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Knights Daily Update

Norris pitches Baltimore into the ALCS

October 6, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Great weekend in Corvallis; the Beavers won in Colorado, and we had beautiful weather. Pretty slow news day around the Knights and around the West Coast League, but we have a few items of note:

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Alum Bud Norris (2005) of Cal Poly had a great day for the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday. He pitched 6.1 scoreless innings, gave up just two hits, struck out six and got the win as the Orioles edged Detroit 2-1 to sweep their American League Divisional Series.

Here is more on that story from the Baltimore Sun newspaper, with lots of quotes from Norris, who was a first-team West Coast League all-star for us in 2005.

And here is even more, from the Cal Poly website.

Baltimore will now play Kansas City for the right to play in the World Series.

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Our other two alums still alive in the playoffs, San Francisco catcher Andrew Susac (2009) and middle infielder Matt Duffy, are a combined 0-for-3 in two games against the Washington Nationals. Susac is 0-for-1, Duffy 0-for-2 in the Giants' two one-run wins.

That series continues today in San Francisco. The Giants hold a 2-0 lead.

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


Bibona, Brock promoted at UC Irvine

October 3, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone. There are lots of smiling faces in Corvallis this morning. It must be because of our great October weather.

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Two former Corvallis Knights pitchers have been promoted at UC Irvine, one of our top partner schools.

* Daniel Bibona (2007) has been named pitching coach on a full-time basis after spending the past two seasons as a volunteer assistant. Daniel was honorable-mention all-WCL in 2007.

* Evan Brock (2010) has been named the new director of operations. He was rated at the WCL's No. 16 pro prospect by Perfect Game after splitting the summer with the Knights and Team USA.

Here is more on that story, from the UCI website. Congrats to both coaches!

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Alums Andrew Susac (2009) and Matt Duffy (2010) made San Francisco's 25-man roster for its NLDS showdown with the Washington Nationals, which starts today in Washington.

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Alum Dylan Hecht (2013), a junior at UCSB, pitched for the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod League this past summer and was 0-0, 2,34 in six appearances, with 11 strikeouts in 7.2 innings. He was ranked as the WCL's No. 4 prospect by Baseball America and the No. 3 prospect by Perfect Game after his summer in Corvallis.

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Another West Coast League team will have news ownership next season. Former Kitsap coach Matt Acker has signed a purchase agreement to buy the BlueJackets, according to this story in the Port Orchard Independent newspaper.

Acker lives in Lacey, an Olympia suburb. We have often though that market would be perfect for the WCL, so let's see what happens in the future.

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


Future UCSB standout signs with Knights

October 2, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone. Great start to the National League playoffs last night if you are a Giants fan; not to hot if you cheer for Pittsburgh. So let's get on with the news.

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The Knights have signed outfielder Michael McAdoo, Jr., a senior at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., who has committed to UC Santa Barbara in 2015-16.

A native of nearby Antioch, McAdoo hit .297 in 2014 as a junior, with two doubles, three triples, 20 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 11 attempts. He is a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder who also plays football at DLS, one of the top private schools in the Bay Area.

He played for the Oaks summer league team and was rated as the No. 8 Bay Area junior prospect by the HS Sports Daily website.

He also had a very busy 2014 summer, as described in this story from the Antioch Press newspaper.

He sounds like a tremendous prospect. Welcome to the team, Michael.

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Speaking of the MLB baseball playoffs, neither catcher Andrew Susac (2009) nor infielder Matt Duffy (2010) played for the Giants in last night's 8-0 win over the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game. Catcher Chris Stewart (2001) did not play for the Pirates; infielder Brent Morel (2006-07) was 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.

Baltimore pitcher Bud Norris (2005) will almost certainly start a game in the ALDS series against Detroit, but it has not yet been determined which game the former Cal Poly standout will start.

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Former Wenatchee star Breland Almadova was named a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner for his defensive prowess in center field for single-A Visalia (California League) and South Bend (Midwest League) in the Diamondbacks' organization. Here is more on that story from MILB.com.

Almadova played at Hawaii, was all-WCL in 2011 and was rated as the league's No. 6 pro prospect by Baseball America and the No. 10 prospect by Perfect Game. He was drafted in the 37th round in 2012 and hit a combined .278, with seven homers and 57 RBIs, this past season.

Former Oregon State Jordan Lennerton, now with Toledo, Detroit's affiliate in the triple-A International League, was also honored.

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


Knights sign Australian standout

October 1, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Great start to the MLB baseball playoffs last night with a thrilling game in Kansas City, where the Royals rallied to eliminate Oakland 9-8 in 12 innings. So let's get on with the news.

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The Knights have signed of junior outfielder Hayden Calvert of Corban University. A native of Canberra, Australia, Calvert is a 5-foot-10, 190-pound switch-hitter who graduated from Lake Ginnivderra High School.

Hayden hit .333 (4-12) in four games at Corban in 2014, with two doubles, two runs and five RBIs. He played one season at Arizona Western College (2013) before transferring to Corban, and played for the World Championships U17 Australian Team in 2009.

Welcome to the team, Hayden.

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Speaking of the MLB baseball playoffs, some Knights' alums will be in action today when San Francisco plays at Pittsburgh in the NL Wild-Card Game.

Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) and infielder Matt Duffy (2010) will play for the Giants. Catcher Chris Stewart (2001) is on the Pirates' roster; infielder Brent Morel (2006-07) could be but the final playoff roster won't be revealed until later today.

Stewart, who formerly played for the Giants, gives the Pirates a "secret weapon" against San Francisco starter Madison Bumgartner, according to this story on csnbayarea.com. Chris was out 2001 MVP and the special guest at our 2013 Hot Stove Night event.

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


Knights sign pair from UCSB

September 30, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Let's get on with the news.

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The Knights have signed freshman pitcher Christopher Clements and freshman shortstop Clayton Fisher of UC Santa Barbara for the 2015 season.

Clements is a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder from Pacific Grove High School in Pacific Grove, Calif. He was 6-2, 0.88 as a senior, with 78 strikeouts in 56 innings. As a junior, he was 14-0 with an 0.71 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 78 innings. He was a 2013 North-South Showcase participant and the Mission Trail League Pitcher of the Year.

"Chris is a very polished pitcher," UCSB coach Andrew Checketts said. "He has great fastball command and solid off-speed stuff. He possesses an advanced feel for the strike zone and is a proven winner."

Fisher is from La Quinta, Calif., and played at La Quinta High School. He hit .436 as a senior, with 44 hits, 27 runs and eight doubles in 28 games.

"Clay is one of the top defensive shortstops in California," Checketts said. "He can run, has the arm strength to stick at shortstop after college and is a solid offensive player that will fit into our team's offensive approach."

Welcome to the team, guys.

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We wanted to pass along a nice story from Best Coast Baseball reporter Jacob F. Garcia, who was in Corvallis for a game this past summer, on the West Coast League. So, please click here and check it out. We look forward to seeing Jacob again next summer.

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Right-handed pitcher Mikey Wright of San Jose State, an honorable-mention all-West Coast League pick in 2014, will return to Victoria in 2015. The HarbourCats have also signed two players from Sacramento State. Here is more on that story, from Our Sports Central.

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


More signings for Knights

September 29, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had great weekends and are excited about starting a new week. So let's get on with the news.

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The Knights have signed Western Oregon redshirt junior pitcher Gary Steindorf, a 6-4, 220-pounder from Liberty High School in Hillsboro. He did not pitch in 2014 but was 6-4, 4.20 in 14 games in 2013, with 52 strikeouts in 75 innings. He was 0-0, 2.89 in eight games in 2012, with six strikeouts in 9.1 innings.

Steindorf pitched briefly for the West Coast League's Kitsap BlueJackets in 2013 and was 0-3, 7.07 in four starts, with nine strikeouts in 14 innings.

We have signed Cal Poly commit Craig Colen, a right-handed pitcher who will graduate from Lowell High School in San Francisco in 2015. He was 6-3, 1.16 in 16 games as a junior in 2014, with 77 strikeouts in 66.1 innings.

The Knights also signed WOU junior catcher Colby Rice to 10-day contract. The West Salem graduate played at Western Nevada JC the past two seasons.

Welcome to the team, guys.

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Another good day for two alums with the San Francisco Giants in a 9-3 win over San Diego on Sunday in their regular-season finale. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 1-for-3 and infielder Matt Duffy (2010) was 1-for-1 with an RBI as a pinch-hitter. They will play against Pittsburgh on Wednesday in the NL Wild Card game.

So, we know there will be four and possibly five franchise alums in postseason playoffs, which start Tuesday. Catcher Chris Stewart (2001) and third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) and the Pirates are also in (although we are not sure if Morel is on the playoff roster), as is pitcher Bud Norris (2005) of the Orioles.

Stewart suffered a left-wrist injury on Sunday when he was struck by Johnny Cueto's bat on the backswing, but he said he would be good to go on Wednesday. Here is more on that story, from mlb.com.

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Toronto purchased the contract of infielder Matt "Slider Guy" Hague (2005) from triple-A Buffalo and placed him in its 40-man roster. He is now protected from the Rule 5 draft.

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


Knights sign TCC pitcher Justin Vernia

September 26, 2014

Happy Friday everyone. The weekend awaits but we have some news before we close shop for the week.

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The Knights have signed sophomore pitcher Justin Vernia of Tacoma Community College for the 2015 season. A 6-foot-1, 200-pounder from Issaquah High School in Renton, Wash., he was 7-0 with a 1.08 ERA over seven starts and won the team's Cy Young Award in 2014.

He was a first-team KingCo all-star as a senior in 2013, when he went 6-3 with a 1.93 ERA and 74strikeouts. Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert, now the director of operations at Utah, was his pitching coach at TCC.

Welcome to the team, Justin.

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Another good day for two alums with the San Francisco Giants in a 9-8 win over San Diego that clinched a playoff berth. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 1-for-2 with a run and pinch-hitter Matt Duffy (2010) was 0-for-0 but drove in a run.

There are now five alums in postseason baseball. Catcher Chris Stewart (2001) and third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) and the Pirates are also in (although we are not sure if Morel is on the playoff roster)), as is pitcher Bud Norris (2005) of the Orioles. Norris is having a great year and won his 15th game on Wednesday, a career high.

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The Klamath Falls Gems have signed pitcher Kody Kuhlman of the University of Portland and Northwest Nazarene utility/pitcher Jesse Hilyard. Both are local products; Kuhlman played at Klamath Union High, Hilyard at Henley. Here is more on that story from the Klamath Falls Herald and News newspaper.

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That is all for today. Have a great weekend, see you on Monday, and go Beavs!


Harrison McGhee to return in 2015

September 25, 2014

Happy Thursday everyone. My yard is already starting to green up from the rain, but thankfully it will be gone by the weekend so we will have a dry Fall Festival. Now, on with the news.

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The Knights have signed junior pitcher Harrison McGhee of Concordia University for the 2015 season. He is our second returnee, joining pitcher Merrick Patito of Chaffey College. A 5-foot-10, 195-pound righthander from Ramona, Calif., McGhee was 0-2, 5.30 in 14 games for the Knights in 2014, with 32 strikeouts in 39 innings as a starter and a reliever.

An NAIA-West all-star in 2014 at Concordia, Harrison was 5-3 with a 1.45 ERA in 12 games, with 96 strikeouts in 86.2 innings. He led the Cascade Collegiate Conference in strikeouts and was third in ERA.

Welcome back, Harrison.

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Good night on Wednesday for two alums with the San Francisco Giants in their 9-1 loss to the Dodgers and ace Clayton Kershaw. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 2-for-4 and pinch-hitter Matt Duffy (2010) was 1-for-1.

The Giants still need one more win to clinch a playoff berth and give the Knights five alums in postseason baseball. Catcher Chris Stewart (2001) and third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) and the Pirates are already in (although we are not sure if Morel is on the playoff roster). So is pitcher Bud Norris (2005) of the Orioles. Norris is having a great year and won his career-high 15th game on Wednesday, against the Yankees.

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Here is the Yakima Herald Republic's story on standout Vince Fernandez of the Pippins, the WCL's top prospect, according to Perfect Game.

As we reported earlier this week, the Knights had four players on that list: Dalton Kelly (5); Justin Calomeni (9); Brandon Choate (10), and Logan Ice (14). Alum Gabe Clark (2013) was 17th.

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


Knights sign Washington catcher Andy Cosgrove

September 24, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone. The rain is back, but we needed it and it is not supposed to hang around very long, so all is well. Now, on with the news.

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The Knights have signed freshman catcher Andy Cosgrove of Washington, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder who graduated from Juanita High School in Kirkland, Wash.

He was a second-team KingCo all-star in 2014, when Juanita made it to the state-championship game before losing 1-0 to Lakeside. Here is more on Cosgrove from The Kirkland Reporter newspaper. He also played for the Baden team in the Seattle Premier League this past summer.

Welcome to the team, Andy.

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Alum Andrew Naderer (2013) of Grand Canyon University was named to the Cape Cod League's postseason all-star team. He played for the Brewster Whitecaps and had a 2.27 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 35.2 innings pitched in 10 appearances.

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The Bellingham Bells have promoted Stephanie Morrell to assistant general manager, effective immediately. Previously, Morrell served as the team's marketing director. Here is more 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 on Thursday.


Knights sign Chapman RHP Matt Smith

September 23, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Looks as if the rain might be returning finally but we sure had a great run of sunny, warm weather.

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The Knights have signed junior right-hand pitcher Matt Smith of Chapman University, a Division III school in Orange, Calif. Smith was 5-2 with a 2.94 ERA, and had 47 strikeouts in 52 innings over 14 appearances.

A 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Palos Verdes High School in Lunada Bay, Calif., Smith was 2-5 record with a 5.53 ERA in 13 games as a freshman in 2013 and led the team with 59 strikeouts. He was the 2012 Bay League Pitcher of the Year as a PVHS senior and earned first-team all-league and first-team all-CIF honors in leading his team to the Bay League championship.

Welcome to the team, Matt.

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Alum Andrew Susac (2009) of Oregon State and the San Francisco Giants drove in the winning run in the 13th inning on Monday as the Giants defeated the Dodgers 5-2. Here is video of the hit from MLB.com; sorry about the annoying ad.

Andrew is hitting .264 (19-72) with three homers and 16 RBIs in 30 games for the Giants since being called up from triple-A Fresno in late July. He certainly has made a case to stick with the club for the entire season in 2015.

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Two alums had great seasons in the independent Frontier League.

* Washington (Pa.) Wild Things third baseman Carter Bell (2009) hit .289 (89-308) in 88 games, with 11 doubles, four triples, four homers, 37 RBIs and 30 steals in 35 attempts. Carter played at Oregon State and spent three years in the Arizona organization before being released before the 2014 season.

* Evansville reliever Eric Massingham (2006-07) was 0-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 10 games with the Otters, who acquired him in a trade with Southern Maryland of the Atlantic League in July. Mass had eight saves and 13 strikeouts in 12 innings.

He played at Cal Poly and earned all-WCL postseason honors both years he played for us. He also plays for the Canberra Cavalry in the Australian Baseball League.

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Former Knight Matt "Slider Guy" Hague (2005) has been assigned to the Buffalo Bisons of the triple-A International League by Toronto. They originally designated him for assignment on Sept. 2.

The Blue Jays claimed Hague on waivers in August from Pittsburgh, and he hit .377 in 13 games, with a homer and 10 RBIs at Buffalo. He reached the majors several times with Pittsburgh, who drafted him out of Oklahoma State in 2008. He also played 93 games at triple-A Indianapolis in 2014 and hit .267 (88-330), with 14 homers and 66 RBIs.

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