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Knights Daily Update

Van Vleet added to Board of Directors

January 23, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone.

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More Knights news to report.

The Knights have added four people to our Board of Directors. Most recognizable to Corvallis fans is Jaimie Van Vleet, our former ticket director/director of player housing/jack of all trades down at the WWHQ.

She's done just about everything there is to do with the team since joining as an intern in 2008, and fully deserves this honor. Here is more on that story, from our website.

Congrats!

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The Yakima Valley Pippins have added two incoming freshmen at UC Riverside for the 2015 season. They've signed catcher Ryan Lillie and outfielder AJ Sawyer to their roster.

Lillie is from Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif; Sawyer is from Temecula Valley High School, VMHS's rival. A. Here's more on that story, from Our Sports Central.

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The West Coast League-champion Bellingham Bells have added a two-game, non-league series with the San Francisco Seals on July 10 and 11. Both games will be played at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, bringing the number of home contests to 29. please click here and read the details, from the Our Sports Central website.

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The Kelowna Falcons will play an unbalanced 54-game regular season schedule that will take them a league leading 9,239.2 kilometers (nearly 6,000 miles) throughout the Pacific Northwest. The club will play in the East Division and host 27 home games during their 15th season. Our Sports Central has all the details; just click here to read more about it.

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


Knights sign Kaplan to 10-day contract

January 20, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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More signing news to report.

The Knights have signed freshman pitcher Chase Kaplan of Western Nevada (junior) College to a 10-day contract for the 2015 season. A graduate of Hillsboro High School, he played in the 2014 Reser's Oregon All-Star Series at Goss Stadium.

Kaplan is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound lefty. Ten-day signees are not guaranteed a full-time roster spot, but it's not uncommon for a 10-day signee to remain with the team the entire season.

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The Knights will celebrate our silver (25th) anniversary season in 2015 with what we're calling the start of the franchise's "Golden Era." Here is more on that story, from the Knights front office team.

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The West Coast League-champion Bellingham Bells have announced the return of two outfielders, Walker Olis of Pacific University and Aaron Stroosma of Liberty University in Virginia. For more on that story, please click here and read the details, from the Our Sports Central website.

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The Walla Walla Sweets have finalized their 2015 coaching staff. Our Sports Central has all the details; just click here to read more about it.

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That is all for today. See you on Friday.


Derrick Mahlum to return for 2015 season

January 18, 2015

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

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More signing news to report, and another familiar face to announce.

Right-handed pitcher Derrick Mahlum of Pacific Lutheran University will return for his second season with the Knights. A 6-foot-4, 215-pound sophomore from Mill Creek, Wash., Mahlum was 2-1 with a 4.60 ERA in eight games in 2014. He had 25 strikeouts in 29.1 innings and held opponents to a .257 batting average.

He was a second-team Northwest Conference all-star as a freshman at PLU and helped lead the Lutes into the NCAA tournament. He was 7-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 11 games, with 77 strikeouts in 71 innings.

Mahlum is one of five returnees from the 2014 pitching staff, joining Angel Landazuri of UC Riverside, Merrick Patito of Chaffey College, Austin Sodders of Riverside City College and Harrison McGhee of Concordia. Alex Nesbitt, a 2013 Knight who signed to return in 2014 before being shut down for the summer, will also be back in 2015.

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Alum Chris Stewart (2001), a veteran catcher from Riverside City College and our 2001 MVP, has re-signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He inked a one-year deal for $1.25 million, a $250,000 raise from 2014.

Stewart enjoyed his best season as a major leaguer in 2014. He hit a career-best .294 (40-136) in 49 games, with no homers, 10 RBIs and his usual stellar defense as Russell Martin's backup. Martin is gone, so Stewart should see more action in 2015.

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The Adelaide Bite, managed by Corvallis skipper Brooke Knight, are all alone in first place with a 29-15 record after the latest round of games in the Australian Baseball League. They lead Perth by five games; the regular season concludes this week.

Here is a roundup of former Knights in the ABL:

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009, Adelaide) : The former Portland catcher is hitting .275 (20-75) in 23 games, with no homers and nine RBIs. Gale is now on Adelaide's reserve roster. He is in the San Diego minor-league system. He hit almost .300 at triple-A El Paso this season.

COLIN FELDTMAN (2013, Adelaide) : The former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 10.80 in six games, with 14 strikeouts in 8.1 innings. He is back on the team's active roster.

LIAM BARON (2008-09, Perth) : The former Linn-Benton CC and Gonzaga pitcher is 0-0, 0.68 in six appearances, with eight strikeouts in 13.1 innings. He is a Perth native and a many-year veteran of the Heat.

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That is all for today. See you on Wednesday.


Holly Jones headlines the Gazette-Times

January 16, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone.

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We reported last week that the Knights have hired former intern Holly Jones (2005-07), a veteran of private business, the West Coast League and minor-league baseball, as our new Senior Vice-President of Operations. She will be responsible for event operations, marketing, ticketing, analytics and food and beverage service.

That story was front-page news in Thursday's editions of the Corvallis Gazette-Times. Please click here to read reporter James Day's story on Holly.

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Alum Marc Rzepczynski (2006), a 29-year-old lefty from UC Riverside, has re-signed with the Cleveland Indians. He inked a one-year deal for $2.4 million.

He posted a 2.74 ERA in 46 innings within a career-high 73 appearances. Rzepczynski struck out 46, walked 19 and limited lefty batters to a .180 average. Since being acquired from the Cardinals in exchange for minor league infielder Juan Herrera on July 30, 2013, Rzepczynski has posted a 2.17 ERA in 100 games for the Indians.

Rzepczynski is one of only 15 lefty pitchers in the American League to log at least that many appearances over the past two seasons and his ERA ranks first within that group. Please click here for more details, from MLB.com.

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Yet another alum will be coaching in the West Coast League this summer. The Wenatchee AppleSox have named Miles Kizer (2010), an assistant coach at Western Oregon, as an assistant under new head coach AJ Proszek.

Congrats to Miles, who played at Washington and at WOU. You can read more on that story from Our Sports Central by clicking here. Proszek succeeds longtime Wenatchee coach Ed Knaggs, who retired after the 2014 season.

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The Walla Walla Sweets have signed two players from Long Beach State for the 2015 season. They are Chris McCready, a 6-foot 1, 175-pound freshman outfielder from Valencia, Calif., and Darren McCaughan, a 6-foot 1, 175-pound right-handed pitcher from Downey, Calif., and Los Alamitos High School. Here is more on that story, also from Our Sports Central.

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


Perez, Choate named top-100 senior prospects by Perfect Game

January 13, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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Big news for alum Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University, a key starter/reliever on our 2013 West Coast League championship team and our 2012 WCL runner-up.

Jorge has been named the No. 2 senior prospect for the 2015 MLB draft by Perfect Game in its list of the top 100 college senior candidates for this June's MLB draft. He was 1-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 14 games last season, with 38 strikeouts in 63 innings. Obviously the scouts can look past his stats to see what a good pitcher Jorge is.

Jorge was selected by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2014 draft as the 902nd overall pick, but did not sign.

Washington senior reliever Brandon Choate (2013-14), an all-WCL player the past two seasons, is also on the list. We are not sure where, however, since it's a pay site and we were unable to access the entire article. Brandon was 4-1, 2.54 in 21 games in 2014, with 24 strikeouts in 28.1 innings. He held opponents to a .221 batting average.

Congrats to both players. I'm sure we will be reading about them in the 2015 draft.

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The Victoria HarbourCats have signed five players from the Northwest Athletic Conference (formerly the NWAACC) for the 2015 season. They are John Naff, an outfielder/first baseman from Everett College; Jamie Umbinetti, an infielder from Edmonds Community College; Curtis Bafus, a right-handed pitcher from Everett College; Matt Fish, a left-handed pitcher from Pierce Community College, and Kyle Francis, a right-handed pitcher from Everett College.

Francis and Bafus are freshmen; Umbinetti, Fish and Naff are sophomores. You can click right here for more information, from the Our Sports Central website.

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The Klamath Falls Gems have added Bryce Mallory, a native of nearby Weed, Calif., to their front office. He has a Sports Management degree from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kan.

He has resigned from the Weed Police Department, where he was a Community Service Officer, so he can work in his chosen career field and begin immediately with the Gems. Please click right here for more details on that story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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


Knights open regular season on June 3

January 9, 2015

Happy Friday, everyone. We have a busy weekend on tap but for many of you, it's the end of the work week and that is always worth celebrating!

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As you may have read on the homepage, the Knights have finalized our 2015 schedule. We start on June 3 against the Portland Sea Dogs on Science, Art and Engineering Day at Goss Stadium, and close the regular season with an Aug. 9 afternoon home game against Medford. Playoffs follow, and we plan to be there, too.

Fireworks are schedule for June 20, July 3 and Aug. 8. The rest of our promotional schedule will be released shortly and you can be sure we will have something going on every night. Plus, the new "Banners" hospitality deck will be open out in left field and that sounds like a lot of fun.

For the complete schedule, please click here and read the story from our web site. See you at Goss Stadium!

Also here is the official WCL release on the schedule, with a team-by-team chart of who plays who, and where and when.

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Former Knights' shortstop Peter Van Gansen (2013) of Cal Poly will return to the La Crosse (Wisc.) Express of the Northwoods League this summer, the team announced. PVG was all-WCL for our 2013 championship team and also had a great season in the Northwoods League in 2014.

Please click right here for more details on that story, from the La Crosse website. Best of luck to Peter, another in the long line of Cal Poly standouts for the Knights.

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Former Knights' intern Mariah Ellis (2011), a member of our first class from the OSU College of Business, was recently named an account services representative at Nike, working with Foot Locker.

She had been a Nike Soccer Account Service Representative for PRO Unlimited of Beaverton since July, 2014. COB intern classmate Erica Hohlt also works at Nike.

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Infielder Dustin Breshears of Gonzaga and outfielder Lou Della Fera of Maine will return to Bellingham to play with the Bells this summer. Both were key members of the 2014 Bells team that defeated the Knights 2-1 in the WCL Championship Series. For more details, please click here to read a story from the Bellingham website.

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


Holly Jones rejoins the hometown team

January 7, 2015

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

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As you may have read on the homepage, the Knights added a major piece to the front-office staff earlier this week with the addition of former West Coast League Executive of the Year and minor-league management veteran Holly Jones.

A former Knights' staffer from 2005-07 as a University of Oregon undergraduate, the Churchill High School graduate will serve as our new Senior Vice-President of Operations, responsible for event operations, marketing, ticketing, analytics and food and beverage service.

For more details on that story, please click here and read the story from our web site.

Welcome back to the team, Holly!

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Former Knights' player (2006, 2008-09) and assistant coach (2010-11, 2013) Billy Clontz will return for his second season as manager of the WCL's Kelowna Falcons, the team announced recently.

The Falcons were 14-39 overall and ended the 2014 season on a 12-game losing streak, numbers he hopes to reverse in 2015. Former Knights' Players of the Year Richie Jimenez (2009) and Dylan Jones (2010) were his assistant coaches in 2015; it's not known yet if they will return for another summer in Canada.

Please click right here for more details on that story, from the Kelowna website.

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The Seattle Mariners Winter Caravan will be in Victoria on Wednesday, Jan. 21, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Scheduled guests are broadcaster Dave Sims; mascot the Mariner Moose; current pitchers James Paxton and Charlie Furbush, and former pitcher Steve Sinclair.

Paxton played in the WCL for Kelowna in 2007. For more details, please click here to read a story from the Victoria website that also includes news on recent moves in the team's front office.

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The M's Caravan will also be at Pybus Market in Wenatchee for a free event from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 13 to promote the organization and upcoming 2015 Major League Baseball season.

The Mariners will be represented by Danny Farquhar, Dominic Leone and James Jones. Broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith and the Mariner Moose will also be there. You can click here for more information from the Wenatchee website.

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That is all for today. See you on Friday!


Knights' Employee of the Year? Oh my

January 4, 2015

Happy Monday, everyone. Happy new year!

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Somehow, the executives who run the Knights have determined that your's truly is the team's Employee of the Year for 2014. Quite a surprise, we must admit, and quite an honor. And as we often say here, here is more on the story, from the Knights' website.

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The Adelaide Bite, managed by Corvallis skipper Brooke Knight, are all alone in first place with a 25-11 record after the latest round of games in the Australian Baseball League. They lead Brisbane by six games.

Here is a roundup of former Knights in the ABL:

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009, Adelaide) : The former Portland catcher is hitting .275 (20-75) in 23 games, with no homers and nine RBIs. Gale is now on Adelaide's reserve roster. He is in the San Diego minor-league system. He hit almost .300 at triple-A El Paso this season.

COLIN FELDTMAN (2013, Adelaide) : The former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 12.79 in four games, with 12 strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Now on the team's reserve roster, he is not in affiliated baseball.

LIAM BARON (2008-09, Perth) : The former Linn-Benton CC and Gonzaga pitcher is 0-0, 0.68 in six appearances, with eight strikeouts in 13.1 innings. He is a Perth native and a many-year veteran of the Heat.

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The Bellingham Herald newspaper rates the Bells winning the West Coast League's Championship Series over the Knights as that area's No. 10 sports news story of 2014. Here is more on that story, from the newspaper.

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That is all for today. See you on Wednesday.


Wild Things re-sign alum Carter Bell

December 31, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Our last blog of the year, so let us get started.

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Don't forget, all team gear purchased at our world-wide headquarters (WWHQ) in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis is 50% off until 2 p.m. today. So you still have four hours to get a good deal.

Also, 2015 season tickets are on sale, at the same great price as last season. If you are season-ticket holder from 2014, and want to renew for 2015, please see general manager Bre Miller at the WWHQ, or call her at 541-752-5656.

You can also email tickets@corvallisknights.com to let us know if you would like to renew and we will email you an invoice. All 2014 reserved season-ticket seats will be held for 2014 season-ticket holders until the end of the year.

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Alum Carter Bell (2009) has been re-signed by the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things of the independent Frontier League. He signed with them last season after being released by the Arizona Diamondbacks after three years in their organization.

Bell hit .289 (89-308) in 88 games, with four homers and 37 RBIs. He also tied for the team lead with 30 steals in 35 attempts. All in all, a solid season for the former Oregon State third baseman.

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The Yakima Valley Pippins were named the No. 2 sports story of the year for that city by the Yakima Herald-Republic newspaper. You can read more on that story by clicking here for full details.

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That is all for today. See you in 2015!


Half-price sale on gear at WWHQ!

December 29, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

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Don't forget, all team gear purchased at our world-wide headquarters (WWHQ) in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis is 50% off until the end of the year. The office will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. through New Year's Eve.

Also, 2015 season tickets are on sale, at the same great price as last season. If you are season-ticket holder from 2014, and want to renew for 2015, please see general manager Bre Miller at the WWHQ, or call her at 541-752-5656.

You can also email tickets@corvallisknights.com to let us know if you would like to renew and we will email you an invoice. All 2014 reserved season-ticket seats will be held for 2014 season-ticket holders until the end of the year.

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Alum Tyler Anderson (2009), a pitcher from Oregon, was named the top left-handed starter in the Colorado organization by MiLB.com in its annual ratings of players in every organization. He was their first-round draft choice in 2011. Here is MiLB's analysis:

The 20th overall pick in 2011, Anderson entered the season at a crossroads and responded in a major way, leading the Texas League in ERA (1.98), WHIP (1.11) and opponents' average (.216).

"His other seasons have been chopped up because of injury," Colorado senior director of player development Jeff Bridich said. "The development process can get delayed because of that. That's why this year was so big.

"I think he was able to just pitch and not worry about how he was feeling. Partially because of that, you saw the type of pitcher that he is and why he was drafted so high and thought of so highly in his draft class."

Anderson was 7-4 with a 2.06 ERA in 22 games, with 103 strikeouts in 113.1 innings in his first season in double-A.

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Former Bend Elks' public address announcer Jared Lewis will work with the Harlem Globetrotters this year. You can read more by clicking here for full details, from the Bend Bulletin newspaper. Now, the Elks' PA approach might not be everyone's cup of tea but he should be perfect for the Globetrotters.

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That is all for today. See you on Wednesday.