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Knights Daily Update

Seattle gets Mitch Haniger from Diamondbacks

November 24, 2016

Happy Friday everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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We have some big news to announce involving a former Corvallis Knight.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) has been traded to the Seattle Mariners from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a five-man deal.

The 25-year-old former Cal Poly star made his MLB debut in 2016 and hit .229 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 34 games. He was also named Arizona's Minor League Player of the Year after finishing with a .321 average, 25 homers and 94 RBIs between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno.

Mitch was a first-team all-West Coast League selection in 2010 and was named as the league's No. 5 pro prospect by Baseball America and the No. 4 prospect by Perfect Game.

Please click here for more on the story, from MLB.com.

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Some more alumni news to announce:

The San Francisco Giants added right-handed pitcher Chase Johnson (2011) to their 40-man roster to protect him from next month's Rule 5 draft. The former Cal Poly star, selected in the third round of the 2013 draft, was rated as San Francisco's 18th-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com.

Chase pitched a Richmond (AA Eastern) in 2016 and was 1-4, 3.27 with five saves in 24 appearances. He had 37 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. He was rated as the West Coast League's No. 5 pro prospect by Perfect Game and the No. 10 prospect by Baseball America following the 2011 season.

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Seattle has traded former Knights' first baseman/DH Dalton Kelly (2014) to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of a five-player deal. Dalton played at Clinton (A Midwest) in 2016 and hit .293 (141-481) in 130 games, with seven homers and 58 RBIs.

He was a 38th-round draft pick in 2015, out of UC Santa Barbara. He was first-team all-WCL as a utility player and was the league's No. 5 prospect by Baseball America and Perfect Game.

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Season tickets for the 2017 season are now on sale. If you purchase your season tickets before the end of 2016, you will save $10 off each full-season ticket order. To check out your many options and to purchase 2017 season tickets, please click here.

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Alum Nick Ruppert (2013) of Dartmouth is off to a fast start with the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League. The 23-year-old outfielder was 2-for-4 against Melbourne in his last game and is hitting .300 (3-10) in three games, with four runs.

The Heat play host to Brisbane in a four-game series this Thursday through Saturday. He is the lone Knights' alum in the ABL this season.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving; have a great weekend, and we will see you again on Tuesday!


Knights add three more for 2017

November 21, 2016

Happy Tuesday everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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More signing news to announce.

The Knights have added two Pacific Lutheran players for the upcoming season: Junior first baseman/pitcher Cole Johnson, and sophomore catcher Jacob Bockelie, who signed a 10-day contract.

A lefty from Buckley, Wash., Johnson was 5-4, 4.76 in 16 games, with 40 strikeouts in 87 innings. As a position player, he hit .304 with three homers and 38 RBIs and was honorable-mention all-Northwest Conference.

He formerly played at Washington State. He was a two-time MVP and three-time all-leaguer at White River High before going to WSU.

Bockelie is a redshirt sophomore from Shorewood High in Shoreline, Wash. He did not play in 2016 but hit .321 in 21 games in 2015, with five RBIs. He was second-team all-WESCO South his junior and senior years at Shorewood.

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Season tickets for the 2017 season are now on sale. If you purchase your season tickets before the end of 2016, you will save $10 off each full-season ticket order. To check out your many options and to purchase 2017 season tickets, please click here.

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have added pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011) to their 40-man roster. That prevents the former Oregon star from being selected in the December Rule 5 draft. He is 10-12, 4.20 in 162 minor league games since turning pro in 2013, with 226 strikeouts in 171.1 innings.

Here is MLB.com's analysis of Sherfy:

The 24-year-old is the No. 14-ranked prospect in the system, and he finished second among all Minor League pitchers in saves with 30. Sherfy saw time at Visalia, Mobile and Reno, going 3-4 with a 2.77 ERA. He was selected by the D-backs in the 10th round of the 2013 draft.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great week, and we will see you again on Friday!


Knights add UP signee Chad Stevens

November 17, 2016

Happy Thursday/Friday everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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More signing news to announce.

The Knights have added incoming University of Portland shortstop Chad Stevens for the 2017 season. He is a native of Fox Island, Wash., who starred at nearby Gig Harbor High School. He will play for former Aloha Knights' player/coach Geoff Loomis at UP.

Stevens helped lead the Tides to a third-place finish at the 2016 Washington 4A state tournament. He was a second-team Narrows League 4A all-star in 2016, his junior year. He played for the Narrows Baseball Club for five years, and was on the Mariners Scout Team.

"Chad is a highly intelligent and gifted athlete," Loomis said. "He's tall and agile, and he has the ability to be a next-level player for us. I believe Chad will have a major impact early in his career on The Bluff."

Welcome to the Knights, Chad.

He will be the fifth player with UP connections on the 2017 team; the Knights announced the signing of current Pilots Cameron Richman, Matt Kelly, Henry Cheney and Jordan Horak on Tuesday. Richman and Kelly are returnees from our 2016 WCL title team.

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Season tickets for the 2017 season are now on sale. If you purchase your season tickets before the end of 2016, you will save $10 off each full-season ticket order. To check out your many options and to purchase 2017 season tickets, please click here.

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The Sioux City Explorers of the independent American Association traded alum Cody Lenahan (2013) to the Lincoln Saltdogs on Nov. 15. Cody was a key player on our 2013 WCL champions and earned second-team all-WCL honors.

The former University of Portland star played for the Texas AirHogs in the AA in 2016 and hit .264 (87-329) in 90 games, with 12 homers and 49 RBIs. He was traded to Sioux City on Sept. 30.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great weekend, and we will see you again on Tuesday!


UP's Richman, Kelly to return in 2017

November 15, 2016

Happy Tuesday everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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More signing to announce, these from the University of Portland.

Pitcher Cameron Richman and infielder Matt Kelly, both important members of the 2016 WCL-champion Knights, and outfielder Henry Cheney and pitcher Jordan Horak will join the Knights in 2017, president Dan Segel announced Tuesday.

Richman is a sophomore right-hander from Walla Walla who was 3-1, 4.66 in 15 games, with a save and 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. A sophomore from West Linn, Kelly hit .205 (15-73) in 37 games, with 11 RBIs and eight steals. He played a variety of positions.

Horak is a junior lefty from Lake Oswego who was 1-8, 5.66 in 18 games in 2016, with 61 strikeouts in 62 innings. He played for the Klamath Falls Gems in 2015 and went 1-3, 4.76 in 16 games, with 38 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

Cheney played for the Charles Wright Academy in Gig Harbor, Wash., and was a two-time, first-team Nisqually League all-star. He played in the U14-15 Perfect Game World Series in Fort Meyers, Fla., and in the U15-16 USA Baseball National Championships for his club team.

The head coach of the Pilots is former Aloha Knights' player/coach Geoff Loomis.

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Season tickets for the 2017 season are now on sale. If you purchase your season tickets before the end of 2016, you will save $10 off each full-season ticket order. To check out your many options and to purchase 2017 season tickets, please click here.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great week, and we will see you again on Friday!


Johnson, Burg granted free agent status

November 10, 2016

Happy Thursday/Friday everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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Two former Corvallis Knights now in the minor leagues were granted free agency on Nov. 7. Drafted in 2010, their Uniform Player Contract has been renewed six times and they are not on an MLB 40-man roster.

They are now eligible to sign with any club, including their former team.

The free-agent alums are:

* D. J. JOHNSON (2008-09): A right-handed pitcher from Mt. Hood CC, D.J. was in the Angels' organization in 2016 and went 4-4, 4.02 in 47 games with double-A Arkansas (Texas League), with six saves and 67 strikeouts in 69.1 innings.

* ALEX BURG (2008): A utility player from Washington State, Alex played in the Texas organization and hit a combined .215 (58-270) in 79 total games with Frisco (AA Texas League) and Round Rock (AAA Pacific Coast League), with seven homers and 38 RBIs. He was the MVP of our 2008 WCL championship team.

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Time to update the stats of our alums in the Arizona Fall League:

* DANNY HAYES (2009, Glendale): The first baseman, who played for Charlotte (White Sox) in the triple-A International League in 2016, is hitting .175 (10-56) in 16 games, with a homer and three RBIs. He played at Oregon State.

* TREVOR FRANK (2012, Mesa): The right-handed pitcher, who played for Lynchburg (Cleveland) in the advanced-A Carolina League in 2016, is 1-0, 6.75 in seven games, with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings. He played at UC-Riverside.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday!


Gale re-signs with Padres; Tigers release Dean Green

November 8, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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We have some good news and some bad news on the alumni front. First, the good news:

Catcher Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) has re-signed with the San Diego Padres. He hit .243 (86-354) in 107 total games at triple-A El Paso (Pacific Coast League) and double-A San Antonio (Texas League) in 2016, with five homers and 34 RBIs.

Rocky is a career .255 hitter in 521 minor-league games, with nine homers and 191 RBIs. He turned pro with the Padres in 2010 after they drafted him in the 24th round out of the University of Portland.

He has played at every level in their organization except for Rookie League since beginning his career with Eugene in the short-season Class A Northwest League in 2010.

Now, the bad news.

The Detroit Tigers have released first baseman Dean Green (2008) after seven years in their organization. He had his finest year as a pro in 2016, as he hit .297 (139-468) with 23 homers and 108 RBIs in 128 total games with triple-A Toledo (International League) and double-A Erie (Eastern League).

Dean was a career .306 hitter in 589 minor-league games at all levels of the Detroit organization, which he joined in 2011 after being drafted in the 11th round following a big senior year at Barry University in Florida. He played his first three years of college at Oklahoma State.

He is now a free agent and can sign with any team. Best of luck to a mainstay on our 2008 WCL champions.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great week, and we will see you on Friday!


Aaron Pope to return for Knights

November 2, 2016

Happy Wednesday, everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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We have some signings to announce.

Dixie State junior lefty Aaron Pope will return to the Knights in 2017. He was 5-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 12 games in 2016, with 44 strikeouts in 50 innings. He earned honorable-mention all-West Coast League honors.

Pope joins San Francisco's Grant Goodman, Western Oregon's Jacob Fricke, Sacramento State's Ty Fox, San Diego's Louis Crow and Dixie State's Tanner Howell as returnees from our 2016 pitching staff.

Also, the Knights have signed redshirt junior third baseman/first baseman Luke Wilkinson of Northwest Missouri State, a Division II program that is the alma mater of president Dan Segel.

Wilkinson played for the Yorkton Cardinals of the Western Major Baseball League in Canada in 2016. He had eight homers and 45 RBIs in only 171 at-bats.

"He could be a sleeper to make the team and hopefully add some much-needed early pop," Segel said.

Wilkinson is from Brea, Calif., the hometown of 2015-16 Knights' pitcher Cameron Bishop.

Welcome to the team, Luke.

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Lefty Ryley Widell, a mainstay on our 2016 staff, will sign a letter-of-intent with North Carolina on Nov. 10 and will pitch for the Tar Heels in 2018 and 2019.

Widell went 3-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 13 WCL games last summer, with 46 strikeouts in 41.1 innings. He was rated as the WCL's No. 27 pro prospect by Perfect Game, and was honorable-mention all-WCL.

Here is more on Widell from the Maui News newspaper.

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Some news from around the WCL:

The West Coast League has hired Jonathan Hodgson to its marketing communications team as the Coordinator of Online Communications. He joins Chris King, the league's Director of Online Communications, as a content creator for WCL online communications. Jonathan's focus will be writing stories for the league website.

Here is more on that story from the WCL website.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great week, and we will see you on Friday!


Arizona Fall League update

October 27, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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Time to update the stats of our alums in the Arizona Fall League:

* DANNY HAYES (2009, Glendale): The first baseman, who played for Charlotte (White Sox) in the triple-A International League in 2016, is hitting .194 (6-31) in nine games, with a homer and one RBI. He played at Oregon State.

* TREVOR FRANK (2012, Mesa): The right-handed pitcher, who played for Lynchburg (Cleveland) in the advanced-A Carolina League in 2016, is 1-0, 15.45 in four games, with one strikeout in 2.1 innings. He played at UC-Riverside.

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Some news from around the WCL:

Walla Walla general manager Katie Biagi has resigned. Her last official day will be October 31.

A graduate of Whitman College, first joined the Sweets during their inaugural 2010 season, as a member of the game-day staff. She was promoted in the fall of 2010 to manage the Sweets Shoppe on Main Street, starting her ascent to a senior leadership position with the team.

In subsequent years, she received promotions to director of operations, director of marketing, and finally was named general manager in the fall of 2013, replacing team president Zachary Fraser, who was in the process of starting parent company Pacific Baseball Venture's (PBV) second club in the West Coast League, the Yakima Valley Pippins.

Fraser will re-assume general manager responsibilities for the Sweets in addition to his role as president of PBV. He will work with the team's board of directors to establish a long-term plan for the role past the 2017 season.

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The Clinton LumberKings (A Midwest, Mariners) have named Erik Oas as their new "Radio Voice" for the 2017 season.

Oas, 26, will serve as the team's Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. The San Diego native comes to Clinton following a stint with the Kannapolis Intimidators, the Chicago White Sox Class A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, where he served as their Broadcast/Media Relations Assistant during the 2016 season.

He graduated from San Jose State in May 2013, then spent 2014 and 2015 in the WCL as the Director of Broadcast and Media Relations for the Klamath Falls Gems (2014) and Bellingham Bells (2015).

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great weekend, go Beavers, and we will see you on Tuesday!


Knights sign Linfield standout Cunningham

October 24, 2016

Happy Tuesday, everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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The Knights have signed sophomore left-handed pitcher Cason Cunningham of Linfield College for the upcoming season. A graduate of Sheldon High School in Eugene, he was 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 games, with 66 strikeouts in 56 innings.

A 6-foot, 195-pounder who served in the Marines before enrolling at Linfield, Cunningham lettered five times in baseball and wrestling at Sheldon. He was a second-team Southwest Conference all-star as a senior and an honorable-mention choice as a junior.

The Knights have signed sophomore lefty Tanner Cantwell of Treasure Valley CC, a graduate of Marist High School. He was 10-3 with a 2.03 in 15 games in 2016, with 85 strikeouts in 75 innings. He also plays first base and hit .259 (15-58) in 25 games, with 13 RBIs.

Signing 10-day contracts were junior utility man Brady Rediger of Linfield and junior infielder Kyle Esquerra of George Fox University.

Rediger graduated from West Salem High School and is a two-year letterman. He hit .257 (18-70) in 24 games in 2016, with 10 RBIs. Esquerra, a Horizon Christian graduate from Tualatin, hit .387 (29-75) in 23 games in 2016, with 10 RBIs.

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The 2017 West Coast League season will begin on June 1, when the Victoria HarbourCats visit the new Port Angeles Lefties at Civic Field in the Lefties' initial game in Port Angeles as the league's newest member.

The Knights have not yet finalized our entire 2017 schedule, but we begin league play at Cowlitz on June 2.

The relocation of the Kitsap franchise to Port Angeles has resulted in a minor divisional realignment for the 2017 season. The Lefties were moved from the South Division to the North Division; however, the league divisional structure and split-season playoff format remain intact.

The 2017 WCL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Yakima Valley Pippins on Tuesday, July 18, at Yakima County Stadium.

The league schedule features 54 contests, with each team playing a balanced schedule. The WCL regular season concludes Sunday, Aug. 6, and the WCL playoffs, a four-team postseason to determine the league champion, begin on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Please click here for more information, from the WCL website.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great week, and we will see you on Friday!


Knights sign Austin Crowson of Monroe

October 12, 2016

Happy Wednesday-Friday, everyone, from the home of your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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The Knights have signed pitcher Austin Crowson, a 6-foot-5 sophomore lefty at Lane CC who played at Monroe High School, for the 2017 season.

Crowson was 6-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched in 10 games for the Titans in 2016. He was 4-1, 2.81 in six conference games, with 29 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. He then played for the Medford Rogues in the Great Northwest League in 2016 and went 2-1, 1.77 in five games, with 15 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.

He was the state 2A/1A Player of the Year in 2015, helping the Dragons win the state championship, and then played for Bi-Mart Challengers American Legion team in Eugene.

Welcome to the Knights, Austin.

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Former Knight Cody Lenahan (2013), an infielder in the independent American Association, was traded from the Texas Airhogs to the Sioux City Explorers earlier this month. He hit .264 (87-329) for Texas in 90 games in 2016, with 12 homers and 49 RBIs.

Cody played at Portland and helped lead the Knights to the 2013 West Coast League championship. He was second-team all-WCL, a South Division All-Star, and was ranked as the WCL's No. 14 pro prospect by Perfect Game.

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Things are pretty slow on the Knights front right now, so that is all for today. Have a great weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday.