familiar names resurface

March 14, 2013

Happy Thursday everyone. Only one more work day left before the weekend!

As you know, we're retiring our gray road jerseys; No. 33 was sold on Wednesday and No. 20 went away today. So here's what's left: 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35 and 40.

They're sized from L to 2XL, and cost $40 apiece. So you'd better act fast to get your favorite number, as they do sell quickly once they are displayed at the merchandise store during home games.

And remember, only 82 more days until our June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium. It will be here before you know it, so renew those season tickets and purchase your 10-game punch cards at the Knights' WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

Now, on with the news.

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Some familiar names to Knights fans surfaced yesterday while scrolling through the transactions of the various professional baseball leagues across the country.

Knights' alum Mike Koons (2007) has signed with the El Paso Diablos in the independent American Association. A San Diego State alum, Koons played with us for half a season in 2007 before signing with Houston over the all-star break. El Paso starts the 2013 season on May 16.

Mike played in the Houston farm system from 2007-2009 before being released. He subsequently played for the Orange County Flyers in the Golden Baseball League and for Na Koa Ikaika Maui in the North American Baseball League. The Castle Rock, Colo., native has also coached at the Lightning Baseball Academy in nearby Parker, Colo., during the past two offseasons.

Congrats to Mike, who was 3-1, 2.30, with 20 strikeouts in 31.1 innings over eight games, in 2007. He made the West Division all-star team before signing.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have assigned 2005 Knight Matt Hague (he's the Slider Guy in some of our promotional material) to their minor-league camp.

Matt had two stints with the Pirates in 2012 and was one of six Knights alums to play in the majors last season. A 2011 International League all-star with Indianapolis, he hit .229 (16-70) in 30 games with the Pirates, with no homers and seven RBIs, and .283 in 91 games at Indianapolis, with four homers and 54 RBIs.

Here's more from MLB.com:

"If the first batch of cuts included a surprise, it was Hague. The sensation of last spring - when he led the Pirates with seven homers and earned 'The Hit Collector' nickname from manager Clint Hurdle - was enjoying a similar run in exhibition play. Hague had six hits in his last seven at-bats and departed with a .364 average.

"It was tough to send him out in the middle of the stretch he's in," [Pirates' general manager] Neal Huntington said, "but we've got some guys ahead of him in the competition [for backup corner infielder]. He'll work a lot at third base. He worked so hard this offseason, is so much more mobile at third."

Hopefully Matt gets another chance, if not with Pittsburgh then in another organization. He's one of three players from our 2005 team to make the majors; pitchers Tommy Hanson of the Angels and Bud Norris of the Astros are also in the bigs (even though the Astros are more like a quadruple-A team these days).

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Several 2013 Knights were in action on Wednesday. Here's a roundup:

* Oregon State freshman DH Gabe Clark was 0-for-4 in a 6-5 win over San Francisco.

* Oregon freshmen pitchers Sam Johnson and Jared Priestley made their 2013 debuts in a 10-4 win over Texas State. Johnson gave up one run and had one strikeout in one inning; Priestley pitched one perfect inning, with a strikeout.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed USC freshman pitcher Marc Huberman and University of San Diego signee Ryan Kirby, a outfielder from Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., for the 2013 season. Here's more from the Bellingham website.

BEND: The Elks have signed Oregon State sophomorte pitcher Tyler Painton, incoming freshman catcher Mason Fishback of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and incoming JC infielder Justin Bohn of Feather River (Calif.) College for the upcoming season. More details are available by clicking here and reading the top item on the menu. The Elks are also making improvements to the infield at Vince Genna Stadium, welcome news to every infielder in the league. Click Item 2 on the menu for more information and photos on that topic.

COWLITZ: Black Bear 2013 signee Josh Rapacz of George Fox University was named the NCAA Division III National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and the Northwest Conference Position Player of the Week. Here's more from the Cowlitz website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets are overhauling their food and beverage menu and service options for the 2013 season, according to this story on their website. Unfortunately, we don't play inn Walla Walla this year so unless we both make the WCL Championship Series we won't be able to check it out.

VICTORIA: HarbourCats from UC Santa Barbara are profiled in this edition of the HarbourCats Baseball Blog.


Happy Hump Day

March 13, 2013

Happy Hump Day, Knights Nation. We're halfway through the work week and down to 83 more days until the June 4 season opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium.

Well, you knew it had to end sometime and the Oregon State baseball team's 15-game winning streak was snapped last night, 5-1 by San Francisco at Goss Stadium.

Cold evening at the ballpark, but at least it was dry. We caught up with 2013 Knight Gabe Clark of the Beavers afterward and we'll have a story on him on the news portion of our website very soon.

One other reminder before we start the news portion of the blog: Remember, we're selling our retired gray road game jerseys down here at the WWHQ. We're down to 26 grays, and only a couple of the Cardinal uniforms we retired in 2012. Both cost $40 apiece, so if you're interested, you'd better hurry before they are all gone.

OK, now on to today's news.

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We try to keep you updated on all our current Knights, and on our alums, whenever possible. So we're letting you know that infielder Alex Foulon (2011-12), who transferred to New Mexico State after two seasons at Mt. Hood CC, is hitting .231 (6-26) in 12 games with the Aggies, with two RBIs. He was 1-for-3 yesterday in an 8-0 loss at Oklahoma.

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Several 2013 Knights were in action around the country on Tuesday. Here's a roundup:

* Cal Poly DH Brian Mundell (2013) homered for the fourth time in his last four games and scored twice in a 6-5 win over San Jose State. Shortstop Peter Van Gansen (2013) was 2-for-4 with a run; Jimmy Allen (2011) was 1-for-5 with two RBIs, Nick Torres (2012) was 2-for-5 with a run and David Armendariz (2011) was 2-for-4 with a run for the Mustangs. Dane Lund (2011-13) did not play for SJSU.

* UC Santa Barbara pitcher Dylan Hecht (2013) pitched 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out both batters he faced in a 7-2 win over Notre Dame. Alum Greg Mahle (2012) got the decision; he allowed one hit in four innings and had six strikeouts.

* UC Irvine shortstop Chris Rabago (2012-13) was 1-for-4 in a 4-2 win over San Diego State. Alum Evan Brock (2010) allowed one unearned run and had four strikeouts in five innings as the 'Eaters' starter, but wasn't involved in the decision.

* And he's not a 2013 Knight, but 2011 alum Jimmie Sherfy of Oregon struck out the side in the ninth to get the save in Oregon's 4-3 win over Texas State.

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Here's a story from the Cal State Fullerton Daily Titan on freshman right-handed pitcher Thomas Eshelman, who played for the Klamath Falls Gems this past summer. He's having a great spring at Fullerton after being rated as the WCL's No. 5 prospect by Perfect Game and as the No. 10 prospect by Baseball America.

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It's Wednesday, and time for Installment 10 of our new feature, the Knights Top 10. Every Wednesday (for as long we we can find something to list), we'll list the Knights Top 10 in a certain category and post it in the Knights Daily Blog.

Today we list the Top 10 leaders in season on-base percentage for players with at least 75 at-bats (WCL games only):

1. .489, Taylor Ard (2009)

2. .454, D.J. Johnson (2009)

3. .446, Dylan Jones (2010)

4. .443, Logan Lotti (2008)

5. .440, Richie Jimenez (2009)

6. .429, Trent Oleszczuk (2011)

7. .427, Adam Melker (2008)

8. .426, Jim Murphy (2007)

9. .407, Cade Gotta (2011)

10. .406, Corey Davis (2011)

Honorable mention goes to 2009 teammates Mitch Haniger (.404), and Michael Blake (.403).

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

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News from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have added pitchers Jake Paulson and Jason Hager of Oakland University and infielder Ryan Yamane of Northern Colorado for their 2013 roster. Click here for full details.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have named the finalists for their 2013 Grand Onion Fan of the Year contest. The winner will receive a customized Sweets jersey, and will throw out the first pitch at a game during the 2013 season. Learn their identity by clicking here.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have added infielder Connor Spencer, infielder Grant Palmer, and right-handed pitcher Andrew Morales of UC Irvine for the 2013 season.

Spencer has been UCI's top hitter this season as a sophomore. The Trabuco Canyon, Calif., native has started every game and is hitting .426. As a freshman he had a .306 batting average and earned Big West Player of the Week honors.

Palmer, from El Segundo, Calif., is in his first season with UC Irvine and is hitting .316 in eleven games. He redshirted last year at El Camino Community College. As a prep at El Segundo High School he helped his team the Pioneer League Championship his junior season.

Morales transferred to UC Irvine after playing the last two seasons at Rio Hondo Community College. The junior out of Covina, Calif., compiled a 21-1 overall record and was named the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association Pitcher of the Year. He is 5-0 this season with a 2.66 ERA.

VICTORIA: The college exploits of more 2013 Victoria players are detailed in this edition of the HarbourCats Baseball Blog.

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That's it for today. We'll be back on Thursday with another edition of the Knights Daily Update.


It's game day in Corvallis

March 12, 2013

We're still 84 days away from our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium.

But it's still Baseball Day in Corvallis, as the undefeated and nationally-ranked Oregon State Beavers take on the University of San Francisco Dons at Goss. The weather looks decent so we'll be there to see if the Beavers can preserve their perfect record by winning their 16th consecutive game.

As we noted yesterday, former/future Knights Matt Boyd, Ben Wetzler, Scott Schultz, Andrew Moore, Danny Hayes, Jake Rodriguez, Taylor Starr, Nate Esposito, Brandon Jackson and Gabe Clark have played a big role in that 15-game unbeaten streak. The pitchers in that group have combined for 10 wins and three saves, and the position players have teamed up for a homer and 26 RBIs.

So, go Beavers! And maybe we'll see you at the ballpark tonight.

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Several former or current Knights were in contention for Player of the Week honors in their respective conferences, but were not selected.

* Cal Poly junior third baseman Jimmy Allen (2011) was nominated for the Big West Conference POW award after hitting .455 (10-22) with seven runs, five RBIs, a homer and a double in five games.

* Corban shortstop Marc Gallegos (2012-13) was nominated for Cascade Collegiate Conference POW honors after hitting .556 (10-18) with five RBIs and four runs in four games.

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New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart, a 2001 Knights alum and one of two special guests at Hot Stove Night II this past January, is set to make the Yankees' opening-day 25-man roster with the team's decision to farm out prospect Austin Romine to triple-A. Here's more on that story from the Yankees 101 website.

Four Knights alums should make opening-day MLB rosters: Stewart; L.A. Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson (2005); Houston pitcher Bud Norris (2005), and St. Louis pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (2006). Third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) has a good shot of making the White Sox roster; first baseman Matt Hague (2005) is a longshot with the Pirates. All six played in MLB in 2012.

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An update on three former Knights pitchers:

* Oregon State junior Brandon Jackson (2012) will play for the Eau Claire (Wisc.) Express in the Northwoods League this summer.

* Former Mt. Hood star Nick Struck (2009) has been assigned to minor league camp by the Chicago Cubs. He played at double-A Tennessee in 2012.

* Former Oregon standout Tyler Anderson (2009), the first Corvallis Knight to be drafted in the first round, was assigned to minor league camp by the Colorado Rockies. He was a Sally League all-star at low-A Asheville in 2012.

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Here's 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.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON: Junior infielder Eddie Malone Jr. is hitting .333 (6-18) in seven games, with three RBIs. Junior infielder Scott Stone is hitting .200 (2-10) in five games, with one RBI.

DIXIE STATE: Sophomore infielder Kevin Kline is hitting .412 (14-34) in 11 games, with a homer and nine RBIs.

GRAND CANYON: Sophomore pitcher Jorge Perez is 3-2, 3.03 in five games, with 27 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Andrew Naderer is 3-1, 2.43 in five games, with 27 strikeouts in 29.2 innings.

CORBAN: Sophomore infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .376 (32-85) in 19 games, with 13 RBIs.

GEORGE FOX: Junior pitcher Tom Zarosinski is 1-3, 3.82 in five games, with 28 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. Sophomore pitcher Sean Eberhardt is 0-0, 6.14 in nine games, with six strikeouts in 7.1 innings.

PACIFIC UNIVERSITY: Sophomore pitcher Kyle Treadway is 0-4, 3.86 in four games, with 10 strikeouts in 23.1 innings.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Sophomore pitcher Chris Bishop is 1-2, 3.79 in eight games, with two saves and 21 strikeouts in 19 innings. Sophomore pitcher Jake Otness is 1-1, 10.80 in six games, with eight strikeouts in 10 innings.

MT. HOOD CC: Sophomore pitcher Eric Huson is 0-0, 9.64 in one game, with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings.

TACOMA CC: Sophomore pitcher Brandon Choate, a Washington signee, is 0-0, 0.00 in three games, with a save and six strikeouts in three innings. Sophomore catcher Chad Michaud is hitting .400 (2-5) in two games, with two RBIs. 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:

MEDFORD: Rogues' 2013 signee Joe Chavez, a second baseman/outfielder from UC Riverside, was named the Big West Conference Player of the Week on Monday. He had five straight multi-hit games, scored eight runs, drove in nine and was 4-for-4 in stolen bases. In a weekend series against New Mexico in Albuquerque, Chavez went 11-14 with eight RBIs.

VICTORIA: The weekend college results of several of the 2013 HarbourCats are detailed here on the HarbourCats Baseball Blog.

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

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That's all for today. See you on Wednesday with another edition of a Knights Top 10.